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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom: Movie Tie-In Paperback – November 16, 2010
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"A poet with steel in his soul."--New York Times
The Long Walk] must be read—and reread, and passed along to friends.”—National Geographic Adventure
It's not just some Polish bloke who wanted to get home. It's about how we all struggle on every day. Somehow or other we find a reason to keep on going and it's the same here but on an epic scale".--Benedict Allen, explorer and bestselling author of Into the Abyss and Edge of Blue Heaven
Top Customer Reviews
Slavomir Rawicz is unjustly imprisoned by the Communist Russians early in World War II. He is confined to a cell so small that he literally cannot sit, but must sleep by collapsing with his knees against the wall and his feet steeped in his own waste. He is later transported to Siberia by train, and then marched through the cold countryside to a Soviet Gulag, witnessing the death by exposure and exhaustion of other unfortunate captives along the way. In the prison camp he is set in forced labor, kept in horrendous conditions, over-worked, and underfed.
Near the end of his rope, Rawicz and a handful of companions orchestrate a daring and desperate escape, and then proceed to run for their lives, on foot, toward freedom in India--4,000 miles away. Then the fun begins. They must conquer the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains, starvation, the Soviets, and their own inner demons.
Slavomir's ordeal overshadows every other survival tale I've every read, including Admiral Scott's Polar expedition and Krakauer's Everest disaster. This is up there with the Donner Expedition in terms of grim conditions and the indomitable human spirit. Trust me. If you've got a teenager who's complaining because they think they have it rough, let 'em read this one. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
This is a great story. The author describes the mindless torture under the Soviet system in a manner that should persuade any reader of the evil of totalitarianism. The description of his train journey, hundred-mile winter hike through a Siberian winter to his gulag and life in the camp is fascinating. His will to survive amidst degradation, the elements and overwhelming odds are a testament to the human thirst for freedom and liberty.
As other reviewers have stated, there are some parts of the book that invite skepticism. His befriending by the camp commandant's wife seems as improbable as it is crucial to his ability to escape. The escapees journey across the Gobi Desert where his group went for many days without water beyond what I understood a person could tolerate. Without any climbing tools, his party went across the Himalayas to India -- a feat that seems fantastic. Also his brief description of spotting what could only be described as the elusive Yetti in the Himalayas stretches credibility (unless it does actually exist).
That being said, this story is exhilarating and I found it believable and enthralling. It is a wonderful adventure story and describes the limits of what the human spirit and mind can endure to survive in freedom.Read more ›
Rawicz (through his tabloid journalist ghost writer, Ronald Downing) makes countless outlandish claims that are not supported by any witnesses, documentation, or even detailed descriptions on his part. Moreover, his assertions often defy the laws of science and common sense. Here are but a few examples:
- reaching his destination after wandering a year through 4,000 miles of wilderness with no maps, supplies?
- trekking 12 days across a torrid stretch of the Gobi desert in mid summer with no water or food?
- crossing the Himalayas, summiting mtn after mtn in only worn moccasins and a few ragged articles of clothing?
- encountering a yeti and taunting it like those guys in the beef jerky commercial (no joke-it's in the book!)?
- Rawicz's inability to provide the most basic details about his ordeal such as the first name of one of his closest companions on the trek (the American, "Mr. Smith"!) or where he was finally picked up by the British Army or the hospital he claimed to recover in?
the list goes on and on...
The BBC did an investigation into Rawicz's story and also concluded it was a fraud.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I completely enjoyed this exciting and fantastic story by Slovomir Rawicz. I received this book as a gift from one of my close friends and it now sits proudly as part of my... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Dean Leh
First class book. Really felt you were living the day to day grueling existence of the escapees.Published 1 month ago by Sarah E. de Luca
An almost unbelievable story of courage and endurance and humanity, well told and interesting. Amazing what some people can do and amazing what people WILL do to be free of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carlene