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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
One of the best and most shocking books I have ever read! Anyone that goes to Indonesia MUST read this book as it paints a true picture of corruption and pain that one should never have to endure!
Published on 27 Nov 2011 by TheDart

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some compelling stories, but extremely badly laid out.
I've read quite a few of these sort of titles and had high hopes for this after reading some of the positive reviews. However, I felt disappointed after only the first few chapters. The book lurches between seemingly unconnected stories of life inside Kerobokan. As soon as I started to comprehend (or in some cases empathise) with an inmates story or situation, woosh...
Published 11 months ago by Eks


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 27 Nov 2011
One of the best and most shocking books I have ever read! Anyone that goes to Indonesia MUST read this book as it paints a true picture of corruption and pain that one should never have to endure!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some compelling stories, but extremely badly laid out., 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail (Paperback)
I've read quite a few of these sort of titles and had high hopes for this after reading some of the positive reviews. However, I felt disappointed after only the first few chapters. The book lurches between seemingly unconnected stories of life inside Kerobokan. As soon as I started to comprehend (or in some cases empathise) with an inmates story or situation, woosh the next chapter moved onto someone else's, then to an unrelated incident, then back to the first story. This made the book feel so disjointed I just found myself losing interest quite quickly.
I found that this baffling layout meant that the author felt the need to re-explain prison concepts continually - a good fifth of the book must just be repeated content explaining roles of inmates or guards, or the cell system etc.
The methods of telling the stories also varied too much. Some are written from the authors view as an observer, with facts gleaned from inmates which in my opinion works well with this sort of literature, and yet some are written present tense, with needless details using what I presume is artistic licence. This makes the author seem like some omnipresent CCTV system. Was she in the prison at this point? Is this an eyewitness account? Or did she get these details from an inmates diary? A frustratingly large amount of questions to muse from what is essentially a documentary in print.
The author has got the backbone of a good book here, with some genuinely interesting stories and insights into this unique prison, however it's just so poorly laid out and edited that I have to say I can't recommend it.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Feb 2011
only word i could think of to describe this book..........very well written, you can picture the scenes which i always think is a good thing in a book........it is hard to believe places like this exsist and would be funny if it wasn't so sad.....buy it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell on Earth, 5 Jan 2013
This review is from: Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail (Paperback)
This book tells the story of the Bali's most notorious jail which I like to think about as 'hell on Earth'. Quite ironically, it is located just outside the heavenly Bali beaches and tourist resort. In this book you will find everything that is wrong with this world: murder, drugs, drugs-trafficking, terrorism, addictions, suicide, fatal beating, corruption, sex parties, rape, corruption, depression, madness, malice, AIDS...there is also a story of one of the prisoners hacking someone's head with a machette or one of the prisoners setting another on fire. Human rights are non-existent in Hotel K. The story is told from the prespective of the prisoners who share their tales and reflections with us. I would like to share some of my reflections now too. I believe it is better to be dead than spend the rest of one's life in a jail like this. That - though - might be the point, as the punishment is severe. Sometimes - too severe and almost always unfair.The justice system is corrupted to the core and that explains how a prisoner caught trafficking 400g of heroin gets a death penalty and a richer one caught trafficking couple of kilograms only ten years. Then there is a story of Shapelle - an Australian caught trafficking couple of kilos of marijuana into Indonesia. Just getting acquainted with the facts of her case persuades me of her innocence. Why would you try to traffic drugs worth 20,000 in Australia to Indonesia where you could buy them for 4,000? Her trial was a joke as vital evidence was burnt. Her pleads for fingerprints testing, weight measuring, CCTV observations...went unanswered.
Interestingly enough, a while ago I published a review of 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert. In that review, I wrote that Bali is definetely a place I would like to visit after reading her story. Well, not anymore. And to every friend who wants to go I would give that book to read.There is always a very slight chance that someone could plant drugs into your bag. Given that judges do not look into facts and the only way not to get a long sentence isto throw $ at them - the risk is simply not worth taking.
Last but not least, I do not believe that anyone caught trafficking drugs deserves a life sentence in a place like this.Sure, most of the time it was their choice to traffic those drugs but no human being derserves to spend time there. Ironically enough, Hotel K is the place where you could buy the cheapest heroin and most of the prisoners are addicted or become addicted once in jail. Guards turn the blind eye and in some cases do drugs too. More interestingly, even murderers and rapists walk free sooner than drug traffickers.The country should be ashamed of itself and never before have I been happier to be European.
Don't give this book a miss. There is a good chance you will give Indonesia a miss after reading it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 11 Dec 2012
Hotel K has most certainly got some strange and interesting characters, which at times was sickening and was a real insight into the jail in Bali. It is quite a pacy story and has elements of an action and thriller type book as you learn more and more about what goes on in "Hotel K". I did find it a gripping read and look forward to a new book from the author called "Snowing in Bali".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening in places, 11 Dec 2012
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Hotel K is a really well written and interesting story that grabbed my attention almost straight away. It is quite funny in places and there was fascinating inmate was 'black monster' who got pregnant to a Scottish inmate through the bars of her cell. This story will appeal to quite a wide audience and is most certainly eye opening in places.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat, 12 July 2013
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H. Mitchell (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail (Paperback)
Very interesting however only somewhat informative.

Started off very interesting, however it tailed off before it even hit the staples. I.e. the introduction of the prison was good and the first few introductions of characters, and the author obviously used the most alarming stories first to get you gripped.

However I just felt the whole way through 'who is this person writing this book and why on earth is she the one writing it?' It really has nothing to do with her, and it just feels to me that she has just gone in, interviewed a load of people, got some stories, then gone home and written it like she is some sort of hero of the people. She is just making money.

Read it if you want, it's pretty interesting. Although I'm 100% sure there are much better examples of this, where true crime is illustrated much better and hopefully by someone that actually lived it and not just some randomer that walked into the prison.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 11 Dec 2012
This review is from: Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail (Paperback)
I purchased this to read over the X-mas holidays, but as soon as It arrived I just had to read it. I guess I should have waited and got the kindle edition. Right from the off this had me hooked. I could not put it down. It was gripping full of corruption and pain. This was well written and I loved every page. I will be reading this one again. Happy to recommend this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into Bali jail, 8 Jan 2013
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An interesting read, informative and shocking tales of daily life inside Hotel K. Read if you like true stories. A well written book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 24 Jun 2013
This review is from: Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail (Paperback)
I loved this book. It is a scintillating page turner from start to finish with astonishing insights into the drugs, and corruption inside the Bali jail with prisoners able to pay for almost anything like having hookers come in, or Bose sound systems and plasma tv's installed in their cells. Prisoners can also pay for days out. One young Italian guy pays to go to the beach with jail guards wearing his board shorts, and his mum carrying their guns in her beach bag. Another Brazilian goes to the beach for a beer and a surf and the book has photos of him drinking on the beach with the guards. There's a lot of pretty graphic details about sex in the jail, including hooker nights in empty cells and under the stars. It has some very dark moments but also some moments that made me laugh out loud. The writer has a great style and also uses a lot of direct quotes from the prisoners. This is now my favourite book by a long shot. I really didn't want it to end. I'm about to start reading the author's new book Snowing in Bali which I'm told by my husband who's just finished it that it is also riveting.
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Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail
Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail by Kathryn Bonella (Paperback - 2 Feb 2012)
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