Laura's Reviews > The Great Escape

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill
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's review
Aug 23, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: history, nonfiction
Read in August, 2008

I adore books about gadgets. When I was but a little child I owned all the books from that American Boys Handy Book series, regardless of the fact that I am not a boy, and I would read them over and over again even though I never built a single thing out of them. This is an exciting escape story, yes, but to me the chief pleasure lay in the descriptions of all the little gadgets them men made in order to escape. They worked like maniacs and made more out of what they had than even MacGuyver would have known to make. They were astonishing. The book is astonishing. It's not written with any kind of genius, but it is plain and engrossing and the man sure knows how to communicate the energy of the times to his readers. The only part which didn't absolutely enthrall me was the ending, where he took several chapters to explain the ultimate fates of all the escapees and the ultimate fates of those Nazis who provided them with their ultimate fates. I suppose it gave him a sense of closure, but he frequently refers to prisoners or Nazis who has not yet brought up before, and it gets mighty confusing when he decides to tell us all that escapee Smithy Joe or whoever was killed by Mr. Schitzel, but they caught Mr. Schitzel two years later and had him executed, because likely as not the author has not yet referred to either Mr. Joe or Mr. Schitzel and the reader has had no idea that they even existed. It gets tiring. But the rest of the book is fantastic.

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