July 12, 2010

Not a Penny more, Not a Penny less - Review

Hi Guys,

I recently read the novel ‘Not a penny more, Not a Penny less’ written by Jeffrey Archer. This is the first time I’m reading a Jeffrey Archer novel and I was largely impressed.

The front cover
The story revolves around Harvey Metcalfe who is a king of shady deals. He makes a very clever plan and traps four people and steals away one million dollars from them. The four guys combine together and revenge Harvey. Their plan is simple: to knock Harvey for exactly one million dollars, not a penny more, not a penny less.

Harvey Metcalfe is not born rich and he is left on street as his father dies when he is 14. He joins a stock broking firm as a messenger. His job is to carry messages confidentially to the people. Harvey is very wily and learns everything about the stock market there. By doing so, he becomes a millionaire within 4 years. Next he takes over a friend’s company who wants to join navy and in the process robs the company. He becomes a multi millionaire and continues to rob innocent people.

Now he is over 60 and this time, he starts an oil company known as Prospecta Oil. He introduces it in the share market and he uses David Kesler, a Harvard graduate as his key. David is being told that Prospecta oil has found a strike (oil well in sea) and hence its share prices will go up when it is announced. David spreads the news to four innocent people Steven Bradley, an American professor at Oxford, Dr. Robin Oakley, a renowned Physician, Jean-Pierre Lamanns, who holds an art gallery and Lord James Brigsley. All four of them lose their life time savings in the process. They are heart broken when they come to know about the fraud.

Steven Bradley is very intelligent. He collects information about Harvey and groups everyone to revenge Harvey. Each one is to create a plan and they are to get back the money from Harvey without his knowledge. Everyone prepares a plan except James who tells that he will prepare at the last.

Harvey visits London every year to watch Wimbledon, see horse races and gamble in casinos. The 4 people plan to rob Harvey at different places. Jean-Pierre uses Harvey’s interest in arts and cons Harvey at his art gallery. Next is Robin’s turn. He uses his doctor mind to corner Harvey in an operation and get money for a surgery, which he never did. Next Steven uses his university’s graduation ceremony and gets donation for Oxford which is never going to reach Oxford.

James does a great job in all the three plans, with his acting skills. In the mean time, James also falls in love with Anne Summerton, a model. Now they have $250101.24 to collect and James still doesn’t have a plan. Anne makes James to meet his father and their marriage is fixed. The other three decide to attend the marriage in USA, which is Anne’s mother land. James says that he will say the full plan after the marriage and discloses a part.

From there on there are lot of twists and turns in the story. To know the climax, read the novel.

Jeffrey Archer

This is Jeffrey Archer’s first novel. The book was released in 1976. When he had the story, no one was ready to publish. When it was finally published only 3000 copies were sold in hardback. When paperback was published 20000 copies were sold, as the word spread. After that the book has been a great success and it has been reprinted 57 times.

Happy Reading!!!


  1. Looks like its a nice Book.
    With lots of twist and turns and revenges.
    While your explanation also made it interesting.
    Will look for it.

  2. @ Abhisek

    Thanks friend! I'm not sure whether I explained well. This is my 1st book review and I stumbled a lot while writing!!!

  3. Same happens with me also, after writing every post i always thought that " it could have been better "

  4. Nice review... It is one of my favorite books... Simply Unputdownable..

  5. @ Arti

    thanks... it has become my favorite too...

  6. After reading ur review, I will be reading this book. :)
    Interesting way of writing! :)

  7. @Chandrika

    Thanks for ur review... it will be very nice to read the book... try it and u won't put own until u finish it...


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