Jake Miller's Reviews > Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
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's review
Jun 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites
Read in May, 2012

“High School students in America debate why President Roosevelt didn't bomb the rail lines to Hitler's camps. Their children may ask, a generation from now, why the West stared at far clearer satellite images of Kim Jong Il's camps, and did nothing.”

No more brazen and poetic meaning could be found than reading this line from the book, once upon a time seems almost pertinent to this book. But once upon a time gives the semblance of fiction, and while this book eerily reminds one of a few George Orwell novels; this book my friends is not fiction.

This is the life and hardship of Shin Dong-hyuk, his meandering through camp 14 that he was born to, the camp he once called home. A home that left all forms of humanity in the rut and taught nothing but animalism "no pun intended :)" and like any totalitarian society its machination is bred and fulfilled through the manipulation of the future generation, by no choice or even differing awareness they learned to snitch, steal and to see your own parents as rivals for food.

Shin did all this without a care in the world, it was all he knew; this was home to him. In time he grew to resent his mother, this repugnance would soon lead to a chance encounter with an outsider who would open Shins mind to a world beyond the vile fence. A world filled with as shin said "cooked meat", he would no longer have to eat rats and insects to survive, no longer would he dig through feces to find kernels of corn to make it through the winter... no longer

and so the journey to escape was born in Shins mind. This book presents another interminable moment given to us on a platter that man can look back and ask such a simple and profound statement, why?

I was enamored with this book by Blain Harden and I still am, the moment I started reading it I couldn't stop; Shins journey is both inspiring and disturbing.

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