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Tim Robey’s “Escape Plan” Is Entertainment of a Very High Order

In response to Tim Robey’s 325‑word review of Escape Plan on Daily Telegraph

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Tim Robey makes swift and intelligent work of “Escape Plan, review,” a lovely bit of storytelling that’s got touches of all the right stuff.

Escape Plan Review finds Robey at his very best: keen criticism, a well-developed sense of humor, and sharp awareness (he’s among the only reviewers to refer to the Bentham-esque “panopticon”) are on full display in this tight-as-a-drum work from the very first couple of sentences.

His piece advances deliberately. Escape Plan Review is expert plot reduction in both what it reveals and what it refuses to, selecting details and cleverly positioning them as metonyms. A “big cheese” struggles with pronunciation and an aging brute “doesn’t look like he has much else of a life” besides breaking out of prisons professionally.

It’s tongue-in-cheek at its very cheekiest, as if to say to the reader “you know what you’re getting into.”

When Escape Plan Review laments the lack of plausibility and the frustration of craftless (or feckless) art, the move never comes across as indignant or churlish. Everything about the piece is delivered in fun and good nature—readers will wish it didn’t have to end.

Yet by the time it reaches 325 words it does, and audiences will be forced to wait for Robey’s next installment. One hopes it will be as fresh and discerning as this winning work.

Escape Plan Review is entertainment of a very high order.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation