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

( 144 )

Overview

In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free. With a new Afterword by the author, and the author's Foreword to the Polish edition, this new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status. (6 X 9, 256 pages, map) "One of the epic treks of the human race. Shackleton, Franklin, ...
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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

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Overview

In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free. With a new Afterword by the author, and the author's Foreword to the Polish edition, this new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status. (6 X 9, 256 pages, map) "One of the epic treks of the human race. Shackleton, Franklin, Amundsen...history is filled with people who have crossed immense distances and survived despite horrific odds. None of them, however, has achieved the extraordinary feat Rawicz has recorded. He and his companions crossed an entire continent--the Siberian arctic, the Gobi desert and then the Himalayas--with nothing but an ax, a knife, and a week's worth of food...His account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable. But it must be read--and re-read." --Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm "The Long Walk is a book that I absolutely could not put down and one that I will never forget..." --Stephen Ambrose
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
A poet with steel in his soul.
Chicago Tribune
One of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time.
Los Angeles Times
It is a book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom.
From the Publisher
"The Long Walk is a book that I absolutely could not put down and one that I will never forget..."—Stephen Ambrose

 "A poet with steel in his soul."—New York Times

"One of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time."—ChicagoTribune

 

“A book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom.”

Los AngelesTimes

“Heroism is not the domain of the powerful; it is the domain of people whose only other alternative is to give up and die…. [The Long Walk] must be read—and reread, and passed along to friends.”—National Geographic Adventure

“The ultimate human endurance story…told with clarity, vivid description, and a good dash of romance and humor.”—The Vancouver Sun

"Essentially it comes down to some sort of inner tenacity and that is what is so gripping about the book because you know that this is actually about all of us.  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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592289448
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 81,874
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Slavomir Rawicz lived in England after the war, settling near Nottingham and working as a handicrafts and woodworking instructor, a cabinetmaker, and later as a technician in architectural ceramics at a school of art and design. He married an Englishwoman, with whom he had five children. He retired in 1975 after a heart attack and lived a quiet life in the countryside until his death in 2004.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 144 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(81)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 146 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2004

    The author has just passed away on May 5 2004 age 88

    The story is so incredible that some readers doubts the authenticity of it, myself included. I ran a check on the internet and found out that he is a real person and has just passed away. He lived to the ripe old age of 88! Incidentally I bought the book in April this year at a book fair at a steep discount of 70% off (most people did not know it is a gem and I regretted not buying a few more copies to give out as gift) and started to read the book at around the time that he passed away on 5th May. Life is full of co-incidences. Read about the obituary of Mr. Slavomir Rawicz at the UK Guardian On-line Newspaper http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0%2C3604%2C1209467%2C00.htm l. The only 'incompleteness' of the story is that he never meet up again with the other three survivors.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2000

    5 Stars Don't Do it Justic

    Have you ever read something or watched something that defied all knowledge and all attempts at retelling? If not, then you've obviously not read The Long Walk. I feel completely confident in asserting that one can never forget this riveting tale of tragedy and triumph. Congress should pass a law requiring everyone to read this book, along with The Catcher in the Rye.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    Is it true?

    Sounds a little too harsh to be true. That may be why it is such an amazing story. However, I definitely do not believe someone could walk 20 miles a day for 13 days or so in the Gobi desert and not die of dehydration. Doesn't make sense. Enjoyable read though.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Great story

    Don't know if this was a true story or not but it is one of my favorite books ever. Its kept me up all hours of the night trying to figure out what was next for the characters. I refuse to watch the movie because I don't want to ruin the book (and I hate Collin Ferrel). Awesome book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    The harrowing experiences of these men were hard to read, yet even more difficult to put down. It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I cried with them, and cheered for them as I read their story. I have not seen the movie based on this book, but I can't imagine that it could capture the true hardships Slavomir Rawicz and his group endured. An excellent and wonderfully inspirational story of courage, endurance and unity!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Outstanding

    First heard this book in juniorhigh school in the late 60s read by the english teacher and have read it my self 5 more times over the years. Have a paper copy and plan on getting a digital copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Interesting book

    Almost unbelievable that these men could have done this

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    Recommended

    Couldn't put this book down. Wonderfully written of the struggle of human survival during Nazi germany rein.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2011

    Really good book!

