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As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me [Paperback]

Josef M. Bauer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

17 Jun 2009
Originally published in 1955, this must be one of the most dramatic adventures of our time. Clemens Forell, a German soldier, was sentenced to 25 years of forced labour in a Siberian lead mine after the Second World War. Rebelling against the brutality of the camp, Forell staged a daring escape, enduring an 8000-mile journey across the trackless wastes of Siberia, in some of the most treacherous and inhospitable conditions on earth. Bauer’s writing brilliantly evokes Forell’s desperation in the prison camp, and his struggle for survival and terror of recapture as he makes his way towards the Persian frontier and freedom.

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As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me + The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
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Product details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson; Re-issue edition (17 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841197262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841197265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'More compelling than any thriller.' --Helmut Uhlig, Tagesspiegel

'One of the wildest adventure books of our time.' --Curt Hohof, Suddeutsche Zeitung

'Bauer has given us more than a prisoner-of-war story; he has left us one of the greatest adventure stories.' --Walter Gorlitz, Die Welt

Book Description

The true story of a German soldier's escape from a Siberian prison camp following World War II, and his struggle for survival during an 8000-mile journey to freedom across some of the most treacherous and inhospitable conditions on earth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amazing true story...Ever!!! 5 Jan 2010
By Rasmus K. Weinhardt VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Sure, this book is written in the style of a novell, but Josef Martin Bauer wrote it from tapes that the "Real Clemens Forell" recorded on magnetic tape.
The real Clemens Forell was a man called Cornelius Rost. Other than the book and the film his own Life had not such a happy end. Both the Publisher, Franz Ehrenwirth, who first met Cornelius Rost and the writer Josef Steinbichler, who also met him, discribed him as a "Broken man who was a physical and mental wreck". He insisted on his anonymity for fear of the KGB who were known for assasinating people worldwide. And after all he had commited a crime, in order to survive, by attacking a man and stealing money... And no that was not an invention by J.M. Bauer!!! Only once Cornelius Rost agreed to talk to three British Experts on Siberia (At the time the english translation was released), who wanted to explore if this man had really been where he claimed and they found out that everything he said was accurate up to the smallest detail!!! Only Life itself can "write" such a story that dwarfs classics like the Oddyseey!
Cornelius Rost died in 1983 colourblind due to the lead poisoning of the mining in the Gulag and constantly paranoid, hiding whenever the doorbell rang. The terrible ordeal of his captivity,escape and travelling 8500 miles(!!!!!!!) through some of the most hostile terrain on earth had taken it's toll.
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Story ! A must to read. 4 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
You will not be able to put this book down! It is completely absorbing, at times you feel unbelievable, will make you cry and will make you smile.
The story of a man taking 3 years to escape a siberian labour camp is just incredible. Some of the people he meets along the journey gives you faith in the human race and some sadly turns you the other way. However, it is a great read and the only bit that lets it down, is that at the end you do not get to find out how he integrated back into German society (but then that's not what the story is about!). Recommended.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping. 30 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a truely gripping book. Describing the sheer hell that was the Gulag in Eastern Kamchatka, Forel realises that NOT to escape was a death sentence - he was being slowly poisoned by the lead mine he was working, living and sleeping in.

His story of his long trek to freedom is a gripping tale of human resolve, and is also a terrible tale of man's inhumanity to man.

Highly recommended - and very humbling to read.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 12 Jan 2008
By Paddy
Format:Paperback
A humbling and gripping piece of writing. I think "Booker" might best set to one side his 21st century cynicism about the likely veracity of Forell's story. It was plausible enough for West German TV to have turned it into a major mini series in the 1950's (and it was re-made into a feature film recently too.) Forell himself died in the 1980's in anonymity, and if you will read his story it is not hard to see why he might have withdrawn from public life after three years of desperate survival in the wilderness. Having read inummerable tales of people in dire straights in concentration camps or on expeditions or escaping from captivity, this remains the most inspiring tale of all.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As far as my feet will carry me 26 Jan 2011
By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
During the Russian campaign many Germans were captured by the Russians between 1941 and 1945 and many were imprisoned in camps in Siberia. Conditions in the camps were harsh and the treatment of prisoners was cruel (as was the treatment of Russian prisoners of war) and not many survived to return to Germany after the war. This is the story of one of the few Germans to escape and find his way home.

