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

by Blaine Harden

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
967698,930 (3.92)100
Member:callmecayce
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
Rating:***1/2
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. 10
    Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad by Melanie Kirkpatrick (TomWaitsTables)
  3. 10
    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.
  4. 00
    The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-hwan Kang (ecureuil)
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» See also 100 mentions

English (66)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
I'm giving it 5 stars because honest reporting about modern-day atrocities deserves no less.

In truth, I found "Dear Leader" to be more riveting and more revealing about North Korea. "Night" is a more poignant story of survival in a death camp. This one is still well worth reading, however. If you wonder how a system of 'guilt by association' affects the children and grandchildren of defectors, this says it all. Shin is no hero. He survived through sheer luck, and carries psychological scars that will never go away. But he gives voice to people who are otherwise unknown and unheard. This is important. Tens of thousands of people suffer as he did, and are robbed of the chance to live normal human lives. The truth of what's going on in forced labor camps should be acknowledged. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
An interesting book about this poor mans struggles growing up in prison. For me it was fascinating to read about the Korean culture but overall I felt the book was a tad short. ( )
  extraflamey | Jan 18, 2016 |
An interesting book about this poor mans struggles growing up in prison. For me it was fascinating to read about the Korean culture but overall I felt the book was a tad short. ( )
  extraflamey | Jan 18, 2016 |
Its not just the soldiers who beat us.It is the prisoners themselves who are not kind to each other.Theres no sense of community, 20 September 2015

This review is from: Escape From Camp 14 (Paperback)
Horrific story of life in a N Korean 'gulag': the prisoner in question was not even a 'criminal' but had been born there, his parents in a kind of arranged marriage as a reward for good conduct.
Reporter Blaine Harden relates the story of Shin Dong-Hyuk, the only escapee from a N Korean political prison camp. Cold, starvation, slave labour and torture and hangings were a part of life. And co-operating with the authorities by snitching on fellow inmates was the only way to survive.
The reader's heart is in his mouth as Shin makes his successful break for freedom...just. But finally reaching the West, he must come to terms with a very different life, and the psychological trauma wrought on him by years of inhumanity.
Very readable work, but utterly shocking. ( )
  starbox | Sep 20, 2015 |
Very moving experience to read of this man journeys - physical and psychological. It takes a journalist to provoke and address those thoughts of how real could this story be. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Blaine Hardenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harden, BlaineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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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Book description
CONTENTS:

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 5 descriptions

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