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


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Dec 30, 2014
  • SusannahElf rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I wish I could have read this book to the end but the writing was appalling. In a single sentence the author makes reference to the past, present and future, rather than present the facts in a straightforward manner. The story came across as muddled and un-edited, like a stream of consciousness recollection that does not do service to the gravity of the material.

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.

Dec 03, 2014

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.

Nov 17, 2014

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 27, 2014
  • andersonkd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

When I listened to this story, my overwhelming reaction was "Can't we do anything to help these people?" Anyone interested in knowing more about what is happening in North Korea should read this book.

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.

Jun 27, 2014

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.

May 19, 2014

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.

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Jul 29, 2013

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

Apr 21, 2013
  • lukeooo2 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

lukeooo2 thinks this title is suitable for 10 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


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