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Long Walk: The True Story Of A Trek To Freedom [Paperback]

Slavomir Rawicz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Kindle Edition CDN $9.79  
Hardcover CDN $17.24  
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Paperback, April 1 2006 CDN $12.96  
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Book Description

April 1 2006
"I hope The Long Walk will remain as a memorial to all those who live and die for freedom, and for all those who for many reasons could not speak for themselves."--Slavomir Rawicz In 1941, the author and six other fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yakutsk--a camp where enduring hunger, cold, untended wounds, untreated illnesses, and avoiding daily executions were everyday feats. Their march--over thousands of miles by foot--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. While the original book sold hundreds of thousands of copies, this updated paperback version includes a new Afterword by the author, as well as the author's Foreword to the Polish book. Written in a hauntingly detailed, no holds barred way, the new edition of The Long Walk is destined to outrank its classic status and guaranteed to forever stay in the reader's mind. *** Six-time Academy Award–nominee Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, and The Dead Poets Society) recently directed The Way Back, a much-anticipated film based on The Long Walk. Starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Ed Harris, it is due for release in 2011.

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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 along with other captive Poles, Finns, Ukranians, Czechs, Greeks, and even a few English, French, and American unfortunates who had been caught up in the fighting. A year later, he and six comrades from various countries escaped from a labor camp in Yakutsk and made their way, on foot, thousands of miles south to British India, where Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army and fought against the Germans. The Long Walk recounts that adventure, which is surely one of the most curious treks in history. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"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."--Chicago Tribune "A book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom." —Los Angeles Times "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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This story is fabricated May 10 2011
I love non-fiction, espeically ones about human survival. I got 1/2 way through this book when I got a funny feeling a lot of it was fabircated. No way in heck can unprepared and malnourished individuals cross the Gobi desert with no supplies. If my memory serves me right they go 5+ days without water.... sure they did! Then they cross the himalayas with no gear, food or climbing experience. The icing on the cake for me is when they spot 2 yetis..... at the point I was sure the book was inaccurate.

Doing some research, I found out that the whole story was fabricated. I can live with some fabrication, but not when the entire book is nothing but a farce. The fact that even after the book was proven to be untrue that it still claims the story is a "true" event bothers me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Patent Fabrication May 27 2003
I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in long distance hiking and backcountry winter travel. I love TRUE survival stories, but this one is not only false but obviously so. It is simply not possible to bushwhack 20-30 miles a day through deep snow with almost no food and no water as recounted in the Northern part of the trek - and to make that distance in actual forward progress with no map.
He also claims to have gone 8 and then 12 days with no water in the Gobi desert in the heat of summer while walking miles and miles each day. This also is impossible as survival without water in these conditions is limited to a very few days at best.
It's also full of all kinds of "little" howlers like the idea that when they got to the Gobi desert between the eight of them they only pot or pan they had was a single mug they'd taken from the prison camp. They hadn't even managed to scavenge a tin can. Right.
I love the American, "Mr. Smith", who doesn't reveal his first name throughout the entire epic. Maybe he was really Agent K. Or was it J.
In the end, it's ever so convienient that he loses track of all of his fellow survivors so "coincidentally" there is no one to corroborate this absurd story.
I've really only scratched the surface.
If you want some incredible survival stories you can believe try "Endurance" - an account of the Shackleton Expedition, Touching The Void by Joe Simpson, or Adrift by Steven Callahan.
=Steve Dunn=
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake Oct. 2 2003
By A Customer
My impession is that it is fake. It just doesn't feel true. I've read quite a few books on various prison camps in various wars and this book just doesn't ring true. The polish prisioners speak using british slang. There was no name gathering. No documentation. I don't believe they'd be in any shape to make a 4,000 mile trek from freezing Siberia, over the Himalayas, thru deserts etc.
Slavomir Rawicz also claims to have seen Bigfoot. He describes an encounter with two 8 foot tall creatures somewhere between Bhutan and Sikkim. According to Slavomir, he and his companions watched the outsized beasts for over 2 hours, from a distance of 100 yards.

