The Penal Colony

Rated 5.00/5 based on 8 reviews
The British government now runs island prisons for the worst offenders from its mainland jails. New arrivals are dumped by helicopter and must learn to survive as best they can. To Sert, one afternoon in July, is brought Anthony John Routledge, sentenced for a sex-murder he did not commit. Routledge knows he is he is here for ever. And he knows he must quickly forget the rules of civilized life. More

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Words: 103,410
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452310831
About Richard Herley

I was born in England in 1950 and educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School and Sussex University, where my interest in natural history led me to read biology.

My first successful novel was "The Stone Arrow", which was published to critical acclaim in 1978. It subsequently won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, administered by the Royal Society of Literature in London, and was the first in a trilogy. This was followed by "The Penal Colony" (1987), a futuristic thriller that formed the basis of the 1994 movie "No Escape", starring Ray Liotta.

The main difficulty for the author is making his voice heard in the roar of self-promotion. I believe that the work I am producing now is of higher quality than my prize-winning first, and ask you, the reader, to help spread the word by telling your friends if you have enjoyed one of my books.

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Review by: Julien Boyer on Sep. 18, 2016 :
A well written, well told and well composed story that starts off as mildly interesting and scary and gets better and better as you turn the pages. The original proposition of casting away felons on deserted islands is explored rationally and never veers to the grotesque of a Battle Royale or its whitewashed counterpart, the Hunger Games.

The implementation advances pretty bold ideas about human nature that I'm not sure are totally realistic. Hey, just like Lord of the Flies, this is a novel and the author is entitled to their opinions. Unlike Lord of the Flies, I wish in my heart the author is right and I'm wrong.

It is subtly hinted at various points in the book that, while life on the island is brutal and unforgiving, the real barbarians are back on the mainland. I think this point is very valid but not higighted enough. I might be trying to read too much into this...

In what I'm starting to see as a habit for this author, the ending is anticlimactic and leaves many unresolved plot elements. It seems the author wants to hammer in that it's about the journey, not the destination. I get it finally. Or do I?
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

Review by: Meda Lubliner on Aug. 18, 2013 :
I sis not expect to become so engrossed in "The Penal Colony" as I did. Fast paced, unpredictable details and a great story. I look forward to reading more of Herley's books
(review of free book)

Review by: Robert Schobernd on March 10, 2013 :
My compliments to the author for an exciting and well written story. When the characters are good they're great and when they're bad they're pure evil.
The main character had the right emotions and battled with himself internally the way most innocent men would if sentenced to a modern day Devil's Island.
The technical details amazed me with the variety of disciplines discussed.
(review of free book)

Review by: brayden on Oct. 10, 2012 :
I would not be able to say enough good things about "The Penal Colony". It is brilliantly written. If you haven't read any other books by this author, "Refuge" is also excellent, and "The Drowning" was another compelling read. I look forward to reading other books by this author. Mr. Herley is an exceptionally talented writer.
(review of free book)

Review by: L T on Oct. 23, 2011 :
Well written. A not so future novel that blends the best and worst of human nature into an excellent read.
(review of free book)

Review by: Warren Smith on Jan. 22, 2011 : (no rating)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a fast paced adventure, vivid in imagery, and asks,"What next". A nonstop reader. A great read. Great story line. Five Stars. Warren Smith.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

Review by: Ray Mullen on Oct. 11, 2010 :
What a great book. Wonderful characters. It touches all the emotions, dispair, joy, loneliness, friendship, lost love, fright, all of them. The characters grow thru out the story. There is action and anticipation. It will keep you racing to the outcome. Loved it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sue Erickson on Sep. 22, 2010 : (no rating)
Wow the was a great read. The book was so realistic, I was totally hooked. I had a few problems with some of the words as I am in the U.S. and you from England, the charaters were so believeable.
(review of free book)

Review by: C S McClellan on Sep. 22, 2010 :
I normally don't read anything labeled as a thriller, but the sci fi tag and the generous excerpt drew me in. Once started, I was hooked. This is a well-plotted story of injustice, survival, and courage. There's plenty of action, but without slighting character development. The author also has an excellent eye for detail and gives the reader a real sense of place as the story progresses.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ben Thornton on Aug. 30, 2010 :
This gripping thriller follows Routledge as he tries to stay alive on the lawless penal colony of Sert. This is as good a novel as you'll find anywhere, and at this price, it's a steal!
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)

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