Read The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz Online

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The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India....

Title : The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781558216846
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom Reviews

  • AMEERA
    2018-12-21 06:09

    Wow

  • Ed
    2019-01-03 02:19

    There is much controversy as to whether this account is fact or fiction. I googled the author's name and the book title and after reading dozens of articles and opinions, I'm still not sure, though I lean towards thinking that the narrative is actually a composite of a number of experiences including Rawicz's.As was said in an account on the web entitled "#18 Anderson's Long Walk Expedition", in which a group of people retraced Rawicz's journey, although on camels not on foot: Attempting to find truth in every written word of the Long Walk dooms the book to skepticism. The two most poignant examples of this are Rawicz and his companions crossing the Gobi desert without water for 13 days and sighting the yeti in the Himalayas. However, both of these events occurred when Rawicz was close to death due to extreme environmental conditions. Other sections of the book, such as the descriptions of the local people and their customs are so accurate it seems impossible a Polish immigrant living in England could have made up such details without experiencing them first hand.Giving Rawicz some creative leeway, considering English was his third or fourth language and he wrote the book more than 15 years after the walk occurred, the events in the book take on a more believable tone.You can find the complete article on thePolartech web site.I certainly enjoyed reading the book whether or not it was a completely true re-telling of Rawicz's experiences or not. The story was actually transcribed by Ronald Downing, a British reporter. I'm sure he took some creative liberties, especially in describing the Yeti encounter, due to his desire to find eye-witness accounts of just such meetings.The story is exciting and moves along briskly. The prose is sparse but captures the emotion of these survivors very well. I recommend reading the book, if for no other reason, than to make up your own mind about the controversy surrounding its veracity.

  • Clif Hostetler
    2018-12-26 05:04

    When this novel was first published in 1956 it created a sensation. It claimed to be a memoir of a man, who with seven others, had escaped from a Siberian prison work camp in 1942 and managed to walk all the way to British India. The story was eagerly consumed by the cold war era public who were enamored by the tale of an escape from the evil empire of the Soviet Union. It was an incredible story of endurance that required walking across the Gobi Desert and over the Himalayan Mountains.Research of Soviet records since the cold war has revealed that while it is true that the author had been a prisoner in Siberia in the early 1940s, he did not escape in the manner described in this book. Instead he was released as part of a 1942 general amnesty and subsequently transported across the Caspian Sea to a refugee camp in Iran. He did end up living in Britain and probably passed through India on the way there.I'm surprised that anybody believed the story in the first place because of its many technical flaws. If the author had called the book a novel I would criticize for being unrealistic and in need of additional research into means of survival in the desert and mountains. Unfortunately, the author claimed it to be a true memoir of his experiences. I say unfortunate because it clearly makes him to be a liar.If there is any possibility of truth in the story it may be that Slavomir Rawics stole the story from another person who actually walked such a journey. I think it's possible that prisoners from Siberia managed to escape to India, but I'm quite confident that they didn't do it by walking across the Gobi without equipment and a map. Their crossing of the Himalayas has similar problems. And the book's claim that they saw Abominable Snowman (i.e. The Yeti) establishes the fact beyond all doubt that the book is fiction, and fiction not very well done.But the fact remains that the idea of escaping from Siberia to India is a heck of a story. The 2011 movie "The Way Back" is based on this book. Maybe the movie is more realistic, but I've not seen the movie so I can't judge it. The movie's popularity caused the book to be republished and consequently brought to my attention. You can read more about the controversy regarding the authenticity of the book at this Wikipedia article.The following review from PageADay's 2007 Book Lover's Calendar was how I first learned about the book:BACK IN PRINTRawicz’s memoir is one of the most extraordinary and harrowing you will ever read. A young Polish officer in World War II, Rawicz was captured by Soviet forces and sent to a work camp in Siberia. In 1941 he and six fellow prisoners escaped and, with only an ax head and a makeshift knife, trekked thousands of miles through Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, and over the Himalayas to freedom in British-occupied India. The New York Times calls Rawicz “a poet with steel in his soul” and Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) calls the book “one of the epic treks of the human race.” THE LONG WALK: THE TRUE STORY OF A TREK TO FREEDOM, by Slavomir Rawicz (1956; The Lyons Press, 1997)

  • Tj
    2019-01-16 23:59

    I found this book truly inspirational and gripping. I read it in 2 nights. There is some banter about whether or not it is true. I'm still not decided on what I think about this debate. What I do know, from having lived in Russia for a number of years and having toured an obscure KGB "prison" in Lithuania 3 times, that the author's description of his torture in Minsk and in Moscow were especially haunting. From what I saw in Vilnius, he was actually given light treatment. Some of the rooms in that prison possess possibilities for torture that normal humans can barely comprehend. I have no doubt that if Slavomir had been a prisoner of war in Siberia (records indicate he was) then he most likely experienced what he claims on the way to camp 303. As for his escape, I also know many Mongols, and they are as kind as he describes.All in all, an excellent read, fiction or fact. I recommend it to all.

