THE CONVICT by Felix with Micha Grin Milani

THE CONVICT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The convict memoirs of Felix Milani, recollected in bristling tranquillity on the island of Corsica after his final parole, will satisfy those who enjoy a trip through the bowels of French justice and a Devil's Island ordeal by guillotine. In 1932, Milani, at age 27, was wrongfully sentenced to execution by the blade when a girl he lived with beat her daughter to death, then blamed him. Milani spent 90 days in shackles waiting to be beheaded, then had his sentence commuted to hard labor for life. It's 40 years in the French Guiana penal colonies and six different escape attempts before he touches French soil again. Only two escapes are successful, the second when he feels death is near and he must breathe the air of Corsica once more. After all, ""I was condemned for a crime I never committed, and I've never been punished for the ones I did!"" Face to face with cannibals, quicksand, the horrors of the jungle, his determination to break free remains unshaken and sees him through long months of utter isolation where only his cell's insects seem real. Milani is a warmhearted, explosively emotional chap--and when his term is finally shortened for having saved a guard from drowning, the reader joins him in his profound sigh of relief. Fast and bitter but not all that memorable.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1978
Publisher: St. Martin's