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|17th December 11am|
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A classic of epic endurance now a major motion picture, The Way Back, starring Ed Harris, Mark Strong and Colin Farrell, directed by Peter Weir.
Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer. On 19th November 1939 he was arrested by the Russians and after brutal interrogation he was sentenced to 25 years in the Gulags.
After a three month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter he escaped with six companions, realising that to stay in the camp meant almost certain death. In June 1941 they crossed the trans-Siberian railway and headed south, climbing into Tibet and freedom nine months later in March 1942 after travelling on foot through some of the harshest regions in the world, including the Gobi Desert.
First published in 1956, this is one of the world's greatest true stories of adventure, survival and escape, has been the inspiration for the film The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir and starring Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.
Slavomir Rawicz was born in Pinsk in 1915. After his ordeal of The Long Walk he settled in England in 1944 were he remained for the rest of his life working in education. He died in 2004.
Positively Homeric. Cyril Connolly, The Times An heroic tale desperately live and compellingly told, Rawicz carries us with each weakening step, sustained by his simple undying vision of the liberty that lies beyond the cruel emptiness of Siberia and the sterile gravles of the Gobi. The Long Walk is an odyssey through the wastelands of Asia and the vastness of the soul - a classic of triumph over despair, of beauty found in the Void. Benedict Allen One of the most epic treks of the human race...It must be read - and re-read. -- Sebastian Junger
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