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Showing 1-10 of 109 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 142 reviews
on August 13, 2014
I don't know about this book being a true story. I live in Canada where the climate is similar to Russia. I live in the south of Canada where it is much more temperate: and I know that the descriptions of the hero's privations are beyond belief. In one scene he falls through the river ice up to his knees. It is winter: the arctic wind is blowing. His 'boots' (such as they are) freeze in minutes. In the snow he tries to remove his 'boots' (forgive me, I forget just what his footwear is made of). He breaks up wood to build a small fire to defrost his footwear, and then sleeps beside this fire to keep warm for the rest of the night. It couldn't happen. First, the fire would not have burned for the whole night without his replenishing the wood. Second, the arctic wind would blow the heat off and prevent the fire from warming him. Third, his feet would have frozen in the snow while his boots were defrosting by the fire.
Although there were many fascinating events and encounters, especially about the people of the reindeer, once the story lost credibility... well, it lost credibility. How could I trust all these other fascinating events when I didn't know what to believe?
There were other scenes which were so beyond the stretch of possibility that, although I struggled 2/3 through, I could not finish the book.
As a novel, it might make it.
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on August 7, 2014
Well, this story sounds like a good one, but a lot of the early writing is not very polished. I didn't really enjoy this book until page 100, and then the story blossoms. I was riveted from then on, and was so glad I decided to continue to read this one. One review kept haunting me, 'it isn't true'. So, I googled the brave sole this book is about, and on wikipedia I learned the story is not true. Yes, he was a pow for a couple of years, but released. So, complete fiction, but I have to admit I enjoyed it. I would enjoy more had it been true.
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on September 19, 2010
This was a book I avoided purchasing for sometime. The topic seemed to be too outlandish. But the truth of the matter is, if anything, this is a the real deal. The man who this book is based on really did walk out of a Siberian lead mine and walked nearly 3,000 miles home.

Try as I might, I can't seem to find a fault with the book or even a negative statement anywhere that suggests the story is not true. In light of that, I'm stunned, and more importantly the book opened my mind to the concept of German POWs spread around the world. Since I have read this book I have found reference to at least a dozen other soldiers who managed a similar escape, including one who escaped in the US, another by way of Canada and another Eastern Front veteran who walked out of Russia.

The book is facilitating in concept. But loses a little in translation, but that does not take away in any form from the fact the book is an excellent easy book to follow. The concept of how this man escapes, what he does to survive and his sheer will to live are totally fascinating. He is the ultimate survivor, eating snow and small game, avoiding people where he can.

The concept is fascinating. But as I mentioned truth is better than fiction. Things I enjoyed most about reading this book include the description of the vast land that is Siberia and the nature of hardy people who live there. I also enjoyed the fact the author was basically one step ahead of being captured for most of his trip. Also interesting are the personal relationships that develop over the years it takes him to escape.

If you enjoyed this book you may enjoy The Final frontiersman, the story of an American who lives in the most remote areas of Alaska. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find an history book that would be a better companion except Guy Sajar's The Forgotten Soldier.
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on December 9, 2008
This story begins with the protagonists journey into imprisonment. We don't get details on the war at all but rather begin with his incarceration and brutal travels. The tale takes us to the labor camp where he works and some insight (but very little) into the details of daily life. A few incidents occur during the two years of imprisonment and then our protagonists makes his escape. The book is substantially about the journey from prison/labor camp to freedom and the events that occur along that route.

The drama of the story is compelling and reading it, I kept wanting to know how the subject of our story continued to survive, battling the brutal winter in Siberia and some of the villanous characters along the way. Throughout, this individuals courage and will to live proved inspiring.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. While there are some areas I would have wanted more details, the drama is compelling. The author has taken appropriate liberty to weave the story telling as he explains in the forward. Overall, a great story of survival.
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on May 2, 2010
I am often drawn to these true tales of heroic survival and am often disappointed by the poor quality of the writing. This book was not only fascinating in content, it was very well written, telling an horrific story of deprivation and cruelty in the Siberian labor camp system interwoven with the journey of one man's prolonged escape. Few people would have made it to freedom given the mountain of obstacles faced by the protagonist, but he persevered and obtained his reward in the end.
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on May 6, 2007
All the superlatives belong to this tale: remarkable, daring, unbelievable, amazing, incredible, beyond belief, extraordinary. That a person could 1. escape from a Soviet labor camp, 2. in the dead of winter, 3. from the farthest eastern point of Siberia, 4. after suffering from hunger and brutal treatment for three years, and still 5. make it home to Germany safely after another three years is a story for all lovers of survival dramas. The author expertly and faithfully chronicles Josef Bauer's account without glossing over the details of what it took to survive. I didn't come to like Mr. Bauer from this telling, however, I did feel a deep respect for his perseverance and stamina. Two other books of escape and survival that I recommend even more highly are: The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz and We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Howarth.
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on March 23, 2012
This book has been very well written however it finishes much to abruptly leaving the reader craving as much details that started the book. It almost feels like the writer got bored and wanted to finish up his work as quickly as possible. I very good book but a disappointing ending
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on April 14, 2014
Reading “As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me” was thrilling. I started the book with the knowledge that he does eventually escape, but almost the entire book I am wondering how he will do it. The first section of the book simply details his extraordinary journey just getting to the prison camp, never mind escaping it.

We don’t often hear stories of German soldiers either, mostly brandishing them with the same generalizations of the SS or Nazi leadership, when in reality many of them were pretty normal people who were forced into extremely difficult situations, like being a Russian POW sentenced to 25 years working in a lead mine in Northeastern Siberia.

The setting is tremendously interesting, Northeastern Siberia is simply not a place I have heard or read much about. And it is its own amazing place with indigenous peoples, a far reaching USSR, and winters that are nothing less than brutal, and you see it all firsthand in this account.

As a lover of memoirs and a lover of books that depict a foreign place and time, this was an absolute favorite book. It's so well written that it is almost excruciating to read it. And it is inspiring. To think what a man can do, and read this man's journey, gives me tremendous personal inspiration to do hard things.
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on December 28, 2014
I have difficulty believing this is not mostly fiction. But readable.
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on March 5, 2014
The book arrived in a timely manner and was a good copy and packaged well. In the mid 1980's I met a man through my work who had been a German soldier during WWII and was captured by the Russians at the end of the war. This man had been conscripted into the Army because they were desperate for soldiers even though he was only 16 or 17 years old. He was also an athlete...a skier who had trained for the Olympics. He told me that this was the only reason he had survived his captivity in Russia. He escaped twice but was recaptured each time. He was held by the Russians for 3 or 4 years after the war had ended. Hs English was somewhat limited so he didn't go into detail about where he was actually held in Russia or whether he was forced to work. I'm sure he was though. He mainly stressed that it was only his youth and his physical fitness which enabled him to survive. So reading this book was very interesting to me having some background of this time and place. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am very thankful that his story was told and not lost to mankind.
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