I just resently finished Ghost Soldiers: Hamptton Sides. Now there's a true story about a forced march to two prison camps and a rescue/escape. I've always known about Bataan's POW death march and 3.5 years imprisonment but this was mt first book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake, lie, ridiculous. Feb. 22 2011
By ReuVera
For all those who are amazed by this book I have to tell one thing- never take anything for granted. Question everything. You won't eat spoiled food, right? Why would you read a book that is written by a lier? If it was a fiction book, but it is claimed as a true story experienced by the author.
For the beginning the small archive note- Slavomir Rawitz, though he was a prisoner of war, was pardoned and freed in 1942. He joined the Polish devision of a Red Army. He was never in the camp, he was never in Siberia.
Now, why the story is fake? I know Siberia, I know reality, I know desert climate.
1). He says in the book that they were transported in sheep trucks from Moscow to Siberia, where they were put so tight, they were standing without even moving their hands. The journey was for over three weeks. It is physically impossible for a human being to stand for three weeks, their legs would be puffed to death threat. And then he describes how they walked to the camp in Siberian winter after this journey, hardly dressed. Impossible.
2). In the camp (oh, by the way camp 303 never existed in Siberia. Archive note- camp 303 was somewhere not far from Moscow), the author worked making skis. In one day they produced a pair of ready to use skis. Lie. Do you know how much time it is needed for timber to be ready for skis?
3). NO wife of a camp authority would help a prisoner to escape. Only those who DO NOT know the soviet reality can believe in this nonsense.
4) He describes how they made a hole in the ice of The Lena river (in April!) with a piece of log. Ice in Lena river in April is 6 feet deep! Dahhhh!
5). He describes how he fell under the water when ice broke. He got out, squeezed water off the heavy winter clothes, put wet winter clothes back and continued running.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not so true story March 9 2004
Odd that Rawicz's Mongolians walk everywhere rather than ride horses, and dress in conical hats (something no one else has observed). Odd that he claims to have gone for 12 days in the Gobi without water - he must have been ready for a beer or two after that. And perhaps he had consumed more than a couple of beers when he met the yetis in the high Himalayas.
It's also odd that Rawicz has refused to authenticate any of his claims and declined to produce records, photographs, witnesses, or the full identity or whereabouts of the other survivors.
I think the bit on the cover, which claims that this is a "true story", may need revising.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read - couldn't put it down
Great story, wayyyy better than the movie that was produced after it, unbelievable yet I think it is true - people can accomplish incredible things under impossible situations.
Published 23 days ago by Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book is a great read. I loved it and nearly read it all in one night. It's well written and kept me glued to my seat.
Published 12 months ago by author4
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of an escape from a Siberian prison camp
This book describes the unlikely escape and incredible walk of thousands of kilometers from Siberia in winter across deserts and mountains to freedom. Read more
Published 21 months ago by T. Schopflocher
4.0 out of 5 stars The real Stalinist Russia
The book arrived on time in good condition. The read is even better.
A real eye opener outing the propaganda of Stalinist era Russia
which most journalists in the West... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Michael Stogre
4.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was a good read
After having read, Unbroken, about a downed WWII pilot who survived life on a raft for a number of days and then was picked up by the Japanese and sent to a brutal camp, I thought... Read more
Published on March 17 2012 by thrifty shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book
This is a nice edition, great paper quality and including a nice map. Good choice of survival story, even if you've seen the movie.
Published on Feb. 4 2012 by Xavb
4.0 out of 5 stars The Long Walk
An overwhelming, hard to put down story, by now a classical
gulag-escape account from the early days of WW2
Unfortunately there is an ongoing controversy whether
the... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2012 by Millen
5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC JOURNEY-whether you believe it or not
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,... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2011 by Buggy
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure, Unadulterated Fabrication
Here are ten reasons for avoiding this book at all costs:
(1) The plot sounds phony. It moves too fast for the rugged terrain and the obstacles faced, especially with few... Read more
Published on June 15 2011 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing testimony
I enjoyed reading this amazing book , which is really a testimony of the will to survive in the most unbearable conditions. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2009 by Wilma Kellerman
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