Book Description:

What makes a man risk his life, over and over again, for a few moments of pleasure?

Young Marc lives in an emotionally charged and volatile home environment that sets him on a path to psychological chaos and drug addiction. As a balm for his low self-esteem he develops a need for danger and puts himself in dangerous, sometimes deadly situations. He is just seventeen when he steals his first aircraft. A year later he joins the Air Force where he takes a helicopter for a joyride. He is caught and given a second chance in a fighter training squadron. One Sunday afternoon he decides to take a fighter jet for a joyride.

Marc deserts the Air Force but is caught trying to leave the country. He learns that he will be charged for treason and executed so he makes a daring escape. He is caught and put in a secure facility where he makes another audacious escape. He is caught and thrown into solitary confinement for three years. To pass the time in his cell, he flies imaginary planes. On the verge of insanity, Marc makes one last flight where he discovers the reason for his turbulent life.

On the way to his court martial he escapes and vows to start a new life.

Author Bio:

Some say Claude Saayman is a genius, others say he is just a no-good criminal but very few know that he is one of the greatest impostors of all time. He spent three years in solitary confinement before escaping and starting a new life. Without so much as a high school diploma, he worked as a Surgeon, Engineer Airline Executive and managed a multi-billion-dollar project.

Claude learned the basics of writing in James Patterson’s Masterclass, yet his style has been described as reminiscent of Romain Gary.

To learn more about Claude and his extraordinary life, visit him online at thegreatestimpostor.com.

Author email: claude@saayman-raphael.com

Author website: https://thegreatestimpostor.com

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47327150-a-serpent-s-conscience?from_search=true&qid=qc4n8kdcw4&rank=1

Extract

Solitary confinement

Many see Solitary confinement as the ultimate abattoir of the human spirit. For me it became simply a struggle to retain my sanity. Ultimately it allowed me to understand the reason for my confinement, both physical and mental. 

Solitary is hell between four walls, an exquisite torture of the soul – where you are the designated torturer. 

In solitary confinement I stood naked before the monster I had become with nowhere to flee. The confrontation would either drive me insane or make me stronger. It did neither, but I was only to realise that forty years later when I had to put that experience on paper.

Extract from “Solitary”

As time went by, solitary confinement became a grey infinite ocean stretching out in front of him, devoid of hope or expectation. Behind him, the rocky shores of a squandered life smouldered, rust coloured, like an autumn sunset. In the vastness of this desolation, a comprehensive emptiness and loneliness threatened to expunge him. He was locked in a laborious march of death. Death of spirit. Day by day he lost connection to everything outside of his cell, everything he once knew and everything he once was. 

Marc stood naked in the centre of his cell, his mouth stretched wide open. His lips curled back exposing his teeth and gums. A scream erupted from within, it ripped through his throat like a geyser and splashed against the unyielding walls, reverberating through his empty life. He screamed until desolation threw him to the floor choking in his snot and angry tears. And in the early morning when the tears ceased, he felt the scream still inside of him, locked into his solitary body. For as long as he was stuck in that concrete coffin that silent scream would become a backdrop of his waking life. No one could hear it but him. He had internalised his scream. His silent scream made him become his own torturer. 

For three years, he existed in an austere sameness that made it difficult to tell one day from a thousand others. Nothing ever changed; he existed in a sort of timeless suspended animation. Now he stood on the cliff-edge of sanity, swaying like a midnight drunk. Frustration grew from just a passing irritation, into a physical thing inside of him, a thing so thick it strangled him and tried to squeeze sanity from his mind, spirit from his soul, and life from his body. Hope hung in his brain like fog, opaque, impossible to grasp.

Anger. There was anger. Anger that exhausted him physically, anger that drove him to the limits of his sanity. Anger at the psychopaths screaming their anger. Anger at the system. Anger at society. Anger at himself for doing what he did. Anger for all he should never have done. Anger at allowing things to be done to him. Anger that turned to burning hot rage that flowed down the path to self-destruction, exhaustion and misery. 

And in the end, all there was, was misery. There was always misery

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