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44 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Survive
I bought Escape after listening to author David McMillan interviewed on Dublin's 98 Radio. He sounded quite the opposite of the career criminal he admits to, and after reading Escape I read half-a-dozen of the other prison-hell stories. Only Escape and Marching Powder seem to convey the realities of the drug/jail world. The others give what most of the public seem to want...
Published on 26 Feb. 2009 by Michael Lee

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very dull book
Far from 'Unputdownable' I really had to struggle to finish this book. In fact it was a struggle all the way through.( I never give up reading a book and always finish them no matter what) But was glad when it was all over & felt that I had wasted many hours reading this.

The author seems to just ramble on trying to impress with metaphors which are sometimes...
Published on 1 Aug. 2009 by The Reverend B


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Survive, 26 Feb. 2009
By 
Michael Lee (Jersey, UK Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
I bought Escape after listening to author David McMillan interviewed on Dublin's 98 Radio. He sounded quite the opposite of the career criminal he admits to, and after reading Escape I read half-a-dozen of the other prison-hell stories. Only Escape and Marching Powder seem to convey the realities of the drug/jail world. The others give what most of the public seem to want - unrelenting grisly events, probably exaggerated, in books unconnected by any solid story. I've read Escape twice now, and it improves on a second reading when you know the outcome and so have time to enjoy the humour and world-weary cynicism of McMillan's Sam Spade style. I heard him say on the radio that being involved in the drug world was a `betrayal' but sensibly he doesn't sound remorseful in the book. Nothing makes a lynch mob happy anyway, except a rope. The book was recently blacklisted in UK prisons, but Escape's essential reading for anyone at all interested in stories of true survival.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful yet Hard-Hitting, 18 July 2009
By 
B. Atherton "Bonnie T" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
I read this on a plane out of Asia and enjoyed every page. I've seen some bad reviews of this book but I've only read a couple of this type. For me, Escape is terrific and very good. Maybe some readers are impatient but the payoff - the escape - had me on the edge of my seat. Worth taking a chance with this, and worth reading twice.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smuggler's Blues, 28 July 2008
By 
M. Edney "Board Reader" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton
This is a book that stays with you for reasons hard to pin down. David McMillan seems different from the average smuggler/criminal and looking at Wikipedia its clear his background is not one that leads normally to crime. Wisely, he doesn't try to clean himself up for this account, although it seems by chance he'd been charged with someone else's stash.
The story moves along quickly once the scene is set, and the escape itself is worth the price of the book. There are similarities with Rusty Young's Marching Powder (the story of Thomas McFadden, a small-time English drug smuggler who was arrested in Bolivia) but more than just a presentation with the alien world of jailed traffickers, Escape goes further into the mind a determined schemer. What makes the real-life jail break work as a story is that it could be anyone trapped there, and I began to wonder just what I would do. Read Escape to find out.

Papillon (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very dull book, 1 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
Far from 'Unputdownable' I really had to struggle to finish this book. In fact it was a struggle all the way through.( I never give up reading a book and always finish them no matter what) But was glad when it was all over & felt that I had wasted many hours reading this.

The author seems to just ramble on trying to impress with metaphors which are sometimes very difficult to decipher and frankly, make you want to scream "Just get on with the story !"

I notice that some of the negative reviews here, have a problem with the author being a drug dealer or living a relatively priviliged life in his very short time at the prison. I think that that is a trifle unfair as he is just telling his story . But my 'negative' review is just based on my opinion that this is a potentially good story, very badly written which failed to keep me interested

Other books on a similar subject which I found more interesting are,
The damage done - Warren fellows, Forget you had a daughter -Sandra Gregory, Grass- Phil sparrowhawk, Hell in Barbados - Terry Donaldson, Welcome to Hell - Colin Martin, & Mr Nice - Howard Marks
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Break Out from a Nightmare, 28 Jun. 2008
By 
JJ Louise (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
Most of us might pass by gut-wrenching stories of prison escapes, but this true prison break story breaks the mould. It is really a story of loyalty and friendship.
Without the jazz-club chanteuse who flew to Bangkok the moment she saw his arrest flashed on the nightly news, the tireless supporters and his enduring friends David would have never managed the near-impossible jailbreak. Every chapter left me wanting more, and as ever, the truth is stranger than fiction. This book deserves to be moved from the airport racks to the libraries.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something New, 10 Oct. 2008
By 
Garcia Jm Saul "Gringo Jim" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
I've never been a dedicated True Crime reader so I read a few of these books and recently ESCAPE. It seems like people either love it or hate it - depending on expectations. I had none and it has only been a second reading that I understand the approach this guy's taken. The book reads like a thriller or the old-style detective writing. I read on a blog that McMillan took that style thinking that he `didn't want people's prejudices to get in the way. The 50 real-life characters say all there is about the drug world, and don't need me claiming innocence.' Whatever, the build-up to the big night really is the story, and I know this book is something I'll come back to again and again. In structure, a tone like that of The Savage Garden Highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 13 Aug. 2009
By 
R. Mclean - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
I tuned in to an episode of Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men on Bravo with David McMillan the main subject matter (Series 2 Episode 3) but missed the first half hour. A week later was shopping for a book for my holiday and this caught my eye. I found it a little slow to begin with but as it went on my persistence paid off and i was treated to a thoroughly enjoyable account of how a very well connected drug trafficker managed to deal with the appalling day to day living conditions and how almost from day one he masterminded his brave and genius escape from the Bangkok hilton.

When i got home from my holiday i watched the episode again and it was a nice to meet David McMillan in the flesh and provided a nice way to finish off the story for me.

Overall I recommend the book highly and would suggest getting a hold off the episode of Danny Dyers Deadliest me to see David McMillan for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire, 21 May 2013
This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
This is one of the worst books I have ever attempted to read.
The style of writing is annoyingly convoluted and, as a result, doesn't make any sense. I just about finished Chapter 1, then gave up. This guy should be locked up for publishing such dross.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grittier, wittier and more endearing than Howard Marks..........., 1 July 2008
By 
Scott Dawson (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
When you first pick up Escape you know that you are going to be in for a literary treat. David McMillan skilfully guides his reader through the arduous realities of a pan-continent drug smuggler who suddenly finds himself looking at a death sentence in Thailand's notorious Klong Prem prison.
Escape is, refreshingly, not a diatribe against the harsh Thai justice system. Instead the author offers an incomparable insight into the relationships, wit and fights for survival that occurs day in, day out in such hell holes. The truly amazing thing however is that amongst all of the hopelessness, despair and madness going on within the prison walls, McMillan manages to prepare, plan and execute an audacious escape which, against all odds, he gets away with.
Having read many other books in this genre I have no hesitation in recommending Escape to other readers who will find this authors style to be both hugely amusing and non-egocentric. The only criticism that I have of David McMillan is that he hasn't published a sequel yet!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story, rubbish book, 18 Mar. 2010
By 
Mancunian (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Break Out of the Bangkok Hilton (Paperback)
Difficult to read and I found myself literally skipping across pages as the author was waffling and rambling. The author focuses to much on conversations and tiny irrelevent details and not enough on what actually is happening.

Very disappointing.

Much better book along the same theme is 'The Damage Done' by Warren Fellows. An incredibly moving and traumatic book which is genuinely very difficult to put down. Unlike this one.
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