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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, by Slavomir Rawicz Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,031 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Slavomir Rawicz Narrator: John Le Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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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!”


  • “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.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.