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Escape: The True Story of the Only Westerner Ever to Escape from Thailand's Bangkok Hilton Kindle Edition

48 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The true account of McMillan’s escape from Bangkok’s infamous Klong Prem prison reads better than any thriller. (Stephen Leather, bestselling author of Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye and Private Dancer)

About the Author

David McMillan (London, England) masterminded a heroin-smuggling syndicate worth millions of dollars and planned numerous escape attempts from prisons around the world, before retiring in the late 1990s to London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 929 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Monsoon Books Pte. Ltd. (May 15, 2007)
  • Publication Date: May 15, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00593YUUE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,972 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David Southern on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Thailand's Klong Prem prison has become a synonym for Asian hell-holes, a reputation not reduced by the large numbers of jail tourists who schedule a visit in their itineraries to their imprisoned countrymen and women between shopping at the floating market and swilling Singha beer in a Patpong girlie bar.
David McMillan was held in the `Bangkok Hilton' awaiting trial on drug charges in the mid-`90s for almost two years. If his trial had ended the way most local trials do, he might still be there today, as sentences range between thirty and ninety-nine years. Before his trial ended, McMillan escaped, becoming the first Westerner to successfully break out of Klong Prem, a feat no one has yet repeated.
ESCAPE is not the usual, crying, my-life-in-hell story. Firstly, the author makes no excuses for his life as a drug smuggler. Emotional responses to the good, the bad and the ugly in the 12,000-strong prison complex are reported through the reactions of the fifty or more fellow inmates who McMillan describes as he relentlessly pursues his search for the perfect escape plan.
Secondly, the circumstances of how McMillan came to be arrested in Chinatown and why so many agencies are set against him are revealed in the style of a thriller. Despite the author appearing often cold and ruthless, this reader could not help being alongside him as both accomplices and plans fall away.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ellie Dufaur on February 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I kept turning the pages on this one: a surprise for me because I don't like drug-smugglers and was expecting something smug from the one who got away. Every chapter is a self-contained story building up to the big night. Actually, the big night becomes less important since we know he got out but that doesn't spoil the story any more than knowing Charles de Gaulle wasn't assassinated in Day of the Jackal. Most of the people David meets in the prison are instantly real. I, like most readers, would want more of the life that led to the arrest and what happened next. I suppose that's coming and there couldn't be more packed in to a book 300 pages long. ESCAPE is a book I'll read again and don't hesitate to recommend to all readers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JJ Louise on November 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most of us might pass by gut-wrenching stories of prison escapes, but this true prison break story breaks the mold. It is really a story of loyalty and friendship.
Without McMillan's passionate girlfriend and his enduring friends he would have never managed the near-impossible jailbreak. Every chapter left me wanting more, and as ever, the truth is stranger than fiction.

Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Troy G on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a really good read and I was really enjoying it. But as I got deeper and deeper into the book I was starting to wonder when the actual escape attempt was going to take place.

It seems like this book is more of a book on life in the prison rather then the actual escape attempt itself. As that is only a very minor part of the book.

The book is still a good read but I was just hoping for a little bit more out of the actual escape itself - maybe the author could have spent a few more pages on the main point of the book?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Garcia Jm Saul on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
David McMillan was held in the `Bangkok Hilton' awaiting trial on drug charges in the mid-`90s for almost two years. If his trial had ended the way most local trials do, he might still be there today, for sentences range between thirty and ninety-nine years. Before his trial ended, McMillan escaped, becoming the first Westerner to successfully break out of Klong Prem, a feat no one has yet repeated.
ESCAPE is not the usual, moaning my-life-in-hell story. Firstly, the author makes no excuses for his life as a drug smuggler. Emotional responses to the good, the bad and the ugly in the 12,000-strong prison complex are reported through the reactions of the fifty or more fellow inmates who McMillan describes as he relentlessly pursues his search for the perfect escape plan.
Secondly, the circumstances of how McMillan came to be arrested in China town and why so many agencies are set against him are revealed in the style of a thriller. Despite the author appearing often cold and ruthless, this reader could not help being alongside him as both accomplices and plans fall away.
Finally, that is the point: this is a prison break story. A jail break as it happened, told by someone who is a most unusual career criminal. It is also a real life survival story, where it is difficult to resist hoping all goes well.
Stories of the drug world and its grubby inhabitants had been wearing me out but real-life prison escapes are rare, and 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.
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