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

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A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

205 pages, Hardcover

First published March 29, 2012

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About the author

Blaine Harden

15 books228 followers
Harden is an author and journalist who worked for The Washington Post for 28 years as a correspondent in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. He was also a national correspondent for The New York Times and writer for the Times Magazine. He has contributed to The Economist and PBS Frontline.

Harden's newest book, "Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its Legacy of Lies, and the Taking of the
American West." New York Times columnist Tim Egan calls it a "terrific" deconstruction of a Big Lie about the West. The LA Times calls the book "terrifically readable." The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Wa.) raves that Murder at the Mission is "a richly detailed and expertly researched account of how a concocted story...became a part of American legend.

Harden is also the author of "King of Spies" (Viking/Penguin 2017), "The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot" (Viking/Penguin, 2015), "Escape From Camp 14" (Viking/Penguin 2012) and "A River Lost" (Norton, revised and updated edition 2012).

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5 stars
21,166 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,865 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
July 15, 2020
I've been watching a lot of documentaries on North Korea recently and it had me wanting to pick up books on it. This was a very eye opening read, though I'd like to pick up books that are written directly by people who have fled North Korea, because this was more of a recount based on interviews with Shin Donghyuk. I can't even begin to imagine facing all that Shin Donghyuk faced being born and raised in one of the prison camps. From the cruel atmosphere to not really understanding what it means to love or be loved. It was definitely hard to get through at times and I most definitely shed a few tears reading it, but I know it's important to unpack all that this book explores to understand what's happening in these prison camps.
Profile Image for Clif Hostetler.
1,074 reviews711 followers
May 29, 2012
Ever wonder why the world didn't do more to end the horrors of Stalin's gulags or Hitler's work camps? Someday our children (or perhaps grandchildren or great-grandchildren) will ask the same question about our world today. Why doesn't the world do more to end the horrible inhumanity imposed on people in the work camps of North Korea? And the political prison camps in North Korea have existed twice as long as Stalins Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps, and there's no end in site of the between 150,000 and 200,000 people who live in those camps.
“Yet while Auschwitz existed for only three years, Camp 14 is a fifty-year-old Skinner box, an ongoing longitudinal experiment in repression and mind control in which guards breed prisoners whom they control, isolate, and pit against one another from birth.”
The existence of these camps can be verified by anyone with a computer and internet using Google Earth, and still there's limited awareness among the world's public of conditions in these camps. North Korea's belligerant reputation combined with nuclear weapons has prevented international pressure to be focused on their work camps.
“When North Korea deigns to enter into international diplomacy, it has always succeeded in shoving human rights off any negotiating table. Crisis management, usually focused on nuclear weapons and missiles, has dominated American dealings with the North.”
It takes a pretty strong stomach to read this book. I could write a long list of horrible things described by this book, but I've decided to refrain from going there. You can read other reviews for that. The story is not a pretty one, and frankly leaves readers such as myself feeling helpless with the knowledge conveyed. I suggest that at the least, good citizens of the world owe it to the prisoners of North Korea to at least be informed about the existance of their conditions.

Here's a link to my review of "Orphan Master's Son," a novel about life in North Korea.
Profile Image for مجیدی‌ام.
213 reviews110 followers
October 7, 2015
هر کتابی که دستتون هست رو بذارید زمین، تلفن رو بردارید، نشر چشمه رو بگیرید و همین الان کتاب رو سفارش بدید!!!!!!!!

من اصلا از کره شمالی اطلاعات نداشتم، در حد یه شخص معمولی. این کتاب، سطر به سطر، صفحه به صفحه با روح آدم بازی می کنه. تعجب آوره که یه انسان چقدر می تونه پست زندگی کنه و چقدر معنی امید متفاوته برای انسان های متفاوت.
کتاب داستان حقیقی داره و تمام صحبت ها و اطلاعاتی که می ده با ذکر منبع و سند معتبره.
عنوان کتاب، بیانگر محتوا و داستان کتاب هست.
خیلی وقت بود یه کتاب رو با ولع تموم نخونده بودم! عالی بود. پیشنها می کنم بخونیدش، حتما.....
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
April 7, 2022
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, Blaine Harden

Shin Dong-hyuk (born Shin In Geun, 19 November 1982 or 1980) is a North Korean-born human rights activist. He is reputed to be the only known prisoner to have successfully escaped from a "total-control zone" grade internment camp in North Korea. He was the subject of a biography, Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West, by former Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden.

Shin has given talks to audiences around the world about his life in Camp 14 and about the totalitarian North Korean regime to raise awareness of the situation in North Korean internment and concentration camps and North Korea. Shin has been described as the world's "single strongest voice" on the atrocities inside North Korean camps by a member of the United Nations' first commission of inquiry into human rights abuses of North Korea.

In January 2015, he recanted aspects of his story, but a majority of experts continued to support his credibility as a victim of North Korean human rights abuses.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازدهم ماه ژانویه سال2016میلادی

عنوان: فرار از اردوگاه (چهارده) 14: داستان واقعی فرار اديسه‌ وار مردی از «كره‌ ی شمالی» به سوی آزادی؛ نویسنده: بلین هاردن؛ مترجم: مسعود یوسف حصیر چین؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، چاپهای اول و دوم و سوم سال1394؛ در229ص؛ شابک9786002293282؛ چاپهای چهارم و پنجم سال1395؛ چاپهای هشتم و نهم سال1396؛ چاپهای دهم و یازدهم سال1397؛ موضوع: کار اجباری و سرگذشت و زیستنامه شین دونگ هیوک از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

عنوان: فرار از اردوگاه (چهارده) 14: فرار اديسه‌ وار مردی از كره‌ ی شمالی به سوی آزادی در غرب؛ نویسنده: بلین هاردن؛ مترجم: الهام افسری؛ تهران، آسو، سال1398؛ در272ص؛ شابک9786008755944؛

ماجرای این کتاب، داستان «شین دونگ‌ هیوک» است؛ مردی که در اردوگاه زندانیان سیاسی، به دنیا می‌آید، و زندگی در فضای وحشتناک، و رعب‌آور اردوگاه، از او جاسوسی خطرناک، و انسانی، خالی از همگی عواطف، و احساسات بشری می‌سازد؛ تا جاییکه برای بدست آوردن غذا، مادر خود را به پای چوبه ی دار می‌فرستد؛ «شین» که هیچگونه آگاهی، و دانشی پیرامون جهان زیست خود، ندارد، به تدریج در معاشرت‌های به شدت محافظه‌ کارانه، با زندانیان پیرامون خود، که گاه از رده‌ های بالای حکومتی بودند، و یا جهان بیرون را، دیده بودند، آغاز به ادراک این مفهوم می‌کند، که دنیایی، فراتر از قفس مخوف او هم، وجود دارد؛ دنیایی به نام جهان آزاد، که در آن انسانها، حق و حقوقی، و نوانایی گزینش دارند، و می‌توانند هرقدر که خواستند، غذا بخورند! همین موضوع، انگیزه‌ ای می‌شود برای او، تا یکی از بزرگترین، و غیرممکن‌ترین فرارها را، در تاریخ زندان‌های سیاسی «کره شمالی» رقم بزند

نقل از متن: (آزادی در ذهن شین، کلمه ای مترادف با گوشت بریان بود)؛ پایان نقل؛

بلین هاردن؛ نویسنده این کتاب، که راوی داستان از زبان «شین دونگ‌هیوگ» است؛ در پیش گفتار، ماجرای فرار، و چند یادمان را سریع بیان می‌کنند و در مقدمه، به صورت مختصر، به توصیف اردوگاه «کره شمالی»، و نحوه نگارش کتاب، و یک سری از مسائل حقوق بشر نیز می‌پردازند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 17/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
February 8, 2017
Ostensibly getting rid of families, rather than individuals, considered undesirable by the regime, in actuality slave labour for the State.

