CREASY

 
Full Name: Creasy
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Mercenary

Creator: A. J. Quinnell
Time Span: 1980 - 2004
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Creasy is a mercenary.
       At the start of the recorded adventures, he was one, or at least he had been up to the time he had had enough and needed a break and went six months without anything. To say he was burned out would be an understatement. Years of fighting in strange lands far from a home he no longer called his own, fighting alongside people who might well be killed the next day, all for regimes he did not believe in or causes that meant nothing to him or possibly in the name of a religion he had no faith in at all. It had taken more of a toll on him than he wanted to pay anymore.
       Creasy was darn good at being a mercenary, possibly because he had nothing to go home to. A not too pleasant upbringing brought him to the U.S. Marines at age 17 and he found a home. Then a fight with an officer who was getting good men killed resulted in his being kicked out. Needing something to do and having just been trained to be a soldier, he joined the French Foreign Legion. He soon became part of their legendary paratrooper regiment and so began a period of fighting in intense areas and learning how to survive.
       He also learned what it mean to fail and a brief time as a POW in Vietnam, before the French left and the American came in showed Creasy how bad life can get. It did not, though, cause him to quit. He got transfered to North Africa where a large group of the French Army disagreed with now President De Gaulle about giving up Algeria. His superiors picked the wrong side and he was again out of a job. He was not, however, out of work. Someone with his hard-earned skills could always find a job in one army or another.
       And therein lay the problem. Too much death and no reason to live. He stepped away from it. Unfortunately, he had nowhere to step into.
       Then the odd employment offer of being a 'premium' bodyguard and that is when things changed. He did not stay a bodyguard for long but his days of being a soldier-for-hire only were over and different things would come his way that would make up the essence of his days from then on but at the beginning and throughout what happens next, when people talked of Creasy, it was of him as a mercenary. But the talk was highly respectful.

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1980
Last Appearance:1996

1 Man On Fire Man On Fire
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 1980

Creasy was washed-up, something even he likely accepted. Why else would he take a thankless job like bodyguarding the 11 year old daughter of a rich Italian. What he did not expect was that the girl would come to mean something. When the attack on her came, Creasy remembered just why and how he could be so very deadly.

2 The Perfect Kill The Perfect Kill
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 1992

The death of his wife and daughter on Pan Am 103 over Scotland in 1988 took away all thoughts of humanity for Creasy. He wanted only revenge but he needed help to get it. He found that in a Senator who also lost someone then - and a 18 year old orphan that needed a cause. Creasy vows to teach him everything he knows about killing and he knows a lot.

3 The Blue Ring The Blue Ring
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 1993

Being left alone on a small island in the Mediterranean helped Creasy forget - a little. Then he chances upon Juliet, a 13 year old heroin addict, hooked on drugs sold by the 'Blue Ring', a worldwide cartel. Creasy now has a new goal in life - destroying those at the top of the ring.

4 Black Horn Black Horn
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 1994

The death of a young American woman by a sniper in Zimbabwe brings Creasy to that country, hired to find who was behind the murder. At the same time, a Chinese woman finds her parents and brother murdered and the trail leads to Africa. The two seeking revenge will soon meet.

5 Message From Hell Message From Hell
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 1996

It was never Creasy's desire to return to Vietnam, a place he last saw in 1968 and had no fond memories of. However, a GI who died then has his dogtags sent to his parents after 30 years and they want answers. Creasy's mission to get them takes him back to Southeast Asia and the deadly woman called the Cobra

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2000
Last Appearance:2000

1 Gladiator Gladiator
short story
Written by A. J. Quinnell
Copyright: 2000

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It can be downloaded in pdf format from Mortlock.info.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1987
Last Appearance:2004

