3 out of 4 stars
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65 Days in Paradise, by Franklyn Prillerman, follows Frank Smith, a black American. Frank got into the Jamaican crew of international drug smugglers through Cinderella, a Jamaican lady. One day, after leaving the airport, along with Cinderella and Marquis (Marquis was part of their crew), they lodged in a motel. They just returned to the United States from Jamaica, and Cinderella organized the trip. Afterwards, Cinderella and Marquis made a row at a buffet breakfast and hence attracted the police. They all were arrested when the police found packages of grass in their luggage.
Frank claimed to be the owner of all the packages, and later, he and Cinderella were bailed. After a long while, suspecting that the judge would revoke his bail, Frank absconded to Jamaica. He left with Desmond, Cinderella's aunt's son, who had been working with him.
However, as fate would have it, due to Desmond's lapses, Frank was arrested again at an airport in Jamaica for trying to smuggle cannabis out of the country. He was on his way to Philadelphia. He was then taken to a "jail receiving building" and later sentenced. Would he survive the harsh conditions of the notorious "Spainishtown prison?"
65 Days in Paradise is engaging. It's chiefly about the protagonist's unforgettable experiences in jail, while awaiting trial and after being sentenced. It's entertaining, full of witty conversations. What I love about it is that most of the characters converse in Patois, a language that always amuses me.
The author describes the scenes and events in a vivid manner. The plot is strong, and its events are unveiled in an interesting and smooth manner. Regarding the characters, they are intriguing. Some are hard, and some are nice and easy-going like the protagonist, even though he is a marijuana smuggler.
The book is appealing and enlightening. It includes narratives about precolonial and colonial history of Jamaica, revealing where and how African captives were trained to be slaves. In addition, it reveals a bit of Jamaican culture and heritage. It also tells about Jamaican prison society.
However, the novel consists of violence, including gory scenes. Moreover, it has many scenes that involve the smoking of spliffs. Hence, readers who don't like such features may want to skip it.
I rate 65 Days in Paradise 3 out of 4 stars. I didn't rate it lower because it is fascinating and flows smoothly. It has a good theme that involves the consequences of breaking the law. Furthermore, I couldn't give it 4 stars because it doesn't seem professionally edited. There are several distracting grammar errors and typos, especially punctuation mistakes. The author should send it for a round of professional editing. It'll be a worthwhile read for readers who love stories about prison life.
65 Days in Paradise
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