Escapes!: True Stories from the Edge


170 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55037-823-6
DDC j904





Illustrations by Stephen MacEachern
Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.


Ten daring escapes executed by desperate and determined people fleeing
from seemingly inescapable situations are the focus of this latest
instalment from the Stories from the Edge series. These true stories
span time from a Roman gladiator’s escape from Rome at the head of a
rebel army in the first century B.C. to the escape of American diplomats
with Canadian help from Iran in the latter part of the 20th century.
When we think of escaping, impregnable fortresses tend to be a feature
in our minds: certainly such edifices do appear here—the Bastille, for
one. Less conventional is the escape of two families over the Berlin
Wall in homemade hot-air balloons.

A straightforward journalistic narrative style is used to describe
these events—probably a good choice, because the material is
sensational enough and doesn’t require extravagant verbiage to make it
interesting. However, the author does take some licence with the older
situations: she puts the thoughts of the protagonists into their own
words and also assigns dialogue to them.

The totally different circumstances and disparate nature of the escapes
make for intriguing reading (there are no stories of prison escapes
here), and the reader can safely applaud the daring exploits of these
men and women. Recommended.


Scandiffio, Laura., “Escapes!: True Stories from the Edge,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,