If to characterize the “Come Easy – Go Easy” generally, I would say it is typical American thriller with much action, violence, pursuit for money and expression of the worst human traits of character. In my opinion, this story was written to become a part of the author’s manner of achievement of commercial profit. And now, writing an essay on the “Come Easy – Go Easy” is, to some extend, a little bit problem for me, as it does not give any vital and important questions to a reader and, especially, does not offer him the ways of their solving. But, as to write an essay on it is my task, I will try my best.
Well, the story, I have chosen, is about a guy, named Chet. He worked in a company “Lawrence Safes”, which made and repaired safes. His duty was to put new safes in clients’ houses and offices and to repair old ones. Consequently, he could open almost every one. Once, Chet was asked to come to one very rich man, his name was Henry Cooper, to repair his safe. While doing the work Chet saw a lot of money in the safe. The itch for riches woke up in his mind. Chet discussed Cooper’s wealth with his companion and an old friend Roy Tracey and two men decide to rob that place.
Unfortunately, this careless idea was not lucky and guys were caught red handed. Henry Cooper came back home unexpectedly. Sorry to say, Roy did not found another way out of the situation except the murder of the man, but exactly he managed to escape from the police. Chet did not. He was by mistake accused of the attempt to rob the house and of the premeditated murder. The court sentenced Chet to 10 years of penal servitude in the Farnworth Prison Camp. When Chet appeared in the prison he learnt immediately, that the creatures, which surrounded him, hardly resembled people.
The prison stuff’s only aim was to make prisoners’ being there as much intolerable as possible. Besides, in nights criminals were watched by aggressive hungry dogs. Chet was not going to waste the rest of his life while suffering in that hell. He made a plan of flinching and in several months the guy escaped from the Farnworth. He was the first person, who managed to do it. After the escape the main character had to hide somewhere far from the area of the police research or to manage to get out of the country. But under the turned out circumstances it was easier to say, than to do, if it was generally possible.
Chet had neither identity documents nor money at all. But he had a great desire to survive and preferred better to die, than to come back to the Prison Camp. In some pub in Oakland Chet met a man of about 50-60 years old. His name was Carl Jenson. Chet named himself Jack Patmore. The guy asked Carl to give him a ride to Tropica Springs. The way to this place was long lay through the mountains. During the trip the two men made their acquaintance closer and Chet found out, that Carl and his wife Lola were running their own business – a filling station with a small cafe.
That place, “The Point Of No Return”, was the last to serve people on their way to Tropica Springs before the mountains. In the end of their journey Carl offered Chet the job in his filling station. This place seemed to be lost in the mountains. It was ideal for Chet, so, he agreed. In “The Point Of No Return” the main character met Jenson’s wife Lola – a very beautiful woman. She immediately attracted Chet and he almost fell in love with her. But this woman was greedy and really cruel. She was clever and able to do anything to get money.
Once, a newspaper with Chet’s picture and reference, as being looked for by the police escaped safe worker, appeared in the station. Lola recognized the guy and started blackmailing him to open her husband’s safe to steal his money. Chet had no way out. He agreed to do this when Carl would go to the city for the matters of his business. He made an attempt to keep his promise, but while the guy was opening the safe Carl Jenson returned unexpectedly from his journey and caught his hired worker in his bungalow trying to deal with his safe. At the very moment Lola came in the bungalow carrying a gun in her hands.
She murdered her husband and was, probably, going to do the same with Chet, but he closed the safe’s door in time. Lola stopped, as this guy was the only person in the nearest place to open the safe and all she needed was money. These both buried Carl and lived 5 weeks, ignoring each other. They continued to run the business for not to cause suspicion. But Chet considered Lola very attractive woman and she knew it. Once, the woman came to his bedroom at night, offering to stop being enemies. She had thrown a hook into Chet, but the strangest thing was that he realized and completely agreed with the reality.
Guys lived together for several months until once one guy came to their place. It was Roy, Roy Tracey, Chet’s friend and partner. He was sent by “Lawrence Safes” to travel along the country with a duty to offer new models of Lawrence safes to past clients. Just imagine, how glad Chet was to see his old friend. Lola and Chet, as a couple, suggested Roy to stay at their place and to become a hired hand. The same offer made Carl Jenson to Chet earlier. Roy agreed. But after his appearance Lola changed greatly. She understood, that the new guy could also open her husband’s safe.
So, she sharply lost her interest to Chet. For him that was one more additional evidence of the fact, that all Lola’s feelings were just an act, aimed to make him open the safe. Once, Lola and Roy went to the city on business. At the same night a trouble happened to Chet: two Mexicans – criminals – came to “The Point Of No Return” in order to rob it. They shot Chet and, probably, took all the cash from the station. Lola and Roy found Chet wounded and the guy made everything possible to save his friend’s life. He took care of Chet, so, he relatively recovered. The score was equal.
