Nigel's story of captivity

IT has been almost three years since Bundaberg photojournalist Nigel Brennan was kidnapped in Somalia on August 24, 2008.

What Mr Brennan went through during his 462 harrowing days in captivity and the struggle of his family to have him release has now been chronicled in the autobiography, The Price of Life, which is being launched in Sydney today.

Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith, who was instrumental in the eventual release of Mr Brennan, will launch the book to an expected crowd of about 150 people.

Mr Brennan said he first began thinking about doing the book a few months after his release on November 25, 2009.

“Penguin was the only one willing to let us write it ourselves, and with three authors it was also a bit unusual,” he said.

Mr Brennan co-wrote the book with his sister, Nicole Bonney, and sister-in-law, Kellie Brennan, who jointly reflect on what his family went through after official negotiations stalled and Mrs Bonney stepped in as negotiator, while Mrs Brennan effectively became an international money launderer.

“I could have written a book and the girls could have written a book, but from my perspective, captivity was incredibly boring – it was like Groundhog Day,” he said.

Mr Brennan said the book was more about how the family came together and dealt with the incredibly stressful situation.

“The whole family is here (in Sydney). It’s the first time we have all been together since 2006,” he said.

“It is hard to get the planets to align, but sometimes you just have to stop and not take for granted the things that really matter to you.”

Mr Brennan said he was a little anxious about the release of the book.

“Most people are very private people and I wouldn’t want to be famous for anything,” he said.

“But I am more anxious about my family, more so for putting them in the public eye.

“But for all three of us, the reason for writing this book was not to make money, it was a cathartic experience and an insight into what I went through and what the family went through and what a family would do for each other.”

While the official book launch will be in Sydney today, the Bundaberg community can expect its own launch in a few weeks, with Mr Brennan planning book signings, a talk and time for the public to ask questions.

The Price of Life was released yesterday and is available at Dymocks Bookstore in Bourbong St.

Topics:  kidnapped, moore park beach, nigel brennan, somalia



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