> Skip to content

Terror, courage and heroism - more than 30 survivors recount how they were rescued after the Canterbury earthquake of February 2011

'It was all so sudden. Twenty seconds and then silence. I started calling out, 'Can anyone hear me?' - nothing but silence.
Over the next few hours I heard hysterical sobbing and people clapping as others were rescued. I could hear engines, drilling and what sounded like sledgehammers . . . when the sounds went away I worried they weren't coming back.'
- Ann Bodkin, trapped for 25 hours
The Canterbury earthquake of February 2011 altered landscape, history, and most importantly, human lives. Many perished and the lives of thousands were upended.
In Trapped, Martin van Beynen documents with sensitivity and unerring detail the personal experiences of more than thirty quake survivors - before, during and after the event - in their own words.
At once poignant, dramatic and enthralling, their stories record a defining moment in Canterbury's history and testify to the courage and heroism of everyday people.

'The raw emotion of these personal stories makes for a moving and dramatic book.  They provide a fascinating perspective from survivors who cheated death, some only just, and carried on.'
- Paul Rodwell, Christchurch Central Fire Station officer who rescued survivors from the rubble

A donation will be paid to the Burwood Spinal Unit for every copy of this book sold.
Photos from the book (YouTube video montage)
'[Van Beynen] assembles a kaleidoscopic view of what it was like in the central city when the earthquake struck . . . recounted by a representative group of those who came through the terrors alive. If you want to know what courage sounds like, then you will find that aplenty in these voices; this is not only a profoundly human document, but also an important written record amid a flood of visual images . . . Van Beynen has an ability to frame people's stories, opening up for us a window on the soul, a vision of what it was like to feel your life was at an end – and what really counted. These intimate revelations grip the heart in a way no picture can.'
—Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, New Zealand Listener

Formats & editions

  • EBook


    January 25, 2012

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