He has neither name nor defined crime but in six weeks he will be guillotined.
"The Last Day of a Condemned Man” is a quite powerful read about a subject that (I have to admit) I haven’t thought much about before: The Death Penalty. This is also the first book I read by Victor Hugo and now I am definitely interested in reading more of his Works like Les Miserable as soon as possible!
It may be a short read, but it is by no means an easy one. It is Not necessarily enjoyable in the usual sense, the book is an important and powerful work in opposition to the death penalty. It reads like the thoughts and journal of a condemned man in France, who is given six weeks to live. The reader is forced to delve into the thoughts and fears of a man that we never really get to know in a sense; we are told very little about his life, and told practically nothing about the crime he has committed that has led him to prison and to be sentenced to death. But that is Hugo's point -- that capital punishment is so inhumane that it should not matter the crime, or the details, or who a person is, only that the sentence is so cruel and unusual that it should not be an option.
What I like about this book is: it is short, to the point, well-composed, and philosophical. The writer did an extraordinary job at portraying the final thoughts of a prisoner condemned to death while also bringing the reader into the grim world of a 19th Century prison.
As long as you are curious what we can feel in such a situation, the Last Day of a Condemned should fully meet your expectations!