Monday, June 29, 2009

Prison Breaks

Wired has the 10 best prison breaks in history. But what about the ten best prison breaks in literature? Hmmm. 

A couple Stephen Kings come to mind: "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," The Eyes of the Dragon. Possibly the two best things Stephen King ever wrote.

There was John Cheever's Falconer, although the facts of that novel's prison break were kind of obscure, as I recall; it was more metaphorical.

"Rain," the first poem in Mary Oliver's 1993 New and Selected Poems, features a prison break, with men climbing barbed wire.

Don't some of those Alexandre Dumas novels have prison breaks in them? The Count of Monte Cristo? The Man in the Iron Mask? And then, of course, that reminds me of Tom Sawyer's idiotic plan, inspired by stories like Dumas', to break Jim out of slavery at the end of Huck Finn.

Cool Hand Luke. That was based on a novel. I tried to read it once but didn't get very far. I guess they weren't technically in prison, but still... For that matter, what about O Brother, Where Art Thou? It's a movie, of course, but it's also published as a screenplay....

Watership Down sort of features a prison break. And there's The Hobbit, when Bilbo figures out how to get the dwarves out of that castle. And The Odyssey, in a way, when Odysseus schemes a way out of the cave of the Cyclops.

Any other ideas? 

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The prison break in The Count of Monte Cristo is probably the best in literature I think.