The Long Walk

By Slavomir Rawicz

This book was picked for our book club a few months ago. I couldn't get a hold of a copy so I didn't read it with the club, but I took the book to Big White and got sucked into the story. It is such a fascinating story. This book was a page turner for me. I will give away the plot and ending.

If this book is a non-fiction book I can't believe what the men (and woman) went through. It broke my heart to hear of the terrible treatment he received in the prisons. I want to hope that that kind of stuff is only in the movies. I don't want to believe that humans could be so mean. I want to believe that humans, even the bad ones, have some sort of kindness to them. I know it is a pipe dream, but I want to believe in people.

The other part of this book that was totally unbelievable is that these mend walked from near the Artic Circle all the way to India. What strength of character and determination. These men were beyond human.

As the journey continues my belief in the human man is restored as they come in contact with many of the local people of the countries they travel through. It was nice to see the human spirit come out of people, people who have nothing to give but give it all they have.

I didn't like the ending, not because they make it but because they all lose touch with each other. I would have loved to see them meet each other 10, 20 even 30 years later and chat about what their life was like after. Although I can understand why they didn't. They each had to go on living in their countries and I'm sure coming out could and would be dangerous. Not only that, I don't wonder if they didn't want to relive their ordeal. And who is to say that the others didn't die shortly after they arrived in India. The mind can come up with wonderful endings to the story. In fact I'm kind of glad they didn't ever get back together because now my mind can write "the rest of the story."

I really liked this book and would highly recommend it to those who love a great journey story. It isn't a particular well written book, but that adds to its charm. It is written by a man who lived through the ordeal and it he makes it real; like you are reading his journal.