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

The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz
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's review
Dec 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: biography-autobiography, english
Read in January, 2007

** spoiler alert ** I read this book after a review in the Nowy Dziennik, the New York Polish daily newspaper. It had a summary of the exploit claimed by the author of walking 4000 miles from Siberia to India. On the face of it looked interesting, an incredible adventure story. I bought the book and I decided to read it myself. The first section that deals with his arrest, imprisonment, and interrogation by the NKVD is gory enough. It’s not pleasant reading. The second section of the train ride then winter march to a Gulag camp is equally horrible. The adventure begins in the camp and then the escape and and goes on with a march south along lake Baikal to Mongolia, Gobi desert, China, Tibet, and into India.

I started reading reader’s comments on Amazon, and a good deal of doubt became apparent, especially the march across the Gobi desert without water. I began doubting it too, especially the Gobi desert chapter. I don’t believe a human can survie 7-8 days without water, then in the second part of the desert crossing some 12 days! There are also a couple miraculous chance discoveries like the oasis in the middle of Gobi, and a cave with fuel and food in the Tibet. But what really turned the tide of my belief to disbelief was the description of the mystery creatures in the Tibet. The author doesn’t call them by any name but it’s the Yeti or abominable snow men.
If the author published the book as a novel I probably would never read it. It’s probably mostly written by a journalist whose name appears as co-author.


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