A mixture of 1984, Animal Farm and the Nazi Dachau concentration camp. It is the story of North Korea and worse in every single respect than every dystopian novel you've ever read. Here, one is born, lives one's whole life and dies in a vast camp where fear rules through hunger and brutality. One man, only one, escaped and this is his story.

Not an easy book to read, but rewarding. Even if everything in this book has been exaggerated, it would still be the worst nightmare of how people actually live on planet Earth in the 21st or any other century.
4 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,116 reviews3,958 followers
August 4, 2018

Picture from documentary Camp 14

Imagine the Unimaginable

Imagine growing up with no comprehension, let alone experience of love or friendship, where every day you struggle for scraps of food, rest, and warmth, striving to avoiding abuse, imprisonment, and maybe execution.

Where you view your own mother as “competition for survival”, rather than a source of love, security, and comfort.

Where “redemption through snitching” and hard work is essential for survival, and you are inured to the punishment and murder of others, because it’s commonplace and always deserved.

Where you are too broken, ignorant, and worthless for the authorities to bother brainwashing you with political propaganda.

I hope that is almost unimaginable for you, but that was the life of Shin Dong-hyuk, born and raised in a North Korean “complete control district” labour camp. Extreme deprivation and brutality were all he knew.

The Sins of the Forefathers

Shin's “crime”, in this godless place (not even The Dear Leader was known to him) was a version of original sin: that his blood was tainted by the alleged sins of an uncle. The camp had to cleanse three generations.

Escape? Why? To What?

For prisoners with no knowledge of anything beyond the camp walls, the desire, let alone the possibility of escape, rarely arises. It is literally unimaginable.

Those who do escape are likely to find themselves in either China or South Korea. And then what?

In China, they have to hide from the authorities, lest they’re sent back to NK. So much for hard-won freedom.

In SK, only the language is familiar, and even that has diverged significantly in recent decades.

How can North Koreans comprehend, let alone make a life in the fast-paced, neon-lit world of what is arguably the most competitive, consumerist, stressful society on the planet, when they’ve lived without electricity, furniture, and running water, never sat an exam, have no friends - and don’t even know how to make any?

Truth, and the Telling of it

This is a true story. Probably. Mostly.

There are many defectors from NK, some of whom escaped from prisons or labour camps, but Shin is thought to be the only person born in a camp to escape from that camp, which makes his experience more extreme.

This should be a really exciting, but agonising story. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it so. The writing was flat, with long chunks of geo-political history breaking up Shin’s story: ten (yes, ten) pages about NK’s global insurance fraud, three pages about the history of dams and so on. And because Shin was raised amoral and psychologically damaged, and his lack of trust make him reluctant to accept advice, he wasn’t always as sympathetic a character as his suffering should merit.

More fundamentally, the book’s power was diluted by extraordinary luck at crucial moments, made less credible by inconsistencies in the story. Furthermore, Shin changed other aspects of his story during the writing of the book, and again after it was published. Some of the reasons are understandable (if you’d betrayed your mother, leading to her death, you would discover that was shocking to people outside, and ultimately find it a guilty burden). But as a reader, I was left unsure of the truth.

The book ends with half a dozen “Sketches from Shin’s life in Camp 14”, though whether they’re drawn by Shin or from his descriptions is unclear.

The Big Picture

Harry Harlow’s rhesus macaque experiments on maternal deprivation are rightly considered unethical today. (See also John Bowlby on attachment theory.)

But far worse has been going on in NK, for twice as long as the Soviet Gulags, with hundreds of thousands of human victims. And it’s not a secret. NK may not have a campaigning figurehead like the Dalai Lama or Aung San Suu Kyi, but the world has known something of the number, scale, and brutality of these camps for many years, from escapees’ accounts and satellite imagery. International pressure is half-hearted at best.

SK provides money and practical support to defectors for a limited time, including three months in the Orwellian-sounding ���House of Unity”. But the culture shock is so extreme, and the rest of SK society so at odds with these newcomers (and often resentful), that it’s woefully inadequate. Paranoia is the norm in defectors, and a real barrier to assimilation. Unemployment, depression, and suicide are shockingly high in refugees from NK.

I don’t know what the answer is. Nor do Shin or Harden. How do you force a nuclear power to do anything? Should aid to starving people be conditional on improved human rights? Perhaps that impasse is the greatest tragedy, the greatest failing.

As for Shin, he has struggled to adapt to life outside, but he is now a campaigner who has “harnessed his self-loathing and used it to indict the state that had poisoned his heart and killed his family”. That’s within sight of a happy ending.

The Ten Laws of Camp 14

1. Do not try to escape.
2. No more than two prisoners can meet together.
3. Do not steal.
4. Guards must be obeyed unconditionally.
5. Anyone who see a fugitive or suspicious figure must promptly report him.
6. Prisoners must watch each other and report any suspicious behaviour immediately.
7. Prisoners must more than fulfil the work assigned to them each day.
8. Beyond the workplace, there must be no intermingling between the sexes for personal reasons.
9. Prisoners must genuinely repent of their errors.
10. Prisoners who violate the laws and regulations of the camp will be shot immediately.

The devil really is in the chilling details, not included above.

Overall, 2* writing, but 3* for its importance.

It's real life contemporary dystopia: I think that's part of the fascination of books like this. Maybe there's a similarity with children loving dinosaurs: the thrill of them being real monsters, but we're out of reach. With dinosaurs, time keeps us safe, and with NK, it's geography.

Profile Image for Diane.
1,080 reviews2,652 followers
January 18, 2015
When I hear the term "labor camps," I think of the Nazis. The Holocaust. Concentration camps -- something that happened decades ago and surely -- surely -- doesn't still exist. Right?

Wrong. Even though North Korea publicly insists that prison and work camps don't exist, evidence has been seen on satellite photos and on Google Earth. Additionally, numerous North Koreans who have witnessed the camps have defected and have testified to the hellish conditions there.

Shin was unlucky enough to be born in Camp 14. His father was a political prisoner because his brothers defected to South Korea in the 1950s. According to state law, if a family member tries to escape or defect, everyone else in that family will be punished, even if they knew nothing about it.

Because he was raised in the prison camp, Shin knew nothing of the outside world. He did not even know that China existed, because camp children were only taught basic reading and math -- nothing else of the world. Shin went through his childhood constantly hungry because there was never much food, and he was always prepared to snitch on another prisoner, usually in a ploy to get extra food or to spare a beating.

It wasn't until Shin was a teenager that he heard another prisoner talking about how good the food was out in the real world. After hearing the man's stories, Shin began to imagine what it would be like to escape the camp. After several weeks of planning, Shin was able to escape through the electrified prison fence and eventually found his way to China. After that, a journalist helped him get to South Korea, where he went through rehabilitation and counseling, and finally he moved to the United States.

Shin's story is an amazing one, but I also appreciated this book for its insights into North Korea and how the state uses propaganda, fear, beatings and a caste system to try and control its citizens. I would recommend this book to everyone.

