Cool Hand Luke: A Novel

Cool Hand Luke: A Novel

by Donn Pearce


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"An impressive novel . . . the most brutal and authentic account of a road gang that we have had."— New York Times

Out of his experiences working on a chain gang, Donn Pearce created Cool Hand Luke, the larger-than-life war hero—Good Guy Number One—turned drunkard, vandal, and convict. A blasphemer and "pretty evil feller" who "could work the hardest, eat the mostest, and tell the biggest lies." Luke's outsized feats of gambling and gluttony—he bets Society Red, a college man from Boston, that he can eat fifty eggs—and his harrowing escapes and recaptures are recounted by Dragline, who followed Luke in his last, fatal escape attempt and who basks in Luke's reflected glory. To the convicts left behind on the chain gang, Luke has become the hope of freedom and defiance that they dare not act upon themselves. Luke's refusal to "git his mind right" and submit to the sadistic discipline of the Walking Boss becomes part of their mythology of survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781560252283
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 08/18/1999
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 220,933
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Donn Pearce is the author of the Academy Award-nominated screenplay of Cool Hand Luke. He lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

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Cool Hand Luke (Large Print 16pt) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Red_Beard More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting and enjoyable to read. The writing kept my attention thru out the whole book.
224perweek More than 1 year ago
Wow! Wow! and Wow!!! I thought the movie was good but the book is amazing. Gives you a different perspective on things. Could not put it down. Read in 1 day. Worth reading again.
KaneH More than 1 year ago
So while many folks have seen the movie of Cool Hand Luke, fewer have read the book, and it's a shame, because the book is even better: richer, more layered, stronger. The book is a powerful anti-war statement. A man at odds with a vengeful God and a corrupt and soulless society gets further dehumanized at war, and returns horribly scarred in mind and body. He cannot deal with what he has done and the things he sees around him, so he begins to self-destruct. He is overly punished by sending him first to prison and then a southern chain gang, where the guards are sadistic cowards who bully, beat and torture prisoners. His spirit lifts his fellow prisoners, but the rotten system of slave labor cannot let this happen, and they relentlessly crush him and all who would follow his path. You can compare this to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which followed years later, and see many of the same themes of powerful individuals who do not fit in with the world, and are destroyed for their non-compliance. So do yourself a favor and read this book, and get a view of what real horror is like.
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