Escape From Camp 14

One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West

Harden, Blaine

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Escape From Camp 14
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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2012
ISBN: 9780670023325
Characteristics: xvi, 205 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm


Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 15, 2014
  • roddubé rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Riviting. Shocking and horrific. Well contextualized with political and historical detail. Frequent evaluation of the veracity of the facts of the story.

Shin Dong-Hyuk is in the news again.


Perhaps before such disparaging commentary, the writers should read and try to understand something more. Particularly "moonjo" who sounds like a real apologist for Kim Jong-Un and his ilk.

Theses days so many North Korea's defectors are scrambling to sell made-up stories about N Korea in exchange for good money. The more sensational, the better. It's just another dirty "business". Mr Shin is one of them? I think so.

Oct 22, 2014
  • notthatjenn rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Escaping the inescapable North Korean prison camps is an incredible story, but this narrative suffers from a lack of pathos. I don't know if it's the writer who failed to convey the true horror or Shin Dong-hyuk who was unable or unwilling to provide the necessary details, but what should have been a nuclear bomb of a book fails to engage on the human level, which is what we need to understand such extraordinary depths of cruelty.

Sep 12, 2014
  • stewstealth rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The story of an inmate born into a North Korean prison camp for the sins of his fathers. A harrowing tale that should be read by everyone to shine some light on a brutal regime.

See modestgoddess's review below. I whole-heartedly concur, and encountered the same thoughts and feelings. If you want to know what things are really like in the secret state of North Korea, read this book.

May 21, 2014
  • dairyqueen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very engaging memoir from a young man who escapes Camp 14 in North Korea.

Escape From Camp 14 is a book based off a true story about a man who was born in a North Korea labor camp who has no knowledge of life outside the camp and his journey to escape the hard labor he is forced to do every day. This book is incredibly informative, it opened my eyes to how truly awful the North Korean leaders are. People are sent to hard labor for the rest of their lives if they commit a crime. This book kept me wanting more and more as I read, and the more and more I read I become emotionally connected to the people who are still in the labor camps today that are beaten frequently and severely malnourished. The book was very well written and easy to follow. I was never confused throughout the book and always knew what was going on. It made me imagine in made head what was going on very clearly. This book made me realize how lucky I am to live in a developed country that does not have corrupt leaders. I would recommend this book to everyone because I believe everyone should know what is happening in North Korea and how they cover it up. I give Escape From Camp 14 a 8/10. The gruesome truth about North Korea I learned from reading this book changed the way I look at the world and to see how fortunate some of us in the world. If you do end up reading Escape From Camp 14 remember that this is a TRUE story.

Apr 03, 2014
  • modestgoddess rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is like a scary fairy tale for adults - all the horrible, worst things you can think of that could happen, seem to happen in North Korean labour camps. I would put the book down for the night and turn out the light and lie there in the dark, thinking, "Right now, someone in NK is being tortured, because someone they know, tried to escape. People are being executed. They're being fed on salty cabbage soup and cornmeal porridge." I couldn't get my head around it - this kind of thing is only supposed to happen in fairy tales, and then there's a happily-ever-after - which there never is, in NK. How is this possible? This is a compelling tale, readably written, but not for the faint of heart. Definitely an education in man's inhumanity to man.

Mar 03, 2014
  • simonbrenden rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A shocking book about the dictatorship in North Korea and the way that this regime has dehumanised so many of its people. Individuals who have escaped the camps find it so hard to settle into a democracy and blame themselves for things over which they were powerless. Individuals who constantly complain about Western democracies need to read this book and realise how lucky they are to live in a true democracy. I recommend everyone to read this book.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

lred thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 12, 2013
  • JeanCaraRyan rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

JeanCaraRyan thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Sep 06, 2012
  • Eleusis rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Eleusis thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 25, 2012
  • bravolee1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

bravolee1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at SMCL


Powered by BiblioCommons.
app11 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52