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Papillon

Papillon

1970 . Biography & Autobiography, Historical, Literary Figures, Criminals & Outlaws, True Crime . Henri Charriere

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Papillon
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About the book

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"Henri Charrière himself is Papillon. Convicted in Paris in 1931, aged 25, for a murder he had not committed, Charrière was sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana. One thought obsessed him: escape. Forty-two days after his arrival in 1933, he made his first break, traveling on the open sea in a tiny boat, in desperate stages, 1500 miles in all, he reached Colombia. There he was recaptured by the French authorities and sentenced to two years in solitary confinement. Eventually he was sent to Devil's Island. No one had ever escaped from this notorious prison--no one until Papillon flung himself from a giant rock into the foaming sea, to float for days in the shriveling sun--his makeshift raft, two sacks of coconuts. At last, in 1945, he found sanctuary in Venezuela, of which country he is now a citizen. In the course of twelve years, he had undertaken nine daring escapes. Thrilling as the escapes are, life inside the penal settlements is as vividly portrayed: Papillon's fellow prisoners--colorful, ruthless, corrupt, loyal; the horrors of confinement in an open cage; the nightmare of a dungeon where the seawater rose in the cells at high tide, floating with rats and centipedes; the constant threat of suicide or madness--or death at the hands of the guards or of fellow prisoners. It was, of course, the quality of the man himself which enabled him to survive, to escape the horror of the complete annihilation of human values. Not only to escape, but to triumph. As he tells his story straightforwardly, spontaneously, he is revealed as a leader--self-disciplined, modest, humorous, capable of great loyalty--inexhaustibly challenging the injustices of a dehumanized establishment. Papillon has written an adventure story in the deepest sense. Papillon is an odyssey of the human spirit."--Jacket.

Year:

1970

Language:

English

Publisher:

HarperCollins

Pages:

434

ISBN:

0061120669 (ISBN13: 9780061120664)

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Reviews

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Morten Schroeder image

2 months ago

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Really enjoyed this book and just a completely outrageous and crazy story! The strength this man has to continue to persevere and not let prison get the better of him is truly remarkable. Very inspirational throughout.

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Alexandra Mészáros

2 years ago

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Exciting, during the whole book!!

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