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Extended Audio Sample A Rope and a Prayer: The Story of a Kidnapping, by David Rohde, Kristen Mulvihill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (297 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Rohde, Kristen Mulvihill Narrator: David Rohde, Kristen Mulvihill Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.

In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterized the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.

In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde’s relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide—and challenge—of our time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A love story, as well as a political drama...A Rope and a Prayer should be required reading. The New York Times Book Review
  • Vivid...A fine read. Time
  • An important and valuable story of love, faith and courage. The Washington Post
  • Gripping. The Boston Globe
  • [A] singular and harrowing account of a journalist's captivity in the most important place on earth, and what it means to be the one left behind. The Daily Beast
  • A gripping, true-life romance. The Observer's Very Short List
  • Equal parts love story and international intelligence thriller, this memoir delivers a crash course in resilience and loyalty. Allure
  • A gripping, true-life romance. The Observer's Very Short List
  • Truly remarkable and bold...A painstakingly reconstructed, harrowing account. Kirkus

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lindsay | 2/19/2014

    " FASCINATING story of escape from a terrorist kidnapping deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. Such guts to do what he did- and survive! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Veronica Leff | 1/21/2014

    " Loved it! Couldn't put it down! Loved the thrill of the human story as well as learning about the Taliban, War on Terror and the situation in Afganistan/Pakistan!! Makes interesting observations about the practice of religion that are worth discussing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joann | 1/16/2014

    " I was completely sucked into this book & needed to know how it would turn out. It is written by both the kidnapped journalist & his wife. I found his writing to be much more developed and detail filled, although his wife's was more relate-able. I learned a lot about the crisis in Afghanistan, but was more taken by the actual mental courage of the authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marta Debellis | 1/14/2014

    " Lots of informative information about Pakistan, Afghanistan and that region. Gives wide insight to the US invovlement (good and bad) in the region. "

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