The Long Walk

  • by Slavomir Rawicz
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.With no map or compass but only an ax head, a homemade knife, and a week's supply of food, the compatriots spent a year making their way on foot to British India, through 4,000 miles of the most forbidding terrain on earth. They braved the Himalayas, the desolate Siberian tundra, icy rivers, and the great Gobi Desert, always a hair's breadth from death. Finally arriving, Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army to fight the Germans.


What the Critics Say

"Positively Homeric." (London Times)
"One of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time." (Chicago Tribune)
"It is a book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom." (Los Angeles Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Long swindle, more like

There's something about this kind of book that attracts people like me to pay good money to read (or listen to it): namely that it's a factual account of something that happened. Tales of endurance and hardship are only inspiring if they've happened to real people. It's hard to get inspired by the exploits of Reme in Ratatouille for example.

My suspicions about this book were only aroused near the end with Rawicz's description of, yes, I'm serious, an encounter with two Yeti. Eight feet tall (falling to seven a little later).

I'm the kind of person who wants to know how it ended beyond the book. You know, what was the rest of his life like? What about the others on the walk? What ultimately happened to them? So I consulted Wikipedia, which in no time at all informed me that this story (not least the Yeti episode) doesn't stand close scrutiny.

All of which leaves me, frankly, feeling like I've been swindled. I hope this review serves as a 'errata' sticker for the front cover of this book.

To sum up? Well written but deceptive.
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- Clare

Read the TRUE story not this fiction!

Exclusive: The Greatest Escape - war hero who walked 4,000 miles from Siberian death camp

By Dennis Ellam and Adam Lee Potter 16/05/2009

Told for the first time the incredible story of Witold Glinski's escape from the Russians across the Gobi desert and through the Himalayas to freedom in India.. a journey that took him 11 months.
It was an epic feat of courage and strength. A triumph of human spirit over tyranny.

Witold Glinski is the last survivor of World War Two's greatest escape.

As he lovingly crafts another willow basket in the shed at his seaside bungalow in Cornwall, it's hard to believe that this modest man walked 4,000 miles to freedom; all the way from a Siberian prison camp to India.

He trekked through frozen forests, over mountains and across deserts on a journey that took 11 months.

Seven men were in the break-out, in February 1941. Only four reached safety, at a British base over the Indian border, the following January. And Witold, 84, has now emerged to recall their astonishing story. It's time to tell the truth he says. It's time people knew.

Witold has waited more than 50 years for this moment. In 1956, a book called The Long Walk claimed to tell how seven prisoners escaped from a labour camp in Siberia and walked to India.

It was every bit Witold's story and became an international bestseller, but the man who claimed to have made the epic journey was Slavomir Rawicz, a former Polish officer.

After Rawicz died in 2006, a BBC radio documentary uncovered proof that he was a fake, military records showed that he was serving in Persia (now Iran) at the time of the escape.

Full article can be read in May 2010 issue of Reader's Digest
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- Jacqueline

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-05-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.