Sep 12, 2011

Book: Papillon- Henri Charriere

One of my favorite teachers while in high school was the Literature teacher, a woman with the level of intelligence and knowledge so high, that I would often dream to achieve it. During a publishing house visit, she reached out for the book with a simple word on it, „Papillon”, and said: „This book changed my life. It’s wonderful”.

Ever since, I’ve been meaning to read it, but it took, I guess, 5 or 6 years to actually do it.

I must say I share her enthusiasm. It’s not life-changing, not for me, anyway, but it moves you and makes you happy, satisfied and grateful for what you have.

The pace of the storyline is so fast, that I admit to forgetting important details or events, as they are buried quickly under new adventures and places. But in 500 pages, give or take, so many things happen that it’s impossible to remember it. And I loved it. In an usual book, the authors presents, for example, a departure, in one or two pages, explaining the context, the characters, the scenery. Henri Charriere gets out of a prison, travels to the next and spends two days there in only one page.

One of the main attractions of this book is the actual storyline, as the actions and the situations Papillon goes through are unbearable: sometimes they are unfair, sometimes unimaginable, other times you think this kind of luck cannot happen to one person, but most of the time you feel the frustration Papillon feels.

All in all, it is a wonderful book that I highly recommend if you crave for some adventure!


  1. My old man recommended Papillon to me many years ago and its always been one of my favourites.
    Some of Charriere's adventures are incredible and I always smile at the section where he hides out on the island surrounded by quicksand and uses a small pig as a guide!
    He also wrote a sequel called Banco which isn't as good as Papillon but is still interesting.
    You've got an interesting site Aziza, good luck with it in the future.

  2. Thanks for the comment and for the wish! I'm glad you liked it and hope to see you back soon!