Save the Adventure (20)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 5, 2013

All adventure — as I’ve attempted to demonstrate in this series’s 19 preceding installments — thematizes escape, from a prison of one sort or another. The final adventure sub-genre I’ll tackle as part of this series is the escapade: the adventure in which the prison (or, at the very least, captor) from which the protagonist must escape is no metaphor. PS: I’ve also included a few breaking-in escapades.

I haven’t read deeply in this sub-genre of Adventure. Please suggest more good ones!

escape-550

Thanks! To the nearly 400 adventure fans who kickstarted the SAVE THE ADVENTURE e-book club.

MORE LIT LISTS FROM THIS AUTHOR: 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time | 100 Best Radium Age Sci-Fi Novels (1904–1933) | 75 Best Golden Age Sci-Fi Novels (1934–1963) | 75 Best New Wave Sci-Fi Novels (1964–1983) | 55 Best Scientific Romances (1864–1903) | Best 19th Century Adventure (1805–1903) | Best Nineteen-Oughts Adventure (1904–13) | Best Nineteen-Teens Adventure (1914–23) | Best Twenties Adventure (1924–33) | Best Thirties Adventure (1934–43) | Best Forties Adventure (1944–53) | Best Fifties Adventure (1954–63) | Best Sixties Adventure (1964–73) | Best Seventies Adventure (1974–83) | 101 Science Fiction Adventures | 70 Crime Adventures | 65 Fantasy Adventures | 61 Espionage Adventures | 40 Atavistic & Historical Adventures | 25 Frontier & Western Adventures | 20 Avenger & Artful Dodger Adventures | 20 Apophenic & Treasure Hunt Adventures | 20 War & Ruritanian Adventures | 18 Picaresque Adventures | 10 Robinsonade & Survival Adventures. ALSO: Best YYA Lit 1963 | Best YYA Lit 1964 | Best YYA Lit 1965 | Best YYA Lit 1966 | Best YYA Lit 1967 | THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982. | Best Scottish Fabulists | Radium-Age Telepath Lit | Radium Age Superman Lit | Radium Age Robot Lit | Radium Age Apocalypse Lit | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophe Lit | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Cold War “X” Fic | Best YA Sci-Fi | Hooker Lit | No-Fault Eco-Catastrophe Lit | Scrabble Lit |

20 ADVENTURE THEMES AND MEMES: Index to All Adventure Lists | Introduction to Adventure Themes & Memes Series | Index to Entire Series | The Robinsonade (theme: DIY) | The Robinsonade (theme: Un-Alienated Work) | The Robinsonade (theme: Cozy Catastrophe) | The Argonautica (theme: All for One, One for All) | The Argonautica (theme: Crackerjacks) | The Argonautica (theme: Argonaut Folly) | The Argonautica (theme: Beautiful Losers) | The Treasure Hunt | The Frontier Epic | The Picaresque | The Avenger Drama (theme: Secret Identity) | The Avenger Drama (theme: Self-Liberation) | The Avenger Drama (theme: Reluctant Bad-Ass) | The Atavistic Epic | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Artful Dodger) | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Conspiracy Theory) | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Apophenia) | The Survival Epic | The Ruritanian Fantasy | The Escapade

*

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

monte cristo

* 1844–45. Alexandre Dumas’s avenger-type adventure The Count of Monte Cristo. One of the most iconic jailbreaks of all literature.

* 1886. Robert Louis Stevenson’s 18th c. avenger-type adventure Kidnapped. The ship, in this case, serving as the prison.

THE NINETEEN-OUGHTS (1904–13)

grahame toad

* 1908. Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book The Wind in the Willows. Toad’s jailbreak is an amazing one.

THE TEENS (1914–23)

* 1914. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Radium Age science fiction adventure At the Earth’s Core. The center of the planet becomes a prison of sorts!

* 1915. John Buchan’s Richard Hannay adventure The Thirty-Nine Steps. Hannay must escape from the master spy’s home.

1915. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian Radium Age science fiction novel Herland. There is an abortive prison break at one point in the book.

*1915. Rafael Sabatini’s sea-going historical adventure The Sea Hawk. Again, a ship serves as a prison.

kafka

* 1922/1926. Franz Kafka’s posthumously published Das Schloss (The Castle). A sardonic inversion of the escapade. Instead of breaking out of the castle, the protagonist makes endless attempts to gain entrance.

1922. John Buchan’s adventure Huntingtower. When an exiled Russian noblewoman is imprisoned — in a Scottish tower — by Bolshevik agents, a grocer, aided by a troupe of Glasgow slum children, ride to her rescue.

THE TWENTIES (1924–33)

* 1932. Edwin Balmer and Philip Gordon Wylie’s Radium Age science fiction adventure When Worlds Collide. The Earth itself must be escaped!

* 1933. James Hilton’s adventure Lost Horizon. Shangri-La is a prison of sorts. But the protagonist doesn’t want to escape it.

THE THIRTIES (1934–43)

dillingers-wooden-gun-1024x432

* On March 3, 1934, John Dillinger escaped from the “escape-proof” Crown Point, Indiana county jail, which was guarded by police officers and national guardsmen. Newspapers reported that Dillinger had escaped using a fake gun made from wood blackened with shoe polish.

