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Publisher's Summary

This is Michael Krupa’s story of how in 1939 he escaped the German invasion of Poland only to be captured by the Red Army, accused of espionage, and interrogated in the notorious Lubianka prison. He was then sent to the infamous Pechora Gulag, where most inmates died of overwork and starvation within a year. Amazingly, Kupra then escaped and made the gruelling journey from Siberia to Afghanistan.
This is a remarkable true story of survival and also gives a chilling insight into the brutality of Stalinist Russia. It reads like a thriller and is in the mould of Defiance, and Touching the Void in tales of human survival and endeavour against the odds.
©2004 Michael Krupa (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Curatina on 11-23-11

Harrowing Story of Survival

This is a nearly incredible story of a young man who during WWII was caught up in the eerily irrational cruel world of the Stalin Gulag. The story tells of the terrible treatment of prisoners, and the tender heroism of those who helped the narrator escape. It???s a one of a kind memoir.

The Narrator adopts a very slight polish accent, but it does not intrude or distract from the reading of the book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Jayne on 05-07-13

Amazing Story of Courage against all Odds

Would you listen to Shallow Graves in Siberia again? Why?

I would listen to it a couple of years from now. This book reads as if it is a movie.
Suspenseful, Fast Moving, and Gripping!

What did you like best about this story?

Michael Krupa is a man of faith. The overall story tells of many tragic near-death situations that are true to life and really happened. Although he never refers to this, as the listener, I began to believe that Michael received help from above. There were too many circumstances with an innocent bystander coming along side Michael getting him through really tough scrapes to believe they were accidental.

I liked Michael's prayerful approach to God, Our Savior, and believe that his conditions moved his heart - Bigtime. There is no more honest prayer than from a person who is in dire and desparate circumstances……
God brought him to freedom….

Which scene was your favorite?

Crossing the border

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

How much do we appreciate our freedom?

Any additional comments?

It is unbelievable how cruel and evil some people can be…….This book is a battle between
Good and Evil -
Proof that God is here if we call on him
Proof that the devil is also here and will harm us if he can.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By James Tobiasen on 06-01-13

Astounding true story - pity about the narration

We often hear about amazing stories of human survival and triumph through adversity and this is one that charts a line from the utter depths of degradation to freedom, sometimes through cunning and intelligence, at other times through the kindness of strangers, somtimes through the stupidity of others, and at others through sheer luck. It is a story that needs to be heard as well. The story of a nation suppressed and brutalsied by Uncle Joe Stalin.

But where it disappoints, a little, is in the telling. It is a true life story so it would be unreasonable to expect the pacing and thrills of a novel but it does feel a little one-paced. But the real problem is the narrator - Branko Tomovic - he has an an engaging voice but, clearly English is not his first language, and very often - too often in fact - mis-pronunciations or incorrectly accented syllables make it a little difficult to understand. It's a harsh criticism I know, but I did find it distracting and often found myself having to replay or pause the book to try and check what had actually been said.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Adrian S on 12-23-12

Gulag story

A gripping adventure, beautifully narrated! An incredible journey through war-time Russia , the story of capture, life in the labour camps and escape from the horrors of gulag. Highly recommended!

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Guillermo on 03-23-16

A must read (or listen as the case may be...)

Truly an amazing, moving and poignant story..!

May not necessarily get any literary awards but to me it was all the better for the non-elaborate writing, almost like sitting at home listening to my grandad telling this story...

If Michael Krupa would have been my dad or grandad I would have felt immensely proud of him..!

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