Henri Charrière, nicknamed "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 first 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.
“A first-class adventure story.” — New York Review of Books
Born in 1906, and imprisoned in 1931, Henri Charrière finally escaped in 1945 to Venuzuela, where he married, settled in Caracas, and opened a restaurant. He died in 1973.
Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique.
This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties.
His family never suspected a thing.
Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.
As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.
Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.
It's snowing in Bali. Among Bali's drug dealers it's the code for a huge cocaine shipment having just landed. For the men who run the country's drug empires, it's time to get rich and party hard.
Snowing in Bali is the story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that's made Bali one of the world's most important destinations in the global distribution of narcotics. With its central location to the Asia Pacific market, its thriving tourist industry to act as cover for importation, and a culture of corruption that can easily help law enforcement turn a blind eye, Bali has long been a paradise for traffickers as well as for holiday-makers.
Kathryn Bonella, bestselling author of Hotel Kerobokan and Operation Playboy, has been given extraordinary access into the lives of some of the biggest players in Bali's drug world, both past and present. She charts their rise to incredible wealth and power, and their drug-fuelled lifestyles, filled with orgies, outrageous extravagance and surfing. But running international drug empires in Bali can also be a highly risky business, with terrible consequences for those caught and convicted.
In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.
In the Whitechapel neighborhood of London in 1888, five women were horribly mutilated and murdered by the infamous killer, Jack the Ripper. Though there were many suspects, the monster was never caught.
This recently discovered memoir from the 1920s introduces a new suspect: James Willoughby Carnac, a little-known figure who claims to have been the Ripper. Carnac describes the events and geography of Whitechapel in 1888 with chilling accuracy, including details of the murders that appear to have been unavailable to the public at the time. He presents a credible motive for becoming Jack, and, for the first time ever, a reason for ending the killing spree. Ultimately, you, the reader, must decide if this is simply one of the earliest imaginings of the case—and a groundbreaking literary addition to the Ripper canon—or if it is the genuine autobiography of Jack the Ripper himself.
"A text that will no doubt be debated for years to come."—Alan Hicken, Montacute Museum, Somerset, England
"Intricate and creepy."—The Daily Express (UK)
"Easily read and worth it for the ending."—Kirkus