Colony

From the author of the existential thriller The Execution comes Colony , a novel set in French Guiana as the age of Empire draws to a close and anarchy beckons.The year is 1928 Sabir petty criminal, drifter, war veteran is on a prison ship bound for a notorious penal colony in the French tropics Soon after his arrival in the bagne, as it s known, Sabir is shippedFrom the author of the existential thriller The Execution comes Colony , a novel set in French Guiana as the age of Empire draws to a close and anarchy beckons.The year is 1928 Sabir petty criminal, drifter, war veteran is on a prison ship bound for a notorious penal colony in the French tropics Soon after his arrival in the bagne, as it s known, Sabir is shipped out to a work camp deep in the South American jungle but quickly comes to the realisation that his old life is dead, and return to France an impossibility Yet, if he s to survive at all, he must escape the brutality of the bagne Posing as a professional gardener, Sabir wins the confidence and protection of the camp s na ve, idealistic Commandant With a group of like minded convicts including the secretive, enigmatic Edouard, a comrade from the trenches of WW1 he soon launches his escape bid, across the seas in a stolen boat Bad weather forces the men ashore, condemning them to a dismal, hallucinatory tramp through the jungle As hunger and rivalry tear the group apart, Sabir understands he has scant chance of escaping into another life.In Part Two, Manne deserter, itinerant exile comes to the Colony in search of his deported friend, the same Edouard from Part One With a false identity and cover story, Manne installs himself as a guest at the Commandant s house There, he falls into an affair with his host s wife Meanwhile, the Commandant is slowly unravelling, growing ever suspicious of who Manne is and what he s doing in the Colony Manne ends up trapped like everyone else in the bagne, and realises that he too must escape The novel s two plot threads begin to merge boundaries between dream and reality blur, bringing a surreal tinge to the dramatic climax.Both a page turning adventure story, and a bold novel of ideas, Colony takes an historical background familiar to readers of Henri Charri re s Papillon , and twists it into a metaphysical journey Brilliantly evoking an atmosphere of colonial decline in the tropics, the novel explores the shifting natures of identity, memory and reality.
Colony From the author of the existential thriller The Execution comes Colony a novel set in French Guiana as the age of Empire draws to a close and anarchy beckons The year is Sabir petty criminal d

  • Title: Colony
  • Author: Hugo Wilcken
  • ISBN: 9780007106486
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Colony”

    1. I don't want to give away too much about the story, but I will say 'read it'! (FYI, these days it's a bargain price of $5.98 on amazon or $3.99 on bookcloseouts for those in the US.) I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who loves Heart of Darkness, the jungle feel of Apolcalypse Now, hazy lines between reality and imagination, philosophical works along the lines of Camus (and perhaps a bit of Kafka tossed in). Two of the main themes are escape & reality -- escape from physical places, esca [...]

    2. “In the East, the Far East, when a person is sentenced to death, they're sent to a place where they can't escape, never knowing when an executioner may step up behind them, and fire a bullet into the back of their head.”All right, that isn’t from Colony, it’s from the David Lynch film Lost Highway. I read this novel after hearing it had been compared with Lynch’s film. And the comparison is really remarkable. Both begin by following the story of a man who has been incarcerated for (pro [...]

    3. A criminal is dispatched to a primitive colonial penitentiary and we are sent with him. He survives the harsh journey, survives his harsh bedfellows, survives the pitfalls that lie beneath dangerous dreams of escape by ignoring them as best he can, and is rewarded with the possibility of more than merely survival, a chance to create another life for himself. But at that very point of critical balance, he begins to listen to the dreams again, follows and is claimed by them, and can only escape in [...]

    4. I know it’s a tired cliche but when I was reading Colony I was reminded of Henri Charriere’s Papillion. There are similarities, mainly the fact that both novels deal with life on a penal colony and, at least for it’s first half, Colony is equally gritty and ragged.The first half of the book focuses on Sabir, a french soldier, who arrives on the penal colony in South America and decides that his raison d’etre is to escape from it as quickly as possible. Eventually Sabir does manage to ach [...]

    5. Colony, Hugo Wilcken's second novel, was published to scant publicity and little fanfare in 2007. The reasons why it has remained obscure start with a bland, forgettable cover design that looks like it might have been thrown together in ten minutes and cost the publisher a couple of pounds. Next, the novel itself is difficult to categorize, and in a marketing climate where any new product is defined using comparisons to already successful and familiar products, this spells doom from the get go. [...]

    6. Stark, brutal and tense, a really well written novel, gives you the real sense in which all the prisoners, guards, even the commandant and escapees are all trapped in 'The Colony', purgatory but with no hope of escape. The post-WW1 setting is played upon, with the horrors of the trenches playing upon the minds of those prisoners who are veterans such as Sabir, Manne and Edouard. Definitely worth your time, and I shall add Mr Wilcken's subsequent novels to my TBR consideration.

    7. Whilst I was reading this book, I was trying to decide whether or not I was enjoying it. Now that I have finished it, I'm still wondering. The torpor of a tropical rainforest seems to have influenced me! I don't know what the book was trying to say, themes such as identity, ambition, love, possession and progress are explored, but I am not sure if conclusions are drawn. Read it yourself to see if you can make more sense of it. Then you can explain it to me.

    8. This book was obtuse enough to be interesting and though the writing wasn't as lyrical or as full of imagery as I usually like, it kept my attention until the end. There were a few loose ends and I think I worked out what happened in the end I didn't mind the characters, although they could have been more fully explored.

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