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The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom (1956)

de Sławomir Rawicz

Outros autores: Ronald Downing (Ghostwriter)

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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1,775527,095 (4.06)97
Describes the four-thousand-mile journey across the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas of seven men who escaped from a Siberian prison camp. The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 52 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Quite a story! ( )
  lynngood2 | Feb 23, 2021 |
> À marche forcée, par Slavomir Rawicz
Ce mythique récit de voyage raconte l'évasion rocambolesque d'un groupe de prisonniers du goulag et leur fuite éperdue pour rejoindre le Tibet et l'Inde.
Récemment adapté au cinéma par Peter Weir sous le titre Les Chemins de la liberté, ce mythique récit de voyage raconte l'évasion rocambolesque d'un groupe de prisonniers du goulag et leur fuite éperdue pour rejoindre le Tibet et l'Inde, après une traversée de la Mongolie, à l'hiver 1941. Mi-manuel survivaliste, mi-récit d'aventures, cette épopée, dont certains contestent encore aujourd'hui l'authenticité, est saisissante comme une traversée du Baïkal par - 30 °C. --L'Express
  Joop-le-philosophe | Feb 9, 2021 |
Interesting to Read, Even If It Isn't True

I found this book in a basket of free books and read it straight through.

The first part of the book, dealing with Rawicz's detention in the Soviet Union and transfer to a work camp in Siberia seems plausible, although it drags a bit. The bulk of the book concentrates on Rawicz and his companion's escape from north of Lake Baikal, through the Gobi Desert, Western China, Tibet, the Himalayas, and their eventual rescue in the eastern part of India. This part of the book is absolutely fascinating, but, I'm afraid it didn't exactly pass the "smell test." There were too many implausible events, many of which have been commented on in other reviews. It is those implausible events that make me want to believe the story, but ultimately, I cannot.

I can believe the escape story and the scenes of traveling through Siberia, eating deer, and sleeping in an unforgivable climate; however, traveling for two weeks at a time without as much as a drop of water in the Gobi Desert does not seem possible. The group had two bouts of living with no water for more than ten days at a time and limited water the rest of the time through the Gobi Desert. It did not ring true.

The story involving Kristina, a 17-year-old Russian who escaped from a prison camp and coincidentally finds the group of men traveling with Rawicz, seems more like fictional plot device than a real character. Kristina takes the hard edge off the men and allows them to have a sense of civility during their journey.

Their travels through Western China and Tibet seem a little more plausible, but they also seem like the fantasies of a Western colonizer being greeting as a hero among natives. Rawicz and his friends are showered with accommodations, food, and gifts on their journey through Tibet. Along the way, the men coincidentally meet a "Circassian" who speaks flawless Russian and lives in Tibet. The "Circassian" serves to help the men get back on the right track and, again, does not ring true.

The trek through the Himalayas does not seem likely either. A small band of men, dressed in the jackets they received from a Siberian prison and carrying only small backpacks filled with animal dung and one axe between them, could probably not cross the Himalayas. Fortunately, they meet a Himalayan sheep herder who actually winters with his sheep in a cave for five months of the year. More unbelievable still is their encounter with two Abominable Snowmen, who are described in a fleeting two-paragraph description.

Fortunately for Rawicz and his companions, they encounter a troop of British soldiers as they are in the throes of death. These British soldiers nurse the group back to health before sending them off to a Calcutta hospital. From there, Rawicz joins up with Polish forces fighting in Iraq and loses all contact with the men he walked with on his 4,000 mile, 11-month-long journey.

When I finished reading the book, I searched online and discovered the information regarding the misinformation in the book which has persisted since the initial publication in 1956.

While the book is interesting and kept me focused, it simply didn't seem to connect. There are too many times when I questioned the veracity of his ethnographic observations. It doesn't pass the "smell test." ( )
  mvblair | Aug 9, 2020 |
Years ago I read this book with great fascination – until I came to the part about walking across the Gobi desert in the daytime because they were afraid they would walk in circles if they traveled at night. That was just too much for my credulity.

I recently acquired a copy, and here is the part that I could not swallow as truth – that caused me to doubt the truth of the book. Even in a state of starvation and dehydration, I just couldn’t swallow that a Polish Army officer and his companions could every one be so clueless as to how the stars are positioned in the heavens.

“We flopped out against a tall dune and the cold stars came out to look at us.” (p. 158)

“Sometime after midnight I suggested we start off again to take advantage of the cool conditions. Everybody seemed to be awake. We hauled ourselves upright and began again the trudge south. It was much easier going. We rested a couple of hours after dawn – and still the southerly prospect remained unaltered.”

“After this one trial there were no more night marches. Makowski stopped it.”

“’Can you plot your course by the stars?’ he asked me. The others turned haggard faces toward me.”

“I paused before answering. ‘Not with complete certainty,’ I confessed.”

“’Can any of us?’ he persisted. No one spoke”

“’Then we could have been walking in circles all through the night,’ he said heavily.”

“I sensed the awful dismay his words had caused. I protested that I was sure we had not veered off course, that the rising sun had proved us still to be facing south. But in my own mind, even as I argued, I had to admit the possibility that Makowski was right. …” (p. 159)

Without a sextant, navigation by the stars is and will be much more accurate than navigating by the sun. I just couldn’t imagine that an army officer and his companions could have been unaware of such simple survival techniques as locating the North Star. Even more incredible is that they could have stared at their toes so much that going in a circle would be possible. Any constellation would be enough to keep them going in a reasonably consistent direction.
( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
A remarkable account of a Polish man who (with a group of 6 others) escaped a Siberian labor camp and walked through China, Gobi Desert, Tibet, Himilayas, to reach India. A non-stop read, full of detail and devastation. Inspired the movie The Way Back. An awesome survivor story. I first read this prob 6 years ago, but it was so good, I had to re-read it. ( )
  starlight17 | Mar 19, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 52 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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» Adicionar outros autores (6 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Sławomir Rawiczautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Downing, RonaldGhostwriterautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Agnoli Zucchini, L.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Chédaille, ÉricTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lazzaro, MariaEndpaper Mapautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Le Clech, GuyTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lee, JohnNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lips, ToniTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nylander, MargaretaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Describes the four-thousand-mile journey across the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas of seven men who escaped from a Siberian prison camp. The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.

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