'Night after night througout Evin and the surrounding valley a noise rang out like thunder. At first I thought it was girders being unloaded from large trailers for constructing the new prison extensions. It didn't take me too long to find out that the thunder came from the barrels of the automatic weapons of the firing squad. Each time after this terrifying barrage - 5,000 rounds at a time - we would hear the lone voice of the coup de grace: a pistol shot to the head of each victim.' In the spring of 1981, a professor from the University of Tehran, Dr Reza Ghaffari, woke to find ten armed men standing over his bed. His house was turned upside down and he was arrested for being a member of a banned socialist group, blindfolded and bundled into the back of a car. It was the beginning of a nightmare that would last for ten long years. With searing honesty, Dr Ghaffari tells the story from his arrest to his eventual, nail-biting escape. He recalls his experiences of a decade of torture and as a witness to, and near victim of, prison massacres. But the book is not merely a catalogue of atrocities; it is also a story of unswerving integrity and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of the utmost degradation. There are even humorous moments as prisoners take firm hold on their sanity, entertain one another and come to terms with the absurd aspects of their predicament. Nothing - in English or in Persian - has so comprehensively, so movingly or so colourfully portrayed prison conditions and the strength of those suffering them.