"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 a man's desire to be free." This account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable...but I just could not put it down...until he made it. Incredible. Awesome. I found myself praying for him as I read. This is not a novel; this is for real.
An incredible true story of 7 prisoners who escaped a Soviet labor camp in 1941 and marched thousands of miles by foot--out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi desert, Tibert and Hmalayas into British India..
Absolutely amazing account of Russian treatment of this man under Stalin, his escape from the Soviet labor camp and 1 year jounrney through the Siberian artic, Godi Desert & Himalayas just to get to freedom in the arms of India. It's hard to fathom the dispair & suffering all on a quest to live & be free. A must read!
I have to admit being a bit upset to learn this was not a true story. I discovered this after completing the book and looked up the author's name on Wikipedia. Not only had the 'author' made up most of the story, but the book itself was written by a ghost writer.
This probably wasn't the complete surprise it should have been, as his recount of climbing mountains in Tibet in the midst of winter with little food and scant protection did strain my belief somewhat. And I should have recognized the ultimate clue, when the 'author' relates how he and his companions came across two ape-like beings who pretty much ignored them. Obviously, these were suppose to be yetis, or "abominable snowmen."
in 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escape a
soviet labor camp and trek out of siberia,through china, the gobi
desert, tibet and over the himalayas to british india...an amazing
story of mans desire to be free
it's a good book. People should read this book because it chronicles perhaps the most extraordinary true story of human endurance in recorded history.
Slavomir Rawicz is unjustly imprisoned by the Communist Russians early in World War II. He is confined to a cell so small that he literally cannot sit, but must sleep by collapsing with his knees against the wall and his feet steeped in his own waste. He is later transported to Siberia by train, and then marched through the cold countryside to a Soviet Gulag, witnessing the death by exposure and exhaustion of other unfortunate captives along the way. In the prison camp he is set in forced labor, kept in horrendous conditions, over-worked, and underfed.
Near the end of his rope, Rawicz and a handful of companions orchestrate a daring and desperate escape, and then proceed to run for their lives, on foot, toward freedom in India--4,000 miles away. Then the fun begins. They must conquer the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains, starvation, the Soviets, and their own inner demons.
Slavomir's ordeal overshadows every other survival tale I've every read, including Admiral Scott's Polar expedition and Krakauer's Everest disaster. This is up there with the Donner Expedition in terms of grim conditions and the indomitable human spirit. Trust me. If you've got a teenager who's complaining because they think they have it rough, let 'em read this one. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
I have read many travel memoirs, including artic exploration and harrowing mountain, and this is most incredible story I've read. The characters are interesting, the writing simple and compelling of an indomitable group of people walking to freedom under such dangerous conditions. The route - through the Siberian tundra, Gobi Desert and over the Himalaya mountains. This book is a keeper!
Having once had a landlord from Hungary who had endured a Siberian prison, I felt somehow connected to this story, and it was harrowing and inspiring. However, I kept having doubts and questions as I read--things that didn't quite "work" in my mind, especially that these broken-down, unsupplied refugees without even a map could survive the Gobi desert in summer and the Himalayas in winter. Their coming across a Yeti couple near the end just sort of burst my bubble.
I've since done a little Internet investigation and found evidence that such a trek might have been made, that a British officer did report three emaciated men arriving in India from the Himalayas, that Yetis might exist . But it seems that perhaps Slavomir Rawicz (and/or his ghost writer) wove together a tale made up of his own and others' experiences, and it seems he used his book tours in his time to raise money for Polish orphans or somesuch.
Yes I enjoyed the book. I would rate it a 3 1/2 star. It kept my interest all of the way through the book I was disapointed that it did not give any more information about what each person did afterwards.I did look it up on line and enjoyed knowing what happened to them.