Von Ryan's Express Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Von Ryan's Express

When American Captain Ryan arrives at P.O.W. camp P.G. 202 in Italy, he is shocked by the way the soldiers there behave. As SAO (senior American Officer), he quickly puts a stop to disorder, and becomes the most hated man in the camp. Called Von Ryan (they say he acts more German than American), the Captain runs the camp with an iron hand, terrifying P.O.W.'s and Italians alike. When Italy surrenders three days later, the Germans capture the camp, and load everyone on a train to Germany. Ryan weighs the options and decides that the only method of escape would be to take over the train by killing every German guard and replacing him with a British or American soldier in German uniform, and then diverting the train to Switzerland.
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Chapter Analysis of Von Ryan's Express

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 40%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's War Thriller    -   Yes Specific to    -   WW II Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Escape/rescue behind enemy lines?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   pilot, airforce Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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David Westheimer Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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