author C.C.Cole's blog

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hunger is No Game: Review of “Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West” by Blaine Harden

Going back to my recent comparison of true crime vs. fiction crime, the same can be said for most any horrors humans have experienced.  With the hype of “The Hunger Games,” with “Escape from Camp 14” the readers are jerked back into reality into the sobering, sickening events that occur in today’s world.  There is really no comparision.

The author did an excellent job in pointing out how this man’s story about his life since birth in a North Korean camp can be scrutinized; this man changed his story several times.  Skeptics can say he’s lying.  He was raised in an environment to trust no one, no even his own family.  We readers (vast majority of us) have not visited North Korea, and I haven’t seen field reporters on location in that country, and their closed society is well known.  While none of us were there, it’s up to us whether or not to believe this story.  I believe the author carefully sifted through the details until we as the audience has as much truth as we can handle.

The first half of the book is the back details the background of North Korea and the man’s life in the camp.  The second half is about his escape and his difficult assimilation into Western society.  The story is harrowing, disturbing, tragic, but for this man, heartwarming.  He did make it out and shared with the world what an entire nation will not. 

This book is superb, not for the faint of heart, but highly recommended for anyone that understands true events hit our hearts in a way fiction never can.  Five stars!

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