Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lad Lit Book Reviews: The Damage Done by Warren Fellows

Books For Men Book Reviews! The Damage Done by Warren Fellows
The opening few sentences of this book grab hold of you in a vice like grip and attempts to prepare the reader for what is to come. 'Think about the most wretched day of your life' the author asks the reader to contemplate, 'and then imagine 4,000 of those days together in one chunk.'

Australian drug-smuggler Warren Fellows doesn't pull any punches, nor does he ask for your sympathy. But he wants his story to be told, because reading what this man went through - no matter what his crime - leaps at you off the pages like a Thai prison warden bashing you across the head with a bamboo stick.

It's powerful stuff; frightening and unthinkable to imagine that right now - somewhere in the world at this very minute - another human being is suffering the way Fellows suffered for 12 years.

After operating as a cocaine smuggler, an introduction to infamous gangster Neddy Smith leads to Fellows pairing up with Smiths brother-in-law Paul Hayward and sending them to Thailand to smuggle heroin into Australia. 

What Fellows and Hayward didn't realise is that they were already under surveillance before they even left the country, and their world was about to fall apart. Following their arrest and conviction in 1978, the pair are shipped around Thailand's most notorious prisons. Here they suffer such inhumane conditions that will go on to have long lasting effects.

Despite reaching into an intense darkness to tell his tale, Fellows still manages to maintain an engaged tone throughout, and at times can be very amusing. The story about how much inmates have to pay to have sex with a good looking pig (yes, you read that correctly) is delivered with such dry sarcasm that you can't help but smile at the absurdity of the horrible situation he is in.

I've read a few books in this genre and this one is right up there with my favourite In the Shadow of Papillon. Perhaps not the sort of book you want to read on a flight to Bangkok, but then again it will certainly make you think twice about what you get up to at those Full Moon parties!


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