Johnny and James

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Watched Johnny Gaddaar (JG) some weeks back. Thought about posting my comments here. But felt I should read few James Hadley Chase (JHC) novels on which Johnny Gaddar is based on before writing about JG. It was mentioned that Johnny Gaddaar is a dedication to James Hadley Chase and Vijay Anand. I never knew most of Vijay Anand's movies were thrillers. Coming back to JHC, blame it on the lack of my interest on thriller novels/novelists, I had never heard of him. Out of curiosity, I asked few of my friends like Jagadish and Hemanth about him. To my surprise both had read few books of James Hadley Chase!

Jagadish encouraged me to pick few novels of JHC. After doing some initial investigation in net I purchased 2 novels. Though Im not into reading crime thrillers, there is some thing about JHC that interested me into his novels. When I surfed for his books in a nearby bookshop, realized many of his books had the cover page of skimpily clad females! Must be considered naked during the time those books were published [1950s and 60s]. I did not want to pick novels with such cover pages, as I would have spent more time explaining to my cousins or parents that what I am reading is not porn or some thing but pure crime thrillers, than the actual time spent on reading the novel. I found Indian prints of the novels had less 'severe' cover pics, bought them. I could have borrowed these novels from any where, but I’ve a greed to own the things I like. I was also happy looking at the fatness of the book. If each novel was of 300-400 pgs each, any thriller of any sort wouldn’t have succeeded in keeping me glued to the book so long, neither would I have bought those novels.

When I started reading, what opened in front of me was a world of shrewd criminals, beautiful cunning blonds, rich old chaps with millions of insurance money, royal star hotels, martinis, vodkas, Cadillac, Rolls Royce, smoked salmon, never-heard-of dishes and what not. I started liking every bit of it. Generally we would read a thriller from police men’s/detective’s point of view or at least that was my assumption before I was introduced to JHC’s books. Most of his novels will let know the reader who the culprit is. But the question here is of perfect crime, that elusive perfect plot. Question is will the culprit be able to execute the so called perfect plan, or will s/he get caught..? what goes against his/her plans? Will s/he leave an easy stupid clue for police behind? These elements kept me glued to the book.

Johnny Gaddaar follows the same trick of letting know the viewer that Johnny is the culprit. The whole movie is about whether Johnny succeeds in his plan or not. That’s what makes the movie the best thriller I’ve seen till date in Bollywood.

Han.. coming back to JHC novels, I started with a novel called ‘There's always a price tag’. It was good. Then I read ‘Just a matter of time’, I liked this the most. The last book I finished was ‘I hold the four aces’. Which again was good.

I never thought some day I would go crazy on crime thrillers like this, reading 3 novels back to back to back :) Now have picked up the fourth one ‘You must be kidding’...

Comments (3)


If you are talking abt reading thriller books of 300 to 400 pgs, lemme tell you that JHC is not going to be a part of that category et all..
Actually, thrillers should not be having so many pages.. Thrillers are worth having only a few pages, around a hundred.

Anyways, If you have read any Yendamoori Verendranath's Books (translated into Kannada), you will go fidaa over the book!

Coming back to thrillers, have you read Irving Wallace or Ian Fleming? Irving Wallace books are like soft-porn and Ian Fleming is the author of James Bond. Read the book and then watch the movie.. u'll get to know the difference and the effort put in by the author! :)

Suksy, I know YenDamoori only through 'BeladingaLa baale'. Thats the only work I knw of his. I've heard his name many a times referred in Ravi Belagere's columns...

and abt, Irving Wallace and Ian Fleming... umm lemme read some of their wrks tooo..

thx for the reco

Well said.

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