9/10 Ate it up in 5 days. I really thought Papillon would go straight after fighting for his freedom for so many years, but clearly not. I suppose we are just real creatures of habit. Nonetheless, a happy ending and an enduring read. I really recommend both books. They are just written so vividly that they pull you in and keep you engaged. Plus there’s something relatable to the injustice he had to go through. We all have our problems, his was just much bigger than the usual folk will ever have to face.
A French ex-convict, Henri Charrière, who escapes from a penal settlement in French Guiana is finally accepted and set free to live out his dreams in a new country. Venezuela is the place where he gets his second chance at life after 14 years of prison. Does he go straight? Does he become a clean respectable man from the get-go? Far from it. He still has a go at his fair share of illegal jobs and thefts that nearly cost him his life. But he lives through it, and finding the love of his life, he also finds the peace in his heart. The peace that finally let’s him accept his faith, his prison sentence, and forget his zest for a revenge.
- I read this book during my 10th chemotherapy round for Ewing Sarcoma in September 2023. Nearly 5 months deep into the treatment it felt relatable, it felt like I was sent down the drain as well. Unfairly, unjustly, for no apparent reason, sent to rot. Just like Papillon… I’m 23 years old, life on pause because a tumor decided to grow in my spine. Who’s responsible? Is it me? Faith? Or is life random (and I’m just unlucky)? I’ll probably never know the answers to those questions. Yet, just like for Papillon, knowing the answers doesn’t change anything. What happened happened and the only question that remains open is what I’ll do with my life once this is over, once I pull off a successful break. I don’t know yet. It remains to be seen. But I sure as hell hope that my solitary confinement is confined to 2023 only. Not a single day more. A half vs. 14 years, I’ll let Papillon win this one without even trying…