The Mammoth Book of Prison Breaks: True Stories of Incredible Escapes

Paul Simpson. Running Press, $13.95 (516p) ISBN 978-0-7624-4940-8
In this entertaining collection, SciFiBulletin editor Simpson (A Brief History of the Spy) offers up a variety of true tales of ingenuity, opportunity, and persistence. Selections date back to the 12th century and continue on into the present, each chronicling larger-than-life, sometimes hard-to-swallow prison escapes. The heroes—or anti-heroes depending on your point of view—sneak through tunnels, escape by helicopter, and even blatantly just walk out the front entrance. Some spend years planning their escape while others act spontaneously, taking advantage of a lucky break. Some recruit legions of conspirators; others operate alone. Simpson delves into the details and background of each escape, leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to place each episode in context. He presents this series of engaging tales in an accessible, fluid style, and follows every subject to their often untimely end. With its short chapters and casual tone, this is ideal popcorn reading for fans of true crime. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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