49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
There are much better books on North Korea, 14 Aug. 2012
I was very keen to read this book, as the story is unique - the tale of a man born inside a North Korean labour camp, as opposed to being sent there, who then successfully escaped. However, I was disappointed. The author stresses how he interviewed the subject for many, many hours - and yet the story is so thin, padded out with context taken from other books on the subject. I have thought that maybe I've read too many books on North Korea, and perhaps had a skewed view as everything seemed familiar. So, after finishing this book I revisited Hyok Kang's 'This is Paradise!' and once again, found it a profoundly disturbing read. I just feel Escape from Camp 14 was not very well done and having purchased the hardback, the large font helps fill what is not a particularly long read. It's still interesting, and it's a very tragic story - but so average in execution. If you're still going to buy this book, please read other books for comparison - This is Paradise, The Aquariums of Pyongjang, and most importantly, Nothing to Envy. These books give far greater insight and context on life in North Korea in my opinion.