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Papillon [Paperback]

Papillon [Paperback]

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Item Number 210905  
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Item description for Papillon by Henri Charriere...

Henri Charriere was a Frenchman who was convicted in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he spent 12 years in the penal colony of French Guiana. After eight unsuccessful attempts to escape, he finally got away to Venezuela. More than 20 years later, when he was 60, Charriere wrote this story. Told in a spontaneous, straightforward style, PAPILLON became an international best seller and was made into a popular motion picture.

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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.08" Width: 4.47" Height: 1.28"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Plaza & Janes Editores, S.A.
ISBN  8401490847  
ISBN13  9788401490842  

Availability  0 units.

More About Henri Charriere

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Born in 1906, and imprisoned in 1931, Henri Charriere finally escaped in 1945 to Venuzuela, where he married, settled in Caracas, and opened a restaurant. He died in 1973.

Henri Charriere was born in 1906 and died in 1973.

Henri Charriere has published or released items in the following series...
  1. P.S.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Spanish > Literatura y ficción
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Criminals

Reviews - What do customers think about Papillon?

Superb if Fictionalized Story  Jun 23, 2008
This is a gripping adventure story about imprisonment and escape. Henry Charriere (1906-1973), or Papilon, was a French criminal sentenced to life for murder (he claimed innocence) in 1931. Readers follow as he arrives across the Atlantic Ocean at the penal colony in Guiana (South America) for a life of hard labor under the hot sun. Papilon set his sights on escape, and flees on a small boat to Columbia, where he is captured and re-imprisoned. Escaping again, Papilon lives with some coastal Indians, moves on, and again is captured. Eventually returned to Guiana, Papilon endures two years in solitary confinement. Then he escapes by boat to Venezuela, ends up imprisoned there, and is set free in 1945. Readers follow his every move with great interest, but we don't know how much of this narrative is true - all, most, or some. Whatever the facts, this is a gripping story of adventure, daring, justice (or injustice), and escape.

The book is somewhat different than the also-superb 1972 movie starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Also, Charierre married and ran a resturant in Venezeula, returned to France as this book arrived in 1969, and put out another (BANCO) before dying of cancer in 1973. Then, in 2005, a 104-year old ex-convict named Charles Brunier (1901-2007) claimed he was Papilon, adding to the mystery.
an intrepid journey of the hero through a series of hells  Jul 7, 2007
A petty thief wrongfully convicted of murder by a French court in 1931. The bulk of this narrative, and it is a tremendous one, is this man's incarcerations in penal colonies in French Guyana: the many escape scenarios and attempts; the final escape to the mainland; and 2 years living with the local Indians.

Charriere's writing style is spontaneous, lucid, and totally without pretense; real storytelling prowess. The storylines are inbued with perserverance, grit, and undercurrents of humor. He never surrenders to despair; his sense of intrepid survival and courage sustain him throughout the 13 years of his imprisonments. The will to live is the engine that drives these riveting episodes.

The question of the authenticity of this narrative, like the Castaneda books, arises; but ultimately, it doesn't matter if this story is true or not. This is an adventure story; and hyperbole is always involved in the narration of any adventure, regardless of degree. It is the power of the storyteller that mesmerizes the listener/reader in this, a hero's journey. In this case, it is a journey of liberation from a series of hells.

After reading this book, you will come away feeling enriched by this man's intrepid spirit. Highly recommended.

Extracts: A Field Guide for Iconoclasts

An Irresistible Adventure, An Escape from Devil's Island  Jun 11, 2007
Charriere's book was impossible to put down. Whether novel or real, his story as a prisoner is unforgettable. Highly recommended.
The Indomitable   Jan 21, 2007
One of the great adventure books of any time; certainly had had huge impact on my childhood as it was more mesmerizing and novel and gripping than any of the more conventional classics. There it was: a documentary that once again proved that the human spirit at its highest truly becomes indomitable and cannot be destroyed.
The writer erected the monument to the spirit that went unbroken even in the harshest brutality of the Guyana's tropical gulag.
VERY overdue for an updated translation  Oct 23, 2006
No, there's no need whatsoever for some poor sod to re-translate the whole book! It still reads beautifully. But, and this is a BIG but, the translation is, today, WAY TOO TAME. The quaint, oblique, charming English expletives he employs now badly interfere with the book's mood and thrillingly immediate, rough flavour. He translated this book way back in 1969; even the English aren't so delicate any longer. Please, isn't it time to honour Charriere's original manuscript, and dirty things up a bit??!

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