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Through the Wire: The Great Escape

Series: Real Life Gamebooks #4
Alternate Title: The Great Escape (American edition)
Translated Into: Gennem pigtråden : flugten fra krigsfangelejren (Danish)
Authors: Farrell, Simon
Sutherland, Jon(athan)
Illustrators: Wood, Cathy (British cover)
Williams, Brian (interior)
Release Dates: 1986 (British edition)
1988 (American edition)
Length:300 sections
Number of Endings:20
Kveto's Thoughts: Another in the series, this one set in WWII, 1940. You are an RAF pilot who gets shot down and put in a POW camp in Germany.

A solid premise if there ever was one. It is of course wasted in this series. This series contains two of my big pet peeves: no characterization and lots of random pointless page flipping. I mean you get no sense that being in a POW camp is the slightest bother. "Ok, you have to spend 60 days in the hold." And that's all they say about it, Argh.

The choices can be silly at times. "Do you want to get up and see what happens or lie in bed?" Honestly.

It feels a lot like a novel written by G. A. Henty, a historical setting with no flavour.

It does contain what I assume is some good history on some of the wartime POW slang.

More reviews by Kveto

Malthus Dire's Thoughts: One of only two 20th Century-based books in the series, this one is a cracking Boys Own-style adventure with three distinct acts: the first section is a very exciting and tautly-paced dogfight over England and the Channel where you are ultimately shot down and taken captive as a POW; this leads to your arrival at the POW camp where you immediately set about trying to get in on the act with a choice of several escape plots that are in the offing; finally, you take a train to freedom via either Switzerland or Belgium. The dogfight is exciting, the POW section is a lot of fun and actually quite tricky as you (realistically) only get one chance at each of the escape options, and the final pursuit to freedom is fraught with danger and any wrong turn leads to re-capture. This is a great gamebook, full of plucky British characters with stiff upper lips, and is real fun to play whilst maintaining historical accuracy as is always the case with this series. The fact that an actual former POW gave it his endorsement just adds to its effectiveness and this book never seems to take itself too seriously which makes for a fantastic Colditz movie-esque romp.

More reviews by Malthus Dire

Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, bigcobra, damieng (UK), domj29, Ed, egokun, firefoxpdm, Garrick Muttley, jeff3333, Jubal (US), juski, katzcollection (British edition), kinderstef, knginatl (UK PB), le maudit, Malthus Dire, mlvoss, Osirian08, Salpynx (UK HB), Sir Olli, sireeyore, strawberry_brite, Tamerlane1396, Yalius
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