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Papillon
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Previous BRs - Authors; A - D > Charrière Henri - Papillon - "Informal Buddy Read" - Start date June 1, 2014

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited May 01, 2014 02:57PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30772 comments Mod
This topic is open for discussion of Papillon by Henri Charrière

BE PREPARED FOR SPOILERS

What is a buddy read?


About this Buddy Read
An “Informal Buddy Read” doesn’t have a discussion leader and participants are asked to consider some generic questions when making comments about the book

Synopsis
Henri Charrière, 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.

Charrière'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 defeated.

Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillion. Roman by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière Papillon by Henri Charrière


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30772 comments Mod
We will be reading this over the month of June as an informal buddy read.
So please post comments at any point, but use spoiler tags where required.


message 3: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10048 comments In!!

The pretty cover for the Portuguese edition is this one:
Papillon by Henri Charrière

it is prettier than it looks


message 4: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
Oh very nice!


message 5: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Just requested this from my library :).
The movie is one of my favorites, so it'll be fun to finally read the book.


Shaun  (Lost in Books, Film, and Floss) Amanda wrote: "Just requested this from my library :).
The movie is one of my favorites, so it'll be fun to finally read the book."


Amanda I love your profile pic. Laurel and Hardy are my absolute favorite comedy team of all time.


message 7: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Hey Shaun! Glad to meet another fan!


They were the best at what they did and I don't think anyone has ever come close. It's a shame more people don't know about them :).


message 8: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (everlastinggrace) | 2360 comments Amanda I love your giff of the Dudes :) Well, I'm in!


message 9: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
Welcome all :)


message 10: by Clare (new) - added it

Clare Butler | 294 comments I'm in!


message 11: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia (darktalynn) | 10048 comments Awesome!


message 12: by Matty (new)

Matty | 16 comments I am definitely in!!(:


message 13: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
lovely!

So this is an informal read. Feel free to start at any time during the month, when posting comments just be clear about the section of book you are referring to and use spoilers where required

Thanks :)


Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo (wwwgoodreadscomAnneMolinarolo) | 3 comments Wonderful! I've always wanted to read this book.


message 15: by Clare (new) - added it

Clare Butler | 294 comments Just read the first part. It feels quite harsh. I don't know why I say that it is just a feeling I get from the writing. But I suppose if Papilon is supposed to be writing it himself the situation he is in would make him harsh.


message 16: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
Clare wrote: "Just read the first part. It feels quite harsh. I don't know why I say that it is just a feeling I get from the writing. But I suppose if Papilon is supposed to be writing it himself the situati..."

I finished the first part today, and I agree the writing is quite stilted. I guess because he is not an educated man, and also the translation has tried to stay true to him. The conditions in the jail are pretty harsh, but I guess that is just part of the time... I am surprised about the 'capsule' he received and where he keeps it. I don't know why, I just hadn't considered that kind of thing happened back then
This is a pretty huge book (about 10 hours of reading according to my kindle!) so it will probably take me a while to finish in between BOMs


message 17: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
I've now finished the second part
This is one long book and I'm struggling with it a little. The writing style is just so stilted/amateur and there is not a whole lot going on. I'm going to try and push through and hope that the next part has a bit more excitement.

It has made me wonder about the popularity of the book. I guess when it was released people were fascinated by an escaped convict? It it possible that these days with so much information available to us, we have just become more demanding readers and expect more from our books?


message 18: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jun 15, 2014 01:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
I'm happy to say that the third part starts off as much more interesting. I love the descriptions of Pigeon Island and the Lepers. Such a different sense of manners and perhaps morality than what you would expect these days


message 19: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments I haven't started it yet. Every time I go to start the book I see how huge it is and end up picking a quicker read. lol
I think it doesn't help that it's an autobiography.


message 20: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
I hear ya! I'm trying to take it a little at a time to hopefully finish in the month :)


message 21: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
Oh my goodness it is almost the end of the month and I'm only at 40%!

I really enjoyed the "first break" section. I wonder how much is real and how much he has exaggerated/taken liberty with, but what a fascinating insight into the indigenous people and their culture. Will he ever see his "wives" again?

As the book goes along I am enjoying it more and more. I feel like I'm sitting down having a chat with a mastermind criminal about his jail breaks and I can see great historical value in this book


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
Ok I'm at 70% and about to start the ninth exercise book

The descriptions of solitary confinement were interesting and horrifying all at once. As the book goes along I do smirk a little at Papillon's descriptions of himself and his accomplishments. Surely there is some embellishment there? ;)

Love the story with Brutus ; even if it is just a story.

I am determined to try and finish this within the next week!!


message 23: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine (inhalesbookslikepopcorn) | 1050 comments I wanted to read this as it was on my radar but from your early despcriptions Karen it looks rather dense and gritty. Don't know if I make it anytime soon to read. I'm looking for light reads in the summer :)


message 24: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
@Chirstine - It is very dense, and at times girty, but incredibly interesting! I recommend reading it, but you'll need to be in the right mood :)


message 25: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
*breathes out*

I finally finished

yay!

I quite enjoyed this book despite the length and tall tales. It gives a very interesting account of the time and I think has historical value ; along with being entertaining. Papillon was certainly a good storyteller, albeit not the best writer ;)

I went looking and found some info on wikipedia where Papillon agreed his book as about 75% true. Others have said it was about 10% true! lol
And it seems some of his courageous acts were actually done by others, and the French Government claim he was never at Devil's Island and his descriptions of the island are inaccurate. (which makes me wonder why he would make all that part up).

All in all, I am glad I conquered this book! 4 stars

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_...


message 26: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments I really should get to this. I'm just a little intimidated. lol
The movie is one of my favorites. Have you seen it yet, Karen?


message 27: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14204 comments Mod
lol
Ah, just do it. I just read that you've done Les Miserables, so you can certainly read this!
I haven't watched the movie yet.. it is at my libraries, I should just pick it up :)


Rebekah (bekahpaige) | 263 comments I am reading this now for the TT3 challenge. I like it so far! The island with the lepers is fascinating. I am younger & had never heard of it, and I did not know about the movie. Is the French "underworld" supposed to be the Italian mafia or some sort of other organized crime? I find his story pretty unbelievable! :)


Rebekah (bekahpaige) | 263 comments The book originally reminded me of The Count of Monte Cristo. Any other French authors? I think that the first part was interesting but then it really started to drag and become tedious, hard to finish.


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