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Summary

Midnight Express tells the gut-wrenching true story of a young man's incarceration and escape from a Turkish prison. A classic story of survival and human endurance told with humor, honesty, and heart, it became the Academy Award-winning blockbuster film of the same name.

In 1970, Billy Hayes was an English major who left college in search of adventures to write about, like his hero Jack London. He had a rude awakening when he was arrested at the airport in Istanbul trying to board a plane while carrying four pounds of hashish, and given a life sentence. After five brutal years, relentless efforts by his family to gain his release, and endless escape-plotting, Hayes finally took matters into his own hands. On a dark night in a wailing storm, he began a desperate and daring escape to freedom.

This is the astounding journey, told in Billy Hayes' own words, of those five years of living hell and of the harrowing ordeal of his time on the run.  

©1977, 2013 Billy Hayes (P)2017 Billy Hayes

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    5 out of 5 stars

Everything about this is great.

From start to finish it is superb and clears up inexactitudes in the film with Brad Davis, albeit that film being brilliant, gripping and "unputdownable", it got me through a night when otherwise I would have just laid in bed with insomnia.

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome!!

Fantastic listen. Beautifully read and wow, can this man paint a picture! I felt like I was escaping with him! Being able to finally know what was true and what was fiction in the film was fascinating. I know I'll listen to this again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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OK as prison memoirs go, but not a Papillon

starting with the positives:I always like an audiobook read by the author, I love that extra layer of authenticity which makes the story more personal. my bugbear: the author himself if I'm honest: I can't help but be a bit irritated by a tone of self-pity which pervades throughout this book. Now, I know this must have been an horrific experience for the author, but frankly:if you're going to smuggle contraband through an airport and out of a country such as Turkey, you're kind of bringing it upon yourself. maybe at the time of writing (1970-ish) there was a smaller likelihood of anybody being caught but still very risky. so, it's a bit well, 'duh', silly boy.
P.S:this is just an interpretation owned by me, not what I perceive to be a truth.

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brilliant

Love the film but the book is so so much better with much more detail

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Exceptional

Absolutely Brilliant. Such an amazing story. What a journey and crazy adventure. Definitely one to read!!

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superb and well read by Billy

Loved it don't understand why the film never just done this story this was better. Glad I bought this and will defo be listening again in the near future. Terrible what he went through.

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This book gets you from the start

A compelling story of a stupid mistake that leads to the greatest suffering and then redemption. I didn’t want this to stop and If Audible had Billy Hayes’ sequel I’d have bought it immediately. Highly recommend.

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Much better than the movie

From the very first chapter I could not stop listening. The narrator was very good as was the extremely gripping story. fans of the movie should give this a listen.

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Interesting story !

A well told story of a chance risked.
Enjoyed it.
True Story.
Harsh time experience told.

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  • Linda
  • 04-06-21

I liked the movie better...

I've watched the movie numerous times and listened to Billy Hayes interviews both were better than the book to me but I am glad I listened, his story is fascinating.

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  • Tiago
  • 29-05-21

I could not hear a single thing

I downloaded the file when I am trying to hear I couldn't... there is a big problem with the file.

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  • Kindlephile
  • 16-04-21

WOULD NOT DOWNLOAD ONTO MY FIRE HD 8 PLUS

This Audible audio book would never download onto my new fire tablet HD 8 Plus!

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  • Quinn
  • 02-09-20

basically a perfect audiobook

extremely suspenseful-- well written and never boring-- Billy Hayes' narration of his own story makes it even better

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-06-20

Incredible story and performance

This is one of the best audio book performances I have heard. Very emotional and clear.

The tense story of a young and foolhardy guy trying to make a quick buck by smuggling hashish out of Turkey is timeless and transports you right back to the tarmac where it started

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  • Elyk Divad
  • 07-02-19

Shocking, inspiring, and entertaining.

Inspiring and entertaining. Billy Hayes' remarkable story of social injustice leaves all of us a reminder, how a simple mistake can be a costly one. Billy Hayes reads his first hand account of abuse in Turkish prison. he was very fortunate to escape when all other options were limited. He is truly a survivor and a hero. it is said, things do happen for reason. Had Mr. Hayes not did what he did to end up in a foreign jail, many of us citizens would have not known about prison abuse in foreign countries. Just like in the documentary which I saw in the film version of "Midnight Express", the United States Constitution does not fit in your passport.

Also worth mentioning, Billy Hayes has an excellent voice when he's reading his own account of being in the Turkish prison, and doing the characterizations of the real life people he encountered from 1970-1975.