Published: 3rd February 2011
Publisher: Quercus UK
Genre: Non Fiction
Synopsis taken from Amazon:
Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan, or Hotel K, Bali’s most notorious jail. Its walls touch paradise: sparkling oceans, surf beaches and palm trees on one side, while on the other it’s a dark, bizarre and truly frightening underworld of sex, drugs, violence and squalor. Hotel K’s filthy and disease ridden cells have been home to the infamous and the tragic: a Balinese King, Gordon Ramsay’s brother, Muslim terror bombers, beautiful women tourists and surfers from across the globe. Petty thieves share cells with killers, rapists, and gangsters. Hardened drug traffickers sleep alongside unlucky tourists, who’ve seen their holiday turn from paradise to hell over one ecstasy pill. Hotel K is the shocking inside story of the jail and its inmates, revealing the wild ‘sex nights’ organised by corrupt guards for the prisoners who have cash to pay, the jail’s ecstasy factory, the killings made to look like suicides, the days out at the beach, the escapes and the corruption that means anything is for sale – including a fully catered Italian jail wedding, or a luxury cell upgrade with a Bose sound system. The truth about the dark heart of Bali explodes off the page.
I don’t usually read non-fiction, purchasing this as an Amazon Kindle Daily Deal a few months ago. I was really glad I read this!
Bonella provides a great insight into life in Bali’s most notorious jail, Hotel K. It is gritty and real – the sources, facts and opinions have been thoroughly researched and painstakingly pieced together, this is evident throughout. The circumstances surrounding these prisoners is unbelievable, considering our prison system here in the UK. It was shocking to read about some of the events that happened to prisoners and guards within this institution, making you realise how much is taken for granted here.
The author gives a totally uncensored story, using real POV’s to really give the gory, grim details of life inside. Bonella also has a really interesting way of writing about all of these prisoners humanely. I desperately hoped for better lives for some of them despite their despicable and torturous crimes. I also researched some of the inmates further following this read, to find out more information about their cases – namely Schapelle Corby, an Australian and Ronnie Ramsay, brother of celebrity chef Gordon.
The detail given in this novel is astounding – from rapists, murderers and drug smugglers to people simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, there is a little bit of everything. It is particularly graphic and quite disturbing at times – but I found it to be a really interesting, thought-provoking and insightful read.