Coming Out of the Ice

An Unexpected Life
Narrated by: Christopher Hurt
Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
5 out of 5 stars (194 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1931, a young American named Victor Herman accompanied his parents to the Soviet Union, where his father was to set up a Ford Motor Company plant. In 1938, he was inexplicably thrown into a Soviet prison. It was 45 years before he was able to return to America.

His was a common nightmare during the Stalin years. Those who survived imprisonment and torture were either sent north to hard labor in the icy forests and mines or into exile. Victor Herman was one of the few who survived. During his life in and out of Russian prisons, he fell in love with a Russian gymnast, who followed him into exile. She lived with him and their child for a year in Siberia in a cave chopped out of ice. Theirs was a romance destined to thrive even under desperate conditions.

©1983 Victor Herman (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Herman's tale is awful and heartening: awful that anyone should have undergone such things; heartening that he did and endured. This book is sure to take its place alongside Solzhenitsyn and Kessler's Darkness at Noon." (William F. Buckley Jr.)

What listeners say about Coming Out of the Ice

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Unordinary personal content

Different, yet a 4 potato book that gives a real world picture of what the USSR was realy like, great insights as to how Mr. Henry Ford may have disposed of 'union' antagonists, and a man's never dying love of life. As to how it got rated four potatoes, .... only Victor has that answer.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An incredible story.

This is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever read. I had never heard of Victor Herman nor did I know anything about this book but I took a shot at buying it based on its ratings. Herman turns out to be a very good writer on top of having had one of the most interesting lives I have ever read about. I really enjoyed Christopher Hurt's narration. If you are having trouble finding a good book to read then try this one. If there really is something called "chick lit" then this is probably "his lit" though I think most people would find the story interesting.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW, What a writer

Victor Herman has to have been one incredible human being. This isn't just a grueling retelling of a life's story, but a wonder essay on human nature as well. There is some wonderful philosophy and commentary on humanity. I wish I could have met this man.

5 Stars. Superb
Chris Reich of TeachU

3 people found this helpful

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Absolutely love

I could not stop listening I loved it. if I ever have a bad day I'll just think of vic.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring, gritty, real

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, yes, YES! I read this book in print four or five years ago, and was thrilled when I found it, by chance, on Audible. The author's style was more oral than literary, as though I were sitting across the table from him, drinking a cup of coffee. The narrator is superb; I only wish there were more of his performances on Audible.

The story is not always happy, sometimes brutal in its descriptions of the lengths one went to survive... and yet, it is not bitter - a testament to Victor herman himself.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Coming Out of the Ice?

When Victor met Galina, and his descriptions of Galina's devotion to him.

Any additional comments?

This book is worth all the potatoes you can eat (read the book to understand). I would have gladly spent more than one credit on this book, and will be purchasing it for a friend to share in the fascinating read.

1 person found this helpful

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Unimaginably hard life

If you could sum up Coming Out of the Ice in three words, what would they be?

It's like Victor crossed his eyes at the wrong petite bourgeoisie functionary in the government of the USSR and, as a reward, got to spend much of the rest of his life paying for it in the harshest manner possible. Victor gets my vote as one of the toughest people the planet has ever seen, and even he needed the kindness of others to make it through. We are all in this together, folks; and this story tells you why.

Have you listened to any of Christopher Hurt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Clear and understandable performance. The story is the elephant in the room and thankfully Mr. Hurt knows that...the mark of a true professional.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really stirring and sad changed my views of lfe

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Amazing story of survival and stoic unrelenting will to live!

Victor Herman has changed how I feel about obstacles,set back an disappointments.

He has also given me the gift of caring about political prisoner and their treatment.

I was really hard to get through some of the graphic nature of the book with regards to torture and the goings on of starving people but worth enduring the hard to read parts as his life as truly amazing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Russia's Lindberg who was really America's second Lindberg! Victor Herman truly embodies the spirit of America and it's people desire to not allow hardship to stop them from survival and happiness. He reminds me of so many 9/11 survivors in their desire to keep focused on the reality that awful things happen and you can still move forward.

Have you listened to any of Christopher Hurt???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this is my first book read by him.

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

They tried to take away everything but his spirit could not be broken.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic story, beautifully told

Amazing story of an unusual man and a great reminder of how awful the Soviet Union was.

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Amazing Story

I was not aware of this book and I have read lots of Gulag stories.
This is about an American in the Gulag during World War 2 and how he gets out of the Gulag and marries and has two children.
Then he gets back to the USA and a movie is made about his ordeal - and believe it or not one of the actors is Willie Nelson.

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Excellent

I watched the movie many years ago so was interested in this story. This book is a testimony on the will to live. It is amazing what this man endured and survived. Very glad I listened to it. Well worth the credit.