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Midnight Express

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,626 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Midnight Express tells the gut-wrenching true story of a young man’s incarceration and escape from a Turkish prison. A classic story of survival and human endurance, told with humor, honesty, and heart, it became the Academy Award-winning blockbuster film of the same name.

In 1970 Billy Hayes was an English major who left college in search of adventures to write about, like
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Paperback, New Edition, 248 pages
Published March 2013 by Curly Brains Press (first published 1977)
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Community Reviews

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Shovelmonkey1
Sep 18, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who have capacious trousers
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: pop culture infiltration
Having lived, worked and travelled extensively in Turkey for many many years I can't believe I waited so long to read this. "Midnight express" is a commonly used phrase amongst many of us who've lived in the remote parts of Turkey. Even now it's a sort of watch word for remembering to toe the line and avoid situations which might lead to incarceration. Billy Hayes' story has infiltrated its way into popular culture.

Admittedly there are many better written books on Turkey to peruse, including Ist
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Jim
I'll admit that this was a surprisingly good book, in spite of the fact that I really have a dislike for the author. I had seen the movie decades ago, so I had (I thought) a good idea of what I would find in the pages of this particular piece of literature. It wasn't long before I realized that the movie had been fictionalized to the point of being a totally different story.

I can't work up any sympathy for the author, a bisexual smuggler who brought his ordeal on himself through his selfishly mo
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Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Ho sempre adorato il film "Fuga di Mezzanotte", è uno dei miei film preferiti, quelli che riguardo ogni tanto per rispolverare i ricordi che ne ho. Non per niente ha vinto due Oscar e tra le varie firme si può leggere Oliver Stone, insomma non stiamo parlando dell'ultimo "Vacanze di Natale".

Quest'estate ero in Svizzera, gironzolavo tra le bancarelle di Lugano e da lontano ho visto la copertina di questo libro, non sapevo neanche che prima del film ci fu il libro, potevo immaginarlo certamente,
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Luis
Siguiendo la temática leída en "Papillon", mi siguiente lectura fue la de este libro.
Cumple con su función, te cuenta una historia y no trata de ser pomposa en su intento, el gancho es inmediato.
Basada en una historia real (con alguna que otra mentirilla piadosa), Expreso de medianoche es la crónica de Billy Hayes en una cárcel de Turquía tras su fallido intento de pasar hachís de contrabando. Y no digo mas para evitar spoilers.
La película es buena sin dudas, PERO no es 100% fiel al libro, inc
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Christopher Nieman
I read this for the first time when I was around 13, after my father began subscribing to a pay-TV network (ON-TV in L.A., for those in-the-know) and I started seeing R-rated movies for the first time. Midnight Express was one of the first R-rated movies I ever saw.

The film made a serious impression on me, since it was set in a strange country, in a prison which made American prisons look like country clubs. It depicted smuggling, torture, violence, squalor, tension, fear, depravity, drug use, m
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Asails F
It was supposedly a true story. Today I listened to Billy Hayes tell the story he always wanted. It was different than the book and far from the movie. I liked his new true story better.

This leaves me with another foul feeling about the publishing industry. I can hope goodreads brings out the truth about deplorable acts in this industry.

Billy used to hang out around Bluepoint and Sayville Long Island and drugs were everywhere. He made an easy buck and lost it all. He stated it was his life chan
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Jason Vedder
I took a non-fiction writing class in Ames/ISU and we required to read two non-fiction books. I choose this one (the teacher was a little dismayed at my choice as it had been a movie. But I told the class. The movie is all wrong and doesn't really follow the book. The screenplay was by Oliver Stone. A lot of the book is rearranged for the movie, which kind of made me mad. Hayes stupidly broke the law, but he never bit a guys tongue off, he faked being crazy and girl that flashed him was not his ...more
Marsha
This book was difficult for me to read in that it portrays Turkey and the Turks in such a bad light. I lived in Turkey around the same time as Billy Hayes was imprisoned there yet found the Turks to be kind and hospitable, generous and magnanimous. Having said that I do not doubt that prison life as described by Hayes was awful and perhaps still is. The book is a quick read and not great literature.
Kristina
Writing is not so great, but story interesting enough. What I hated was the main character, Billy. Hello, moron, if you are caught sneaking drugs into (or was it out of? I can't remember) Turkey, and you were warned not to do it, then you must suffer the consequences. I had no sympathy for Billy. He came across as the typical American asshole in a foreign country and then had the audacity to complain when he was punished for his crime. Dumb ass.
Diana Maria
En una palabra: Excepcional. Me encantó esta travesía emprendida sin querer por un hombre que por una mala decisión perdió algo que no se puede recuperar y que es tan valioso como lo es el tiempo, haciéndonos reflexionar en tantas cosas que damos por sentadas en la vida y que dejamos de disfrutar y darles el verdadero valor que se merecen.
Recomendado
Valerie
The story of Billy Hayes in that Turkish prison is interesting, though disturbing. I wonder if there are parts that have been made up or embellished.

The downside of this book is that close minded people will automatically think that Turkey is awful, which is not true at all. I was in Turkey last year and it was beautiful.
Keith Larkworthy
The book is better and different than the film (and the film was brilliant)
Susan
This gut wrenching, brutality honest story of Billy Hayes a US citizen surviving a Turkish prison for a risky mistake of thinking he could take on a US plane several kilos of hashish was bold and outlandish. He is sent to a Turkish prison that is definitely not Club Med by any means and it is the beginning of sheer survival and endurance of staying alive after being sentenced to 33 years for his crime.