My rating: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5

Update January 2015
I read an article in The New York Times in which Shin has recanted parts of his story. It is not clear yet which parts are not true, but it sounds like he didn't spend all of his life in Camp 14, but at some point was transferred to a different labor camp that wasn't as restrictive as 14. I am of two minds on this issue. First, I am disappointed whenever I hear such a retraction. These losses of credibility hurt everyone. Second, I wonder how much it actually matters. So many people have complained about the labor camps in North Korea, and Shin was one of those voices. The fact that the timeline or certain details were manipulated doesn't change the horrible conditions for political prisoners there. It is unfortunate that the title of the book is Escape from Camp 14, but I hope this development doesn't damage human rights efforts in that country.
Profile Image for صان.
396 reviews235 followers
December 29, 2016
چقدر سخت بود این روایت. و هربار با این سوال روبرو می‌شی: چکار می‌شه کرد برای مبارزه با این همه ظلم و ستم؟!
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
270 reviews184 followers
March 27, 2020
این کتاب علاوه بر داستان شامل بخش‌های (یا پاراگراف‌های) گزارشی مستند گونه هم بود (در دل داستان) که رفرنس آنها در متن به صورت ترتیبی و در انتهای کتاب در پی‌نوشت آمده بود (بر خلاف کتاب‌��ای "رهبر عزیز" و "روح گریان من" که این گونه نبودند).
نگهبانان هیچ‌گاه چیزهایی را که هر بچه مدرسه‌ای اهل کره‌ی شمالی در مدرسه می‌آموزد، به او نیاموختند؛ آمریکایی‌ها "حرام‌زاده‌هایی" هستند که می‌خواهند به وطن تجاوز کرده و تحقیرش کنند. کره‌ی جنوبی "سگ" ارباب آمریکایی‌اش است. کره‌ی شمالی، کشوری عظیم است که همه‌ی جهان به رهبران شجاع و باهوشش حسادت می‌برند. پیشگفتار. ص 13 کتاب
کیم ایل سونگ برای شناسایی و منزوی کردن دشمنان سیاسی‌اش که دشمنی‌شان بر ملا شده بود، در سال 1957 یک سیستم نئوفئودال تبار محور ایجاد کرد. حکومت تمام جمعیت کره‌ی شمالی را بر اساس قابل اعتماد بودن والدین و نیاکان اشخاص، به میزان قابل توجهی جداسازی کرد... سه طبقه‌ی بزرگ با پنجاه و یک زیرگروه ساخته شدند؛ در بالا، اعضای طبقه‌ی هسته می‌توانستند شغل‌های حکومتی را به دست آورند که عبارتند از حزب کارگران کره و افسران درجه‌دار نیروهای نظامی و اطلاعاتی. طبقه‌ی هسته، کارگران مزارع، خانواده‌ی سربازانی که در جنگ دو کره کشته شدند، خانواده‌ی نیروهایی که در جنگ علیه اشغال ژاپنی‌ها به کیم ایل سونگ خدمت کردند و کارگران دولتی را شامل می‌شد. طبقه‌ی بعدی، یعنی طبقه‌‌ی سیال یا خنثی شامل سربازان، تکنسین‌ها و معلمان بود. در پایین، طبقه‌ی متخاصم قرار داشت که اعضای آن مظنون به مخالفت با حکومت بودند. این افراد شامل مالکان سابق، خانواده‌ی کره‌ای‌هایی که به کره‌ی جنوبی فرار کرده بودند و مسیحی‌ها می‌شد. و همچنین کسانی که برای حکومت استعماری ژاپن- که قبل از جنگ جهانی دوم کنترل شبه جزیره‌ی کره را در دست داشت- کار می‌کردند. نوادگان آنها الآن در معادن و کارخانه‌ها کار می‌کنند و اجازه‌ی ورود به دانشگاه را ندارند. صفحات 50 و 51 کتاب
در طول این سال‌ها، پناهندگان کره‌ی شمالی به کره‌ی جنوبی رسیده بودند و به مسئولان دولتی گفتند که دیده‌اند برنج، گندم، ذرت، روغن گیاهی، شیر خشک بدون چربی، کود، دارو، لباس گرم، پتو، دوچرخه و دیگر اقلام کمکی اهدا شده، در مغازه‌های خصوصی به فروش می‌رسیدند. عکس‌ها و فیلم‌هایی که در مغازه‌ها گرفته شده بودند کیسه‌های غلاتی را نشان می‌داد که روی آنها نوشته شده بود "هدیه‌ای از طرف مردم آمریکا". بر اساس برآورد‌های محققان خارج از کره‌ی شمالی و آژانس‌های کمک‌های بین‌المللی، کارمندان دولت، مسئولان حزب، افسران ارتش و دیگر خواص عالی رتبه‌ی دولتی، حدود سی درصد از کمک‌ها را می‌دزدیدند و معمولاً آنها را در ازای دلار یا یورو به فروشندگان خصوصی می‌فروختند و اجناس را با ماشین‌های دولتی تحویل می‌دادند. صفحات 101 و 102 کتاب
انتخابات در کره‌ی شمالی مراسمی بی‌معناست. حزب کارگران کره کاندیداها را انتخاب می‌کند و مخالفی هم وجود ندارد. اما "پارک" می‌ترسید که اگر رأی ندهد، حکومت متوجه غیبتش شود و او را خائن اعلام کند و خانواده‌اش را به اردوگاه کار بفرستد. رأی دادن در کره‌ی شمالی اجباری نیست اما حکومت کسانی را که در انتخابات شرکت نمی‌کنند، از نزدیک تحت نظر می‌گیرد. ص 117 کتاب
کره‌ی شمالی نظامی مآب‌ترین جامعه‌ی جهان است. احضار به خدمت تقریباً شامل همه می‌شود. مردها ده سال خدمت می‌کنند و زن‌ها هفت سال. با بیش از یک میلیون نیروی در حال خدمت حدود پنج درصد جمعیت کشور، یونیفرم پوش است، این رقم در آمریکا نیم درصد است. ص 135 کتاب
"شین" در کلاسی که همراه با دیگر پناه‌جویان در آن شرکت داشت، یاد گرفت که جنگ دو کره زمانی آغاز شد که در 25 ژوئیه‌ی 1950 کره‌ی شمالی بدون اعلام قبلی و طی حمله‌ای غافلگیرانه به خاک کره‌ی جنوبی تجاوز کرد. این قسمت از درس تاریخ اکثر کسانی را که تازه از کره‌ی شمالی آمده‌اند به شدت متحیر و متعجب می‌کند. از زمان کودکی حکومتشان به آن‌ها یاد داده بود که کره‌ی جنوبی با تشویق و کمک تسلیحاتی ایالات متحده جنگ را شروع کرده. در هاناون بسیاری از پناه‌جویان باور نمی‌کنند که یکی از ستون‌های زیر بنای تاریخ کره‌ی شمالی بر دروغ بنا شده است. ص 178 کتاب
Profile Image for Adrienne.
1,998 reviews12 followers
May 26, 2016
I think Shin's story is an important one, but the way that it's presented makes it a little tough to really connect with. Shin, born and raised in a North Korean labor camp, was the first person actually born in a camp to escape. Having had no prior knowledge of the outside world, he was raised, in his own words, as an animal, taught to rat out others, to feel little more than fear, with no affection for anyone. He does some pretty horrible things as a result and while I can logically understand why he would act like he does--since that's all he's been taught--it's still hard to process emotionally. The same with once he has escaped--he doesn't really take any initiative or responsibility in his own life, doesn't want to listen to anyone who is willing to help him, etc.--which again, makes sense, given what he has lived through but it makes it hard to go beyond an intellectual concern to an emotional concern. The author, in his acknowledgements, calls Shin an "amazing person", and I think I can agree with that mentally, but my heart isn't as touched as I thought it would be. That could perhaps be due to the style of the book; there are a lot of times when the author interjects information from other sources, I think to provide evidence of the veracity of Shin's story, but the fact that he keeps constantly trying to prove it and takes us away from Shin creates a distance that can be a little jolting. Or, I could just be too hard-hearted and other people are completely touched by it. I think I'm touched by Shin's story, but not so much the presentation. And as an American who can't even imagine what it would be like be born and raised in an environment of such hatred and fear, I am probably biased in ways that I don't even understand. Anyway, like I said at the beginning, I do think it's an important story--the world needs to know about North Korean labor camps and how they affect people.
Profile Image for KamRun .
376 reviews1,415 followers
June 19, 2017
آن‌ها دو مرد و یک پسر جوان را در برابر چشم همه‌ی ساکنان اردوگاه به دار آویخته بودند. آن دو مرد به سرعت جان دادند، اما جان سپردن پسر جوان یک ساعت و نیم طول کشید. کسی در پشت سر من پرسید "خدا کجاست؟ او کجاست؟" پس از اینکه پسر جوان جان داد، شخصی که پشت سر من بود مجددا پرسید "الان خدا کجاست؟" و من درون خود صدایی شنیدم که چنین پاسخ داد: "او کجاست؟ او آنجا بر چوبه‌ی دار آویزان است". - برداشت آزاد از کتاب خدای مصلوب

