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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom [Hardcover]

Slavomir Rawicz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.50
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Book Description

Nov. 16 2010
The harrowing true tale of seven escaped Soviet prisoners who desperately marched out of Siberia through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.

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Customers buy this book with The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the GreatestRescue Mission of World War II CDN$ 14.44

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom + The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the GreatestRescue Mission of World War II
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing walk to freedom (if true?) May 7 2004
If you enjoyed Lansing's Endurance then this is almost a sure bet for you. But you should know before you buy, that this story may not be true. When the walkers see the Yetis in the Himalayan mountains, I was disapointed, up until then everything seemed so realistic. If you don't care if it is fact or fiction and just want read great survival story go ahead and buy it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars this is a work of fiction (its a fake) March 29 2004
By A Customer
This book is total fiction. Nothing about the author's
life before he wrote the book or any detail of the journey
has ever been independently confirmed. And a great many
people have tried very hard to do so since the 1950s. Nothing
about his life can be confirmed before he arrived in england
and started telling his story.
Many people have read this book and wanted to believe him. They
have tried to check out the story but most have ended up
totally frustrated by the author's lack of cooperation
if not outright dishonesty. It can't be confirmed that he
was ever a polish officer, that he was in the soviet union,
or that he was ever in India or palestine. "I dont remember"
will work for the details of his trip through China, but
"I dont remember" doesn't work when he says it with regard
to his entire life before the 1950s.
Slavomir Rawicz is likely not even his real name.
This isn't a conclusion that I'm happy to have come to, but
Mr. Rawicz has not ever been able to provide even one tiny
bit of supporting evidence for his account of his life
independent of the actual trip itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fiction/Non-Fiction Feb. 18 2002
At several points in the reading of this "tale of surrvival", I began to question it's having been purported to be a "non-ficrional" account of escape from a Siberian prison camp. It seemed a way to "perfect" narration, with all the bases covered:prison toruture, good guards/bad guards, a young female who joins the group along the way (no mention of any lustful interest in this person from any of these men who had not even seen a female for years etc.) When in the tale, they chose to go directly through the Gobi desert, instead of skirting it, I became suspicious. When little mention was made of the parched thirst they would most surely have experienced, I became even more suspicious. I decided to go to Amazon and see what other readers had to say. I was most pleased to read that I am not alone in my view. This is a complete fictional tale of woe. Shame on the publisher for putting this out as a "non-fictional piece. Do not waste your time on this outright attempt at deception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tell me the old, old story Jan. 5 2002
This book enjoyed a great vogue when it was first published in the U.K. However, it wasn't long before it was exposed as a work of fiction, notably by Peter Fleming, Ian's explorer brother, in an article in "The Spectator". Fleming knew much of the area well, and the only detail from his critique I can recall after 40 years was the striking omission by Rawicz of his having crossed a road in the Gobi desert, lined with telegraph poles, and carring regular traffic.
Gripping yarn, pity about the facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars total lies Sept. 22 1999
What kind of fool does he take us for? He did not describe how the party traveled through thousands of miles without being challenged by the police? Through thousands of miles without being on trails? without food? without water or means to carry water? I'm only half way through the book and it is insulting to me that he calls this story "true." I can't wait to get to the "yedi" account and climbing over the Himalayas with a few more peanuts as nurishment. What a joke!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It is too good to be true.... Feb. 7 1998
By James R
If Rawicz's account of his escaping from the Soviet prison were true, it would be one of the most extraordinary testament to the human endurance. The author claimed that during the crossing of the Gobi desert in the middle of the summer, the escaping party didn't have a single sip of water for as long as fourteen days, ( whereas a normal human being needs as much as a gallon of water per day just to survival). Rawicz's account of crossing the Himalayan mountain range during the winter without food supply makes his story even less believable. He even claimed the party throwing rocks to a couple of Yeti to make them move out of the way! Little wonder in the fifty years since the book was first published, nobody else has confirmed Rawicz's story. One should read Heinrich Harrer's "Seven years in Tibet" for a little appreciation of just how much effort is needed to walk across the Himalayan range.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 5 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 14 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 15 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
1.0 out of 5 stars Fake, lie, ridiculous.
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? Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2011 by ReuVera
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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