THE FORTIES (1944–53)

* The Wooden Horse is a 1950 British WWII film depicting the true events of an escape attempt made by POWs in the German POW camp Stalag Luft III. The wooden horse in the title of the film is a piece of exercise equipment the prisoners used to conceal their escape attempt.

THE FIFTIES (1954–63)

colditz

* The Colditz Story is a 1955 prisoner of war film starring John Mills and Eric Portman and directed by Guy Hamilton. In the 1970s, there was an excellent Action Man (British version of GI Joe) Escape from Colditz-themed playset. Thanks, Dad.

  • 1957. Alistair MacLean’s WWII commando adventure The Guns of Navarone. A breaking-in escapade.
  • * The Hole (French: Le Trou) is a 1960 French film directed by Jacques Becker. The film tells the true story of five prison inmates in La Santé Prison in France in 1947, where the men dig, tunnel, and saw in an attempt to escape.

    * Andrew Garve’s The Sea Monks (1963): trigger-happy hoodlums descend upon a lighthouse off the Cornwall coast and take hostages.

    EscapeFromAlcatraz

    * Escape from Alcatraz is a 1963 non-fiction book, written by J. Campbell Bruce, about the history of Alcatraz Penitentiary and the escape attempts made by the inmates. Portions of the book concern the escape of Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin, which was the basis for the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz.

    * The 1963 WWII prison break movie The Great Escape.

    THE SIXTIES (1964–73)

    * The Hill is a 1965 film directed by Sidney Lumet, set in a British army prison in North Africa in World War II.

    * The Prisoner is a 17-episode British television series first broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1967–68. It starred and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan.

    clifford lonely

    * Francis Clifford’s 1967 thriller All Men Are Lonely Now – I think.

    * Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg.

    papillon

    * Papillon is a memoir by convicted felon and fugitive Henri Charrière, first published in France in 1969, describing his escape from a penal colony in French Guiana. Adapted as a 1973 movie.

    * 1972. Richard Adams’s epic talking-animal adventure Watership Down. The rabbits must escape from, first, their original warren; and second, General Woundwort’s warren. There is also an escape from a cage and a cat…

    THE SEVENTIES (1974–83)

    escape-to-victory

    * The 1981 WWII prison-break/soccer movie Victory, with Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Pelé.

    * 1982. Alan Moore’s graphic novel adventure V for Vendetta. There’s a strange scene where a young woman must escape from prison… but, like, she could have left any time she’d wanted to, maybe. Some kind of test?

    * Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a novella by Stephen King, from his collection Different Seasons (1982). It was adapted for the screen in 1994 as The Shawshank Redemption.

    THE EIGHTIES (1984–93)

    * The Silence of the Lambs is a 1988 novel by Thomas Harris. Adapted as a movie in 1991.

    THE NINETIES (1994–2003)

    harry_potter_and_the_prisoner_of_azkaban

    * Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. Harry, along with Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger, investigate Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban.

    ***

    20 ADVENTURE THEMES AND MEMES: Index to All Adventure Lists | Introduction to Adventure Themes & Memes Series | Index to Entire Series | The Robinsonade (theme: DIY) | The Robinsonade (theme: Un-Alienated Work) | The Robinsonade (theme: Cozy Catastrophe) | The Argonautica (theme: All for One, One for All) | The Argonautica (theme: Crackerjacks) | The Argonautica (theme: Argonaut Folly) | The Argonautica (theme: Beautiful Losers) | The Treasure Hunt | The Frontier Epic | The Picaresque | The Avenger Drama (theme: Secret Identity) | The Avenger Drama (theme: Self-Liberation) | The Avenger Drama (theme: Reluctant Bad-Ass) | The Atavistic Epic | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Artful Dodger) | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Conspiracy Theory) | The Hide-And-Go-Seek Game (theme: Apophenia) | The Survival Epic | The Ruritanian Fantasy | The Escapade

    ***

    MORE FURSHLUGGINER THEORIES BY JOSH GLENN: We Are Iron Man! | And We Lived Beneath the Waves | Is It A Chamber Pot? | I’d Like to Force the World to Sing | The Argonaut Folly | The Perfect Flâneur | The Twentieth Day of January | The Dark Side of Scrabble | The YHWH Virus | Boston (Stalker) Rock | The Sweetest Hangover | The Vibe of Dr. Strange | Tyger! Tyger! | Star Wars Semiotics | The Original Stooge | Fake Authenticity | Camp, Kitsch & Cheese | Stallone vs. Eros | The UNCLE Hypothesis | Icon Game | Meet the Semionauts | The Abductive Method | Semionauts at Work | Origin of the Pogo | The Black Iron Prison | Blue Krishma! | Big Mal Lives! | Schmoozitsu | You Down with VCP? | Calvin Peeing Meme | Daniel Clowes: Against Groovy | The Zine Revolution (series) | Best Adventure Novels (series) | Debating in a Vacuum (notes on the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad) | Pluperfect PDA (series) | Double Exposure (series) | Fitting Shoes (series) | Cthulhuwatch (series) | Shocking Blocking (series) | Quatschwatch (series) | Save the Adventure (series)

    READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE

    Share this Post
    Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr