The Last Escaper: The Untold First-Hand Story of the Legendary Bomber Pilot, “Cooler King,” and Arch Escape Artist

Peter Tunstall. Overlook, $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4683-1055-9
In this posthumous memoir, Tunstall (1918–2013) relates his experiences as an RAF pilot during WWII. Captured early on, he spent the duration of the war at several different POW facilities, and he offers gripping details of his prison life, especially his many harrowing escape attempts. There is no doubt that he was an innovative escape artist, pioneering many tricks of the trade—including the immediate costume change—and helping intelligence operations with his use of “split photographs” combined with codes, in which he hid information between the layers of paper photographs. Tunstall also shares some impressive methods for manufacturing the clothing, documents, and other items needed for a successful escape. He spends the book’s closing pages defending the Allied bombing offensive that may have hastened Germany’s surrender, perhaps due to the postwar outcry against it. Tunstall’s informal prose reads like a letter home and is heavily flavored by the author’s perceptions. But the historical account of behind-the-scenes drama makes this a valuable addition to the period literature. (Jan)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/08/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4683-1253-9
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4683-1155-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-0942-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-5942-7
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