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4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison
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4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,917 ratings  ·  163 reviews
In the late 1970s, author Warren Fellows and two of his friends had the perfect scheme: they would traffic heroin between Australia and Thailand, concealing it flawlessly in high-tech, invisible compartments in suitcases. The money was there, and the process seemed foolproof--especially because they hadn't gotten caught in all their prior attempts at smuggling. But in 1978 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 1998)
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Andrew
Jan 06, 2008 Andrew rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sadists and spoiled brats, those interested in 3rd world prison systems
Recommended to Andrew by: Jon Cianfrani
4,000 Days was offered to me as an excellent way to get myself out of a reading slump. I'd burned myself out on 400 page novels with brilliant writing and needed something a bit less involving. While I'm not entirely happy with the book, the recommendation was spot on and I found myself finishing it in one sitting.

Telling the story of Warren Fellows, 4,000 Days is more-or-less exactly what the cover promises. Told in a simple, straight-forward style, it is a loose and hurried account of a man's
...more
chucklesthescot
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eric Schurr
This may be the best book i've listened to all year. It is truly remarkable in every way: the story is gripping, horrifying, and illuminating; the writing is tight, to the point, and creative; and the narrator is one of the, if not the, best i've ever heard -- his timing and intonation is perfect.

Ever wondered what it's like in a prison? How about the worst one in the world? This guy describes the unbelievably inhuman living conditions and torture that the Thai prison system put him through. And
...more
♥ Marlene♥
A quick read but not near as good as I expected it to be according to the ratings.

Maybe I am spoiled but I have read 2 books about this same prison by 2 different Dutch guys.
One of those books was so well written and told us the horrible experience he had to go through. But he did that in a much better way than Warren Fellows. This book felt rushed, written from the sideline.



I do understand why this book got high ratings. I think that has lot to do with all the horrible and shocking things he ha
...more
Jake
Quite a depressing book to be honest. A trafficker caught in the act who pays the ultimate price. Twelve years in a hellhole. Have to feel sorry for the guy but then you have to feel sorry for the heroin addicts who were addicted to his supplied product. Ironically he becomes an addict himself during his time behind bars. "Marching Powder" by Rusty Young is certainly a better, more uplifting tale, of life in prison for a trafficker. Much funnier too and at times, almost unbelievable!
Avi
This book was a very descriptive insight to some of the worst prisons in Thailand and I imagine anywhere in this world. The sheer disregard for human suffering and the extent of the brutality is unbelievable. The mind boggles how these things are allowed to happen. It was at times a grisly and difficult read but very interesting to someone like me who has no prior in depth knowledge on this topic.
Andrew Mitchell
For anyone even contemplating the life of drug smuggling, this is a must read. This tale of filthy conditions and uncaring guards all mixed up in a foreign land allow for a horrific page turner. If this doesn't put people off that kind of life, nothing will. This book also contains one of the best/scariest introductions to a book I have ever read. A well written account of living hell.
Adrian
Sep 20, 2009 Adrian added it
Read in one day. Fellows spent 11 1/2 years in the Thailand prison system from 1978 until late 1989 for drug trafficking. He admits his guilt. It's a story of unrelenting horror- torture, heat, bugs, rats, filth, disease, privation and starvation and he has survived it all. Anyone who reads this account and feels justice was done isn't human.
Siriben -
4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison is a biography book written by Warren Fellows. This book is about Warren Fellows, an Australian man who tried to smuggle heroin from Thailand to Australia, but he got caught. He was sent to Bang Kwang Prison and he had to spend 12 years in prison. He described about how the prison was like and how the prisoners were treated in the prison. The life in the prison was horrible, the prisoners were treated badly by the guards and the condition was ...more
Michael Cunningham
I was on my way to Thailand, and wanted something to scare me off doing something stupid and ending up in prison, I had heard about The Damage Done and it was described to me as being a Thai ‘Midnight Express’ so I bought it straight away. Warren Fellows retells the story of his devastating experience in several of Thailand’s most notorious prisons for trafficking heroin in the late 70s. The Damage Done contains twelve years of this man’s life condensed into roughly 200 pages, his words are haun ...more
Ann
A shockingly true story of two aussies jailed for drug trafficking in Bangkok in 1978 for 12 years.Whether they deserved it or not is besides the point. The horror and the cruelty of the guards and the inmates has to be read to be believed. While telling the reader of their experiences it is distressing to read about the graphic details of many other young travellers from all over Europe who disappear in to this hell hole, some never to be seen again. A must read if you want to know and avoid th ...more
Chris Thrall
As with most people who read this book. I finished it in about two page-turning hours and thought it was a phenominal insight into the world of westerners involved with drugs in Asia. Warren wrote a straight to the point, one dimensional account of his experience - and it still receives a wealth of praise from both sides of the drug-debate fence. I say this because I wonder how my own book will be received, having written it with a literary bent straight from the heart of a full-on-and-mental li ...more
Fiona
Finished this book in two short sittings. Ok it's not the best written book I have ever read but my the emotions it causes you to experience are intense.

