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Papillon (1969)

por Henri Charrière

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Séries: Papillon Series (1)

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3,876643,188 (4.03)63
Biography & Autobiography. Nonfiction. HTML:

Henri Charri?re, called "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

Charri?re's astonishing autobiography, Papillon, was published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic ?? the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeate… (mais)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 63 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I was first intimidated by the size of the book, but quickly got hooked to this incredible tale of a man seeking to regain his freedom.

The book is eventful and rich. The author digs deep into exposing his motivations, which are more complex than simply getting out of jail for the sake of it.

It is perhaps not the most sophisticated littérature, yet it had a significant historical impact and remains a page-turner even today. ( )
  Bloum | Feb 23, 2024 |
"Live, live, live. Each time I was tempted to despair, I would repeat three times: 'As long as there's life, there's hope'. "

It is 1931, and 25-year-old Henri ‘Papillon’ Charrière is convicted of murder. His sentence: life imprisonment in the infamous penal colonies of French Guiana. Papillon is innocent of the crime for which he has been condemned and he leaves France with a burning desire to escape and revenge himself upon those responsible for this miscarriage of justice.

The novel is semi-fictional, with even the author later admitting the autobiographical narrative to be ‘only 75% true’. The book certainly stretches the truth at times but there's also a brutal honesty about the narrative. Papillon is certainly no angel and however much he embellished the details, Charrière certainly did experience the inhuman conditions of the penal colonies and made a successful break for freedom which took some fourteen years to achieve. You have to admire his tenacity if nothing else.

"As I saw how the past faded away, growing less important in comparison with everyday life, it seemed to me that once you got to the penal settlement you must almost forget what you have been, how or why you had landed up there, and concentrate upon one thing alone – escape. I was wrong, because the most important and most engrossing thing is above all to keep yourself alive."

Unfortunately whilst the bones of an incredible story are there some wild flights of fantasy seriously undermines the readers' credulity at times. Some of the author’s purported adventures and escape attempts are likely to be based on stories Charrière heard from other prisoners, however, if the story is simply taken at face value, it's an inspirational struggle for freedom, human resilience and unlikely heroism. This is particularly true during the first half of the novel but the later chapters becomes less gripping and it begins to feel a little repetitive.

The book also contains a litany of casually racist, misogynistic and homophobic remarks which for today's readers will be difficult to overlook. Even if he was not an actual murderer, Charrière openly admits to having had sexual relations with a fifteen-year-old, a brief career as a pimp, and carried out a host of thefts, lies and acts of casual violence. Yet he clearly wants the reader to believe that he was essentially a good guy at heart, he is simply a by-product of a society that is at fault and that all criminals can turn themselves into model citizens if they are only given a chance. This is fanciful at best.

"No nation has the right to revenge itself or rush to eliminate people just because they cause society anxiety. They should be healed instead of given such inhuman punishment."

'Papillon' was a runaway success when it was published in 1969 and its easy to see why. If we are willing to but aside the fact that the book is supposedly auto-biographical and treat it as fiction it's a searing indictment of the pointless cruelty of lifelong incarceration and a rollocking boy's own adventure story. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Dec 30, 2023 |
The author tells his story of being convicted of a murder he didn‘t commit to serve a life sentence in the prison system in French Guiana. He describes his 8 escapes and punishments as well as friendships and his brief life with Indians. An excellent book. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Nov 25, 2023 |
A difficult book to read and I would have abandoned it had it not been the choice for the book club. I know that some people enjoyed it and some have even found it inspirational - I found it boring and tedious. And I dont care if Steve Mcqueen was in the movie, that didnt make me hate it any less.[return][return]In principal, it should be a great book: Man imprisoned for a crime he didnt commit, escapes from one penal colony, has a great time on an island pretending to be something he's not, gets captured again, incarcerated again, years of solitary confinment, the rations and abuse that prisoners get, to be let go as an old man, long after his original sentence has finised. [return] [return]Oh but such tedious writing! The boredom! Page after page of this drivel! Again I dont know whether this is down to the original writer or the translator (quite a few of the books I've had trouble finishing have been written in another language first).
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
Dit boek is een aanrader als je van avonturen houdt. Het verhaal is heel ongekunsteld geschreven en dat werkt in dit geval in het voordeel. Je hoort de hoofdpersoon zelf zijn levensverhaal vertellen. Hier en daar schept hij wat op, zo af en toe verfraait hij wat hij doet, maar het is al met al een eerlijk verhaal van een leven vol ontberingen, vriendschap en doorzettingsvermogen.
Tijdloos! ( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 63 (seguinte | mostrar todos)

» Adicionar outros autores (119 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Charrière, Henriautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Abis, StephanDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bajomi Lázár, EndrePosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Brochier, Jean-JacquesPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Castelnau, Jean-PierreIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Guidall, GeorgeNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kamocsay, IldikóTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lind, KristinTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Michaels, Walter B.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Montaldi, DaniloTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
O'Brian, PatrickTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Oakes, BillIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Philipp, BertaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Prichard, MichaelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pruna, DomingoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wilson, June P.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ziha, ErikaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To the Venezuelan people,
to the humble fisherman in the Gulf of Paria,
to everybody-the intellectuals, the military
and all the others-who gave me a chance
to live again,

and to Rita, my wife and dearest friend.
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It was a knockout blow--a punch so overwhelming that I didn't get back on my feet for fourteen years.
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Biography & Autobiography. Nonfiction. HTML:

Henri Charri?re, called "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

Charri?re's astonishing autobiography, Papillon, was published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic ?? the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeate

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