Book Review – Over The Edge
I cannot honestly say why I picked this book out of the “Just Returned” trolley at my library; maybe it was the title, the picture of the mountain, the four people on the cover. The byword of the title sort of did it – “A True Story of Kidnap and Escape in the Mountains of Central Asia”. It made me flick to the back and everything it detailed in the story still didn’t register with me; terrorism and mountain climbing, hardly topics to get me hooked into a book, let alone when they are together. But I am glad I did as this was a very good read with some great facts and background, followed by a gripping tale of these four young Americans taken hostage by terrorists and marched around some of the most desolate countryside known to man, and then the aftermath of their safe return, and a comprehensive post-mortem – actually I thought in reading it that the final chapters would take too much away from the story, and at times slowed the pace to a crawl, but on completing the story, it helped answer so much and finalise an engrossing book.
Whether you are into these themes or not, the story against all odds in itself is worth the effort to get through the 300 pages, but also learning more about terrorism in the Independent States and how they all link into Islam, Al Qaeda, and drug trafficking. And then to see how the struggling armies of the former Soviet Union combat these insurgents and how they view tourists and deal with their inadequacies is a story unto itself.
Wholly recommended, not overly fantasised, but the picture gallery could have been so much better.