تا پیش از خواندن این کتاب، اطلاعت من از شیوه‌ی کشورداری و زیست مردم در کره‌ی شمالی محدود به گزارش‌های پراکنده خبرگزاری‌ها و موارد معدود گزارش‌شده‌ی حقوق بشری بود، اما در جای‌‌جای این کتاب با اطلاعاتی روبرو شدم که بارها برای جلوگیری از فریاد، با دست دهانم را پوشاندم. کتاب داستان زندگی مردی بیست و سه ساله به نام شین را روایت می‌کند که فرزند حاصل از هم‌خوابی دو اسیر در اردوگاه کار اجباری است، اردوگاهی وسیع و پرجمعیتی که برای مقطوع النسل کردن مخالفان سیاسی ساخته شده؛ بدین شیوه که اقوام فرد مجرم/خائن تا سه نسل بعدتر در این اردوگاه زیر شکنجه و کار طاقت‌فرسا جان خواهند داد
پیش از این کتاب‌های مختلفی در مورد اردوگاه‌های مرگ نازی‌ها و تبعیدگاه‌های سیبری خوانده بودم، اما تفاوت اساسی شین با زندانیان دیگر اردوگاه‌ها در این است که شین در اردوگاه بدنیا آمده و همانجا رشد یافته: نه کودکی کرده و نه می‌داند کودکی کردن چیست. هیچ چیز جز آنچه برایش گفته‌اند نمی‌داند و اطلاعاتش محدود به دانستن الفبا و خواندن مقدماتی و اطلاعات کمی از کشور کره شمالی و دشمنان شیطانی آن است. شین برای اولین بار در دهه سوم زندگی‌اش، بعد از فرار، توپ فوتبال را می‌بیند، گوشت و مرغ کباب شده می‌خورد. تا پیش از این شین هیچ تصوری از مفهوم هستی و جهان، خدا و مذهب، مادر، پدر، دوست و عشق ندارد. چنین محرومیت مطلقی ورای تصور است و همین موضوع است که این گزارش را متفاوت، خواندنی و روان‌سوز می‌کند

این کتاب یک داستان نیست

کتاب بعلت شیوه‌ی روایت و حقایقی که به تصویر می‌کشد با داستان فاصله‌ی زیادی دارد و شاید عنوان گزارش-داستانِ مستند برای این کتاب حق مطلب را بهتر ادا کند. شین در این کتاب ماجرای خود و خانواده‌اش را به کمک قلم هاردن، از کودکی تا فرار و آوارگی‌های پس از آن روایت می‌کند و هاردن، نویسنده‌ی اصلی کتاب در این میان گزارش‌هایی در مورد شیوه‌ی کشورداری و زندگی سیاست‌مداران کره‌ی شمالی‌ ارائه می‌دهد که مخاطب بخصوص در نیمه‌ی دوم کتاب با آن‌ها روبرو می‌شود. در نتیجه کتاب به عنوان یک اثر روایی محض، گاهی جذابیت خود را از دست می‌دهد، اما حقانیت و شفافیت گزارش-داستان و ارائه‌ی مستندات تا پایان بر قوت خود باقی‌ست و اعتبار و ارزش کتاب هم بر همین موضوع استوار است

گزارشی تگان‌دهنده برای همه

کتاب را به هرکسی که توان خواندن دارد توصیه می‌کنم، زیرا هر شخصی به نوبه‌ی خود می‌تواند مخاطب این کتاب قرار گیرد: آن‌ها که کنجکاو و خواهان اطلاعات در مورد بسته‌ترین کشور جهان هستند، آن‌ها که قصد دارند الگویی برای کشورداری و سیاست خارجی معرفی کنند و برای آن‌ها که موهبت دنیا را در رفاه غربی خلاصه‌شده می‌بینند.

معرفی کتاب‌هایی دیگر از این دست

کتاب‌های زیر عموما درباره‌ی اردوگاه‌های کار اجباری‌ یا شرایط زیست مردمِ نشان‌شده در بزنگاه پاکسازی‌های نژادی/مذهبی نوشته شده‌اند و هر یک داستان امید و استقامت قهرمانان خود را روایت می‌کنند. اگر جذب روایت شین شده‌اید، احتمالا این کتاب‌ها نیز به همان اندازه برای‌تان خواندنی خواهند بود

آیا این یک انسان است؟
آن فرانک، خاطرات یک دختر جوان
من آخرین یهودی‌ام
مرد آسمانی
در زیرزمینیِ خدا
ماندم تا روایت کنم

پی‌نوشت تکمیلی: به لطف یکی از دوستان به مقاله‌ای در وبسایت خبرگزاری کتاب ایران (ایبنا) رجوع کردم که شبهاتی درباره‌ی حقانیت ماجرای کتاب بیان کرده بود. مقاله ترجمه‌ای از ویکی‌پدیا درباره‌ی کتاب بود. بنابر گمانه‌زنی‌ها، مکان‌ها و تاریخ‌هایی که در کتاب ذکر شده با یکدیگر هم‌خوانی ندارند و حرف و حدیث‌های زیادی درباره‌ی این گزارش ایجاد شده است، بخصوص آنکه شین در سال 2015 اعلام کرد که برخی حقایق را برای حفاظت از خود پنهان کرده و تغییر داده و جزویاتی را که به تصورش مهم نبوده بیان نکرده است. مطالبی که آنچنان هم جزئی بنظر نمی‌رسد. به عنوان مثال شین چندسالی را در اردگاه 18 به همراه خانواده‌ی خود زندگی کرده و قبل از فرار نهایی، سابقه‌ی دو فرار دیگر و مدتی آوارگی در چین را داشته است. یا مورد دیگر، داستان شکنجه شدن‌ش در سن سیزده سالگی‌ست، که بنا بر شواهد و اعتراف خود، در سن بیست سالگی اتفاق افتاده است. در این ارتباط می‌توانید به مقاله‌های تایم و واشنگتن‌پست درباره‌ی داستان شین رجوع کنید