After numerous attempts from the US Consulate and his parents helping for his release he is sub
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Antonella
May 20, 2015 Antonella rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonella by: Papá
Expreso de medianoche nos narra la historia de William, "Billy", el mismo escritor, quién es condenado a 30 años en una prisión de Turquía.
El libro es muy rápido de leer. Es narrado desde la perspectiva del protagonista y nos cuenta cada experiencia dentro de la prisión, a un ritmo muy rápido.
Aunque ya sepas como termina la historia (lo cuenta la sinopsis), la pregunta del ¿cómo? se mantiene durante todo el libro.
Si bien yo me esperaba "más acción", por así decirle, creo que sucede todo muy rápi
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Dominik Stürzer
This book is an entertaining account on Billy Hayes' time in Turkish prison, told in a personal, straightforward way. He describes his time behind bars, the people he meets during that time, and his struggle to get out. Thereby he never loses himself in lengthy, boring monologues, so the book remains thoroughly absorbing. Also, he does not seem to try to embellish his actions or exaggerate aspects of the story in his favor, which gives the book an honest appearance.

Considered the fact that this
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Daniela D'
Una historia realmente fuerte. Creo que lo que más me impactó al leerla fue el pensar todo el tiempo en mi cabeza que esto fue un hecho real.

La historia comienza cuando Billy Hayes trata de subirse a un vuelo a Nueva York con dos kilos de hashish adheridos a su cuerpo. En primer lugar burló al policía de la aduana logrando que lo dejaran pasar pero cuando se subió al camión que lo llevaría el avión este fue detenido por policías, y fue ahí donde descubrieron que traía el hashish adherido a su cu
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Jamba Lanev
This book is an entertaining account on Billy Hayes' time in Turkish prison, told in a personal, straightforward way. He describes his time behind bars, the people he meets during that time, and his struggle to get out. Thereby he never loses himself in lengthy, boring monologues, so the book remains thoroughly absorbing. Also, he does not seem to try to embellish his actions or exaggerate aspects of the story in his favor, which gives the book an honest appearance.

Considered the fact that this
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Kim E McAfee
Excellent

I saw this movie when it first came out and never forgot it. I realized a few days ago that it probably came from a book. This is one of the few times where the movie is as good as the book. I recommend both the movie and the book. Everyone of all ages should read and watch both! The song is excellent too.
Joe
Midnight Express loses some shock value with redundancy and carbon copy bully guards. Too many books
go over 300 pages; it makes me think they're afraid to publish 150 page books.

The movie, to make the story more exciting, takes liberties with the true story that is more about mosquitoes and lousy food.
Twinkletto
For me, I thought that the film was better than the book, contrary to some of the other views here. I found Billy Hayes far too whiny and difficult to identify with. The stories differ but Alan Parker's superb direction makes the film a must see. I did enjoy the book but it's not high on my list of recommended reads.
Alonso Esponda ramírez
Billy Hayes está de vacaciones en Turquía y trata de sacar algún provecho de ello. Cuando sube al avión que le devolverá a su casa, es cogido por la policía con las manos en la masa: un alijo de droga que lleva pegado al cuerpo será el inicio de sus desgracias.

Las cortes turcas deciden que su caso debe ser ejemplar y le sentencian a una pena que supera los veinte años.

Hayes tiene dos oportunidades de liberarse: la apelación de su abogado, su familia y el gobierno americano, o El Expreso de Med
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Miss Dandy
This is the true story of how twenty-something American Billy Hayes tried to smuggle hashish out of Turkey during the late 1960s and got caught. I think we all do foolish and naive things without considering the consequences, especially when we're young, so it's hard to fault him for taking such a risk. Billy is sentenced to serving time at a brutal Turkish prison and just about loses his mind in the process. His first hand account of the Turkish legal system, his brief stay in an insane asylum ...more
Kym Stover
Amazing true story of courage & the strength of the human spirit. I believe Billy was able to survive because of the loyalty of the woman and friends who loved him thru all the Hell he endured.
Bob Conner
This is a very gripping story. I've never had any plans to travel to Turkey before this and I would certainly change them if I had. Very tense, real.
Terry Ravenscroft
This is not a bad book by any means, however it is one of the few books that aren't as good or, in most cases, better than the film.
Amy
If you think you know this story from the movie then think again, the book is far more thrilling & heart pumping. Give it a read!
Iris
increidible..!!! This is the kind of book that leaves a mark on you forever, I can't believe how these things can happen to a human being, society has been doomed since waaay too long.
A must read.
Kevin Markwell
It's been a long time since I read this one. I only remember that it was really good.
Joe Emery
Not as good as the film, found this tedious.
Lenny
Read this book a long time ago. Itwas very good.
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“La soledad es un agudo dolor generalizado. No se le puede aislar en una sola parte del cuerpo.” 0 likes
“Los soldados me llevaron afuera. El traductor me siguió y me comunicó oficialmente mi sentencia. Cadena perpetua, reducida a treinta años. Mi liberación se fijaba para el año 2000. Con la reducción del tiempo por buena conducta, estaría libre el 7 de octubre de 1990. En diecisiete años yo tendría cuarenta y tres. Lillian tendría cuarenta y dos. El 1984 de George Orwell habría llegado y partido. El cometa Halley habría vuelto y también se habría marchado. Me perdería cuatro elecciones presidenciales más y cuatro olimpíadas. Papá se habría retirado, mamá estaría encanecida. Mis hermanos quizá se habrían casado y tendrían hijos adolescentes que saludarían al tío maduro a su regreso de Turquía. La juventud de mi vida se evaporaría en una cárcel turca.

-Getchmis Olsun -me deseó uno de los soldados que me llevaban a la cárcel. "Que pase pronto.”
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