The Narrow Door at Colditz: A Novel
Prices for book: The Narrow Door at Colditz: A Novel
Book ISBN: 9780805430721
Author(s): Robert L. Wise
Document type: Trade Paper
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Inaccurate and disappointing
I have been reading POW stories for 50 years. My son got me this book as he knew I have read almost everything on Colditz. I was excited but by the time I was through the first six chapters of the book, I was not only disappointed but disgusted. The author re-introduces charactors every other chapter, plants blatant simili's as if they were exuberant blossoming flowers in the parched desert desolation (I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself) and repeats the same lines or information, almost word for word, pages and chapters apart. These habits question his ability to write at all.
Although the book is based on many real charactors and situations it is incredibly inaccurate in so many aspects of prison life. Even the basic terms used by the Germans in real life "Raus" meaning out, are lost. (See review one above.) The time frame of the war, events in Colditz, escapes and basic attitudes of both escapers and prison staff have no ring of truth to them. Security among prisoners was almost absolute but the "hero" is shown the passage (not an accurate description) into the glider workshop with little background or clearance, and a dozen or more months before it was even started, a major breach of basic camp security and accuracy. There are a couple of dozen other examples I could offer.
The real tragedy of the book is that in the author's "fictional license" he has claimed that the main charactor who is a "true believer" and in my opinion, an arrogant jerk, was successful and the two men who actually escaped in real life were not only failures in the book's escape, but inplied that they were not good enough "true believers" to be successful. In doing so, he dishonors the actual heros of Colditz. Colditz has a dozen books of real life drama. (see Patrick Reid's books and Eggers, the German head of security.) Pick one of them. I wish the author had.
Jon G. Erickson (Amazon.com)
Not researched very well
I picked this book up at the library in the hopes it would make an interesting read. I'll admit it started out fine, but there were to many historical errors for me to enjoy it. If historical accuracy isn't a big deal for you then maybe it would be enjoyable. But to call a POW camp a concentration camp is just wrong. They were two totally different things. Also the bazooka didn't enter service until 2 years after this book said it was used. As well as there wasn't a Gewehr 98 rifle. There was a Gewehr 41 rifle though. So overall I couldn't rate this book as an enjoyable novel to read. Mostly because it claims to be based in Historical fact.
I enjoyed this book. I love historical books about WW.II. This one was a great read. I had never heard of Colditz before and liked learning about it. I was sad when the other escapees didn't make it, but i guess that is more true-to-life. This is a must read series. Great Job Robert Wise!!!
Judy D. Merricks (Amazon.com)
I didn't care for this one very much, although I expected to. Maybe it was more of a guy story.
M. A. (Amazon.com)
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