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The Guillotine Choice Paperback – 13 Mar 2014

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Saraband (13 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908643404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908643407
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 859,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Vivid and powerful…a harrowing depiction of what it is – and isn’t – to be a man.' --Scots Magazine

'Moving, thrilling and rousing… with injustice, friendship and triumph of the will. A magnificent piece of work that deserves the full movie treatment.' --Douglas Skelton

'A remarkable story told with rare skill, The Guillotine Choice is at once fascinating, moving and thrilling. Malone writes beautifully. A wonderful achievement.' --Chris Ewan

'The Guillotine Choice is a beautiful homage to courage, resilience, and compassion; it is a vibrant proof that human nature can remain good, even in the heart of the darkest, most evil of places.' --The House of Crime and Mystery Blog

'powerful and emotional...If you want to read a book that grabs your emotions and takes you on a roller coaster ride, this is it.' --Linda McHenry

'a riveting account of one man’s determination to survive in the worst prison in the world.' --Crimesquad

'Malone’s dramatisation of these events is quite magnificent. His writing is effortless, expressive and taut. ' --Crime Review


'A remarkable story told with rare skill, The Guillotine Choice is at once fascinating, moving and thrilling. Malone writes beautifully. A wonderful achievement.' --Chris Ewan

The Guillotine Choice is a beautiful homage to courage, resilience, and compassion; it is a vibrant proof that human nature can remain good, even in the heart of the darkest, most evil of places --The House of Crime and Mystery Blog

About the Author

Michael J Malone is a poet and author, born and brought up in the heart of Burns' country, leading him into a career in the book world. His debut crime novel Blood Tears and his non-fiction book Carnegie's Call came out in 2012, and he has had more than 150 poems published in the UK literary press. Bashir Saoudi is a computer engineer in Cambridge whose life's dream is to see his father's incredible story brought to a public audience before he retires to Algeria.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pat Young on 9 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
Fact, they say, is stranger than fiction so it is a brave writer who takes on the challenge of a true story, especially one as dramatic and tragic as this one. But Michael Malone, an experienced and thrice-published author, is up to the job. Other reviewers have outlined here the story of The Guillotine Choice and it is a compelling one, well-written and absorbing. What makes it special is the personal commitment and passion of the author, who heard it first-hand from Bashir, the son of the man who chose to die rather than betray his cousin. Malone manages to create a fictionalised version of events that ring true because of his deft touch in evoking the atmosphere of Algeria. He paints with such a bright palette the reader can almost feel the heat and smell the spices. One assumes he must have visited that country. Read The Guillotine Choice and be transported to a different time and place and be glad it is beyond our ken. Makes for uncomfortable reading at times, as befits a setting like the notorious Devil's Island, but that only serves to increase our admiration for the protagonist. The man deserves a pardon. Pity it has to be posthumous. I urge you to read the book then sign the author's petition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By john bradley on 10 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Although not normally a fan of non-fiction, I can honestly say that this is amongst the best books I've ever read. Emotionally charged
with love, courage and respect, beautifully articulated, it is a heart rending and, at the same time, inspiring piece of work.
Kaci, the subject, is a man of hugely admirable qualities, suffering humiliation, brutality and de-humanisation with courage, integrity and dignity. I would love to have met him.
Michael J. Malone's prose is hugely talented and I now look forward very much, to reading his already published works and those to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Garven on 22 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have previously read the two McBlain novels written by Michael J Malone & enjoyed them, I wasn't sure however if this novel was my cup of tea. How wrong I was, it is simply outstanding & I loved it from start to finish, I couldn't put it down.
The story of Kaci Saoudi is brutal at times & hard to read when you know it's his true life story but it has been written wonderfully, with truth & compassion.
I hope his son Bashir is very proud that he has brought his fathers story to life through Michael.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beth on 2 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
I read The Guillotine Choice a few months ago and it is still resonating with me even now. It is extremely hard to put down once you start reading so give yourself a few clear days/ hours with which to immerse yourself. It is a vivid account of dire suffering, and the overcoming of that suffering; expressing the lows to which humanity can sink and the dignity that Kaci Saoudi possessed in order to survive it.
Despite the difficulty that most people would have in imagining what it must've been like to endure such a horrific experience, this true story is written in a way that manages to get across an idea of what Kaci went through, so much so that it often feels like you are right there on that island. It is also a compassionate and insightful portrait of someone who was repeatedly faced with the stark reality that humans will seek to destroy the goodness in themselves & others. I found myself continually questioning how I would respond in such situations, however far removed it is from anything I might actually experience in terms of the details, but acknowledging that we all have to manage these circumstances in one form or the other, even if we don't experience it to such an extreme.
The fact that the story has been told at all is testament to Kaci's incredible fight for life, and not just to survive but to live with courage, dignity, grace & humility. His commitment to this serves as reason enough in itself to clear his name. It is a reminder that we must all strive to act in accordance with the truth, and that it is possible to rise above even in the darkest of situations. Much respect to all involved in the telling of this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Craven on 4 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Michael Malone's crime series so was expecting his adaptation of a true story to be good. It wasn't. It was breath taking. The author captures a period of shameful French history with a unerring sense of what it must have felt like to live in Algeria at the time of their occupation. At times I felt like shouting in frustration as Mohand's life falls apart through no fault of his own. Sentenced to 20 years on Devil's Island was bad enough but when he finds out that he can never leave even when his sentence ends would have destroyed the strongest of men. The fact that he survived by living on his wits, his incredible human spirit and sometimes by simply being in the right place at the right time was as uplifting as anything I've read. I know British history is littered with equally bad examples of how we treated those we colonised (and sometimes far worse) but a man swimming through this torrent of injustice and coming out the other side stronger and even more human was an incredible feat. The story, is as you would expect from Malone is beautifully written. Stunning book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 April 2014
Format: Paperback
Extraordinary book about an extraordinary man. Gripping story, pulls you in and won't let go. Lost myself in this one and believe that the author has now found his true vocation.. Have read all of Malone's published works, this is quite simply in a different league. You won't be disappointed. Can't wait for the film. Stuart Dick.
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