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In the Shadow of Papillon: Seven Years of Hell in Venezuela's Prison System

In the Shadow of Papillon: Seven Years of Hell in Venezuela's Prison System

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Frank Kane, By (author) John Tilsley

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  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 22mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1845962516
  • ISBN 13: 9781845962517
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 93,206

Product description

Following the collapse of his business and the loss of his home, Frank Kane made a catastrophic decision. In desperation, he agreed to smuggle cocaine out of Venezuela. Almost inevitably, he and his girlfriend, Sam, were caught. The price they paid was a ten-year sentence in the hell of the overcrowded Venezuelan prison system, notorious for corruption and abuse, and rife with weapons and gangs. At one point, Frank was held in the remote El Dorado prison, better known for being the one-time home of Henri Charriere, or Papillon. He witnessed countless murders as gang leaders fought for power, and he had to become as ruthless as his fellow inmates in order to survive. In an attempt to dull the reality of the horrendous conditions, he succumbed to drugs. After enduring years of systematic beatings by the guards and attempts on his life by inmates, Frank suffered more than one breakdown. He lost over four stone and was riddled with disease, but somehow he found the strength within himself to survive and was eventually released in 2004 after serving over seven years of his sentence. During the long walk back from hell, Frank decided to tell his story.

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Author information

Frank Kane was born in Cheshire in 1953. After many years working in the electrical industry, he started his own electrical wholesale business, which collapsed after 12 years of very successful trading. Since his release from prison, Frank is now settled and working as a lorry driver. John Tilsley is also the author of Be a Good Boy, Johnny and Nevada Blue. He lives in Cheshire.

Customer reviews

By Le Goff 19 Sep 2013 4

It is graphic, violent, aggressive it will send chills down your spine when ready what human could do to one another.

It's the story of survival of a human being in the hell hole of Venezualan prison and judicial system. It is about the balance of power, the dominant and the dominee. About network and about the fragileness of a human life but more than anything about the strenght and resilience that a human being is capable of.

I really appreciate Mister Kane story, he never said that he wasn't guilty and didn't do it, he played, he lost and agreed to the term of it. Still it is heartbreaking to realise that people are treated sith such violence, whether you are a foreigner of a native and aside from what you have done, no human deserve that kind of treatment. His story with Sam shows the difference between carring, involving your feelings, your hearth into something and not letting anything get to you: Love can destroy yourself and your ability to think clearly.

I recommend this book, for someone willing to explore the dark side of Venezuela and the strenght a human is capable of.

Review quote

"Thrilling ... as true stories from savage foreign hellholes go, this is up there with the most extraordinary ****" Ice