  • Gary
    2019-01-08 04:02

    A memoir must be an unrewarding thing to write today. So many have been discredited as either full of untruths or completely fabricated. Jerzy Kosinski's "Painted Bird", Carlos Casteneda's "The Teaching of Don Juan", more than a few of Oprah-publicized books, and now (a revelation for me) "The Long Walk", a book that has sold half a million copies since it was first published in 1956. I started to get suspicious about 1/3 of the way through this book. There were too many implausible incidents, starting from his insistence that he was completely innocent of spying or any other any crime against the Soviets (they claim he killed an NKVD officer), his extraordinary long interrogations, the long march from Irkutsk to the camp chained behind a wood-burning truck, his ability to interview and then reject candidates for the escape without anyone ratting him out, the help he got from the commandant's wife, and his naive view of the natural world. He claimed that the only living things in the Gobi desert were snakes, which they caught and ate (what did the snakes eat? Were they cannibals?). They evidently just laze around in holes with only their head sticking out. All of the snakes I have ever seen were either lying or crawling over the ground. It sounds more like gopher or night-crawler behavior to me.Then there were the pair of Yeti they spotted! Now I know there was a lot of interest in the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Loch Ness monster back in the 50's when this book was written, but really now, are we supposed to take this seriously? I haven't researched the disbelievers extensively, but Outside did a scathing review in 2003 ( http://outside.away.com/outside/featu... ) and the BBC did an expose in 2006 ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6... ).The current edition of the book has the usual testimonials on the back cover, including a glowing one from Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm), "One of the epic treks of the human race ...." he says. Well Sebastian, I've now got you calibrated! How does such obvious fabrication go unquestioned by so many people for so long (read some of the angry comments at the end of the BBC article)? Part of it may be the desire to believe a compelling story of incredible hardship and adventure, and part of it must be the West's fixation during the cold war with the evils of the Soviet Union. Anybody who can tell a story that makes them look like fools has got to be believed!See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_mem... for more about other fake memoirs. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavomir...

  • Lyn
    2019-01-03 07:14

    Tragic and difficult but also hypnotic. The reader may question the complete veracity of the account and and may be somewhat disappointed to learn of the amount of criticism and doubt surrounding his story. Essentially, a group of political prisoners in a Soviet prison in Siberia literally walk out of captivity. The idea is that an escaped prisoner will die in the bitter cold and unforgiving wilderness of eastern Asia. The group walks across Siberia and into the Gobi desert and then to the Himalayas. Di they really see a Yeti?A very interesting book.

  • Buggy
    2018-12-20 04:06

    Opening Line: “It was about nine o’clock one bleak November day that the key rattles in the heavy lock of my cell in the Lubyanka Prison and the two broad-shouldered guards marched purposely in.”Wow what an amazing story, epic is I guess more the word I’m looking for. I read this after watching the movie The Way Back and as is usually the case the book is much better, vastly different yet obviously maintaining the gist of the year long trek across an entire continent to freedom. As a point of interest (or not) Colin Farrell’s tattooed gang character does not exist in the book. Anyways…Slavomir Rawicz wrote this memoir in 1959 as a form of therapy to escape the memories that still haunted him. It has lost nothing with time however and remains one of the most incredible journeys of strength, endurance and human spirit you’ll ever read.Its 1941 and “Slav” has just spent two years in a Soviet prison. After multiple beatings and interrogations at the hands of the sadistic prison guard “the Bull” he is eventually found guilty of espionage (?) and sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian work camp. (These sections were actually some of the most brutal in the whole book) Thus begins his journey. Transferred during the dead of winter Slav somehow survives the 3000 mile cattle car train ride and subsequent chain gang death march into inner Siberia and camp 303 in Yakutsk After enduring starvation, cold, illness and brutality he and six other prisoners escape. Together they cross an entire continent on foot with nothing more than an axe, a knife, a weeks worth of food and an unbreakable will to live. Covering some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth they travel out of Siberia and through China, across the Gobi dessert into Tibet and finally over the Himalayas and into British India. This is where the epic part comes in because their journey is so brutal, so filled with despair and suffering its at times unbelievable and also impossible to put down. The LONG WALK is written factually and Slav doesn’t ever tell us how he feels, he just gives a meticulous account of what is taking place. However for this type of storytelling it was perfect. Included in this 1997 version is an afterwards with some of the readers most persistent questions answered. What Slav’s life was like after The Long Walk, What happened to the other men? Did he ever see them again?This is a story I won’t ever forget and I highly recommend. I mean they walked from Siberia to India, just think about that for a second.

