The Hostage Handbook

The Hostage Handbook presents the highly charged verbatim transcription of the text of the author's secret shorthand diaries which he wrote and kept hidden during his period of two years and two months solitary confinement as a hostage in China. The reader receives a powerful sense of feeling what it was like, moment by moment, to be held hostage in isolation in a hostile land. He says he now sees the two harrowing years held in a slogan daubed house in the heart of Beijing as ' a huge delayed action privilege' and realises, more than three decades later, how the insights provided by that experience - and the very act of keeping those secret diaries themselves - helped shape his life positively after his release. He has been an avid journal keeper ever since and in an accompanying commentary he extols the virtues of that reflective discipline.