An American reporter's chilling account of being kidnapped and imprisoned by the Taliban, in the no-man's-land between Afghanistan and Pakistan
Jere Van Dyk was on the wrong side of the border. He and three Afghan guides had crossed into the tribal areas of Pakistan, where no Westerner had ventured for years, hoping to reach the home of a local chieftain by nightfall. But then a dozen armed men in black turbans appeared over the crest of a hill.
Captive is Van Dyk's searing account of his forty-five days in a Taliban prison, and it is gripping and terrifying in the tradition of the best prison literature. The main action takes place in a single room, cut off from the outside world, where Van Dyk feels he can trust nobody—not his jailers, not his guides (who he fears may have betrayed him), and certainly not the charismatic Taliban leader whose fleeting appearances carry the hope of redemption as well as the prospect of immediate, violent death.
Van Dyk went to the tribal areas to investigate the challenges facing America there. His story is of a deeper, more personal challenge, an unforgettable tale of human endurance.
In the summer of 2007, I signed a contract to write a book about the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I had a long background in this area, which is now considered the headquarters of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
I first crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan in1973, when I drove an old Volkswagen through the tribal areas. I was a young man, exploring the world. Six years later I watched on television as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and knew I would return. In 1981, as a freelance reporter for the New York Times, I flew to Pakistan and took
Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Jere Van Dyk's book Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban. Captive is Van Dyk's searing account of his forty-five days in a Taliban prison, and it is gripping and terrifying in the tradition of the best prison literature.