24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Telling truths, like truth, some beautiful, others hideous,
By A Customer
This review is from: Papillon (Paperback)
Papillon is the most moving true account of a time in a life I have had the luck to read. I have read all the reviews both here and on the US site. Though it is the final word on perseverance, this is not the beauty of this book. No, it is not the narration, nor even the man himself or the breadth and depth of his adventures (though awesome). For me, it is the clear message that friendship is the greatest gift a person can have and give. It is friendship that allowed him to escape, to realize his dreams, to write his story. Where would he be without the kind Priest, how would he have planned the escape without Sierra, and what can you feel but shame (as did Papillon!) after the generosity of the lepers - how wholesome they seemed in their nature if not in their bodies. The examples are endless ( unlike this review - luckily! ) but the lesson is singular and clear.
This book is inspirational - no doubt - it inspires self-esteem, to fortify yourself against those that would climb your walls to pull you down, but, above all, it inspires me to be human to others. The inhumanity suffered by Papillon and others like him were at the hands of those who could not feel for others as Papi and his friends felt for others (God this sounds like I'm preaching! ).
I read that one reviewer tattooed a butterfly on his chest in honour of Henri Charriere, for me, his story is tattooed on my mind. I think of his story and his friends as often as I do my own. The only other equally moving account of the power of friendship is "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck.
My friends, those who have read the book and those thinking about it - all the best!