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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable…

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Blaine Harden

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1,066757,857 (3.94)105
Title:Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Authors:Blaine Harden
Info:Viking Adult (2012), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:read 2012, biography, north korea, library, korea

Work details

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden (2012)

  1. 60
    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Demick's book explores the lives of several people who lived in and escaped from North Korea, while Harden's focuses on one individual who was born in and escaped from a North Korean slave labor camp. The two books complement each other.
  2. 20
    Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Harden's book describes life within one specific slave labor camp in North Korea, and Applebaum's explores the Soviet Gulag in depth, making use of Soviet archives and prisoners' writings.
  3. 10
    Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad by Melanie Kirkpatrick (TomWaitsTables)
  4. 00
    The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-hwan Kang (ecureuil)

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English (72)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All (75)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Shin Dong-hyuk was born in Camp 14, a North Korean political prison camp. From birth, his most pressing drive was food. All prisoners teetered constantly on the edge of starvation. He and the other prisoners were taught to snitch on one another to be rewarded with supplemental food. Among other deprivations, each person slept on concrete floors, got new clothes only twice a year, and, since there was no hot water, they could rarely bathe and were forever lice-ridden. Students did hard labor in freezing conditions without any warm outerwear. He had to watch as others were hanged or shot for breaking the rules. Each day, for each prisoner, was a struggle for survival.

But Shin Dong-hyuk did what no one had done before; he escaped. He then struggled to live in a world radically different from what he'd known. In the years since then, he's been telling the world about the terrors that have been going on throughout North Korea in the prison camps for over 60 years and the impact of such imprisonment on its captives. This is a harrowing tale, both of deprivation and guilt, that left me wondering what will ultimately happen to North Korea and why the world allows it to continue. ( )
  LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |
If you are a North American / Western citizen who is, as we mostly are, wearing those rose coloured sunglasses, pick up this book and remove that tinted glass. I've been interested by North Korean documentaries before but this book brings a whole new dimension to the horrors of living in this country. Not only are we talking about North Korea, but those that are OPRESSED WITHIN North Korea. This is an almost unbelievable retelling of one man's trials and tribulations (the understatement of the century) as he is born, raised (if you can use that word), lives, escapes and tries to readjust himself from the world that so many live as North Korean prisoners in the camps. ( )
  Scerakor | Dec 20, 2016 |
A few times during this book I felt like dropping everything and becoming an activist. While I had a vague awareness of North Korea as repressive government, one that had experience famines in recent history, and one that imprisoned some of its citizens, I had no idea what this all entailed. I did not realized the North Korean prison camps (which were hardly an improvement over a Nazi concentration camp) have existed for decades - to the extent that this book is about a man born in a prison camp, who had practically no experience of a loving family, normal food, or typical schooling. The brutality and atmosphere depicted in this book is truly heartbreaking. My understanding of North Korea was dramatically altered by this book and I hope more find their way to reading it. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 21, 2016 |
It could have been written with more finesse and emotion, but the content is devastating and important. It's outrageous that this is happening anywhere in the world. ( )
  aclaybasket13 | Jul 29, 2016 |
This book read like a newspaper article (with no deep insight or revelations). A pretty mundane read, littered with untruths. North Korea still fascinates me though....... ( )
  meloncolly | Jul 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Blaine Hardenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harden, BlaineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is no "human rights issue" in this country, as everyone leads the most dignified and happy life. -- [North] Korean Central News Agency, March 6, 2009
For North Koreans who remain in the camps
First words
Nine years after his mother's hanging, Shin squirmed through an electric fence and ran off through the snow.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description

Never heard the word "love" -- The boy who ate his mother's lunch -- School days -- The upper crust -- Mother tries to escape -- Mother tries to escape, version two -- This son of a bitch won't do -- The sun shines even on mouse holes -- Avoiding mother's eyes -- Reactionary son of a bitch -- Working man -- Napping on the farm -- Sewing and snitching -- Deciding not to snitch -- Preparing to run -- The fence -- Stealing -- Riding north -- The border -- China -- Asylum -- K'uredit k'adus -- South Koreans are not so interested -- U.S.A.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670023329, Hardcover)

A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Twenty-six years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. This is the gripping, terrifying story of his escape from this no-exit prison-- to freedom in South Korea.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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