  • El
    2019-01-03 01:26

    I'm not going to get all wrapped up in whether or not this account is true as the book claims. It's a remarkable story regardless, much like the book I just read, Das Boot: The Boat, was a remarkable story and may have some kernels of truth from the author's real life. The story itself is good and empowering, and that's all that really matters to me.That's a lot of walking, even for fictional characters.

  • Jrobertus
    2019-01-13 02:01

    The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz, purports to be the true story of an heroic flight to freedom. He claims to have been a Polish officer grabbed by the Russians in 1939, imprisoned and marched to "camp 303" in Siberia. From there he and six companions escape, with the help of the commandants wife. THey begin a year long trek south, past Lake Baikal, through Mongolia, across the Gobi, over Tibet and to India and freedom. Hurray! What a triumph of the human spirit. The book had the taint of improbability all along,especially the part about observing a Yeti couple! Subsequent investigation shows the book is a fraud. None of the events can be substantiated. He claims to have convalesced in a British military hospital in India for a month, but there is no such record. He claims to have trained with the Polish contingent of the RAF, but there is no record of that. Russian records show no camp 303; they show Rawicz was a prisoner of war, but was pardoned in 1942 and sent to a refugee camp in Iran. So there you go.

  • SoManyBooks SoLittleTime (Aven Shore)
    2019-01-12 01:24

    InCREDible adventure story. Unbelievable what people are physically able to endure and survive. Just riveting.This man, and others, walked, after escaping, from a work camp in Siberia, through Mongolia (desert), oh, and then OVER the Himalayas. Walked. Several of them died.

  • Jeanette
    2019-01-10 06:25

    Amazing true account of courage and determination. 4.5 stars.This group of men escaped from a Siberian prison camp in 1941 and spent a year making their way to safety in India. They crossed very harsh terrain including the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas. Sadly, not all of them survived the journey. Most interesting were the locals they met along the way, especially the Mongolians and Tibetans. Very well edited and not too long. Reads like a novel.

  • Julia
    2018-12-28 02:04

    An amazing true story of the human spirit's will to live. Russia invaded Poland in 1939 and took hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers prisoner...One man, the author of this book, not only survived torture in Russian hands, and an inhumane train ride and walk to a Siberian labor camp... but after all that, he decided to escape. He recruited 6 other prisoners to join him and the 7 of them walked to India. Through Siberian blizzards, the Gobi desert's deadly heat, the treacherous landscape of the Himalayas. Took them over a year, and some died along the way, but 4 made it all the way.We've all heard of incredible survival stories, but you have never read a story like this. A detailed account of an entire year, highlighting the day-to-day challenges of survival. The amazing strokes of luck that saved their lives, like the generosity of the peoples they came across in Mongolia and Tibet, people who fed them along the way. It is truly amazing how the human body survived the ordeal, and even more impressively, how they managed to keep their integrity, their spirits, and humanity in tact.Author is very factual, almost dry and understated, which I think, is how he survived. Still rich in detail and captures the pain and suffering without wallowing in it. Have to move on, as do the words and chapters... like the travelers, you don't want to stop moving once you get going (start reading).

  • Javier Calle
    2019-01-18 01:07

    Una increíble novela de aventura y superación que tiene el aliciente extra de estar basada en hechos reales, lo que te permite conocer parte de la negra historia de los campos de concentración rusos. Muy bien escrita y con un ritmo que te lleva de página en página hasta el final.

