ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

IN A BID TO CLAW back some of the ransom money paid for the freedom of Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew, Nine Entertainment Co confirmed today that a book has been released detailing the experience.

The gonzo journalistic account of the television presenter’s time in Beirut was ghostwritten by Matthew Reilly – an author the Nine bosses felt had the talent capture the honesty and desperation of the whole disaster.

Spending just around two weeks in a Lebanese prison, the story of their capture and eventual escape are predicted to even out-sell Peter FitzSimons’ upcoming middle-class-dad-history book.

Speaking today from his desk in the leafy but unpleasant North Sydney suburb of Willoughby, Nine Entertainment’s CEO David Gyngell agreed that the whole ordeal has left him and his colleagues drained.

“We initially planned to do a HECS-style repayment plan with Tara, in terms of getting the money back, but that wasn’t ultimately realistic, considering the amount we had to pay,” said the southpaw.

“It’ll be right. If Usher got himself in a jam over there he’d still bloody be there. He’s a big boy and he’s walked around the block on his own a few times. But we had to get Tara out, she prints us money like we’re doing something illegal.”

At around 200 pages, with short chapters and big letters, the book will be fast-paced and full of action.

We tried to contact Matthew Reilly for comment but he refused to speak to us on the subject, saying he was only prepared to talk about golf and trains.

His favourite golfer is Adam Day.

More to come.




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