An Evil Cradling, Paperback
5 out of 5 (5 ratings)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099990307



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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

Brian Keenan's story of his visit to Beirut in 1985, when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen and held captive for the next 4 1/2 years. For much of that time he was shut off from all contact with the outside world. A good book from a horrific story.

Review by

I was shocked to see that the book is 14 years old and is about events that are almost 20 years ago. Shocked in part because where has the time gone and in part because nothing has changed in the middle east. Until a political agreement over the Palestinians nothing can change. The war on terrorism is neither a war or about terrorism. South Africa and Northern Ireland show away forward. But America has got to face its religious Christian right who are a major western cause for a lack of a political settlment. All this is a far cry from the suffering of two men recorded in the day to day horror of trying to save their humanity. Yet could they speak out about the political struggles that made them victims?

Review by

I found Keenan's description of his captors quite educational. This ties in with Sapolsky's [Monkeyluv] and other theories of early childhood developmental.

Review by

In the mid 90's I read a lot of the books written by the hostages taken in Lebanon. The hostages were released when I was in my late teens and I still remember the pictures of these frail men leaving planes. Of all the books, this is the best. It is literate and emotional. Brian Keenan is incredibly honest about how he felt. It can be a hard book to read - several pages were read through a haze of tears. But what I remember most about it is the relationship between him and John McCarthy and how they kept each other sane during an insane situation.Don't miss it.

Review by

A beautifully written account of Keenan's time as a hostage in Lebanon, this is a moving and eloquent tribute to the human spirit.

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