  • Chrissie
    2019-01-11 02:25

    OK, here is my gut feeling. I do not know if all of this is true. Right smack in the beginning sections just did not seem believable. Once I started thinking this way my feelings toward the book were wrecked. If there is one inconsistency, do you believe the rest? I will list some of the points that I found quite unbelievable. I must add, that for none of these points can I prove I am right. That there is ALWAYS a good explanation for each peculiar instance is almost another complaint. Everything is so fullproof, that it doesn't ring true. I am a born sceptic......1. First of all, why are there no notes that document these experiences. To believe this I need the notes.2. Seven men escape from a gulag in Siberia just south of Yakutsk. The seven men manage to get themselves all placed in the same building, a building located near their escape route. How did they pull this off? Other men were sleeping in the barracks and none of the others awoke. Is this believable? I certainly hear when someone gets up or even moves in my bedroom. I know. I know. These men were exhausted, but still I find it strange. Furthermore the author, the instigator of the escape plan, is aided by the wife of the commanding officer of the gulag...... I mean give me a break. Everything is explained so well, that I do not believe it. Real life has hitches. 2. When they escape they are never chased. Nothing. 3. They manage to survive the Siberian cold and get through the Govi desert. Three of the seven do die. 4. Along the way they are joined by a woman. She does die in the desert. But the whole thing is kind of "cute".5. Then the final bit is just too much....... They meet the, not one but two, Abominable Snowmen. The way it is described is just too much. They are drawn up as couple. When the group departs the text reads:"We pushed off around the rock and directly away from them. I looked back and the pair were standing still, arms swing slightly, as though listening intently."I don't have the energy to quote more. On the other hand, if this book is true I feel like a total creep. There are elements that seem to bring forth a romanticism to sell the book. There is a huge bear playing music on a tree trunk. OK, bears do play. Do you see what I mean? There is always an explanation. In the end I feel uncomfortable. Is the book true? I belive parts are true. I believe the description of the prisons and the torture procedures - they rang true. Oh yes, at one point the author is punched in the face and all his teeth on that side fall out. Then the guy beating him says to head is off balance. He slugs the other side, and those teeth fall out too. However later in the book, it is mentioned that one of the group has trouble eating their rough food because he has no teeth. The author never has this problem. But I thought his teeth were punched out. They clattered on the floor!What I did like was the description of the people in Tibet. You got close to these people and saw a glimpse of their lifestyle. There were also two excellent maps. The writing style is just factual, neither exceptionaly bad nor good. I fthis is true I feel terrible. The author has raised money talking about his experiences. This money has gone toward helping orphans in Poland. Knowing this, I do feel a bit uncomfortable criticizing the book. I have to tell you how I see it.

  • Lee Bridgers
    2019-01-06 02:19

    This book was a real disappointment, so stupid a lie that it is almost as hard to believe that so many people fall for it--oh well, the Bible comes to mind. I love non-fiction, especially books on mid 20th century history. I had just finished reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and found this book in the Falcon Press racks at an airport. I began to read it, and inch by inch I started to feel the lie. Ivan Denisovich is a made-up story (based on the author's actual experience, but fictionalized) and it feels true at every turn, but Long Walk never feels true. It feels like a fantasy from the get-go. At the point where I finally found the incredibly obvious lie that made me finally give in and admit that this book was BS, I looked at the name of the publisher. Globe Pequot. I am an author of a book they published, not a very good club to be in from my experience. And I had yet to read about the Yeti sighting, which should have put me off when I first read blurbs about the book. I put the book down, not caring about the rest of the made-up story--it is now emergency toilet paper. I felt like my mind had been raped, much like the pretty girl in the story would have been if the story were to ring true. Here is the back breaker, if you want to understand just how stupid it gets: The tale of "going for days without water" in the Gobi Desert and the subsequent portrait of the "oasis" are completely laughable. I live in a desert climate and have to tell you for your own safety that you will not survive longer than a day without water, especially if you exert yourself in the heat of day, which is what our hero said the group was doing for many days on end. Just ask search and rescue workers in Arizona or New Mexico! You don't last long without water, and if you finally find some water in that condition, it is probably halucination. Maybe this is the lesson of the book. We are so thirsty for a good read, that we will believe pigs fly and men don't eat each other when the going gets extremely rough.

  • Katie
    2019-01-14 04:06

    This book says it's the "true story of a trek to freedom" and I began reading it as such. It takes the reader on a harrowing journey beginning with Soviet imprisonment where the Polish author is eventually sentenced to 25 years in a Siberian labor camp. The trip to the labor camp alone was a torturous mix of walking and riding in a packed rail car. Once at the camp, the author begins making plans and choosing associates to break out. His group of 6 prisoners is ultimately successful... and so begins "the long walk". The journey takes them on a year long escape to India via the Gobi desert, the Himalayas, etc... As I got pretty far into the journey I started to wonder about the authencity of the journey. Upon further investigation I found that the book's credibility is in serious doubt. It's even questionable whether this is the author's own story... or one he "stole" from someone else. Too bad. Ruined it for me. If the author had just presented it as "historical fiction" and established that pieces have been fictionalized, I would have been totally fine with it. However, I've learned that many Polish prisoners- including entire families- did endure extremely "long walks" to freedom although obviously not to the extent this author presents. May this book be a tribute to their experience... if not the authors. People endure amazing privations for freedom.

