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Against All Odds - Book Review

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by Bev (subscribe)
Australia is a beautiful country with many places to explore in your own backyard.
Published December 7th 2019
An inside account of the Thai Cave Rescue


In June 2018, the world was gripped by the news that 12 soccer boys and their coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand. For many days, news flashed across the world about the risky rescue of these boys and their coach. An international team of cave divers and rescuers were involved. Among them were two Australians, Dr Craig Challen and Dr Richard Harris. Dr Challen is a veterinary surgeon, and Dr Harris is an anaesthetist, both with cave-diving expertise.

Against All Odds is the true and detailed account of their risky ordeal to rescue the boys and their coach.

The book begins with a short biography of both Dr Challen's and Dr Harris' early lives. Dr Challen grew up in Perth, Western Australia and Dr Harris in Adelaide, South Australia. Having lived in Perth for many years and now in Adelaide, I find their biography interesting as the places they mentioned are so familiar.

We all know the happy ending of the story but we do not know the risk, challenges and ordeal the rescuers faced. The caves were dark with narrow passages, flooded and hostile. Challen and Harris had to make risky plans and there is no guarantee that their plan would be successful and that the boys would leave the cave alive. So many scenarios crossed their minds and Dr Challen wrote:

"By the time the day was over, we would be most likely be swimming dead children through the cave."

Yet with determination and sheer courage they pressed on knowing the weight of getting the boys out alive was on them.

This is a real story with a happy ending but also a sad twist with the death of Dr Harris' father.

The book is well written with each doctor writing separate chapters detailing the inside account of their harrowing ordeal. The book also include photos not seen before.

I know all Australians are very proud of these two international heroes, who became household names and in 2019 were both jointly awarded Australian Citizen of The Year.

This book is highly recommended and will make an enjoyable reading for the holiday season. It is sold in most book stores and online with Ebook edition as well.

This new book was published by Penguin Random House Australia. For more information see their website.

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