Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Kidnapped by the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope, and Rescue by SEAL Team Six by Dilip Joseph with James Lund

An American physician in rural Afghanistan faces the unimaginable
Dilip Joseph dreams of life as a medical humanitarian. In 2009 his dream comes true as he joins the staff of Colorado-based Morning Star Development, a nonprofit community and economic development organization.
On December 5, 2012, Dr. Joseph and two native colleagues, en route from a medical clinic in an Afghan village to Kabul, find themselves face-to-face with four men carrying AK-47s. Forced at gunpoint into the back of a truck and driven to a remote location, the men are sure they are headed to their execution.
Kidnapped by the Taliban is the dramatic account of Dilip Joseph's terrifying journey. He rides a roller-coaster of emotions wondering if he will ever see his family again. Readers will marvel at Dilip's surprising bond with one of his captors. After four days of uncertainty, gunfire announces the arrival of Navy SEAL Team Six, the elite group of soldiers that took down al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. SEAL team member Nicolas D. Checque loses his life in the rescue, as do the Taliban kidnappers.
Though processing the ordeal is a lifetime pursuit, Dilip unexpectedly finds it gives him new reasons to hope. His experience reveals to him and the reader that even the Taliban, a society that so many dismiss as pure evil, includes real human beings in search of a better, more peaceful life. And in that lives hope for us all.

This book is more serious than the other books I've read lately, but I enjoyed it anyway.

In Kidnapped by the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope, and Rescue by SEAL Team Six, Dr. Dilip Joseph tells the story of his kidnapping, starting with how he came to be in the country until after his return to America.

The story is part-action-adventure, part-inspirational and part-self-reflection. The descriptions of Afghanistan, the culture and pretty much everything that happened to Dr. Joseph is described vividly so it feels like you're watching a movie.

Some of the things he mentions in the book about Afghan and Muslim culture are not new to me as my world history professor (who was also our world religions professor) was quite thorough especially about things he thought were important in order to understand people from other cultures. There's some mention of the history of the Taliban and their influence in the book so you don't need to know that before reading this.

As you can expect from the blurb, the Taliban, or at least Dilip's kidnappers are humanized here. It's not saying that the doctor agrees with what they do or their beliefs, but it does in a way say that these people are searching for a better life just like the rest of us. They treated him kindly, at least, despite the fact that the Taliban in general are known to do some very bad things.

It was easy to empathize with the doctor, but I'm not sure how those who have lost someone to the Taliban and Al Qaeda would feel if they read the book. It doesn't praise his kidnappers, but it can feel unsettling sometimes because they did show occasional goodness.

The most important messages in this book, though, is having faith in God and helping those who have so little. It takes a while to get there, but it's worth the read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the e-ARC.


  1. You learn more about Afghan culture.
  2. You get a peek into the lives of Taliban.
  3. The descriptions and prose are vivid and easily help you imagine what happened.


  1. It's quite a long read.

When we invest in those who are vulnerable and disenfranchised, our lives become more fulfilling.

  1. You've thought about working for an NGO in other countries.
  2. You believe that no one is inherently evil.
  3. You like action movies.



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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