Prominent Korean defector Shin Dong-hyuk admits parts of story are inaccurate

North Korean Camp Survivor Admits He Was Not Straight About His Story
Profile Image for Doug Bradshaw.
257 reviews220 followers
May 6, 2014
I rate this book five stars not because it's beautiful literature or great story telling, but because it is a huge eye opener and important information. There are approximately 200,000 prisoners kept in camps or virtual prisons in North Korea. Many of the cellmates are the children and grandchildren of people who broke "the law" in Northern Korea. The theory is that it takes at least three generations of purging to get rid of the bad seed of law breakers. The description of the horrible control and treatment of these poor people rivals or even beats the Nazi exterminations and treatment and it has gone on for over 50 years. Women are regularly beaten, raped, humiliated, they live on watery cornmeal mush, rice a rare and incredible treat, they are rewarded for snitching, they don't live with their parents, they are forbidden to have sex, many die of malnutrition, and woman getting pregnant, even from guards, are put to death, etc. etc. etc.

The main character, Shin, having seen his mother and brother hang for planning an escape, spends many years suffering ridiculous torment and miserable conditions, is one of the only known escapees. He was lucky enough to find people there who opened his eyes to the outside world. He was always so hungry and miserable, that his whole goal in life, his main fantasy, was waling into a restaurant to eat some grilled meat. I guess he was tired of living on raw rat flesh.

In the meantime, Kim Jong-un and the elite crowd live in ridiculous wealth and virtually steal everything worthwhile and extort monies from countries, charitable organizations and others trying to be helpful.

It's a mess that no one seems to know how to handle, including their well off neighbors, the South Koreans. So, what should we do about it? No good answers. This book at least starts to open our eyes about the situation, not only in the camps, but in North Korea as a whole. I wish the Chinese, the South Koreans, the Japanese and the US would ban together and come up with a plan to liberate North Korea. But it's not going to happen, each government having different ideas about what life should be like. What a nightmare world. It's hard to believe and a cause I would love to somehow do something to help.

Profile Image for Peiman.
280 reviews52 followers
April 6, 2023
کتاب فرار از اردوگاه ۱۴ یه سری حواشی داره که تردیدهایی در مورد درستی داستان مخصوصا جزئیاتش یه وجود آورده. اینکه این خاطره-مستند در مورد چی هست کاملا از اسم کتاب مشخصه اما فارغ از واقعی بودن یا نبودن چندتا چیزی که به ذهنم میاد می‌نویسم.

- کمونیسم یکی از کثافت‌ترین بلاهایی هست که بر سر بشریت اومده، و این بلا ربطی به اسم حکومت نداره، مثلا میشه اسم رژیم حاکم جمهوری خلق چین باشه ولی اقتصادش رو با تفکر اقتصاد آزاد پایه‌ریزی کنه و پیشرفت کنه یا اسمش جمهوری اسلامی باشه و مبانی اقتصادش مبانی کمونیسم باشه و به قهقرا بره و یا اسمش جمهوری دموکراتیک خلق کره باشه و بشه این کثافتی که هم اسمش و هم روشش این نکبته.ه

- حتی فکر کردن به زندگی در جایی مثل کره‌ی شمالی برام زجرآوره، بعد جالبیش اینه که ما در کشوری زندگی میکنیم که جزو آخرین کشورها از لحاظ سطح رفاهه.ه

- یه قسمتایی از کتاب راجع به کره‌ی جنوبی هست و دو تا چیزی که خیلی برام جالب بود یکی این بود که با تمام تحریک‌هایی که توسط کره‌ی شمالی شده، مردم کره‌ی جنوبی هرگز خواستار انتقام سخت و نرم نبوده‌اند و دومی اینکه نرخ‌ خودکشی در کره‌ی جنوبی از همه‌ی دنیا بالاتره و یه سری دلیل احتمالی هم ذکر می‌کنه و میگه شاید این هزینه‌ی اجتماعی پیشرفت سریع باشه...ه

- فرار از کره‌ی شمالی تازه ابتدای مسیره، یعنی تازه بعد از فرار جسمی تازه مشکلات روحی شروع میشه، به جای کره‌ی شمالی هر حکومت دیکتاتور دیگه بذارید این گذاره درسته.ه
Profile Image for Masoud Irannejad.
171 reviews112 followers
July 21, 2019
من به شخصه نه تنها نویسنده کتاب(بلین هاردن) بلکه خود شین رو هم قابل اعتماد نمیدونم
از نظر من صحت و درستی کتاب رو به هیچ نحو نمیشه تایید کرد
طبق گفته ی کره شمالی این کتاب حقیقت نداره ، کره شمالی شین رو فردی تحصیل کرده در کره شمالی معرفی می کنه که پدرش در یک تصادف آسیب دیده و مادر و برادرش هم به دلایل جرم هایی که داشتند اعدام شدند و ��یگه شین و خانواده اش در هیچ اردوگاهی نبودند و به گفته پدر شین وقتی که به دلیل مشکل قلبی در بیمارستان بستری بوده ، شین در سن 20 سالگی از خونه فرار میکنه (فرض رو کاملا بر دروغ گفتن کره شمالی میگیریم)
شین رو هم نمیشه فرد صادقی به شمارآورد
در طول نوشتن کتاب شین در ابتدا در مورد مرگ مادر و برادرش پنهان کاری می کنه و بعدا به این اعتراف می کنه (در طول نوشتن کتاب)که خودش باعث دستگیری مادر و برادرش شده
بعد از چاپ کتاب، در سال 2015 شین دوباره حرفاشو عوض میکنه با توجه با این منبع:
شین در کتاب گفته از بچگی در اردوگاه 14 به دنیا اومده و بزرگ شده و مادر و برادرش در اونجا اعدام شدن ولی حالا میگه در کمپ 18 به دنیا اومده و تا اعدام مادر و برادرش در اون کمپ بودند و بعد از اعدام ، شین منتقل میشه به کمپ 14
در کتاب شین اشاره داره به اینکه در سن 13 سالگی مورد شکنجه قرار گرفته ولی اکنون واشنگتن پست اشاره داره به این که شکنجه ها در سن 20 سالگی بودند نه 13 سالگی
بنابر این نمیشه زیاد به درستی این کتاب اعتماد داشت
کلیات ممکنه حقیقت داشته باشه(که ظاهرا تایید شدن) ولی جزییات نه
نمیگم کتاب دروغه و واقعیت نداره بلکه میگم که اون قدر ها هم کتابه قابل اعتماد نیست
Profile Image for Reshad.
15 reviews21 followers
January 8, 2023
کتاب تموم شد و من هنوز حیرت زده ام. باور کردن اینکه انسان تا چه سطحی می‌تونه جنایت کنه، سخته.

