I recently read the Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz and thought I’d write a brief review.

The book, a true story set in the early war years, sees the central character Slavomir and six of his companions escape from a harsh labour camp in the middle of Siberia. I don’t want to give away the ending, but there are a number of surprises along the way, along with sadness and loss in places.

The author, also the central characters, creates a compelling mood throughout the narrative, and I, the reader, could feel/almost see the freezing and bleak conditions of Siberia. Later, the author describes his experiences in the Gobi Desert, and again I almost felt the overwhelming heat and dusty sand, along with the terrible sense of thirst and weakness that persisted day after day. There are also mountains scenes which evoked an almost tangible sense of danger.  The ending provokes intense emotion – one almost wants to remain with the central character and his companions – and I was slightly disappointed not to see some form of afterword.

In all, an excellent read, absolutely compelling.

 

 

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