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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (132 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Victor Herman Narrator: Christopher Hurt Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1931, a young American named Victor Herman accompanied his parents to the Soviet Union, where his father was to set up a Ford Motor Company plant. In 1938, he was inexplicably thrown into a Soviet prison. It was forty-five years before he was able to return to America.

His was a common nightmare during the Stalin years. Those who survived imprisonment and torture were either sent north to hard labor in the icy forests and mines or into exile. Victor Herman was one of the few who survived. During his life in and out of Russian prisons, he fell in love with a Russian gymnast, who followed him into exile. She lived with him and their child for a year in Siberia in a cave chopped out of ice. Theirs was a romance destined to thrive even under desperate conditions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Herman’s tale is awful and heartening: awful that anyone should have undergone such things; heartening that he did and endured. This book is sure to take its place alongside Solzhenitsyn and Kessler’s Darkness at Noon.”

    William F. Buckley, Jr. 

  • “As the narrative jumps from scene to scene and different periods of time, Hurt manages to keep track of the setting and appropriate accents.”

    AudioFile

  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, January 1999

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeff Griffeth | 2/19/2014

    " One of my favorite books. Out of print but you can find it at the library. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Natalie | 2/11/2014

    " This was recommended to me by my friend Hyrum Garvin. It was an amazing account of someone who survived a Russian work camp (POW if I remember correctly). It will always stay in my mind how he remembered tapped out code words to other inmates. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Paul | 2/9/2014

    " This is a powerful book. The narrative of the author's early years in Detroit followed by late adolescence and early adulthood adapting to life in the Soviet Union prior to the rise of Stalin is quite interesting. He is imprisoned in a soviet gulag for ten years and then exiled to Siberia. During this period, you see the very finest and the very worst humanity has to offer. Victor Herman finds the way to survive and adapt and even to strive in conditions that would normally drive a man mad or to an early grave. It's a book that makes you reflect on how fortunate one is to have a roof over your head and food on the table. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Macey | 2/1/2014

    " Everyone should read this incredible true story. The book I read had * instead of profanity. There was a movie made in 1983. I would like to try and see the movie. "

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About the Author

Victor Herman was born in America and moved to the Soviet Union with his family at the age of sixteen. There, he became a celebrity for his flying and world-record breaking parachute jumps. In 1938, he was thrown into Soviet prison, where he survived for eighteen years. After Stalin’s death he was “pardoned” and, in 1976, after much effort, was finally allowed to return to America. His family joined him in 1978. They live in Michigan.