Oh my goodness, this book is BRUTAL. This is allegedly the first born in (prison camp) captivity prisoner, to ever have escaped from this prison camp. It's a difficult read because the "hero" of the true tale, has made some pretty despicable choices. I am almost done with the book, and am captivated by the story despite the horrible feelings I have towards the protagonist's choices. This is a book that in horrible detail, spells out the depravity a person will go through to survive.I didn't feel particularly sympathetic towards the author/victim; I hate to say this, because I know that he was shaped by the horrors he experienced, but couldn't help but feel horrified by his actions. In the end, I thought this was a pretty thought-provoking book. It is also pretty darned TIMELY considering that N. Korea is banging the proverbial war drums right now.