This could be the most important book I've ever read. It opened my eyes in a number of ways and with it's many ups and downs it should be in everyone's library.
Papillon, was published in France in 1968, written by Henri Charrière and was going to be the book that sparked my interest for biographies and autobiographies. Papillon was actually the book that got me into reading in the first place and I'll try to explain why.
Henri Charrière, was convicted year 1931 in Paris for a murder he did not commit. He was sentenced to life in the penal colonies of French Guiana and became obsessed with escaping the islands. The book Papillon is about his planning and executing of a series of failed attempts over many years and eventually being sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped. The book follows and explains the horrors but also the good times inside the prison, all this while he plans his next escape, counting the waves, avoiding sharks or trying to bribe the guards. The story is about hope in an extremely dark world where no one should be able to survive, he did and he tells you everything about it.
Henri's autobiography got my attention from the first chapter and has ever since been with me in one way or another. If you are one of those who see value in reading a good book, get this one. Highly recommended!