Friday, October 15, 2010

The Mirror Maze by Tom Brunger and Lisa Walker

Tom started out as a successful Norwegian businessman.  Stress and other factors led him deeper and deeper into a spiral of drugs and alcohol.  This path led him to be arrested at a Mexico City airport.  Tom spent several years living in the nightmare that was the Mexican prison system.  This book is his story.

It's always difficult to review a book that's so near and dear to the person who's written it.  You can't really just review the book.  You have to review the life that's painted between the pages as well. 

I started out reading this thinking of Tom as the typical businessman who gets sucked into drugs and alcohol.  We've all heard the story.  Things really start changing as Tom spends time in the prison system.  The treatment he receives is absolutely appalling.  Through letters that Tom personally wrote, we get a glimpse into a different life than most of us can even imagine.  No words can do justice to the terror that he lived.  Regardless of any crime he may have committed, the punishment was far more than he deserved.  It's far more than anyone deserved.  This book isn't so  much about the punishments and horrors as it is Tom's personal journey.  We find him doing everything he can to survive and pursuing a spiritual journey amidst these horrors he's presented with.

This is a heartfelt and compelling book.  It's easy to pick up and difficult to put down.  For me, it was a difficult read because I had to keep reminding myself that this isn't fiction.

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