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16 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written saga
I first picked up this book because I saw the name Donald MacNeil and thought 'I wonder if this guy's from Barra'. He is! And I'm from the neighbouring island, South Uist. So just for that reason I thought I'd give it a read. Never read anything like this before, but it was a well written and honest account of a terrible misadventure that kept my interest keen to the end.
Published on 2 Sep 2010 by Herby

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not so good
i found this book to be well not so good. compared to books like damage done by warren fellows this book was well not up there with the best. Marching Powder - Rusty Young that's a book of prison life
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by dave


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not so good, 17 Mar 2011
i found this book to be well not so good. compared to books like damage done by warren fellows this book was well not up there with the best. Marching Powder - Rusty Young that's a book of prison life
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written saga, 2 Sep 2010
This review is from: Journey to Hell (Paperback)
I first picked up this book because I saw the name Donald MacNeil and thought 'I wonder if this guy's from Barra'. He is! And I'm from the neighbouring island, South Uist. So just for that reason I thought I'd give it a read. Never read anything like this before, but it was a well written and honest account of a terrible misadventure that kept my interest keen to the end.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, well-written and honest, 12 Nov 2006
Watching people have their lips sewn together as a prelude to execution, being caught in the middle of a prison gang war inolving guns, machetes and grenades, and trying to survive among murderous crack addicts and lunatic guards would be enough to send a man nuts, but Donald MacNeil kept a remarkable grip on his sanity in the madness of a Venezuelan prison. A yacht skipper who was hired in dubious cricumstances to "teach" a couple of shady blokes to sail in the Med, only to then be embroiled in a plot to cross the Atlantic and smuggle cocaine, MacNeil comes across as an intelligent, law-abiding man caught up in events that rapidly seemed to move beyond his control. There have been a glut of these "prison hell" memoirs recently and this is definitely one of the best: he doesn't sensationalise but his thoughtful detachment somehow makes the experiences more terrfying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Journey To Hell: Inside the World's Most Violent Prison System (Kindle Edition)
This was a book I just could not put down. A very moving story of a bad decision that was to change two men's life's for ever.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you watch prison break season 3, 10 Dec 2007
By 
M. D. Robertson (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book goes into detail of the prison in prison break season 3 but with bells on.
If you thought the new sona prison was made up in someones mind for the show read this book and you will see there are real places like that out there.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 25 Dec 2007
Very, very dull and self-conceited. I agree totally with the reviews of Brian MCartney and Johnboy257. Im very close to the end and cant wait to get there. Each time I think ' This has got to get better', it unfortunately doesnt. Have a read of Warren Fellowes book or read about Steve Willcox who has been serving a 31 year sentence in Thailand's Bangkwang prison for having 25 grams of category 1 drug found in the house he was living. That is a Journey to Hell!
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DENIS'S THOUGHTS, 21 Jan 2007
After reading Brian's critical review of Journey to Hell, I thought that I ought to write and respond.

Donald has written a truly brilliant book. He writes about the 'offer' that was made to him in Malta and the horrors that he faced every day thereafter. He also writes about the letters he wrote, and the stance that he took against the brutal beatings dished out by the prison guards on a daily basis.

He lost a huge amount of weight, friends at home and in the prison, but always put others first. Brian writes that it is not as though the Mafia had pressed him into doing this; he also writes that compared to many other prison systems, Venezuela seemed relatively easy.

The Women's Institute or the local choir do not run 50 million worth of Cocaine from country to country; the death toll alone in the Venezuelan prison system makes it quite apparent that this is not an 'easy option', as Brian seems to suggest.

I suggest Brian should re-read Journey to Hell and, if after reading it, he still thinks Donald's sentence was easy, then he is clearly incapable of understanding what is made abundantly clear by the book; i.e. that it was a total nightmare from beginning to end.

I was with Donald from day one; I collected him from the airport in Crete in 1999. He did make a difference to the way that we were treated; and for sure, saved lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Journey To Hell: Inside the World's Most Violent Prison System (Kindle Edition)
A good read....eye opening to another world that is hard to comprehend. In some places a bit too political for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To Hell and back, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Journey To Hell: Inside the World's Most Violent Prison System (Kindle Edition)
A credit to the author for having the strength to retell his truly horrific experience in a place where Human Rights are non existant.

I am proud to say I have sailed with Donald in the past under his tutelage and do hope the experience has not stopped him from sailing.

To have come through with sanity intact and to go on to rebuild a life is no easy task. I take my hat off to you, Donald.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Journey to hell, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Journey To Hell: Inside the World's Most Violent Prison System (Kindle Edition)
What a good book I could not put it down a true insight to into life in a foreign prison.
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