       Three movies exist based on the first book in the Creasy series Man On Fire.
       The first starred Scott Glenn as Creasy and was 'modeled' after the book, breaking away at some very key points. One story that I read talked about how when the author talked to the screenwriter about the differences between the script, the screenwriter was surprised to learn there had been a book. Not a good sign. The movie was okay at best.
       The second starred Denzel Washington and followed the concept of the book a lot closer though the locale was moved from Italy to Mexico to take 'advantage' of the fact that kidnappings in Mexico were becoming far too common an occurrence. The author was said to have been happier with the second version because it did not stray as far as the first and had the politeness of having actually used some of the dialogue from the novel.
       The first was really, according to what I read, based not so much on the book as on the second movie. A Bollywood treatment of the basic concept, it told of a former military officer racked by guilt over an accidental killing of two children in a skirmish given a chance at redemption in the role of a young girl, daughter of a well-to-do Indian living in Thailand.
       I have seen all three movies. All are worth the time spent watching but the Washington one is the best though the third is really quite compelling.

       One small point. In the third movie, the character, being Indian, has an Indian name. In the two American versions, the character is given the first name of John though everyone calls him by his last name.

1 Man On Fire Man On Fire
Director: Elie Chouraqui
Writers: Elie Chouraqui, Sergio Donati
Actors: Scott Glenn as Creasy, Jade Malle as Samantha, Joe Pesci as David, Jonathan Pryce as Michael
Released: 1987

John Creasy is a former CIA agent who is hired as bodyguard for a girl in Italy. The two become close and when she is kidnapped, he gives everything he has to get her back.

2 Man On Fire Man On Fire
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Actors: Dakota Fanning as Lupita Ramos, Denzel Washington as Creasy, Christopher Walken as Paul Rayburn, Mickey Rourke as Jordan Kalfus
Released: 2004

Former assassin John Creasy vows to give his all to wipe out those who attacked the little girl under his charge.

3 Ek Ajnabee (A Man Apart) Ek Ajnabee (A Man Apart)
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Writers: Apoorva Lakhia, Manoj Tyagi
Actors: Amitabh Bachchan as Colonel Singh, Rucha Vaidya as Anamika R. Rathore
Released: 2005

Colonel Suryaveer "Surya" Singh is a former army officer who has seen far too much killing and now sees a lot of booze bottles. Needing a job, he reluctantly agrees to be the bodyguard of a young Indian girl living in Thailand.

MY COMMENTS

       I read the first Creasy novel back right after it came out, around 1982. I absolutely loved it. Had there been more, I would have snatched them up immediately but there was no more. Just the one incredible novel that made me so darned mad and then gave me at least some satisfaction at the end. It was one of the best books I read that year, I am sure.
       In the late 80s, I saw a movie whose source, since IMDB did not exist, I really could not identify came out with Scott Glenn and I really liked it. It was different than the book but still enjoyable.
       I never noticed in the 90s that more Creasy novels were coming out. Work and family and other diversions. I never knew of the books.
       Denzel Washington's terrific take on the first book came out in 2004 and I and my wife loved it. Of course, if you have seen the movie, you would not expect any kind of a sequel. But the movie was terrific and Denzel was awesome, as always.
       Well over a decade later, I learned that the Creasy of the book was Creasy of a series and I grabbed the other books and looked forward to reading them. Then got sidetracked for a year. Luckily I got back to them and I re-read the first book and loved it even more, despite getting even angrier than I did before at what happened. And then I jumped into the second and then third and fourth and fifth and then was so very sorry to know there would be no more.

       One sad aspect to this pretty incredible series comes from the fact that since there have been really three movies about Creasy (the third being the Indian version with the character having a different name) that has been for the most part the online essence of the character. One "mission", if you will, and that one quite a bit different from the book.
       Yes, there were lots of similarities. Creasy is a hard-drinking burn-out at the start and only finds his humanity again through the care of a young girl in his care. Then something terrible happens to her and Creasy must return to the harsh life he had so tired of. Okay so far.
       But the book had so much more. And then there are four other books, each totally different but each showing a side of Creasy that is fascinating. And not the least bit burned-out like he is invariably described.
       
       The author, it is said, was working on a 6th before his passing. Will it ever be finished and released? I do not know and if it is, will it have the same magic that the writer gave Creasy with his touch? I cannot say.
       But I am glad I got what I got.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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