ولی سخت تر از اون اینه که جامعه ی جهانی چشماش رو به جنایات و وحشی گری ها، نسل کشی ها و اعدام ها بسته و فقط در گردهمایی های اشرافی بیانیه صادر می‌کنه. اینکه کشور های به اصطلاح متمدن غافل هستند یا بی تفاوت به این موضوع به نظرم ساده لوحیه. چرا کیم جونگ اون_رهبر فعلی کره ی شمالی_ در سویس تحصیل کرده؟ اصلا چی خونده؟ چرا اطلاعات در مورد ماهیت رشته ی تحصیلی اون نیست و محرمانه تلقی میشه؟ آیا آموزش برای مأموریت خاصی دیده ؟؟ چیشد که کیم جونگ اون تونست سریع رهبر بشه در حالیه خیلی از مقام های بالای کره شمالی تلاش کردند تا وضعیت رو تغییر بدن؟
اسم این اتفاقات داخل اردوگاه ها رو چی میزارید؟ جنایت؟ وحشی گری؟ نسل کشی ؟ آزمایشگاه انسانی !!

کتاب رو توصیه میکنم حتما بخونید. ترجمه روانه. مطالب و داستان اصیل و واقعیه. ولی حس میکنم بعضی قسمت ها به صلاح دید خود زندانی_شین_ شاید کامل بیان نشده. ولی حتما ارزش خواندن داره
Profile Image for Mo Shah.
188 reviews6 followers
May 14, 2012
I'm split on this book.

On one hand, the subject matter is utterly compelling. Little is heard in mainstream media about these detention camps that hundreds of thousands of prisoners live in for (literally) generations. Entire Families are doomed because of the real or imagined actions of one, and apparently treason must be wiped out over three generations. So children are born in these camps between assigned parents and never learn filial love or even learn any emotional state higher than the animal need for basic survival.

But the writing is somewhat frustrating.The facts are recited and researched well enough, but the way the story is told gets in the way of having more impact. Interspersed within the personal story of Shin the author throws in history and sidebar. Useful for context, I suppose, but it takes away from the powerful personal nature of the story. It's akin to reading the Diary of Anne Frank but having a narrator interrupt with voiceover explanation. And ultimately, it does a disservice to the obvious need for the world at large to become more personally outraged as to what's going on over there.

I suspect the author is right when he says that sometime in our future our children will be asking us why the rest of the world didn't do more to intervene with what was going on inside North Korea. I'm not entirely sure what I'd tell them.

Profile Image for سـارا.
239 reviews240 followers
October 20, 2019
کتاب خیلی خیلی خوبی بود. زندگینامه‌‌ی یکی از افرادی که در اردوگاه‌های کار کره شمالی به دنیا اومده و در ۲۳ سالگی تونسته از اونجا فرار کنه. داستان یک راوی آمریکایی داره که با خود فرد مصاحبه کرده و سرگذشت شین رو به ‌همراه اطلاعات دقیق و مفیدی درباره‌ی سیاست و اقتصاد کره شمالی و تقابلش با کره جنوبی و چین روایت کرده.
درباره وضعیت کره‌ی شمالی کم و بیش شنیده بودم اما واقعا تصور همچین فضا و اتفاقاتی رو اون هم درباره‌ی همین سال‌های اخیر نداشتم. اردوگاه‌هایی که به مراتب وضعیت بدتری از اردوگاه‌های نازی و شوروی دارند. بعضی جاها هرچی بیشتر میخوندم برام غیر قابل درک تر میشد که آدم‌هایی با این وضعیت تو همین قاره زندگی می کنند. وضعیتی که حتی فراتر از گرسنگی و بیماری و درد و رنج جنگ‌هاست، از جنس دیگه‌ای که باورش فوق العاده سخته. اما متاسفانه هست و اسناد معتبری که ارائه شده و خود آدم‌هایی شبیه شین گواه این ‌اتفاق‌اند.
Profile Image for Melanie.
273 reviews132 followers
November 4, 2016
5 stars...not because it's a "classic" but because I learned so much about North Korea. I knew North Korea was a horrible place but I had no knowledge of the prison camps. The conditions are horrific. For example: A classmate of Shin's (the man who's story is being told) was beat to death by a teacher in front of the class for having a few kernels of corn in her possession. Shin's mother and brother were hung, while Shin watched on, for having an escape plan. Shin is the one who reported them to authorities for discussing the escape, because this is what the people are told to do. Shin's father was put in the camp because a family member of his escaped from North Korea to South Korea. Subsequently Shin and his brother were born in the camp and knew no other existence. Shin's escape is nothing short of miraculous. Since escape Shin struggles to exist in a free society.

On a side note: Dennis Rodman befriended Kim Jong-un? Is he an idiot or just ignorant?
Profile Image for Linda.
225 reviews44 followers
April 15, 2012
This was not at all what I was expecting. From the marketing material, I expected a story of survival from the North Korean camps that, until now, has been largely untold. Knowing a little about the atrocities of the camp, I expect to this to be an emotionally charged book but, unfortunately, I found it quite the opposite.

From the beginning we learn that Shin is an unreliable narrator. The author is quick to point this out and explain to us how Shin has changed his story repeatedly over the years. The book goes on to prove this by repeatedly telling us Shin's lies and then correcting them. However, by this time, you already have learned not to believe what you read and we have absolutely no reason to believe the "corrected" version is the truth and that Shin won't recount it later. It's pointed out how Shin's previous publication of his story was a dismal failure and perhaps, someone should've taken note on that: it wasn't lack of interest in his story it was an unwillingness to be continually lied to. The author is quick to defend Shin's actions, even using definable psychological terms to explain away Shin's untruths. Unfortunately, most readers (including myself) aren't going to care. Lie to me once, shame on you. Lie to me twice, shame on me.

Aside from being an unreliable narrator, Shin is just not likeable. Unlike so many other stories that have come from tragic world events, Shin has learned nothing from his captivity by the end of the book. He blames the rest of the world, takes advantage of those who offer him assistance, blames his financial failings on those around him rather than taking responsibility for himself. Once in America, he expects people to do for him constantly and, honestly, he just comes off as an ungrateful brat. I don't mean to demean what he has been through - I am certain he has had a horrific life that none of us can imagine. But millions have had tragedies and what makes a story marketable is not the event itself but what the person has taken away from it or what they can teach us from it. In Shin's case by the end of the book, he has learned only to lie continually and be ungrateful...which is not at all a marketable approach to his story.

A bigger problem was the writing style. The author is a journalist by trade so I expected the dry writing of a news article and, in that, I wasn't disappointed. That's exactly what I got. Even in the most dramatic of moments I was left feeling nothing because of the writing style. Before you think this is a story all about Shin, you should know this isn't the case. For each chapter, there is a brief paragraph or two (sometimes we are treated to a whole page!) of Shin's story and then the author spends 7-8 pages telling us facts and figures about something Shin mentioned. It disengages you and reads like a history text rather than an emotional memoir of Shin's journey. Shin's story is merely a catalyst to launch us into a history lesson - not the focal point of an chapter or the book itself as we are lead to believe.

The biggest problem of all, however, is the failure of the author to disclose his own agenda at the beginning. While we are told early on about Shin's untruths, we are not told until midway through the book that the author has a goal of his own with the publication of this novel: clearing up his name. Apparently, the author published a piece on Shin years ago and, it turns out, the information was false. Mistakes happen all the time in journalism and I appreciate that dedicated journalists want to set the record straight once they know they have printed something false. It's a testament to the author's honesty that he wants to correct the misinformation once he learned of it. However, this is not disclosed in the book until midway through. We, as readers, aren't told of the author's own agenda which makes the revelation feel like a complete betrayal of our confidence. This could have been easily fixed: had the author discussed it at the beginning, he would have put the reader on the same footing as himself. We would have felt empathy for him - he put his name on the line, his reputation on the line, and was taken advantage of by the unlikeable Shin. Unfortunately, that never happened. Instead, midway through we are thrown the curve that the author messed up and is now getting the "real" story out there.

