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Extended Audio Sample The Great Escape Audiobook, by Paul Brickhill Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 5 4.25 (24 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Brickhill Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9781455173488
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It was a split-second operation as delicate and as deadly as a time bomb. It demanded the concentrated devotion and vigilance of more than six hundred American and British air force officers, every single one of them, every minute, every hour, every day, and every night for more than a year. With only their bare hands and the crudest of homemade tools, they sank shafts, built underground railroads, forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons, and tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes. They developed a fantastic security system to protect themselves from the German “ferrets” who prowled the compounds with nerve-racking tenacity and suspicion. And against all odds, they pulled off a daring mass escape from a German POW camp.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Absorbing…spine-tingling…puts the average war book so far in the shadow it’s not even funny.”

    Dallas Times-Herald

  • “One of the great true stories of the war, and one of the greatest escape narratives of all time.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Robert Whitfield reads this suspenseful dramatic story in a calm, thoughtful manner. His consistent pace and matter-of-fact delivery mimic the methodical struggle of the POWs to regain their freedom and escape starvation. The timing, cadence, vocal quality, and even melody of Whitfield’s reading add to the suspense. Listeners will understand more fully the ordeal of a POW.”

    AudioFile

  • An Audible.com Bestseller in December 2015

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sanaya | 1/10/2014

    " The story is unbelievable and the people are fascinating. The amount of ingenuity which went into every detail of the escape is just amazing, and the book is infinitely readable. The original book on the escape, it doesn't go into as much detail as Jonathan F. Vance's A Gallant Company , but is a much more engaging read (sytlistically very similar to the movie, so people who like the movie will definitely enjoy the book). It isn't heavy, in fact it is, for the most part, an enjoyable read, though the ending is certainly jarring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/2/2014

    " I was able to pick this book up from a book fair in London. I had never seen it before, and in fact did not realize that it was a book. I had of course seen the movie, even owned it. I enjoyed the movie and I thought the book would be equally enjoyable. I was right in a sense. I will say that the movie was remarkably similar to the book, a rare occurrence for Hollywood to actually get the story right. What these men went through is quite amazing. I had a hard time putting this book down, even though I knew the ending, I continued to hope that they would make it through. I was happy to see that there was more detail about the men in the book, for I was curious to know more about their character since the movie failed to mention it. I would say this is a must read for anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ross Mitchell | 12/18/2013

    " As "famous" as this story is, I don't think enough people know about it. Truly fascinating--a very engaging novel on a historic event. U.S. soldiers escaping German prisons, not so much to get free, but to occupy German troops, thus being a benefit to their fellow soldiers out fighting on the front lines. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Day | 11/3/2013

    " A jolly good read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Durdles | 11/2/2013

    " I suppose if anything good could be said to have come out of WW2 then it is the record of innumerable acts of courage and never say die attitude that is revealed in books like this. The men involved have my unstinting admiration for their fortiude and ingenuity: if you like this The Colditz Story and its sequel by Pat Reid are of a similar calibre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria Holland | 10/31/2013

    " If you've seen the movie and loved it, this is a must-read. Very quick and absolutely engrossing. The book also explores more of the aftermath, when those responsible for the massacre were hunted down and put on trial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mr. Coomey teacher | 10/10/2013

    " It is interesting because there is a lot of information. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 6/27/2013

    " This was a most enjoyable book, actually quite different from the classic 60's movie, but still very very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rae | 6/25/2013

    " The story of the largest Allied escape attempt from a German POW camp in WW2. Based on the author's own experiences in a Nazi prison camp. Great movie, too. This is a classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew Athans | 6/6/2013

    " Fantastic book...it is simply stunning what these men were able to accomplish under harsh circumstances, and they never lost hope. Exciting, tragic, informative, and inspiring "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/8/2013

    " A classic novel of survival. A group of DAF pilots shot down in World War II, who are captured and imprisoned in a German jail. Their story of escape and survival unfolds in this short 200 page novel. Easy and entertaining read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edmund | 1/8/2013

    " A WWII classic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Dills | 9/14/2012

    " I consider this to be one of the most interesting and readable stories to come out of WWII. It's hard to believe that it all really happened. It's more like a movie script than nonfiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Landjonker | 9/12/2012

    " It's many years ago that I've read this book but it's unforgettable what these men did. Highly recommended to read this so well written amazing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 6/22/2012

    " Absolutely loved it. The movie's good, but the book is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 4/16/2012

    " Unbelievable, inspiring, and heartbreaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 10/17/2011

    " This book was an incredible book because it is a true story. It is an incredible story of prisoners of war outwitting the mighty Nazis. It is a remarkable story of cunning and heroism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mychael-Ann | 6/24/2011

    " Amazing. Can not imagine how they figured everything out - all the tools and air pumps and sophisticated organization of skill and labor. While half starved and freezing?! Talk about ingenuity and persistence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 5/11/2011

    " Delightful language and storytelling of the time in the camp and the work on the tunnels. Escape and aftermath dragged and were unengaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 5/7/2011

    " This true story about an Allied forces escape from a Nazi POW camp is a suspenseful and dramatic account, told with humanity and surprising humor. The bravery and determination of the protagonists is incredibly inspiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mychael-Ann | 4/27/2011

    " Amazing. Can not imagine how they figured everything out - all the tools and air pumps and sophisticated organization of skill and labor. While half starved and freezing?! Talk about ingenuity and persistence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 4/22/2011

    " I remember watching the movie "The Great Escape" on television in the early 1970s, and enjoying it very much. Imagine my surprise (I was 12 or so) when I found out that it was loosely based on a book! The true story was grimmer than the movie, and has withstood the test of time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerrie | 6/24/2010

    " Amazing story about POW's during WWII and the efforts they went to to escape. It is amazing what they could do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dignan107 | 4/16/2010

    " The best non-fiction book I have read. Difficult to not picture the film while reading, but this takes nothing away from the text. The film seems to have stayed relatively true to this book, written by someone that survived the ordeal. A truly brilliant book......it really happened "

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About the Author

Paul Brickhill (1916–1991) was an Australian journalist and writer whose World War II books were turned into popular movies. He was directly involved with the escape from Stalag Luft III, although he was one of the prisoners left behind. After the war, he wrote the first major account of the escape in The Great Escape (1950), bringing the incident to a wide public attention. He went on to write two other bestselling war books, The Dam Busters and Reach for the Sky. All three books were made into feature films.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.