Book Review: The Sucker Punch (1954)

James Hadley Chase knocked my fucking head off with this riveting crime thriller. A small-time bank clerk gets a shot at managing the biggest account he could ever dream of, and being the opportunist he is, does a rather fine job of handling not only the account but also its owner –  a rich, snooty heiress. The arrogant but ignorant woman falls head over heels for the womanizer, who hates her and marries her only for her money, only to fall madly in love with the heiress’ nerdy secretary, who happens to be playing a little game of her own. With his wife coming in the way of him and the geeky secretary, the dashing narrator must remove the one thing that stands in the way of his wealth and love… I just told you, dummy – his wife. The Sucker Punch has had its entire plot and lines stolen and translated into Hindi for the film Aar Ya Paar, with the super-suave Jackie Shroff playing the protagonist and Paresh Rawal playing the razor-sharp cop. James Hadley Chase’s 1954 story proved too much to handle for the 1997 Indian audience, who sucker punched the film right back. I leave you here with the less titillating of the two covers of the classic novel which taught me that one can get ‘systematically drunk’.

7 Responses to “Book Review: The Sucker Punch (1954)”

  1. 1 Sam
    April 15, 2010 at 07:31

    This post makes me want to buy this novel as it indeed seems like a must read to soothe your battered and thus, bruised senses. I have read yet another gripping thriller with a dash of panache – John Grisham’s Broker is a masterpiece.

    This seems to be an equally gripping one, going by your review. It’s a classic situation where an underdog, the character of a clerk assuming the influential status will always be a fabulous read. Even without reading it, I am anticipating a remarkably in sync plot interwoven subtly with various situations with aplomb. It only adds to the delight for the bibliophiles who are looking for an escape from the reality. 🙂

    Dude, it’s definitely one of the better ways to get away from the mundane life. /m\


  2. 2 Rishu
    April 15, 2010 at 08:55

    James Hadley Chase shaped my thinking and (I’m sure) must have deeply affected all who read his work in childhood. I remember reading Have A Change Of Scene, Just A Matter Of Time and Not Safe To Be Free (stolen from the school library’s Teacher’s shelves) back to back and I was HOOKED! The characters, the plots and the twists were superb. Been a big fan ever since 🙂


  3. 3 Rishu
    April 15, 2010 at 08:57

    ^ correction: Just a Matter of Time and many more JHC were passed to me by my late granddad. He also gave me my reading habit. Also introduced me to westerns and another great book by Harold Robbins (yes, sorry) The Carpetbaggers. RIP Daddy!!! Much love and many thanks!!!


  4. May 5, 2010 at 03:51

    I think this is a real great post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.


  5. September 11, 2014 at 07:31

    Everyone loves it hen folks get together and share thoughts.
    Great blog, continue the gokod work!


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