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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

4.3 267
by Blaine Harden

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The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have

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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 238 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing, profoundly moving book. This is the story of a North Korean who somehow escaped the prisons of his country to escape to the United States, but not without having a role in the tragic deaths of many members of his family. It depicts the brutal atrocities of a tyrannical regime, and leaves the reader profoundly affected by his story. How would we behave if put into the same situation? It made me look at Kim Jong Il, his father, and the government of North Korea in a way I've never imagined before. There have been some great books by Korean authors recently, which I would also highly recommend. "Please Look After Mom" is a poignant tale of a Korean mother who goes missing, and her family's attempts to locate her. It's told from four points of view. "In Stitches" is the memoir of a second generation Korean American who was raised by a tyrannical Korean immigrant father, and how he overcame his childhood to become a doctor. A fast, funny, and heartwarming read. I highly recommend on three of these books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells a story similar to the hunger games. Except this story is not fiction. How can we as humans continue to turn a blind eye to what North Korea is doing? There but for fortune go you or I.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book seemlessly blends a horrifying first person account of Shim, a young man born out of a loveless "reward marriage" in a North Korean prison camp with background information about North Korea. I learned much about the region from reading this book as well as the struggles Shin continually faces as he struggles to overcome the psychological trauma from his years in Csmp 24.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In tthe US (east coast near Washington DC) it is difficult to imagine the life of the "political prisoner" in North Korea. This young man's story is superbly told. Read it. You will be enlightened.
TLJ-VA More than 1 year ago
I read this non-fiction account of the life of a man born into a labor camp in N Korea, who was able to defect to China and ultimately make it to S Korea and then to the USA. That someone could live to adulthood and never hear the word love nor even experience the emotion speaks volumes. Prior to reading this, I read the novel "The Orphan Master's Son" and after this book I read "Nothing To Envy", a non-fiction account of the loves of 6 defectors. Together, these three books opened my eyes to the isolation and cruelty perpetrated by the Kim dynasty. I highly recommend this book, even on its own.
prayerwarriorRN More than 1 year ago
this is just an amazing book. it reminds us of shattered lives due to a horrible government. How hard it is for a person to deal with a great trajedy in his life, I cant imagine carrying around all the pain Shin has to carry on a daily basis. We as a country need to figure a way to help stop this, we think about how sad the holacast is and is but this is just as bad. it is amazing that we as a worls can put up with this. this is just an amazing story and everyone needs to read this and think about what is happening in North Korea
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book on NPR and had never heard of "work camps" in North Korea. I don't know much about North Korea so I found this book informative. It's hard to not feel very fortunate for all the freedoms you have after reading this book. I'm also haunted by the fact that these camps still exist as they are no different than concentration camps. Shin's story is amazing but you find his escape was only a physical one...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really thought highly of this book. It was well written. I cant believe that Korean's have to go through this.
Cathie50 More than 1 year ago
It is amazing...our human will to survive. I loved this book. It is a quick read at only 189 pages. When I finished the book, I went to Google Earth and actually found the camp and traced his journey. (You can actually type into the google earth search " camp 14". I recommend the book highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased and read this book on a whim. I found that, as is common with a growing number of people in America, I had a remarkable lack of knowledge about what is going on in the world. While, as others have noted, Escape can at times be a combersome read I am still very pleased with my purchase. After reading this book, I wanted more info on the living conditions in North Korea. I read Nothing to Envy, as was recommended by other reviewers. I recommend both books. Escape follows the struggle of a political prisoner born and raised in a prison camp, the statistical information and history lessons about North Korea are less detailed and largely duplicated as in Nothing to Envy. I still feel, however, that Escape provides further, valuable insight into the human rights issues in North Korea.
wygrandmareader More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating, saddening, shocking read of the cruelty that humans can impose upon other humans. It also clearly shows the insurmountable results of that cruelty in this man's life.
wackeymackey More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I realize how fantastic living in the free world is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was amazing to read something that is so hidden away in the year 2012. So much is no longer private in our lives, how can this be going on without being in the news media? Why is it going on without the world doing something to stop it. The book was very precise and the horrifying part is that it is happening now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the actual story part is short, it makes sense when you realize that the subject is not used to expressing emotions or detailing out his actions and why. It's just incredible that this is a true story and this really goes on. And, even more interesting that those that do physically escape, never really escape the harm does by these lunatics running North Korea. Very educational. Recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely well written. The Holocaust still Lives.I just don't understand the Powers in this world allow this.
denana More than 1 year ago
The style of writing is simple and informative. I felt as though he,the young man, was telling me his personal stroy. I had no idea that hese things are still going on in our "modern" world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From his birth he was just another mouth for his mother to feed and another drone for the many industries in Camp 14. His struggles inside and outside the camp are very powerful and gritty.
Reading_on_Maui More than 1 year ago
Not the best written book I have ever read but I learned a great deal about life(If you can call it that) in these camps. Felt somewhat better informed as I heard recent news casts about the finding of additional camps. I would like to have heard more about the difficulty in the transition to western or any free culture. Perhaps that is another entire book. Learning to be free and make decisions, developing trust and other social skills would be of great interest but was glossed over. True the book was not about that but it left me with questions about how you learn to live in a free society. Perhaps that is a work in progress for the author and harder to write about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has interesting information and would have been good if it was not so badly written.
zucchiniqueen More than 1 year ago
I found this book riveting. The inside workings of North Korea and its prison camps was very interesting to me. Escapes are almost unheard of (live ones, anyway). We know so little about North Korea that I found this very informative about one aspect of their society and one man who survived an escape from the prison camp system.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I was drawn in from the first few pages. I did not know places like Camp 14 exist and am ill informed about North Korea. In some of the pages in this book I found myself in tears. I think what disturbs me the most is what seems to be Shin's inability to be at ease in his much better home. I am so sorry for him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Escape From Camp 14 is a very moving book that recounts a young man's escape from a concentration camp in present time North Korea. The tale is heart breaking, gut wrenching and at times too difficult to conceive. The book reads well and it also gives you statistical facts about North Korea. It captivates you from the first chapter. It really brings awareness of what is happening in North Korea. I do wish that more was told of Shin's parent's life, friends and family. Toward the end of the book, I felt left with too many unanswered questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely amazing story. It is easy to overlook or forget about what goes on inside North Korea because its government does such a good job at remaining isolated. Shin's story is important because it provides hard to obtain perspective on what occurs inside North Korea. While I have no doubt in the acuracy of this story, the level of atrocity demonstrated by the guards in the camp make this read like a fictional story. It is almost impossible to comprehend the fact that people can treat others that way. The personal aspect of this story goes a long way towards making this story as powerfull as it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be read by everyone in order to be informed as to what really goes on in North Korea.
Zor-El More than 1 year ago
An excellent glimpse into the "hermit kingdom". This book is well written and well worth the insight it will give you into life in the slave labor camps of North Korea. After reading this you realize what a gift our freedom actually is to us.