Book Summary: The Desert and the Sea by Michael Scott Moore

The Desert and the Sea by Michael Scott Moore Book Cover

The Desert and the Sea is a gripping memoir by Michael Scott Moore, recounting his harrowing experience of being held hostage by Somali pirates for 947 days. The book takes readers on a journey through the desert and the sea, as Moore describes his captivity and the challenges he faced during his time in captivity.

Chapter 1: The Kidnapping

The book begins with Moore’s kidnapping in January 2012, while he was researching a story in Somalia. He was abducted by pirates who demanded a ransom of $20 million for his release. Moore was taken to a small town in the desert, where he was held in a windowless shack with other hostages. He was beaten and threatened with execution, but he refused to give in to his captors’ demands.

Chapter 2: Life in Captivity

Moore spent the first few months of his captivity in a state of shock and disbelief. He was kept in a small room with other hostages, and was only allowed to leave for brief periods to use the bathroom or exercise. He was fed a diet of rice and beans, and was forced to listen to the pirates’ demands for ransom. Over time, Moore began to adapt to his new life in captivity, and he started to keep a journal to record his experiences.

Chapter 3: The Ransom Negotiations

Moore’s family and friends worked tirelessly to secure his release, and they eventually managed to negotiate a ransom of $1.6 million. However, the pirates were unpredictable and erratic, and it took several months of negotiations before the ransom was finally paid. Moore was released in September 2013, after 947 days in captivity.

Chapter 4: The Aftermath

Moore returned home to a hero’s welcome, but he was struggling to come to terms with his experience in captivity. He was plagued by nightmares and flashbacks, and he found it difficult to reconnect with his family and friends. He eventually sought professional help, and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Moore wrote The Desert and the Sea as a way of coming to terms with his experience, and he hopes that his book will help others who have been affected by kidnapping and captivity.

See also  Book Summary: Bedtime Biography_ Madame Curie by Eve Curie


The Desert and the Sea is a powerful and moving memoir that provides a unique insight into the experience of being held hostage. Moore’s story is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting those who have been affected by kidnapping and captivity. Whether you are a reader who is interested in memoirs, true crime, or current events, The Desert and the Sea is a must-read book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

Interested in reading the whole book?

Buy the book “The Desert and the Sea” on Amazon

Buy the book on Amazon

Check out my youtube channel to listen to new book summaries everyday.


Please consider donating if my site has helped you