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Shallow Graves in Siberia

Narrated by: Branko Tomovic
Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

2 people found this helpful

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the most amazing audiobook I have ever heard

what a story. amazing and enthralling. binge listened in 3 days and nights. takes you on his amazing journey and what a hero! if you buy one book, make it this. narration was authentic and gripping too. loved it!

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Astonishing authentic history<br />

This is a wonderful book, full of lessons about the human condition at its brutal cruel worst and its courageous and kind best. The historic account is an absolutely wonderful timeless gift to the world.

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what a story

This story makes you realise how lucky we are to enjoy our freedom. thankyou for sharing.

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Narrator is fine

Great tale. I was nearly put off by a poor review re The narrator. He was pretty good in my view with some authentic slight mispronunciations. Total admiration for the writer.

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Excellent quick insight

Enjoyed the listen. The story flew, a brave man in horrible times. Could have another few chapters on his life thereafter

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Gripping story of resilience

really enjoyed hearing this account. well read and the authors accent helps the listening environment. can only admire Michael's character and resilience in persisting to achieve freedom. Insight into life in Stalin's dictatorship and the terrible society he created. horrific in parts.

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Awe Inspiring

Amazing book! I was left humbled by the story of this man's struggle and achievement. Thank goodness I had read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book 'The Gulag Archipelago' because I had been slightly conditioned to the horrors of Russian prisoner camps under the communist era. What Michael Krupa survived is nothing short of a miracle. The book is beautifully read and so exciting, not a book you want to put down. The story takes you from a childhood in Poland through the war and truly awful tribulation in Siberia to an escape that was both daring and courageous. My only wish is that the book went on from the end to tell us more of how he came to meet his English wife and his life to date. Steal your self for a gruelling ride but I cannot recommend this book more highly really well written, emotional and descriptive.

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An incredible story well told

This is an incredible story and was well told. This is truly inspiring and well worth a listen.

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  • Curatina
  • 23-11-11

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jayne
  • 07-05-13

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kolya
  • 26-02-18

My review

Sad and inspiring. Brilliant and courageous. Well worth the read. This is a must read.

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  • Jennifer
  • 21-02-17

Awe inspiring true story of survival

Rarely does a book or story truly impact ones life, leaving in its aftermath profound contemplation. I thank God, Micheal Krupa lived to share his experience. And I thank Michael Krupa for having the heart to write it all down. A great treasure in the annals of the human race.

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  • Jeffrey
  • 11-03-11

Native English Speaking Readers Only PLEASE

One of my pet peeves with audible is mushy unintelligible readers....

This garbling is compounded by using a non-native speaker of english
as reader....so many utterly weird pronunciations...absolute gibberish!

Don't bother with this book

What idiot makes these stupid decisions?

5 people found this helpful