The book is based on the life of Henri Charriere a French prisoner incarcerated on Devil’s Island in French Guiana.The story tells of his escape attempts and the years of hardship that he endured. The author was held in dispute as to the authenticity of his story after publication. Several people came forward to discredit his claim to having been a prisoner on the islands. In spite of the accuracy of descriptions and names of fellow inmates, it is still considered vague as to whether Henri Charriere actually spent time on the French prison islands. Despite this, it’s an excellent read.
Papillon, accussed and sentenced for a Murder he did not commit, swears revenge on his judge and jury. This is what keeps his determination strong throughout the story – he wants his freedom again, so that he can effect his revenge. He dreams and thinks about what he will do to these people as his paces his small cell on the island and begins to plan his escape. Nothing is impossible for this prisoner.
The story is one of high adventure and of friendship amongst scoundrels and scallwags all locked up together. Great characters who come to life on the page make for wicked page turning reading.
Papillon (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
The story is long and dense, but not heavy. It reads like a well oiled tram hurtling through the streets of Paris and breakneck speed and keeps its readers intrigued and in wonder at the daring of such a man. Full of Adventure and the determination of Papillon is admirable as we can identify with his feelings of being wrongly imprisoned for life. Depictions of the harshness and cheapness that life was attributed with on the islands of Penal French Colonies is enough to make anyone baulk.
Henri Charriere died in Madrid during the 1970s.
Try a political Thriller from Frederick Forsyth