The Long Walk : The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, Paperback Book

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

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer.

On 19th November 1939 he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation he was sentenced to 25 years in the Gulags.

After a three month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter he escaped with six companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death.

In June 1941 they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and freedom nine months later in March 1942 after travelling on foot through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert.

First published in 1956, this is one of the world's greatest true stories of adventure, survival and escape, has been the inspiration for the film The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir and starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.


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 One of those books that make you wonder if you'd be able to do even half as much. After being arrested by the Russians for being Polish (and that's pretty much the sum of evidence we're presented with) the author is tortured and sentenced to 25 years hard labour in a work camp in Siberia. The prisoners are treated very harshly on their journey to the camp, and the conditions barely improve once at the camp. There a sequence of events leads him and 6 comrades to attempt an escape. They set out in winter and head south. A long way south. To India, in fact. <br/>It's told in a very matter of fact way, with the hardships described in quite spare detail. And it does get a little emotional at several stages along the way. At times you wonder can it be real, as they manage to survive thngs that seem to be quite unendurable. And it makes you wonder what you'd do when put in that situation - is the faint sniff of the chance of liberty worth risking everything for when all you have to look forward to is a long hard death? Maybe.<br/>There is debate as to how true this is, or if the author actually experienced any of it. There are reports of other prisoners walking to freedom, in which case, this can easily stand a a memorial to all that tried, regardless of if they suceeded or not. <br/>The only thing that I found was that the book ends quite abruptly, and you are left wanting to know more about how these men survived in society thereafter. Was the hardship the endured in the search for freedom worthwhile? If given the chance to go back, would they do the same thing agan?

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