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An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

Good Housekeeping's view...

August 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

On My Bookshelf by Joseph Fiennes...

An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan is an extraordinary account of the years he spent as a hostage in Beirut with journalist John McCarthy. I loved the bond that develops between the two men – a love that is ultimately the key to their survival.

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An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

Brian Keenan went to Beirut in 1985 for a change of scene from his native Belfast. He became headline news when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen and held in the suburbs of Beirut for the next four and a half years. For much of that time he was shut off from all news and contact with anyone other than his jailers and, later, his fellow hostages, amongst them John McCarthy. This is his story.

Browse inside this book


Kidnapped by Shi'ite militiamen, Brian Keenan was held hostage in Beirut for 4 and a half years. Blindfolded, chained, beaten, often gagged, bound with packing tape and put in a sack when moved from one prison to another - the pain and humiliation were unremitting, yet somehow Keenan survived. When John McCarthy joined him they forged a friendship which became their strongest weapon against despair. McCarthy's light touch often defused Keenan's robust Irish rage and their combined ingenuity provided the distraction of childish games and ribald jokes. This book eloquently confirms man's amazing capacity to survive, the power of friendship, and 'the fury of life'. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

Brian Keenan is a writer and poet. AN EVIL CRADLING is the story of his four years' captivity in Beirut and is recognized as a non-fiction classic. He is also the author of a travel book, BETWEEN EXTREMES with John McCarthy, and a novel, TULLOUGH.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th April 1993


Brian Keenan

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Vintage an imprint of CCV


352 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Autobiography: historical, political & military
Political oppression & persecution



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