  • Misty Hobbs
    2018-12-31 04:28

    Cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and was sent to the Siberian Gulag ...more. This book has had a huge influence in my life. It is the book that I read when I need to be reminded of how much the human heart and body can endure. It is the story I think of when I feel that my life is out of my control. When I need to be reminded that my life is not that bad that I really don't have it as tough as I think I do. What Rawicz endures opens my heart to human suffering outside of my own and I am so greatful to him for sharing his story.

  • Fredrick Danysh
    2018-12-19 03:04

    After Germany and Russia partitioned Poland just before World War II made them enemies, the Russians arrested Polish cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz at his home. Tortured and imprisoned for months, Ramicz was then sent to a slave labor camp in Siberia with a twenty-five year sentence. A few months later and six others escape and set off on a foot trek across southern Russia, the Gobi Desert, and the Himalayan Mountains. I first read this book for the first time about 50 years ago.

  • Amy
    2019-01-08 07:19

    Perhaps I’ve been missing references to this book and gulags for years, but now I see them everywhere. The night after I finished this book, I laughed uproariously to find this book (and its movie) being referenced in the new Muppets movie. I think I was the only person in the theater who got the joke when the actress that played Christina in the movie started doing ballet against scene cuts of Muppets treacherously traversing snowy mountains and hot deserts to get to Kermit the Frog in his Siberian gulag. Or maybe I’m the last person to have seen the movie and read the book and the pop culture aspect of it is old news. I remember my International Relations professor referencing Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his writings about the Russian gulags (Russian forced labor prison camps), but it was only a vague reference without much background. Somehow I missed that Stalin began placing people in gulags in 1930 and had already imprisoned 1.5 million inmates in gulags by the beginning of World War II with numbers rising as high as 2.5 million inmates in the 1950s. The majority of these camps were located in Siberia. And it’s the journey to and the escape from one of these Siberian gulags to India (by way of the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and the Himalayas) that is the subject of this book. The history of this book is a convoluted one. The tale within the book occurs from 1941-1942 and was originally ghost written for the author in 1955. A few years ago, it came out that it was impossible for this to have been the true story of the author since he was released from the gulag in 1942 to a refugee camp in Iran rather than escaping to India in 1941. Another man, Witold Gliński, then claimed that the story was true, but that it had happened to him instead. Regardless of what is true and what is not, it’s a fascinating story of survival and perseverance. The movie and book became instant favorites of mine. I think that, more than anything, I was amazed that the U.S. allied with Russia in World War II when Stalin was very much still reigning terror down upon those whom he saw as a threat to his rule and spread of communism. It was a selfish alliance in some ways, but a wise alliance in others. But what was happening in Russia during World War II (and afterward) isn’t depicted in movies and literature nearly as much as the horrors of Hitler. In toll of lives, Stalin was directly or indirectly responsible for far more than Hitler. Still, I suppose it could have been worse. I watched the movie version of this book (“The Way Back”) first, and it left out the horrifying fact that a large part of the journey of Russia’s political prisoners to Siberia was done on foot. Prisoners were chained together poorly dressed for the cold weather and made to walk 1000 miles or more with only bread and water to sustain them. Many died along the way. One thing that struck me in the book was the author’s observation that a decade in age made a huge difference in how well a man was able to endure and survive the journey and the work expected up them upon arrival. I suppose that if you’ve already endured and survived a 1000-mile trek, you’re more apt to think that a 4000-mile escape route from Siberia to India might not be impossible. Once the prisoners escaped into the wilderness, I found it odd that they never found a way of carrying water with them. They could have hollowed out a tree trunk, used the bladder of the deer they killed, rummaged in the garbage of villages they passed for some sort of vessel, etc. But they never had more than a mug between them for cooking or carrying water. At the point that they realized they were wandering into a desert, surely they would have realized their need for a way to carry water. It’s amazing how often they went forward on their journey with simply the hope that they’d eventually encounter food and water if they kept going. I suppose that you do what you have to do. I’m still amazed that more of them didn’t die in the desert with only the occasional mud puddle and snake to sustain them. And I’m amazed, too, that they managed to get to India without a map. I’m thinking about how difficult it would be for me to attempt a similarly lengthy journey from here to Alaska on foot with nothing but a general directional idea and no map. Christopher McCandless’ version of that journey was harsh enough in Into the Wild. Luckily, poor peasants are far more accepting of a ragamuffin group of travelers than your average city dweller. If you saw a band of half-starved dirty travelers walking down your street, you'd be more likely to lock your doors than kill a lamb to feed them. Whether this story was completely, partially, or not at non-fiction, it still stands as a grand tale. I highly recommend it to those interested in history and tales of survival.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-01-05 05:28

