Condemned for a murder he had not committed, Henri Charriere (nicknamed Papillon) was sent to the penal colony of French Guiana. Forty-two days after his arrival he made his first break, travelling a thousand gruelling miles in an open boat. Recaptured, he suffered a solitary confinement and was sent eventually to Devil's Island, a hell-hole of disease and brutality. No one had ever escaped from this notorious prison – no one until Papillon took to the shark infested sea supported only by a makeshift coconut-sack raft. In thirteen years he made nine daring escapes, living through many fantastic adventures while on the run – including a sojourn with South American Indians whose women Papillon found welcomely free of European restraints…
'Papillon' is filled with tension, adventure and high excitement. It is also one of the most vivid stories of human endurance ever written.
Henri Charriere died in 1973 at the age of 66.
Patrick O’Brian was one of our greatest contemporary novelists. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey–Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He lived for many years in south west France and he died in Dublin in January 2000.
Excellent read, very exciting and great display of humanism. Kindle format good too!Published 28 days ago by Dex
I liked it but found it rather incredible and tedious towards the end. It's supposed to be based on a true story.Published 1 month ago by tobykin
I can see why this is book is a classic! The story is amazing and the way it is written in such matter of fact tones adds to the intensity of the readers experience.Published 1 month ago by Mary Jefford
Yes, I love the bits I've managed to read - but I'm a wuss and the horrors of life in the French prison system at the time started giving me nightmares and I had to stop reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bailey Cericlought