Escape From Camp 14
- Overseas Editions New
- Publication Date:
- 29 March 2012
Showing 1-4 out of 19 reviews. Previous | Next
Shin was born in a North Korean prison camp, where he witnessed untold horrors and atrocities. He was raised to inform on his camp-mates, saw his mother as a competitor for food and never experienced love or happiness. Shin knew nothing of the world outside of the camp and believed that his life was a result of his parent’s sins, ones he had to work hard and repent for.The story followed Shin as he decided to escape Camp 14. Miraculously he made it through the electrified fence with only burns on his legs. He traveled by foot and train to China, where he begged and scrounged for work. After a while he traveled across China, looking for work, food and a way to get to South Korea. With the aid of human rights advocates he traveled to South Korea and then America, where he began speaking about his experiences.I knew nothing about North Korean prison camps before picking up this book. Shin story is heartbreaking and can hopefully bring awareness to this situation. Overall, I highly recommend this book.
One of the best book ever read. The story it's so touchable and makes you know things you never known about north korea. The story of North korea so far is't very sad, about 200.000 nowadays people are prisoners in labour camps and some who born there don't know anything about outside world and suffer a dangerous life.. every day they deal with hunger, killers, anger, cold and no love it's accetped. Hope this will fnish soon. Thanks to Shin Dong for letting us know his story and how he has managed to escape from one of those camps.
Shin Dong-Hyuk was born in Camp 14, a North Korean political prison/labour camp, a camp from which there is no release for its inmates, a camp with a strict and harsh regime,where there is little food, and where the work often results in early death. No one has escaped from Camp 14 or any other such camp, that is until Shin succeeded in early 2005, eventually making his way via China and South Korea to the US.Escape From Camp 14 is his story as told to Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden. It details the inhuman existence that is life within Camp 14, where prisoners are pressured to inform on each other including their own family, where punishments are harsh and handed out at the whim of their superiors be they prison guards or fellow prisoners designated as supervisors. Life is cheap within Camp 14, beatings can be so extreme they result in death, there are regular public executions and possibly much more regular private executions. Anyone caught trying to escape is executed, and members of their family face reprisals. Born into such an existence Shen knew no other way of life, he knew nothing of the world outside of the camp, that is until he met a new inmate who gradually enlightened him, and fuelled his desire for escape.This is an easy read in that the prose is fluent and very accessible, but it if far from an easy read when considering its content, the descriptions of life in Camp 14 do not make for comfortable reading. Harden eases the readers progress through Shin's harrowing account by regularly interspersing it with facts about life in North Korea, Korea's history and its relations with the rest of the world.This is a story that deserves to be told, and that needs to be read. It is much more than a heart wrenching account of the terrible existence that is life in the North Korean prison camps. It raises questions about life in general in North Korea where the people are kept in awe of its leader Kim Jong-il (the proof copy I read was completed before the succession, the published edition will have been updated by the author), where they are kept in ignorance of the rest of the world, where they are told that they, the people of North Korea and their regime, are the envy of the world. North Korea will not admit to the existence of these camps, but China, the US and the rest of the world knows they do exist and have existed for around half a century, and satellite images readily available on the Net clearly reveal them. But Shin's story raises more questions, notable about the difficulties of adapting to life in the free world for those raised under North Korea's repressive regime. Shin has not found it easy, and unlike the general populace of the country he has not been brainwashed.Hopefully Shin's account will raise awareness of these North Korean prison camps, and of the deprivations of life in general in that country, and the difficulties of assimilation for those who do make it out of the country.
What a heartbreaking story. I am very ignorant to what is going on in N. Korea. This young man's story was an educational moment for me. We learn about why N. Koreans are put into these camps. I assumed (with my Western mind) that they committed crimes, but this isn't the case at all. In N. Korea, you truly are visited by the sins of your father. I am going to continue to read more about N. Korea and try to get a broder view of what goes on there.
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.