    3/4/2011 Now for film time...Dragos Bucur ... Zoran Colin Farrell ... Valka Ed Harris ... Mr. Smith Alexandru Potocean ... TomaszTrailer hereFantastic film, authentic landscapes. Things left out:-The beginning of the book where the long journey to the gulag was explained.-Inside the gulag where a favoured existence helped accrue certain objects-That Yeti moment.NB I have softened to the yeti thing - after such a gruelling trip it is entirely possible that the brain plays tricks. Swirling snow can look like a lot of things, trust me.-----------October 2006 - Blurb from BBC: Later this year, the celebrated Australian director Peter Weir will release his latest film. Titled "The Way Back" it is based on a book which has puzzled the world for 50 years. In 1956, a Polish officer called Slavomir Rawicz caused a sensation with "The Long Walk," his account of a his dramatic escape from the Soviet Gulag and a 4000-mile trek on foot to India. The book was a bestseller and has remained in print for over half a century. Rawicz describes how he his fellow escapees slogged across the Siberian tundra, traversed the Gobi Desert and scaled the Himalayas. Along the way they faced hunger, exhaustion, disease and even a couple of yetis. A thrilling story: but was it true? Many have doubted whether this extraordinary tale can really have happened. Four years ago, Tim Whewell investigated for a Radio 4 documentary and discovered evidence that decisively proved whether Rawicz really made his amazing journey. Now there's further evidence which adds another twist to the tale - including a meeting with the man who might really have made this epic trek. This updated version of the programme proves once again that truth is truly stranger than fiction.Producer: Hugh Levinson.-----First read January 2003

  • Agnese
    2019-01-19 02:06

    Kad es uzzināju par šo grāmatu, man nebija divu domu, ka tā jāizlasa. Interesanti, cik cilvēku nopietni apsvēra domu izbēgt no labošanas darbu nometnēm Sibīrijā padomju gados - no šiem absurdajiem, simtiem kilometru no lielām apdzīvotām vietām esošajiem cietumiem? Bet, lūk, septiņi vīri, kuri uzdrīkstējās ne tikai domāt par kaut ko tik nereālu, bet arī to realizēt, turklāt viens no tiem - latvietis.Bads, slāpes, absolūts bezspēks līdz kāju ļimšanai un krišanai ar seju smiltīs. Nenormāla piepūle, kas jāpieliek, lai paspertu vienu vienīgu soli, un pēc tam vēl vienu, un tā vairāk nekā 6000 kilometrus, gandrīz veselu gadu, pārsalstot Sibīrijas ziemā, izkalstot Gobi tuksnesī Mongolijā, cīnoties ar retināto gaisu Himalajos. Šī ir grāmata, kuru lasot, gribot negribot ir jāatzīst, ka cilvēkai izturībai robežu tik tiešām nav. Un liek vaicāt, kas bija noteicošais faktā, ka viņiem izdevās - gribasspēks vai tas, ka viņi turējās kopā un, neskatoties uz to, ka pēc visiem cilvēciskajiem kritērijiem jau sen bija kļuvuši par mežoņiem, attiecībās viens ar otru saglabāja īstu cilvēcību līdz pašam galam? Vai varbūt tas ir vēl viens stāsts par ticības spēku?Gluži kā pats patiesais stāsts, šī grāmata ir unikāla iespēja iepazīt padomju varas pratināšanu un spīdzināšanas metodes, ceļu uz Sibīriju lopu vagonos, dzīvi barakās un darbu Sibīrijas brīvdabas cietumā, taigu, Baikālu un pārējo Krievijas austrumdaļas dabu, Mongolijas karavānu ceļotājus, Gobi tuksneša čūskas, Tibetas (toreiz vēl brīvās) aitu ganus un Himalaju atkailināto nepieradināmību.

