THE WOODEN HORSE by Eric Williams
Kirkus Star


Email this review


This title was originally reported in September for November publication. With its postponement to the above date, and advance material from the publishers, we learned that we had wrongly classified it as fiction. The report remains substantially unchanged as follows, and the success of the book in England where it has been the leading best seller substantiates our original opinion of the book.... A story of escape, which in its cleanout, undeviating singleness of purpose, is reminiscent of Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male, and with an accuracy of detail records ""one of the most spectacular adventure stories of modern times"". This is the story of Peter Howard and John Clinton, R.A.F. officers in a German prison camp, and their decision to get under the wire- which many had attempted unsuccessfully. There are the more than three months of tunnelling through the sand- camouflaged by the wooden horse they had set up as a vaulting game; the problem of getting rid of the sand from their day to day digging; the final escape as they get through, jump a train to Frankfurt, head further for a Baltic port. And there is the constant anxiety of their raw-nerved days, exhausted nights, as they frequent the docks looking for a ship, stalk the cafes to make a contact, until they are finally picked up by the French resistance, stow away to Denmark and find safety in Sweden. The determination, the drive gives this its excitement which is occasionally edged off by humor. A sure seller.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1949
Publisher: Harper