Written using Donn Pearce's own experiences of working on a Florida chain gang, Cool Hand Luke is the classic tale of a quiet hero who refused to conform. Forced into a chain gang after a controversial career in the army, Lucas Jackson's outsized feats range from bizarre acts of gluttony and gambling - betting a fellow inmate he can eat 50 eggs - to harrowing escape attempts. Luke's acts of defiance and his refusal to 'git his mind right' soon make him a legend among his fellow convicts - a symbol of hope in a cruel regime designed to break a man's body and spirit. The original rebel, Luke's anti-hero personality makes him one of the seminal non-conformists - born to lose, but full of dignity.
Cool Hand Luke was turned into a film in 1967, the year after its initial publication, starring Paul Newman. The screenplay, scripted by Donn Pearce himself, was nominated for an Academy Award.
Don Pearce has been a machinist's helper, a merchant marine, a safecracker and a convict. Cool Hand Luke was written using his own experiences of working on a Florida chain gang. It was famously filmed in 1967 by Stuart Rosenberg, the year after its initial publication, starring Paul Newman. The screenplay, scripted by Pearce himself, was nominated for an Academy Award. He subsequently wrote three other novels, Pier Head Jump, Dying in the Sun and Nobody Comes Back. He now works as a private investigator in Florida.