Andrew's Reviews > We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

We Die Alone by David Howarth
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's review
Sep 02, 2011

it was amazing
Read in September, 2011

Just finished listening to this on a long drive home from vacation. Wow. There were several points where I had to pause my iPod and simply marvel at this story. Some of the things that Jan Baalsrud experienced are completely beyond belief. In fact the author knew this, which is why he opened the book stating that it is a true book, that he visited most of the locations with Jan, and that the supporting characters collaborated the story.

But what made this story really ring true for me, and what I ultimately enjoyed the most about it, was the descriptions and actions of those supporting characters. The actions of those Norwegian men and women who helped the protagonist displayed a sense of moral fortitude that seemed so common during WWII, but seems often missing today. Almost to a man, everyone who encountered Jan enlisted to help him without hesitation.

I also found the background information about the Laplander people especially interesting. I knew that they were a nomadic people who were uniquely free to cross the arctic borders of the Scandinavian peninsula, but I was unaware of how disparate their sense of reason and logic are compared to traditional Western thought.

An incredibly enjoyable and educational book!

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