Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231147460
ISBN-10: 0231147465
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Trade in your item
Get a $1.76
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$21.71 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$30.76 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
27 New from $17.90 27 Used from $17.19
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State by Karen J. Greenberg
"Rogue Justice" by Karen J. Greenberg
The true story of how laws written after 9/11 under the guise of protecting a nation in peril distracted us from our ideals of liberty and the rule of law. Learn more | See related books
$30.76 FREE Shipping. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor
  • +
  • The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag
  • +
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Total price: $49.28
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kim gives us a marvellously unsympathetic portrait of a brain-washed apparatchik.

(Christian Oliver Financial Times)

[Kim's] dispassionate account of how one man endured the unendurable offers a clue as to how such extreme inhumanity can occur.

(Donald Richie Japan Times)

A reminder of the brutality of the North Korean regime.

(John Feffer Korean Quarterly)

Review

A fascinating and extremely rare memoir of growing up in a comfortable existence in North Korea, only to be thrown into one of the worst prison camps in that country—and then escape to write about it all.

(Bruce Cumings, Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History and the College, University of Chicago)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (June 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231147465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231147460
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
---Book Description---
When Kim Yong was three years old, his father was executed as a spy for the United States. The stigma of the father's guilt would forever limit his son's future, so Kim Yong's mother placed him in an orphanage for war orphans by giving him a false background. He was adopted by a high-ranking political official, entered the military, and eventually became a lieutenant colonel in the North Korean national security police. His job gave him unusual freedom of movement throughout the country, and he encountered corruption at all levels.

He married, had children, and enjoyed access to luxuries others were denied. But when he was recommended for a promotion which required a meticulous background clearance check, his true identity was uncovered. He was imprisoned in two different penal camps over a six year period and forced to do hard labor on a starvation diet until his amazing, narrow escape in 1999.

---My Review---
"Long Road Home" is a biography written by Kim Suk-Young using transcripts of interviews with Kim Yong, but the book is written in first person like a memoir. It was a well-written, amazing story that kept my interest throughout. Kim Yong's story gave insight into many aspects of life in North Korea as well as describing what the penal camps were like and why people were sent there.

The introduction explained how Korea ended up as North and South Korea and other necessarily background information. The first part of the book (up until he got married at age 28) gave a broad overview of that period of his life with only a few, life-changing events told in detail. Afterward, much more detail was given, including graphic descriptions of how bad the suffering was.
Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By James Holmes on September 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I finished this book last night - and have mixed feelings about the "story" and the approach to the story.

If you're on a kindle, skip the first 12 percent of the book - it's just transnational progressive doublespeak about why it's not NKorea's fault that it is the way it is. Much of the book seems to be scented through the co-author's political leanings.

It lacks the depth that I found in the other book about an escapee from North Korea, sure there are personal stories but Mr. Kim seems to almost idealize his former life in his descriptions. It lacks a personal note, so while you hear the words it's almost impossible to know what he's feeling about what he's describing, but at times it comes through. There's still some "I was an important man" arrogance that comes through. While not disjointed, the flow of the story has gaps and unanswered questions. The descriptions of his rise to power made me think that he really had little to regret about it, while each man has only his own conscience to answer for - you get the idea that if the could go back and regain his former life as if it hadn't happened, he would do so.

Essentially it's an OK read, but there's a certain honesty that I expected that left me unsatisfied. Is it a testimony to his strength that he survived the camp? Sure. Did other people die so that he could escape, yes - and he didn't avoid using and ruining the lives of others to make his escape good either. You wont find yourself looking upon this guy as any kind of hero, or any kind of survivor - although part of the secret police himself, he never speaks of the cruelties he inflicted on others, but is quite thorough in the descriptions of cruelties that he experienced at the hands of his former comrades.

I wish I could respect the guy, but I couldn't. If the co-author had managed to leave his political ramblings out of the first parts of the book - it would have been a better story on it's own.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
...buy and read this book.

The true story of a man (Kim) who grew up an orphan in North Korea, joined the military, and became a powerful and well-liked model citizen who had even received personal thank-you notes from Kim Jong-Il.

When he was selected for promotion, a more detailed background check revealed his father had worked with the Americans during the Korean War. Kim was immediately arrested, tortured, and thrown into a slave labor / death camp, where he twice tried (and failed) to kill himself. After at least six years he and a friend identify an escape route, but there was only room for one and Kim was a better fit as he was more emaciated.

The next 18 months see Kim (barely) escape to China and then Mongolia before making it to South Korea - knowing that probably dozens of friends, relatives, and strangers' lives would also have been destroyed merely for the briefest of associations with him.

His story makes the movies like "The Great Escape" and "Shawshank Redemption" seem like kids playing cops and robbers.

I *strongly* recommend it, but you may want to keep tissues handy.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Without offending any other North Korean author who has written a much worthy book about his/her own life following their escape from their secluded homeland, I would like to let readers know that this book is a bit different, because this person is a North Korean upper class military defector. (I just want to point out that all North Korean autobiographies are necessary for us to learn from, and to respect these fine people for sharing with us all they have gone through and gone without.)

The story of Kim Yong's life differs to that of the other average young North Korean. And it differs once he is adopted from an orphange by an affluent, well established military couple who had much to offer (other than love) their promising adopted son and daughter. This was a State request to those military couples in this particular position.

As an adult in the military, life went on and Kim Yong was doing well and promoted as a military officer. But after time, a sudden exposure to whom his unknown biological father was sent Kim's life wheeling him so far backwards, he was then placed to a lifetime sentence inside the bowels of the country's most notorious labor camps.

After a well planned camp escape attempt works, he is now beyond those razor sharp walls of confinment, and his story continues on as he desperately tries to find ways out of his country. His trekking about will keep you gripping on to his story.

The reason I recommend this book is because we have not heard much from a North Korean military officer who has defected. We learn, as he learns, more about his devious country and about this family dynasty, who holds an entire country in fear, sadness, in poverty, without possessions, always in the cold, tortured, constantly hunger, in blackness, whether in their homes or in the most brutal labor camps.
I wish Kim Yong nothing but the best in his travels and with his teachings. He has much to offer the rest of us.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor