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Download The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom Audiobook, by Slavomir Rawicz Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.26 out of 54.26 out of 54.26 out of 54.26 out of 54.26 out of 5 4.26 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Slavomir Rawicz Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455188239
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The film The Way Back, starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris, is based on this amazing true story.

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 four thousand 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 returning home, Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army to fight the Germans.

This is his story.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Long Walk is a book that I absolutely could not put down and one that I will never forget.”

    Stephen Ambrose, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A poet with steel in his soul.”

    New York Times

  • “It is a book filled with the spirit of human dignity and the courage of men seeking freedom.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “One of the most amazing, heroic stories of this or any other time.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Positively Homeric.”

    Times (London)

  • “You’ll never complain about blisters again!”

    BackPacker

  • “One of the epic treks of the human race…His account is so filled with despair and suffering it is almost unreadable. But it must be read—and re-read.”

    Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

  • “Like a swimmer carefully counting breaths, John Lee narrates this astonishing adventure as if every word were a step on the long trek, the next phrase a precipice. His words resonate with Rawicz’s text, savoring its long distances and carefully accommodating his pace to the tempo of the trek. Published originally in 1956, this timeless tale is given new life in Lee’s fresh narration.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 2/16/2014

    " This was a book club choice. I've had other things I wanted to read on my list, so I wasn't in a hurry to pick this one up. However, once I did I didn't put it down much. It's the true story of Slavomir Rawicz's imprisonment and escape from a Siberian work camp prison in 1941. (He was accused of being a Polish spy.) A bit hard to read if you are especially sensitive to descriptions of people being cruel to one another, but it is also an amazing story about the resilience of the human spirit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/5/2014

    " This is a pretty good book (if it is all true). The one part that really jumped out at me is he wrote that they spent 13 days in the Gobi desert without drinking any water. I find that pretty much impossible. However, I guess I can write some of that off as not having a clear recollection because of the extreme stress he was under. I also find it unlikely that someone could make up something so detailed. So I am not sure this is all true, but surely some of it is? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Galena | 1/26/2014

    " I read this book in the travel between Argentina and CA and burned through it. Easy to read and an incredible story. I was disappointed to hear that it may be untrue, so I'll just choose to believe that it was based on truth and is in fact a most amazing journey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Faust | 1/25/2014

    " Amazing story of a small band of political prisoners who escape from a Russian gulag in Siberia and make their way to India. A tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 1/20/2014

    " One of the most harrowing true stories I've ever read. Three men escape from a Siberian gulag and walk through the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas to reach freedom in India. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JC | 1/16/2014

    " This is the incredibly journey of seven men as they escape the Russian Gulag and their arduous journey that takes over 18 months. The ability of these men to survive is unbelievable and the fact that they survived is amazing. I know a lot about the Gulag system and I found it pretty tough to believe that the men were able to get away. A couple of comments that Rawicz makes about Communism within Russia really hit home with me - specifically where he discusses how Communism was about taking away the class system, but the Gulag system brought it back. There are a few times where this book is tough to read, but overall I'd highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcy | 1/16/2014

    " An amazing story of human endurance - more so because it is true. Loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BoekenTrol | 1/14/2014

    " No other words than 'very impressive'! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli Brown | 12/13/2013

    " Wish it was all true, but really liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cameron | 12/8/2013

    " An engrossing true story of Polish prisoners who escape from a Siberian labor camp and travel by foot to India. I cannot help but think of this novel as the land-based companion to Shackleton's incredible tale at sea. An easy & great read - I finished the book in a day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/5/2013

    " Amazing tale of hardships and ingenuity. Could have been a little better written, but just fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Buske | 11/17/2013

    " An exciting story of 7 men who escaped from a Russian prison in Siberia during World War II and their almost year long trek to freedom in India. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 10/28/2013

    " Written more like a diary than a compelling work of survival... I am looking forward to seeing the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 10/8/2013

    " A long walk, but a quick read. Fascinating to say the least. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ria Coffey | 8/29/2013

    " This story was amazing. The characters in this true story escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Siberia to walk across the Gobi desert and Himalayas to freedom. Incredible story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 5/3/2013

    " Enjoyed it. Quite a story. Have not seen movie. Paints a picture of how primitive life was in Tibet and himioayas but how warm the people were. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 KatieSuzanne | 4/3/2013

    " This book made me so thirsty! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara | 1/6/2013

    " I understand there is a controversy about the book, but I think it would be hard to make up all of the situations the author writes about. I enjoyed it and even if it is not all true, the book has a good message about the will to live and the meaning of freedom. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Sacharski | 8/21/2012

    " unbelievable read...will inspire even the slacker in all of us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci Miller | 12/14/2011

    " I highly recommend this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Pardee | 11/27/2011

    " Really good, but quite sad.... Really pulls you in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharae | 6/23/2011

    " A very hard shipped geared story about a man who has to overcome false charges by his corrupt government where there was nothing he could do but run. These men in this story are truly inspiring with the trials they went through, it lets me know of how hard life can be and how truly blessed I am. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn Bailey | 6/8/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fascinating read and an incredible true story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 5/23/2011

    " Absolutely loved this book! Fantastic reading . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gerald | 5/18/2011

    " Great adventure story that is true. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 5/11/2011

    " The Long Walk is an engaging and quick read, but comes with a major caveat: It (probably) isn't a true story. Viewed in this light, it doesn't carry the tense weight of a narrative drawn from history, but still manages to be an exciting thriller of a book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 5/11/2011

    " Great story, couldn't put it down. The movie that they just made about it didn't develop the characters nearly as much as the book did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 5/8/2011

    " An incredible story about the strength of the human spirit to persist and survive. Wow. It also opened my eyes to a part of history I that I really knew little about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elzbieta | 5/4/2011

    " This is truly a great story of a war survivor that touched mine heart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 5/3/2011

    " this book is life changing. powerful beyond words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 5/1/2011

    " A very riveting story that has left lasting images with me. Best read so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karly | 4/30/2011

    " One of the best true stories I have ever read. It will make you LOVE your life and appreciate every little thing. This is an amazing story and very well told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 4/25/2011

    " Good book. Amazing what they endured to escape Siberia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staff Favorites | 4/23/2011

    " One of the most powerful stories ever written. --Art "

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About the Author
Author Slavomir Rawicz

Slavomir Rawicz (1915–2004) lived in England after the war, settling near Nottingham and working as a handicrafts and woodworking instructor, a cabinetmaker, and later as a technician in architectural ceramics at a school of art and design. He married an Englishwoman, with whom he had five children. He retired in 1975 after a heart attack and lived a quiet life in the countryside until his death.

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.