Papillon by Henri Charrière

Welcome to the first record in the Ship’s Library – Papillon by Henri Charrière.

The Ship’s Library is Twodeck Brand’s book club. Each month, one of our crew selects a book to read and time is set aside for every staff member to read during their work day. At the end of the month, we share what we learnt and what it meant. And so it’s not just us waffling on about the books we love… five customers per month will receive a copy of our Ship’s Library book with their TD001 order as a surprise – because the best part about reading is sharing stories.

To kick off this journey, our Founder Mike Todd selected his favourite book – Papillon by Henri Charrière. Here’s his review:

There is something rather final when the hatch of a submarine closes. The clunk of steel-on-steel then all there is is the silent hum of a ship at sea. We were not prisoners and the good ship Turbulent was not a prison colony, on the contrary, it was at times more Carry on Cruising than James Bond. But it did have its long periods of nothing and that’s why Papillon became my go-to book at sea. Papillon overcame solitary confinement by accessing his past and reliving days of his youth over and over again and as a young sailor, Papillon tenacity to make good out of bad became somewhat of a life lesson. Everyone needs a go-to book to re-read to remind them why they are who they are. We all need a character to aspire to be or hope we can emulate when the going gets tough. Papillon, innocent or guilty of his crimes never let the system grind him down and even when all seemed lost, he still believed in a better tomorrow. I did 6 glorious years in Her Majesty’s Navy and Papillon racked up 14 at the pleasure of the French. We both survived.

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