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Book Review of 4000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison

4000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison
Shervivor avatar reviewed on + 97 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4

This book is an easy, exciting read. The author does not waste a lot of time with background info and delves right into the vulgarities of being in a Thai prison. The first 4 chapters set up the story of how he became an international drug smuggler. This book really is a deterent for people not to become involved in the drug trade. He gave away his young life for a few thousand bucks. As he writes: "Some say that people cannot be warned, that they have to experience things for themsleves before they learn. I know there is some truth in that. But if my recollection of the horrors I experienced can change the mind of one person, then my life has not been worthless. It will, in fact, become as priceless as a life."

The narrative spends much of the time recounting the brutalities of Thai prison life, where death is commonplace and psychological torture are the norm. The author continuously apologizes for his crimes; obviously his rehabilitation worked. I found the incessant apologizing for his actions somewhat annoying as I do not feel his crimes even came close to matching his punishment. But then again I have never lost a family member or loved one to drugs.

From the back cover:
In 1978, Thai officials captured Warren Fellows attempting to smuggle heroin into his native Australia. The author spent the next twelve years in Bangkok's infamous Bang Kwang pprison. Thrown into this crumbling, understaffed hellscape-prowled by sadistic guards and violent inmates; unsanitary, unregulated, and unforgiving-Fellows encountered both the brutal physical realities of prison life and even more terrifying psychological ones: surrender of hope, exhaustion of spirit, the dull ache of uncompromising despair.

In prison, Fellows survived countless tortuous beatings, ate rats and cockroaches, endured solitary confinement under horrifyingly inhumane conditions, and withnessed countless executions. He learned to numb himself to the screams of his fellow inmates-as common as the vermin crawling his cell. Now a free man, Fellows captures the filth, pain, anger, hopelessness, and torture of life in Bang Kwang with vivid, engrossing detail and brutal honesty.