Condemned for a murder he had not committed, Henri Charriere (nicknamed Papillon) was sent to the penal colony of French Guiana. Forty-t wo days after his arrival he made his first break, travelling a thousand gruelling miles in an open boat. Recaptured, he suffered a solitary confinement and was sent eventually to Devil's Island, a hell-hole of disease and brutality. No one had ever escaped from this notorious prison - no one until Papillon took to the shark infested sea supported only by a makeshift coconut-sack raft. In 13 years he made nine daring escapes, living through many fantastic adventures while on the run - including a sojourn with South American Indians whose women Papillon found welcomely free of European restraints. This book is Henry Charriere's memoir of prison breaks and adventure.