Friday 19 June 2009

An Interesting Read

frank gardner A lifelong Radio 4 listener, I am particularly fond of FOOC [From Our Own Correspondent] so I knew who Frank Gardner was when he himself became a major news item in June 2004.

He and his cameraman colleague, Simon Cumbers, were shot, apparently by Al-Qaeda sympathisers, as they were filming in Riyadh. Simon died, but Frank survived [just] He was very badly injured, and is now a paraplegic. He currently works as the BBC Security Correspondent- but is in a wheelchair.

This book is the story of his life - how he came to love the Arabic language and peoples, and how he came to be working for the BBC. He describes the aftermath of the shooting, his hospital treatment, and the process of rebuilding his life again. He speaks warmly of the amazing support he received from his wife, parents and family - and the support they were given by so many people.

He speaks movingly of the despair felt by many of those he met in hospital, and of the suicide attempts of those who considered their lives to be over. His determination to go on living - particularly for the sake of his family - was very challenging.

Not sure why I picked this up in the Library last week - it isn't my usual choice of reading material - but I was glad I did. You can read interviews with FG here and here


  1. I've often seen him presenting parts of the News programme. I wasnt aware of his story, how interesting.

  2. Good Morning from upstate, NY!
    Sounds like a very interesting read.
    Frank's perseverance and will to survive while in the hospital must have been an inspiration to those around him.
    ...and will be to those who read his story.
    Thanks for visiting my blog! ~Maria


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