This book was an interesting contrast to "Into the Wild". In this book, Slavomir Rawicz, the author, escapes from a Soviet labor camp in Siberia in 1941. Six other prisoners escape with him, they are joined by a courageous young 17 year old Polish girl, and their journey to freedom is an incredible story The have no map and no compass, yet they navigate from Siberia across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, through China and into Tibet and on into India. Much of the journey was done on foot. Eight go into Mongolia and 4 make it into IndiaI was struck with the real courage of Slavomir, as he faced real obstacles and real challenges, yet he managed to live and survive and inspire and help others. Living in a Soviet concentration camp and yet unbowed and unconquered by the harsh torture, he escapes. The care he takes of Kristina, the young Polish girl that his group meets along the way, causes her to spontaneously hug him and say "God is good to me"!In contrast to Chris McCandless, Slavomir is a real hero. He fought against a wicked Soviet system that sought to kill him. He fought to survive. He was a faithful friend and comrade to his fellow escapees. He escapes and eventually ends up in England (this from the introductory section), marries, and has a family. Ronald Downing, a reporter, helps him write his story in 1956.What a contrast to Chris, who heads into the wild to "find himself" and "test himself" is this young Polish man who knew who he was before he began his "Long walk", and ended up being a blessing and example to any who would read his story. Too bad they won't make a movie out of this man's "long walk" "into the wild". It would make an excellent movie! As it is, it is an outstanding book.