Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Book Review: Send Them To Hell By Sebastian Williams

Time to review the first book from July's reading list. You can view my reading list here: if you missed the post :)

My review of Send Them To Hell by Sebastian Williams
Book Review: Send Them To Hell by Sebastian Williams

The blurb from the back cover
Send Them To Hell is a horrifying, authentic chronicle of life as lived by foreign inmates over the past two decades in Bangkok's notorious prison system.
Murder, human rights abuse, drugs, blackmail, extortion, extreme violence, medical maltreatment and unjustifiable death penalties feature as every day occurrences in the living hells that are Bangkwang and Klong Prem jails.
Sebastian Williams has graphically revealed this shocking reality through the eyes of a long term inmate from the West who endured at first hand the unimaginable, inhuman nightmare that constitutes the Thai penal system.
My thoughts on the book
Firstly, I really enjoyed reading this book. It is written in an easy to understand way, and I liked the author's voice. It's a very interesting book and offers an insight into something most of us would find unimaginable.
If this is the first of this type of book you have read, you will definitely think it is greatly exaggerated. The first book I read about what goes on at Bangkwang I took with a huge pinch of salt. I have now read several, and they all paint a very similar picture which makes me inclined to believe it.
What makes this book particularly harrowing is that the prisoner is innocent, framed by the police. Now whether or not this is true, obviously we only have the writers word for it, but honestly, I see no real reason for him to lie as he is now free.
When I read this type of book, I am always conflicted. On one hand the treatment of these people is appalling to say the least. On the other hand, I can't help but think that if our prisons were a little tougher (not to this extent, but maybe a little closer) then we wouldn't have so many of the re-offenders we currently have.
If even half of what is written in this book is true, no one would want to go there twice!
Conclusion and rating
I really enjoyed this book. It was one of those that when I had to put it down to do other things, I looked forward to going back to it, and it is certainly one that will stay with me for quite some time! 5/5
Have you read this book, or any of this type? What do you think - are they exaggerated or is that just what we as the reader wants to believe? If anyone from Thailand happens to read this, I would love to hear what you think - is the Thai legal system really this corrupt? Please let me know in the comments, or if you are not comfortable doing that, please feel free to email me -
Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)
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  1. I don't think I can ever read a book like this. I think that's how effective the plot is. I'm such a scaredy cat when it comes to books. It sticks more and longer in my head.

    1. It's not scary in a horror novel sense, its more horrifying that they do this to people!

  2. I thankfully have no first hand knowledge of Thai prisons but all the dealings I've had with the police have involved money changings hands whether I was in the wrong or not.

    1. That backs up a lot of what the writer in this book is saying - whether you are innocent or guilty is irrelevant - you pay, you walk, you don't pay, you go to prison! It's scary stuff. If you get chance, give this book a try I think you'll find it interesting :)

  3. Another fab book review. Makes me jealous! Need to be reading more and more. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

    1. Thank you :) I probably shouldn't admit this publicly but here goes - I do most of my reading during quiet phases at work, otherwise I just wouldn't have the time to fit it all in! Thanks for hosting, I'll be there :)