Has anyone here ever read "Papillon"?

Just finished. Wow, what a life Henri Charriere had. The movie was good, but it did no justice to all the adventures, escapes, and general incredible stuff that Charriere did and had to go through.

Great book. Most of it, though, is fiction. No one really believes him when he says he spent five years in solitary like that, and there is no record of Henri Charriere ever escaping from Devil’s Island, according to some documentary on French Guiana that I watched a few years ago. Still, it’s a roaring good yarn.

I thought the essence of the story was what the priest said to him, paraphrased as "yes, you have been dealt a great injustice, but you became a better person here than you were when you were free and back home.

Try and find his second book, “Banco.” Oddly (at least to some), even after he was a free and respectable citizen, he contined to use his “plan.”

Read the first book, still like it even though I know now that he made up large parts of it. I always figured his time with the Indians was fake even when I first read it.

I tried to read Banco several years ago, but never got past the first 40 or so pages. Just found it dull.

Is Papillion still in print?

It’s not. You have to get it used. I found a first edition one day and was very stoked.

It’s been republished in England, I believe as part of a series of 60’s lit.


Banco is well worth a read, too.

A friend of mine thought it was all true, but once I got to the part about living in the Indian village I began suspecting his story was too increible to be true. Of course, every guy who reads it I’m sure still wishes it were true and they were in Charriere’s place (and there’d be no way in hell I’d leave that tribe). Still despite some of it being made up, its still an incredible story and Charriere is an exceptional writer.

One image that really sticks with me is the chilling burials at sea. Carriere’s writing really painted a gloomy image with the bells summoning the sharks and the corpses never sinking below trhe water.

Actually, my copy was a new edition, I think. I bought it new at Borders.

Oh yes! I’ve read it multiple times and it was one of my favourite books since I was 12 or so.

The older I got, the more my skeptic radar would tingle. Especially that whole Indian village part. It’s still a great read and I always recommend it to others. My copy is almost falling apart.

I read Banco once a long time ago and didn’t find it that memorable at all.

Yeah, I searched Amazon again, and it is in print. So is Banco.

Well, others have proven it’s in print (again) but I’ll chime in with that I’ve seen a new edition as well at the local Books-A-Million with the past two months.

But you can usually find used paperbacks of both books at almost any second hand bookstore. Usually very dog-eared and smelling of cigarette smoke in my experience. It seems to be one of the staples of those places like Robert Ludlum novels, Max Brand westerns, and those Mac Bolan and Remo Williams adventure novels.