During the time Chet was wounded and lying in his bad Lola tried to attract Roy and to make him open the safe by the means of her body. Chet knew money was Roy’s weak point and it was enough for Lola to tell him one hundred thousand dollars were kept in the safe, he would open it. He warned the friend Lola was going to murder both of them as soon as he fulfilled her requirement. It happened almost like this. Except the fact that Roy was ready for such an act from Lola’s side. Instead of being a victim he became a murder. Chet bleeding and making great efforts to get to the bungalow to warn and save his friend came into the room.
He saw Lola murdered and lying on the floor. At this time Roy was exactly dealing with the safe. He thanked the friend for the valuable notice. Chet was shocked. He started shouting that they needed to get out of that place as quickly as possible, spoke about the police, who were going to come soon. He even tried to get to the car. But Roy was worrying only about money at that moment. “You said, the score was equal. So, I am going alone. There is no place for you with me”, – told Roy to Chet while leaving with money. In the final scene of the book, Chet, sitting in an armchair with his wound leeding, thought about who would find him, how quickly would the police come and how much he wished to meet his death before it happened. Maybe, James Chase tried to develop a line of fate in this story. While reading the book, it seems that whatever the main character does, the fatal destiny constantly catches up with him. The first was his unlucky attempt to rob the house of Henry Cooper, then – an unfair sentence, the love to the cruel and greedy woman, the death of Carl Jenson and, finally, the appearance of Roy Tracey in “The Point Of No Return”, which led to the tragic end of Chet’s life.
These circumstances did not depend on the main character and his behavior and personally I consider it quite well-grounded and Chet – not a bad person. Sometimes, he was too mild and irresolute, but, as a whole, he never did anything deeply immoral: he did not ever kill somebody, did not betray his friend, though he had an idea about this and, if he did this, it would had been justified. But, making a choice between his own freedom & happiness and freedom & happiness of his old close friend, Chet chose the second thing.
In my opinion, such a decision needed his great will-power, responsibility and devotion. Sorry to say, Roy did not manage to answer the friend in the same noble manner or he just did not want to do it. Sure, it is much easier to leave a wounded and helpless man in a house with a murdered woman and a broken open safe, waiting for the police to come, and to take one hundred thousand dollars with you, than to take care of this man and to share the money with him, at the same time exposing yourself to the danger of persecution and imprisonment.
I guess, that this choice of Roy and, on a larger scale, the whole Chet’s life after that unlucky attempt of robbery in the Henry Cooper’s house was a price, which the main character had to pay for this the only base action of him during the whole story. Another reason of so much tragic death of this book’s character was his irresponsible and absorbing passion and love to Lola – the woman, who justified any methods in the way of enrichment. In the relationships of Chet and Lola, the same, as in the relationships of her marriage, James Chase brightly described how weak may be a man, being under the power of a woman.
She even does not always have to make him do, what she wants, by the means of threats and violence, but easily can do it with the help of her slyness and attraction. One more thing, which took place in the life of these two characters and, as for me, is quite vital in the modern society is the problem of the use of people for the sake of money or self-interest. Lola and Chet’s situation shows, how easily one can achieve his or her aim, playing with the feelings of others. Unfortunately, you not always can really distinguish sincere expressions of love, sympathy, friendship or respect from just an act.
And, to my mind, in his book the author expressed a point that nowadays the cold calculation in the life situations appears to be more important, more advantageous and more practical, than those things, which reflect your true feelings. The best characters of this story nevertheless die till its end. The cruelest person in the book – Lola – also meets her death. But she was murdered by the embodiment of the other human negative traits of character. Roy is not even so much malicious character, as Lola, but he appeared to be mean.
So, the good anyway is not in the advantageous position in this story. Actually, I think, that the victory of the evil over the good is one more line of the “Come Easy – Go Easy”, worth mentioning, and this is a feature, which distinguish it from a large amount of other books, ending happily. In this story there are much more grief, than happiness; it tells, how greediness may destroy passion and sincere feelings, how arranged calm life may be affected by carelessness and cruelty, how itch for money and easy gain may overcome many-year friendship.
Well, the book I have read was written by the American author James Hadley Chase and it is really American. It seems to be too much fantastic to me. The destiny of the main character is too tragic, too full of extraordinary extreme events and situations, as for an average person. Robbery, unfair imprisonment, unrealistic escape from prison, murders, uncontrolled passion, itch for money and betrayal, leading to death… I think, in the real life the majority of people could not stand such a life or would become mad while suffering such misfortunes.
Personally I do not much like such books, as it does not make a reader think of some new sides of life, does not open something unknown to him, does not really impress him. Besides, it is similar to the majority of other American modern detective stories. The same action, the same problems and almost the same plot you can see on TV in not too much clever average American action film. To tell the truth, I am a bit sorry, I have read exactly this book, but, naturally, before I started reading it I had not known, what it was about.