Katie's Reviews > The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz
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Mar 08, 12

Read in March, 2012

This book says it's the "true story of a trek to freedom" and I began reading it as such. It takes the reader on a harrowing journey beginning with Soviet imprisonment where the Polish author is eventually sentenced to 25 years in a Siberian labor camp. The trip to the labor camp alone was a torturous mix of walking and riding in a packed rail car. Once at the camp, the author begins making plans and choosing associates to break out. His group of 6 prisoners is ultimately successful... and so begins "the long walk". The journey takes them on a year long escape to India via the Gobi desert, the Himalayas, etc... As I got pretty far into the journey I started to wonder about the authencity of the journey. Upon further investigation I found that the book's credibility is in serious doubt. It's even questionable whether this is the author's own story... or one he "stole" from someone else. Too bad. Ruined it for me. If the author had just presented it as "historical fiction" and established that pieces have been fictionalized, I would have been totally fine with it. However, I've learned that many Polish prisoners- including entire families- did endure extremely "long walks" to freedom although obviously not to the extent this author presents. May this book be a tribute to their experience... if not the authors. People endure amazing privations for freedom.
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Jean What a great evaluation. I agree!


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