4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Among the top five escapes books ever written!,
This review is from: Under The Wire (Paperback)
As a military historian and author, I make it a point to search out good books with entertaining subject matter and well executed writing when seeking reading matter for my own personal entertainment. I am also an incurable escaper from way back, and have never been able to turn down a good escape book. And in `Under the Wire', by Bill `Tex' Ash and Brendan Foley, I have been most fortunate to have found all these elements in one fantastic volume to add to my collection!
It has been a number of years since I have come across such a wonderful story that has held my attention from start to finish in the way as `Under the Wire' has. Remember the first time you read Brickhill's classic `The Great Escape'? Remember that thrill... that engaging excitement that took you into the world of escapes and improvisation? Remember how it felt to be underground, scraping away the earth ahead of you as the words transported you to Germany or Poland during the war? Remember the danger, the adventure, the stark reality? Well, here it is again - all the realism, danger, excitement and, yes, thrill of all those experiences. And in William `Tex' Ash we also have a hero who stands the test of time, equal to any who ever stood behind the wire and longed to be free once again. Told without any maudlin overtures, but instead in plain and straight forward terms in a truly man to man style reminiscent of those of `The Greatest Generation', Ash and Foley present the story of a gentleman truly a breed apart, and like nearly all of that generation, completely unaware of it. His exploits are remarkable... hard to imagine... and yet they are simply the life of a man who will tell you he merely "did his part".
However, it becomes clear with each page that he did much more than that, and that the extra mile was simply part of his generational makeup. It is at once not only a struggle of Allies against the Axis, but the deeper we get into the book we find the struggle of the man against the bondage, as the political titles fall away and the true meaning of freedom is driven home in the simple, yet meaningful phrases that tell the story. Characters and events out of the past spring to life, and long before it is over the reader finds himself thoroughly engaged. I simply couldn't put it down once I had gotten into the book, and it has found itself a spot on my top shelf alongside the favorites I have revered for years and has been read more than once - and will be read yet again; I guarantee it.
This is more than just a book of one man's story - this is the story of one man's adventure, and I am glad that Foley and Ash shared it with us. DON'T pass this one up - you WILL be sorry if you do!
Robert J. Laplander
Author and Historian
American Expeditionary Foundation Publishing