JAMES HADLEY CHASE

- A Tribute by a Die Hard Fan

Get A Load of This

        A collection of  short stories, "Get A Load of This", written by Chase, while he was still in the Royal Air Force, was  first published in early autumn 1941, and  subsequently reprinted in 1988. None of the stories had  the characteristic Chase touch, although all were violent, erotic and could be classified as tragedies. In fact, one could not identify the typical Chase elements in any of the stories, by the language, presentation or even in the themes themselves. However, these stories are part of Chase history and  Chase enthusiasts would do well not to ignore these. The short stories are as follows: 

     Get A Load of This Two Thumb a Ride
     Morning Visit Morning Visit
     Conversation Piece The General Dies in Bed
     The Magnificent Opportunity Walk in the Park
     The Place of Love Vigil
     Night Out Skin Deep
     Overheard The Painted Angel

      The transcript of a letter written by Chase to his publisher, Ms. Jarrolds of London, reads as follows: 

Cherry Kearton, Esq.,
Director, 
Messers. Jarrolds Publishers London, Ltd., 
London, S.W.7

My Dear Cherry,

     Some time ago, you warned me against writing short stories. You stressed that the public didn't like them, and that I would be heading for a big flop, if I persisted. Your views have always proved sound, so I've laid off until now. My present activities don't permit me to tackle a full-length novel, but I have a number of situations up my sleeve I have been tempted to turn them into shorts. Have a little flutter on the book. Personally, I think it'll go. Not because it is better written than those which have flopped, but because the stories have got enough dynamite in them to make the average guy forget the blackout and the blitz - which, after all, is what we all want to do at this moment. 

     Anyway, here's the manuscript, and when you are not too busy - Get a load of this!!

     Yours,

JAMES HADLEY CHASE,
RAF Station, Fighter Command,
Somewhere in England. 

        Apparently, the publisher agreed. Note that JHC used his pen-name while corresponding with his publisher, and not his real name, although he indicated that he was in the RAF. Miss Callaghan Comes to Grief, published just before this, subsequently vanished off from bookshelves of the US and UK. And this compilation had to wait for close to half a century to be reprinted... 


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