I read "As far as my feet will carry me" soon after reading "The long walk" and found it disappointing in comparison to that book. Most of this book concentrates on the author's journey through Siberia and I would have liked much more about what happened to him between Siberia and western Europe.

There are many minor details mentioned in the book and I found it difficult to grasp how the author managed to remember so much after so long given his state of mind at the time and what he claimed to have gone through. As with the "The long walk" its authenticity has been challenged but as with the "The long walk" there is no sure way or knowing how much of it is true.

I found the book more difficult to read than the "The long walk" and not so involving and although there are some interesting passages I found it less stimulating and not so satisfying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and brilliant! 5 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback
Wow! Have just finished book last night. It has given me quite an insight into all the non-British stuff post war. I generally am not a reader but I have been absorbed by this book.
Pros-
an amazing tale of survival which really makes you feel you are there.
an excellent description of the different scenery- I almost travelled with him.
a happy ending...

Cons-
as it was written a while ago the language can be a bit flowery which i like and others may not
some more detail at the end would have been a nice touch

Above all though an epic

Read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars as far as my feet will carry me 25 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
slow start but after you feel how things were in the lead mines and just be glad you were not there
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escapism for the mind 16 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fantastic read which kept me enthralled for many a night
For me it even out did Rawicz's "The long walk "
You could clearly tell the last 10% was rushed and glossed over but there was enough material here to last for a second book.

I went straight to Wikipedia to find out more, only to learn that almost certainly the book is a fake
Just like Rawicz book also.
German records already have him repatriated form a Russian POW camp by 1947 a full five years before he said the escape began
Just like Rawicz he probably put together a conglomeration of stories to make a fine novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and inspiring
What an amazing, inspiring book. Fascinating insights into Siberia, the Tundra, Steppe... and some of the indigenous populations. Definitely recommend it. 100%.
Published 2 days ago by Response0000
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story
It is incredible that someone could carry out this journey to freedom from the prisoner of war camp in Siberia, having been faced with so many obstacles. Well worth reading.
Published 28 days ago by Herbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgetable Life Story
Most interesting and a sad 'true'story.... It really captured my imagination, and I just couldn't put the book down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous....
Really enjoyed this book, remarkable story, well written would definitely recommend it. Fascinating and compelling at times. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kay barber
5.0 out of 5 stars As far a see my feet will carry me
Fantastic I could not put it. Down. Excellent read and highly recommended . It shows a hidden world that I never imagined could ever exist.
Published 1 month ago by Cond
5.0 out of 5 stars A wild escape
This is a great read. Everything he did or suffered is clearly explained. This man must have had the stamina of a horse and. The willpower to achieve anything.
Published 1 month ago by fantasyreader
4.0 out of 5 stars As fast as my feet would carry me
I thoroughly enjoyed this account ,it was well written , and seemed to show that not all inhabitants of the USSR were diehard communists and helped him quite a bit .
Published 1 month ago by Mr. AC Wright
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
very good book , nothing like the film but still very powerful and makes you feel so helpless some times. very good read
Published 2 months ago by M.E.Orsbourn
4.0 out of 5 stars recommended by a friend on holiday as we cruised the Volga Baltic...
I always enjoy a true story. This book is worth the read, although I got a bit tired in the middle. But I reminded myself it was a true story so carried on. Glad I did
Published 4 months ago by ahume
5.0 out of 5 stars Great survival story
Great read.true story of a German officer who escapes from a Siberian "gulag"camp,and makes his way home to Munich.absolute cracking read and hard to put down!
Published 6 months ago by philip mcfadden
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