Second only to Slavomir Rawicz's The Long Walk in the annals of WWII escape stories I've read, the story of Jan Baalsrud's amazing escape after a failed commando insertion into occupied Norway is more a tale of endurance than one of derring-do. Penned by a former British spymaster, the book is a clear, if somewhat simply written, account of how Baalsrud was sheltered for weeks by various patriotic Norwegians who did their best to keep him out of German hands.
An expatriate Norwegian, Baalsrud and his fellow commandos were attempting to establish a resistance cell in northern Norway that would disrupt the operations of a major German airfield nearby. Betrayed, the commandos were ambushed by German soldiers, with only Baalsrud escaping. The bulk of the book described how over the next several weeks, regular citizens in remote villages attempted to keep him alive while arranging for him to get to Sweden. This was greatly hampered by the frostbite that made walking or skiing impossible for him. It's an excellent glimpse into the mundane details of how regular people did their best to resist the Germans with the knowledge that they and their families would be killed if their plotting was uncovered.
Ultimately though, the book is a tribute to Baalsrud's incredible physical and emotional endurance-he was buried alive for days under snow, left by himself for days at a time unable to move and in excruciating pain, and had to contemplate self-surgery-all while knowing that his discovery could mean the deaths of many innocent people. Think you're tough? Read this and think again! It would have been nice if the publisher had included a map.