  • Chana
    2018-12-28 22:59

    Slavomir Rawicz is in the Polish army and is arrested by the Russians, accused of spying. He spends a year in Russian prison, then is given a trial and sentenced to 25 years labor. He is transported by train from Moscow to Irkutsk, then is on a forced march in chains with hundreds of other prisoners to Camp 303 in Northern Siberia. After a few months he decides to escape, gathers a group of like minded men, is helped by the Camp Commander's wife who is sympathetic. They successfully escape the camp and so begins the long walk south from northern Siberia to India. This includes crossing the Gobi desert and climbing through the Himalayas! This is a very well-written book but so fantastic that I felt like I was reading Life of Pi, or maybe the Bible (ram with horns stuck in the thicket, the long exodus out of slavery, and (for the Christians) the virgin. I didn't see how the story could possibly be true, but on the other hand, maybe it was. I can't judge because I simply have no information except what the author is telling me. I choose to believe him, or at least not disbelieve him. The story is very moving in many ways but I didn't really have an emotional reaction to it until the end with the incident with Paluchowicz. I just couldn't believe it, after all the hardships. When they finally reach India I let out the breath I hadn't even realized I had been holding and cried with the men as they said goodbye to each other.Reading reviews and articles: Looks like it wasn't true. It was still an excellent story. Life of Pi and the Bible.

  • Amy
    2019-01-13 04:21

    I am constantly amazed at the human spirit and will to survive. I often wonder, after reading books like this, if I would be one to make it. I'm not sure I would. This reminds me of Life and Death in Shanghai and of David Faber's story. How is it possible for humankind to be so diverse and affected by governments that you would find it in yourself to treat people the way prisoners are treated at times? How can you be so convinced of the "common good" that you allow yourself to degrade another living creature to the point of standing in their own excrement for hours and days on end? But then to have that same persecuted individual want to live so badly, that he walks over 4000 miles to safety and health? Along the way he sees the other side of humanity, the beauty of selfless giving and hospitality. There really are no words adequate enough to describe the horror and then the beauty of such a journey. On a side note... my sister and I talked about how he makes a statement in his foreward- almost a warning- about goverments and their vision of the "common good." Its scary to see and hear how many of our speeches coming from our so well intentioned government include the goal of the "common good." wow.

  • Charlie
    2018-12-26 00:07

    Suppose to be TRUE. I don't know. Google'd the book but recently some critics are skeptical on how TRUE the story plays out. Seven inmates from a Soviet labor camp in Siberia escape and WALKED thousands of miles thru bitter cold and then later thru the Gobi Desert,Tibet then finally made it to India seems far, FAR fetched. Again it could be True. It is NOT written anywhere near Laura Hillenbrand"s book,UNBROKEN. It had some of the same elements - one trying event after another - but it still is a decent read. Just decent.

  • Avtar Dhaliwal
    2018-12-29 07:22

    I am on page 79 in the book, right now the book is really taking a new step. (view spoiler)[The reason is since they have arrived at the camp i think 203 and made their barracks and have seen the secenery. before this they were making the long walk just to get their after his long bias trial were he really had no choise but to serve 25 years of hard labor (hide spoiler)] I think that this book really represents dehumanisation with the treatment of the main characters, and comradship with the prisoners going though the horrible experiance of just getting to the camp. all and all this book is turing into a really awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!! :)The long Walk 0.5vThe author of this book is Slavomir Rrawicz, he has only written on book and it’s amazing. His story was so compelling that they made a movie called “The Way Back” which was based on his Russian escape with his comrades.Many other people liked the book as I do including: Los Angeles times, Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times. When I started reading about him and how he got to the prison it saddened me to know that all of this was true and it happened to lots of people because of race or creed. I think a reader who is; in love with historical non-fiction with a plot, non-Russian enthusiast, people who want a book that they can use for a theme of dehumanization in a paper or papers. I really loved when they make jokes even know they are in situations that are terrible. I think that, that shows humanity and comradeship, because of what they have been though the deserts, and wilderness. That they can laugh and are not mentally broken and autonomous like some people would be in this circumstances. If you like all the books that I read like Percy Jackson series. The New York Times said "a poet with steel in his soul". when I started reading the part when they found the girl I was Like why? And that suck that she was basically stranded there.(view spoiler)[ When I got to the desert part I felt bad for them but I was surprised at the death rates and how nice people were to them. On page 158 it says “light hit the tops of the billowing dunes and threw a sharp shadow across the deep-sanded floors of the intervening little valleys” I really like the description of the Gobi desert and it really caught my fancy. Before that the quote “the sharp chill of the desert night” really made me think of how cold It can really get even know they are in a desert. In chapter for Plans for Escape, I found that there escape easier than expected with little to no resistance. I think this is because the Camp wasn’t expecting that they would escape and that even If they did they would probably die after the first two nights. I admired their bravery when they escaped and how they ran so far before stopping and I know that I couldn’t ever do something as extreme as that. I think that this author should of got an reward other than a movie out of it because it is so inspiring mostly I think its saying don’t give up, and were not going to take it. I would give them the Inspiration reward that would be epic and show how awesome it is.(hide spoiler)]In all right now the book has turned out awesome and I will be continuously reading and enjoying this master piece as you would if you glance on page 1.

