This is the book that birthed a blockbuster, but do not expect a take-by-take transcript of the film. It’s a great read, though. Brickhill was a POW himself in Stalag Luft 3, so the descriptions are on form: he describes the air-conditioning system step by step, for example, as a ‘how-to’ for would-be escapees. You’ll find lots of familiar scenes in these pages (no McQueen on a Triumph but we can’t have everything), and it’s well worth reading to fill in some of the gaps left by Hollywood. However, while you’ll buy a copy of Brickhill’s books for a cover-to-cover read-along with James Garner shaking out the sand from his trousers, left and right, you might want to garner the real dirt on the Great Escape as told by Guy Walters – and find out what really happened to Tom, Dick, and Harry.