So...let's recap. We have a narrator that lies repeatedly and now an author that has his own agenda to clear up the lies he unknowingly wrote years ago. Sound like a mess? Yeah, it is. And messy doesn't equate to good, legitimate reading. This book could have made an interesting newspaper article, I suppose, but as a book it's lacking, biased, and misrepresented. Check it out from the library if you must but don't waste your money on purchase as you may find yourself a regrettable enabler to this whole sordid tale.

ARC Galley Proof
Profile Image for Hanieh Habibi.
107 reviews159 followers
November 20, 2015
در مورد اوضاع کره شمالی یه چیزایی شنیده بودم. ولی از اینکه تو اون شرایط غیر استاندارد، باز یه سری اردوگاه زندانیان سیاسی هم وجود داره اطلاع نداشتم. کتاب "فرار از اردوگاه 14" روایت زندگی و فرار باورنکردنی "شین" از یکی از این اردوگاه هاست. جوانی که در داخل این اردوگاه به دنیا اومده و انقدر در سطح پایینی نگه داشته شده که به گفته خودش انگیزه فرارش از اردوگاه، خوردن گوشت بوده.
حدودا سه چهارم حجم کتاب به روزهای قبل از فرار اختصاص داده شده. اتفاقاتی دردناک اما قابل حدس برای خواننده! در یک چهارم باقیمانده، نویسند�� از زندگی شین و بقیه آدمای خارج شده از کره شمالی بعد از آزادی و شرایطی که باهاش مواجه بودن میگه. فرایندی تحت عنوان تطبیق. اینجاست که دیگه شما کتاب رو نمی تونید زمین بگذارید. کره شمالی های ساکن در کره جنوبی، بیشتر از خود کره جنوبی ها خودکشی می کنند. آدمی که اون همه خطر کرده برای رهایی از اون شرایط، و بهش پناه داده شده و نهادی داره تلاش میکنه که برش گردونه به زندگی عادی، خودشو میکشه. به این دلیل که نمی تونه خودش رو با شرایط موجود وفق بده. انقدر بهش خیانت شده که نمی تونه باور کنه آدمای دور و برش قصد دارن کمکش کنن. انقد سیاه بوده همه چی، که سفید رو باور نداره.
برنده این بازی تا الان کره شمالی ه. سیستمی که در عمل قدرت زندگی کردن در شرایط عادی رو از آدماش گرفته. نمی دونم مسیر تغییرات به کدوم سمته. ولی کاش یه روزی که خیلی هم دور نیست کره شمالی ببازه..
Profile Image for Mohammad Hanifeh.
289 reviews81 followers
August 14, 2018
کتاب را بهم معرفی کردند که مثلاً خواندن سختی‌های «شین» باعث شود سختی‌های حال حاضر خودم را راحت‌تر تحمل کنم. اما از آن‌جا که من آدمی نیستم که با شنیدن سختیِ دیگری بگویم «خب، خداراشکر که اوضاع ما چنین است و چنان نیست!»، خواندن کتاب نه‌تنها آرامشی بهم نداد که بر دردهام افزود.

بخش اولِ کتاب که شرح ماجراهای درون اردوگاه است، بسیار کند و دردناک پیش رفت؛ اما دو بخش بعدی -خصوصاً بخش سوم که به اتفاقات بعد از فرار اختصاص دارد- خیلی جذاب‌تر بودند و خواندنشان به‌مراتب راحت‌تر بود.

کتاب پُر بود از اطلاعات جدید و دردهای تازه. برام سخت است که بپذیرم در جایی از همین‌دنیا، آدم‌هایی دارند این‌طوری زندگی می‌کنند.
Profile Image for Maedeh_P1H.
76 reviews27 followers
June 24, 2019
کتاب خوبیه برای آشنایی با کره شمالی و درک زندانیان در اردوگاه های سیاسی.
نویسنده اطلاعات خوبی رو مابین داستان زندگی شین بهمون میده.
اما اگه این کتاب با قلمی بهتر و از نویسنده ی غیر آمریکایی نوشته میشد بهتر بود.
موقع خوندن کتاب همش به این فکر میکردم که همین الان که دارم این کتاب رو میخونم خیلی از آدما تو زندان های کره شمالی دارند بی گناه شکنجه میشند و به خیلی از زن ها هرروز تجاوز میشه. و این روند همچنان ادامه داره.
و ما فقط داریم کتابشونو میخونیمو ناراحت میشیم و هیچ کاری از دستمون برنمیاد.(متاسفانه)
Profile Image for Mohammad Ali Shamekhi.
1,096 reviews237 followers
March 3, 2017
یه کتاب جالب

به نظرم کتاب خوندنی ایه برای درک یک وضعیت سیاسی، انسانی و حتی فلسفی - می گم "درک" تا در درجه ی اول داوری اخلاقی رو وارد ماجرا نکنم. طبیعتا کتاب جدی ایه از نظر اخلاقی (طبیعتا اخلاق مدرن) و حرص خوردن مدام بابت آدم هایی که زیر فشار تصمیم های سیاسی له می شن. خصوصا برای منی که هیچی در مورد کره ی شمالی تا حالا نخونده بودم مطالب زیادی داشت

یه معضل فلسفی

درک فلسفی رو هم اضافه کردم چون سرگذشت شین در عین اینکه قضاوت اخلاقی ما ر�� شدیدا درگیر می کنه، همین قضاوت اخلاقی رو به پرسش می کشه: اگه اخلاقیات انقدر به محیط و تربیت وابسته است، آیا اصولا "اخلاقیات" وجود داره؟ یا صرفا هنجارهاییه که بدیهی انگاشته شده

نویسنده ای نه چندان خوب، روایتگری جذاب

از حیث نویسندگی، کتاب اصلا یه اثر ستودنی نیست اما روانه و خوندنی. من ترجیح می دادم مطالب بیرون داستان - در مورد تاریخ و اقتصاد و ... کره - در کادرهای جدای از متن بیاد و نه در خلال داستان. کتاب شده مثل یه گزارش روزنامه ایه مفصل همراه با تحلیل. اینکه معلوم نیست کجا نوع روایت و جمله بندی ها به کتاب کره ای خود شین برمیگرده، آزاردهنده است. هاردن محکم نقش واسطه گری خودش رو ایفا می کنه و انگار دوس نداره ما از خود شین هم بلاواسطه حرفی بشنویم

خدا پدرمادر آمریکا و کره ی جنوبی رو بیامرزه

در خلال کتاب من هی به خودم می گفتم خدا پدر کره ی جنوبی و آمریکا رو بیامرزه چقد به این بدبختای کره ی شمالی کمک کردن و می کنن. چقدر زندگی آدم های فراوون بواسطه ی همین کمک ها حفظ شده و از تلخی به شیرینی زیرورو شده. اما به دلیل اینکه نویسنده آمریکاییه و منایعش هم مکررا یا آمریکایین یا مرتبط با کمک های ائتلاف آمریکایی-کره ی جنوبی، باید جداگانه کتابی نوشته بشه در مورد این موضوع تا بشه دقیق فهمید نقش اینها رو. اما به هر حال اگه آدم کشیای آمریکا رو می بینیم کارای انسانی-تمدنی اش رو هم ببینیم