Warren is arrested in Thailand for attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country. Up to that point he never used them and to be honest was probably feeling cocky as he had successfully smuggled before. He will admit it was a choice he made without much thought and at no time is looking for sympathy. The book details his time in various prisons
...more
Kane Smith
3. I found this text strange and unusual because of how harshly he was treated there was no sympathy for his crime not that there should be. But they lived in gruelling conditions which made him and and the others around him feel bad about who they are and brought up deep feelings of remorse.
These people like Warren were made to stand in long drops which just made the feel worthless. This to me is demeaning. Its a unusual way to treat people and i believe its a very strange treatment unlike New
...more
Melanie
loved it from start to finish i too was a herion addict for 15 years i found he knew what he was talking about in this book i read it in prison for the first time and the second time was just 2 day ago its a must read book .I for one would seriosly think when i am abroad of having any thing to do with drugs. and will be do.uble chequing me case . its just so sad this story how one man could go through so much.
Nick
This book was OK. But I've read far better prison stories.

There's no doubt that Warren endured very hard times, but the story telling was pretty poor. There was no development of prison-mate characters, just a constant stream of "one time a guy...", "...and then another random guy..." etc., etc..

I would recommend books like "Papillon" or "Forget You Had a Daughter" over this one.
Beccy Williams
Of all the drug smuggling, banged - up - abroad type books I've read (and there's been a lot) this is one of the best. Very well written.
Bill Brown
Story of an Australian man caught smuggling heroin from Bangkok and his time spent in Bang Kwang prison. Midnight Express is one of my all time favorite books about Billy Hayes imprisoned in Turkey for smuggling hash. 4000 Days is a good story but it is told in past tense instead of story form. Still interesting but not as good as Midnight Express.
John Madden
Hadn't read a book in an age (criminal I know) but was on Samui and felt under the weather so decided to take a night off and bought a book I thought looked interesting.. This was it and it reignited a passion in me for reading.. Couldn't put it down, cover to cover in 8 hrs..
Sarina
This an extremely hard-hitting book, with very graphic and disturbing stories from the author. This is an excellent book to give teenagers and anyone does not have the full understanding of the unglamourous consequeces of drugs and drug peddling.

Davina
Read before travelling to Thailand, very scary to see what can happen when a stupid mistake is made
Casey
One of the greatest books I have read. Short read. Just a warning it get pretty disgusting.
Ree Pritchard
Amazing insight into his experience in a "hell on earth".
Kathy
Absolute favourite book. Mind blowing! Awesome.
Chris
Wow what a relentlessly horrifying fable for anyone dumb enough to mule drugs from Thailand. This is the banged up abroad testimony of Aussie Warren Fellows, drug trafficker wannabe who was caught smuggling heroin with a friend in 1978. To coin a cliche it's a genuine page turner. The pacing is well timed, the quality of writing is engrossing and the story transports you to the hell that is Bang Kwang. This is a truly powerful piece of writing that left me shocked at the horrors he and the other ...more
Kingfan30
My husband is not a big reader, just tends to do it on holidays, and its never fiction. Someone recommended this book to him and he got through it pretty quickly to I thought it can't be too bad a read lets give it a go.

Well the prologue alone made me feel pretty queazy, but I carried on. I would not say it is the easiest book to read, the way they are treated in the Thai prison is disgusting and the queasiness returned on several occasions. If for any reason you were thinking of trading in drug
...more
Azzikorn
This biography is written by Australian, Warren Fellows who was caught drug trafficking between Thailand and Australia in around 1978. The Damage Done gives excellent picture of what happens to the drugs traffickers that get caught by the authorizes. In addition it also deals with the violent and sadistic torture of Thai prisons and the everyday life Mr. Fellows had to suffer. One truly learns that prisons are full of drug deals between the walls, and unfair treatment to the offenders of crime.T ...more
Gary Martin
Having spent years living in Thailand I'm interested to read books like this. I thought it was well written and it hooked me pretty much straight away, I don't think I have read a book so quickly in my life as I hardly put it down. Warren fellows surely has many memories that will stick with him forever, I don't want to spoil the book but I would recommend it to anyone who liked this topic.
Debs
This book is a book that similar to Hotel Kerobokan.
Warren Fellows was a young and sort of stupid boy who wanted an easy money became a drug smuggler. He was in Bangkok prison for 12 years in late 70's to 80's. He admitted his mistake and yes .. it's pretty shocking story just like Hotel Kerobokan.

Steven Scaffardi
The opening few sentences of this book grab hold of you in a vice like grip and attempts to prepare the reader for what is to come. 'Think about the most wretched day of your life' the author asks the reader to contemplate, 'and then imagine 4,000 of those days together in one chunk.' Australian drug-smuggler Warren Fellows doesn't pull any punches, nor does he ask for your sympathy. But he wants his story to be told, because reading what this man went through - no matter what his crime - leaps ...more
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