    I LOVED this book- it was dramatic and smart. When you read the torture procedures used on Slav, you can almost feel his pain. When Kristina dies of fatigue in the Gobi you feel like you've lost a team mate. I winced when Pauluchowicz died oh so close to the end of the book. And I wondered how Slav and the others must have felt after being saved. You desperately want all of the prisoners to survive and live fulfilling lives. It's excruciating to watch them drop like flies. I would suggest that any reader should read what happens when Slav lives in England; otherwise you will find the ending completely depressing. All these sad events could keep someone from choosing to read this book, but Slavomir really accomplished something by making you feel that connected to the characters.
    The actual prison escape had me on the edge of my seat, but then they made it out without any real difficulty. I kept expecting a group of Russians to attack them but that never happened. Then I realized that the story is more about a battle with the elements and meeting new people from different backgrounds. At some point I wished they would just glaze over certain details because the multiple little villages they go to are very similar.
    I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't need constant violence or happiness to be entertained by a book. I think I would've loved this book back in 6th grade as well but probably not as much because of how gritty it is. All of the people in the book are great characters. By the end of the book you may feel more attached to the mysterious Mr. Smith or comical Zaro, but you will like all of the survivors. This is my favorite book of the year.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Real or not

    Real or not dont be an ass and give this book a bad rating.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Pure fiction under the guise of non-fiction

    There is absolutely no way a human body could have endured the extreme cold temperatures of Siberia dressed only in a cotton shirt, cotton pants and canvas shoes on his long train ride to Siberia and the long trek to the work camp. Pure fiction, the author has a vivid imagination at best.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    A Remarkable Read

    "Seven Cross the Lena River", "Eight Enter Mongolia", "Six Enter Tibet", "Five By-Pass Lhasa,"...One remarkable read. With vivid reminders by the eerie chapter titles professing the death count of the travelers, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz tells the true account of escaped Soviet prisoners. Rawicz offers a hauntingly detached first person description of torture, imprisonment, and inhumane conditions which presented themselves to him as he journeyed from Soviet prisons, and to his eventual expedition to India. In 1939, a then 25-year-old Polish cavalry officer Rawicz was sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor in Siberia following his torture-induced "confession" in Moscow. The story begins with our protagonist writing of torment at the hands of N.K.V.D. officers in a prison in the town of Kharkov. After a mind-menacing trial at the Soviet Supreme Court, Rawicz moves to the confined "upright-coffin-sized" cell standing amidst his (and approximately 60 other men's) bodily wastes. He moves to Camp 303 in the middle of the Siberian tundra, promptly planning an escape with 6 other men and a Polish teen, Kristina (the only woman in the group), who joins the group not far after they leave the camp. Spring blizzards, icy rivers, Mongolia's Gobi Desert, and Tibetan Himalayas become backdrops for the journey of a handful of comrades.
    An obvious expert of imagery, Rawicz is able to paint pictures telling stories of the strength of human spirit and the universal desire for freedom. With so many stories of the German Holocaust, recollections of their Soviet counterparts are relatively untold to common man. Reminiscent of Elie Wiesel's Night, this story offers a more blatant, universal theme for readers. This triumph over the always present choice of death is an obvious inspiration to all. The Long Walk is a refreshing celebration of the will to live, one which should be read by all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating

    This is an incredible story. I actually felt I was getting cold on more than one occasion.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Absolute Page-Turner!

    I thought the book was outstanding and would even put it in the same tier as Into Thin Air. Same idea of people overcoming incredible odds in the name of living. The determination and resilience of these people is outstanding. If you ever thought you had it bad.....this will change your mind.

    I will admit that I did question the validity of the book by the end. It almost seemed a bit too much at points. No way to verifty it or not, however. Still a worthwhile read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Amazing and Inspiring Story

    Slavomir Rawicz' story of his escape from the Soviet Union to freedom is thrilling and inspiring. A Polish soldier captured by the Communists during WWII, interrogated and tortured in Moscow, shipped to a Siberian slave labor camp, escaping with 6 companions during a blizzard, trekking south thousands of miles through Russia, Mongolia, China, the Gobi, the Himalayas and finally India. In addition to being an amazing story of hardship and struggle, Rawicz' repeated message is that freedom is worth paying any price.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Great read to make you appreciate what you have!

    I wasn't sure about reading this book early on but after the first few pages, I was hooked. It is a true story about one man in particular but also a group of people whose lives are connected by a desire to escape imprisonment. They travel through hardships that we can't imagine and develop a bond with each other. It truly is a wonder that any of them lived to tell the tale of their journey. Amazing, wonderful, touching and inspiring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    High School student LOVES IT

    My teacher is reading it to us now, and i keep finding myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear what Slavomir Rawicz is going to do next. I personally dont think i could have handled the torture and deprivation of most essentials. He's a true hero, especially because he had the heart to write us a book on his horrifying, yet ground-breaking experiences. This book portrays bravery, and courage in every way imaginable to human perception. True story's turn out to be the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    One of the best books I've read

    Before reading The Long Walk, I used to hate reading non-fiction books, but I loved The Long Walk! This story will give any person who reads it a little history lesson about how harsh the soviets were to their prisoners, but the book is told in such a way that the it doesn't even seem like a boring story you would read out of a history textbook. This book is full of truth, suspense, friendships, and unforgetable memories. I liked it so much, I bought it for my own personal library. This book will soon become a true classic!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Such a great read!

    An incredible story, even if some things were embellished. You won't want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Awe inspiring

    The movie is very good but the book is exquisitly poignoit and painful. Easy to read well written interesting

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