ترجمه ی خوب

یکی از نکاتی که باعث شد با این کتاب حال کنم ترجمه ی خوبشه - من فکر کنم سه تا غلط بیشتر تو کتاب پیدا نکردم در طی خوندنم (البته تطبیق ندادم مدام فقط اوایل دقت کردم دیدم مطابقه و بعد مشکلی هم برنخوردم که بخوام سراغ متن اصلی برم ). یک مورد سانسور هم دیدم؛ اونجا که نویسنده به فروش غیرقانونی اطلاعات تسلیحاتی کره ی شمالی به ایران و سوریه اشاره می کنه
Profile Image for Mohy_p.
274 reviews111 followers
July 26, 2020
یک مترجمی چند دیقه پیش ی پستی گذاشته بود در رابطه با اینکه چند سال پیش ( بعد از تکذیب روایات از طرف کره شمالی) گویا شین دونگ هیوک خودش رسماً اعلام کرده بخش عمده ای از روایات دروغه و نویسنده کتاب هم عذرخواهی کرده برای نوشتن این روایات
نمیدونم حقیقت رو گفتن و بعد تکذیب کردن یا واقعا کذب بوده از ابتدا
ترجیحم این بود بیام اینجا تو ریوم بنویسم و پیشنهاد نکنم خوندنش رو

ریویو سابق⁦👇🏻⁩:
«یکی ازون کتابایی که وقتی که میبندیش و تموم شده کلی اطلاعات جدید داری :)))))
ولی چقد شین شاااانس داشت یعنی اگه من جای شین میخواستم فرار کنم ده باری من و میگرفتن یا از گشنگی،خونریزی،... میمردم
یه چیزی که خیلی بش فک میکردم این بود که چقد جامعه تاثیر داره رو اخلاق و شخصیت و ...قبل از خوندن کتاب فک میکردم یه درصد زیادیش به وجود ادم ربط داره
درک و باور اینکه خیلی از اتفاقای تو کتاب تو زمان حاضر داره اتفاق میفته به شدت برا من به شخصه سخت بود
و در اخر اینکه:
انسانم ارزوست:/»
Profile Image for Melinda Worfolk.
594 reviews18 followers
January 31, 2013
4.5 stars.

This is an incredibly gripping book. While I was reading it, I was so immersed in the story that it took a while to come back to the real world.

I am glad I read Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy before reading this, because I already knew how bad the situation is for ordinary citizens in North Korea, and it was all the more powerful to realize that there are people who live even worse lives in the country's prison camps.

This is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, a young man born and raised in a North Korean prison camp. Through sheer luck, he managed to escape to South Korea and the US. Reading about his experiences as a child and a young adult, I felt as though I were reading a dystopian work of fiction--except these prison camps really do exist.

Blaine Harden's writing is spare and relatively unsentimental, which suits the subject matter. Although its tone is quite matter-of-fact, it is not unsympathetic, and the condemnation of North Korea's human rights abuses certainly comes across. Shin is a hard person to like--he was raised to be an informant on his family and friends, and he was responsible for some brutal violence. But in the context of the world he was raised in, it is completely understandable. I had to feel sorry for him as he slowly realized that the way he grew up was not normal, and he had to deal with the horrific things he had done.

My main criticism of the book is that it is not long enough. I would have liked to read more about Shin's experiences in the Hanawon (resettlement centres in South Korea where North Korean refugees learn to adjust to life in the outside world), for example. But this is a very minor gripe.

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in North Korea, who is not put off by graphic details and brutal descriptions. I would not say I enjoyed this, but I thought it was well worth reading.
January 27, 2019
I've read a few books now, focusing on North Korea and about the atrocities to humans, and to their own people in fact, that are allowed to be carried out. I have to say, the North korean regime makes me feel an incredible repungence towards them, and what actually makes this worse in every sense, is that the world does not seem to care.
Everything we know about about North Korea is worse than we could possibly imagine. Sure, there's brainwashing, but this book explores the utter horror that Shin lived through, and really, is still suffering from the impact of it all today. Shin lived the majority of his life in camp 14, where he was abused, starved, and was forced to watch the executions of his mother and brother, their punishment for attempting to escape the camp. The harrowing treatment of people at the hands of these leaders of the camps, is almost unbelievable. I also cannot understand, how even outside of camp 14, people are still starving to death, because there is no food. The way money always comes first, before basic human rights is pretty much beyond me.
I have given four stars not due to the writing, but purely the content. I think this is a very important and powerful book.
3 reviews4 followers
August 13, 2014
“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.

Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,225 followers
August 29, 2017
The story of a man escaping a prison camp would pique my interest at any time, but add the detail that it's a North Korean camp and I'm definitely interested. After all, North Korea's been in the news lately. Perhaps you've noticed.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born into a prison labor camp. It's totalitarian rules and draconian punishment was life to him. He barely knew his father and viewed his mother as competition for food. He was raised to snitch out his fellow prisoners to the guards. This included family. Spying and reporting on others was the only way to receive kind treatment at the prison. Working hard and never screwing up merely kept one from being beaten.

Thousands have fled the destitute country, but few have escaped from one of these prisons and successfully navigated their way into China and then South Korea, an especially difficult undertaking for a young man who knew next to nothing about the world beyond his prison walls. This is what made me hesitant to read Blaine Harden's Escape from Camp 14. How could this seemingly impossible tale be true? Then I heard that Shin had lied about certain details regarding his story and I thought, oh boy, here we go...

However, Harden did a good job in allaying my fears. It turns out Shin's lies did not change the details of his escape or the horror stories of his confinement. No, his lies were for self-preservation. He lied out of shame for the deaths he had caused as a boy who knew nothing of compassion.

This is a truly remarkable story and a nicely constructed book. It is compact and sticks mostly to the prison camp aspect of the situation in North Korea. Some pertinent recent history and political information is relayed in order to frame Shin's story, but this is not the book you are looking for if you seek out a well-rounded and deeply detailed account of...well...how the hell North Korea got so fucked up. I did come away with a better understanding, however, and it made me want to find out more.

One last thing before I finish up. This is a tough read. It's brutal. "Heart-wrenching" ain't the half of it. To put it into perspective, these camps are akin to the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulags, and they have been in operation since the 1950s. The prisoners within them are now mostly the children and grandchildren of those who fought for the South during the Korean War, because political prisoners of this nature are doomed to this life for three generations before the family is deemed to have paid the price of their transgressions. Only humans could create such a Hell.
Profile Image for Farzaneh.
162 reviews12 followers
May 16, 2017
تصور اینکه یه عده اینطوری دارن زندگی میکنن اونقدر عجیب نیست اما درعین حال عجیب عه .
تصور ظلمی که داره به مردم کره شمالی میشه ، تصور تخلیه ارزشی که داره سرشون میاد ، تصور اینکه چطور کرامت انسانی شون رو با تربیت ازشون میگیرن بسیار دردناک عه .
بعد از خوندن این کتاب دوباره به این جمله بارها بارها فکرکردم که سازمان حقوق بشر فقط بلد ابراز نگرانی کنه . اگر واقعا کشورهای اطرافش یا هرکشوری قصد حقیقی ش آزاد کردن این مردم از بار ظلم بود هیچ اردوگاهی در کره شمالی دیگه وجود نداشت.
به امید روزی که به جای اینکه مردم ازونجا فرار کنن ، خاندان ظالمی که به اونها ظلم میکنه از بین بره .
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