Customer Review

275 of 283 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply horrifying., March 22, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Escape from Camp 14: One man's remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West (Kindle Edition)
Once you've started this book, it's very difficult to put down.

How this man survived the brutality of a 'Total Control' North Korean prison camp is impossible to conceive. From watching classmates being beaten to death and his mother and brother being executed, to being tortured over hot coals at the age of 13 and suffering near starvation for the first 24 years of his life, to the soul-destroying work ethic and unparalleled cruelty of the prison guards, how Shin Dong-hyuk is still alive, let alone now living happily in America, is breathtaking. His story is heartbreaking from the very beginning, yet his ability to keep on going in the face of absolute punishment will inspire all who read about it. The worst day you've ever had, will likely pale in comparison to a normal day in the life of this guy.

Blaine Harden has done a great job of presenting the details, and obviously cultivated a strong relationship with Shin. The book is short but there's more than enough in there for you to appreciate the gravity of the situation in North Korea, and its relationship with both South Korea and China.

Worth every penny.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 24, 2012 7:42:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2012 7:46:51 AM PDT
Chiara says:
Hi- Curious how this is Amazon Verified as neither the Kindle nor book version are available yet? Thanks, looking forward to reading this

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 8:30:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2012 7:48:14 PM PDT
NickTr says:
The Kindle version is definitely available, because I bought it on March 20th! It was published on March 17th.
It's just the hardcover that's not released until March 29th.
Make sure you click through to the kindle version of the book (it has its own page), which can be accessed using in the 'formats' box on the hardcover book page.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 7:21:13 PM PDT
Chiara says:
thanks !

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 11:02:22 AM PDT
bookcass says:
if you've seen his interviews, he is not "happy" and he states he will never be "happy" although he is living comfortably physically. he says he suffers in mental anguish everyday b/c of the things he went through and he just has to deal with it. i don't think you can ever recover from that kind of childhood.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 4:53:39 PM PDT
NickTr says:
Yes you're right, he'll never know true happiness, his past will haunt him forever. I think living 'comfortably' would have been a better way to put it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 10:06:16 AM PDT
Jack says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 9:20:52 PM PDT
Johanna says:
The Chinese bound the feet of girls to restrict the growth of their feet. In Escape From Camp 14, the North Koreans are revealed to practice a system to constrict man's soul. Shin was born into a prison camp in which he was punished from birth for political 'sins' supposedly committed by his forbears. Under total control, with all sense of family nullified, the word love totally unknown, through brutal torture, starvation and with every good human impulse extinguished and deformed, and totally isolated psychologically, Shin manages to escape his horrific prison and struggles to find a new life amidst a normality which is totally alien to him. Only the stirrings, and later the storms, of his conscience remain as the tattered dregs of his humanity. Politically this is an important book because it takes us into a reality inaccessible to all but the inmates, bringing the atrocities committed by North Korea before the lens of the world--atrocities that even exceed Auschwitz in their scope and duration. Psychologically it stands alone as a study of the effects of extreme manipulation and cruel dehumanization on the developing human psyche. Like a psychological quadraplegic Shin has found a new life in America and amidst his struggles to learn and adapt to another way, has come to find a redemption for his suffering by sharing his story to a world which needs to be made aware of the utter depravity of the North Korean ethos. Shin, I can only say that since I have read your story you, and the North Korean people, are in my prayers--only God can redeem the chaos and rebuild the human hearts so horribly damaged!
Johanna, author of another survival book from closer to home: 'Graffiti On My Soul'

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 12:03:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2013 12:04:16 PM PDT
JL says:
Jack, I don't understand how you can possibly compare the black experience to what is happening in North Korea. Yes, slavery was a horrible thing, but I think the way North Korea completely crushes and destroys a human soul through horrific physical, mental, and emotional torture/cruelty is far, far worse. You are comparing apples and oranges.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 3:53:43 PM PDT
Jack says:
JL, you are sadly ignorant of American history. You think it is fun to be whipped for hours, opening the skin on the back to raw flesh until you bleed to death? When plantation owners did this, all of the slaves were required to watch. You don't think this creates lasting psychological scars? Slaves in America were not simply unpaid workers. They were the victims or horrible psychological and physical abuse much worse than the average Korean. And this happened for generations for over 200 years, not just since 1950.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 6:02:36 PM PDT
JL says:
I'm not at all ignorant of American history, but you obviously don't know how to read. Did I at any point say being whipped, etc was "fun"? No, I didn't. I think you have a hangup about slavery. And I completely disagree with your assertion that it was any worse than what's happening in North Korea. Regardless, it's completely idiotic to argue about which version of torture is worse. Does it really matter?? Torture/abuse/murder isn't ever good, so why did you even make such a stupid comparison in the first place?
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Hong Kong

Top Reviewer Ranking: 800,376