  • Jessi
    2018-12-26 01:10

    This is a really great story though extremley depressing, but when you hear prisoner of war and Siberian prison camp it ain't gonna be unicorns and rainbows.This is the amazing tale a prisonor who escapes this wretched prison camp in Siberia with 6 friends and they travel through the epic forests to getaway. They go to mongolia, western china, tibet and all through to India. It is cold then it is hot then it gets cold again and then.... you guessed it more hot. Halfway through reading this I found out that there was a lot of talk about this not being a true story on the interweb, that the author was some charleton that may have never been in Siberia, that this man has created a fiction and possibly never escaped from anywhere.The nerve!Well now as I'm reading I am not thinking how brave he is I am thinking "LIAR!" due to the fact this is an amazing journey almost.... unbelievable. So then I was rolling my eyes a lot, I was all like "this would all happen? and you survived?"But I kept reading. Fact or fiction this was a well written book that made me care about the characters and the outcome of this journey.This is probably 4 stars but it lost a star due to the sketch factor.

  • Vicky
    2019-01-09 01:11

    Around The World = Siberia.I've just finished reading The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz, which, if true, is a simple unembellished telling of an amazing feat of endurance. Rawicz, an officer of the Polish cavalry, is captured by the Soviet forces and imprisoned in a Siberian gulag. With a band of other prisoners, Poles, Lithuanians, a Czech and an American, they escape the camp and travel south. First through Siberia, on a route running parallel to Lake Baikal, before crossing the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Mongolian border. They trek across the Gobi desert and the Tibetan plateau, before finally making their way through the Himalayas into British India.However, a great amount of criticism has been levelled at the truthfulness of the account, and certain episodes have more than an air of improbability (several days without water in the Gobi; sighting a pair of yetis in the Himalaya). But given that the book was written from memory without notes, in the third or fourth language of the author, several years after events it describes, and deals with an intensely traumatic period of his life, I think that a few fabrications can be forgiven.

  • Molly
    2019-01-01 00:12

    So...here's the deal...I totally would've given this 5 stars because it was an amazing story of survival and the human will to overcome difficult challenges. That being said, when I had like 30 pages left, I googled the author to see if he was still alive and what I discovered were a whole bunch of articles (including a BBC documentary) that exposes him as a fake! It said he could never prove that he was there when the story takes place and all this other stuff, so I don't know if it's true or not. The author passed away in 2004 and the documentary was in 2006, so I don't know if we'll ever know. There is also a movie with Colin Ferrell coming out this year that is supposed to be based on the book. I don't know if I'll see it or not.Anyway, after reading all that, I was ticked and was going to only give it 3 stars, but decided that I really enjoyed it, and if it IS fiction, the man had quite the imagination, so that warrants 4 stars to me.Oh, the drama this one has caused me!

  • Eris
    2018-12-19 03:14

    Well written history, with all of the elements of travel survival that make your pulse quicken... It is not an easy read, there are many places where you will wince and want to turn away - but it is a history important to note. Stalinist Russia was full of bizarre and improbable cruelties, we should never forget the lives that were devastated by the tangled web of paranoia and totalitarianism. On another level, the human survival story is inspiring and jaw dropping. The things these human beings went through on their trek to freedom definitely humble me when I look at the smallness of my day to day challenges. When they lose a travel companion, Rawicz makes you feel the loss as well - when you realize one more person made it so far and wasn't going to see the golden end.I recommend this book for those into travel adventure, history, particularly Russian history, and those who just need something to show them their lives aren't nearly as bad as they might think.

  • Inês Beato
    2019-01-16 02:16

    Um livro poderoso, baseado em factos verídicos, que relata a fuga de um campo de trabalhos forçados na Rússia do próprio Slavomir Rawicz, após ter sido preso injustamente.Uma história de luta, força e preserverança, bem como um hino à amizade, que faz todos os nossos problemas e queixas parecerem uma ninharia quando comparados com o sofrimento deste Homem e de muitos outros durante a II Guerra Mundial. Um retrato emocionante do melhor e do pior de que o Ser Humano é capaz.