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Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,138 Ratings  ·  723 Reviews
The conned: an Oxford don, a revered society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord. They have one thing in common. Overnight, each novice investor lost his life's fortune to one man. The con: Harvey Metcalfe!!

A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And now, a hunted man.

With nothing left to lose four strangers are abo
Paperback, 305 pages
Published May 16th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1976)
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Kane and Abel by Jeffrey ArcherA Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey ArcherNot a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey ArcherOnly Time Will Tell by Jeffrey ArcherThe Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer
The Best of Jeffery Archer
3rd out of 33 books — 282 voters
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Stand by Stephen KingInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Shining by Stephen King
Best Books of the Decade: 1970's
83rd out of 948 books — 970 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tea Jovanović
Britanci su po ovom romanu snimili vrhunsku seriju... davno, davno...
Oct 20, 2008 David rated it it was ok
Jeffrey Archer's first book and a grossly over-rated one at that. Although Archer can write well - I was not much impressed by the plot. Four people swindled by a rich man. But he is so rich (several hundred million rich) that the amount he swindled them out of (a quarter of a million each) hardly seems worth the effort!

They make a mutual pledge to get the money back - and each must devise a scheme for doing so. But the feckless "hero" of the book (presumably based on Archer himself) hasn't a cl
Oct 27, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Anne by: Gretchen
Shelves: rereadable
I come by my love of mysteries and thrillers naturally, as both my mother and grandmother are addicts of such books. This book was among their highly recommended reads. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time around a few years ago, and it was just as much fun this time.

The story features a Bernie Madoff-type villain named Harvey Metcalfe who, despite all his previously ill-gotten millions, takes the opportunity to con a few naive investors in a stock market scam. Among his latest victims is an A
Ian Gabogovinanana
Sep 25, 2013 Ian Gabogovinanana rated it did not like it
Jeffrey Archer: The Truth?

A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And, now, a hunted man. Fiction or autobiography ("Jeffrey Archer: The Truth?"), you be the judge. And if the author doesn't like the answer, he can sue us for everything we've got, not a penny more, not a penny less.*

* (view spoiler)
Rinn Ramli
May 05, 2013 Rinn Ramli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Masa zaman belajar dulu, kawan sekelas aku sorang ni suka collect buku Jeffrey Archer. She recommended me this book and I'm hooked with Jeffrey Archer's books. Not A Penny More, Not Penny Less diterbitkan sekitar 1974. So bila baca buku ni mesti membayangkan suasana dan prasarana sekitar tahun2 yang begitu lah. Tak der alat komunikasi moden.

Harvey Metcalfe adalah businesman yang mengumpulkan kekayaan dengan cara 'mengenakan' orang. Ada 4 orang yang sudah 'terkena' dengan Harvey Metcalfe ni deci
Jan 25, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
I have come to admire Jeffrey Archer and his works. The attention to detail he gives to his characters is something I love. They seem real and NOT dipped in frivolity. Every detail seems to serve a purpose to propel the story.

This was his very first novel and it was an enjoyable read at that. The story made me smile at the extremes some will go to in order to get what they want/need. However improbable this story may have been, I liked that it exacted revenge in a gentlemanly way. It was smart
Nov 11, 2009 Shonali rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, i-own
This was his first novel and a very critically acclaimed one, turned in to a TV series and a movie too. Though his list of bestsellers is long , this one according to me, holds the top spot [OK.. Kane And Abel ties with it for the first place :) ]
Though his later day novels turned in to kind of similar concepts predictable twists and turns , his earlier works were really, really good. Archer knows how to hold the attention of the reader with right amount of surprises at the right time and its ve
Aug 21, 2013 jim rated it liked it
Recommends it for: travelers
Recommended to jim by: Brooke
This book (and its author) were wholly unknown to me until I was handed the book to read once a friend had finished it. I had very few expectations or pre-conceived notions of what I was about to read...

First, I'd like to note that this was a very easy and enjoyable read. It rarely, if ever, felt as though I was slogging through something just to advance the story while it still held my attention and made me *want* to get to the next plot point. This definitely made for a pretty smooth read, how
Jan 14, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed this one (on audio). It's an old book (1974) with some references to marrying the bonny Prince Charles - then a bachelor. Still, it stands the test of time with its crooks and deceit. Lots of fun on the road.
Jul 06, 2012 Jeyaprakash rated it really liked it
I am an amateur reader starting with couple of ones from Lee Child, Fredrick Forsyth. I was given a collection of Jeffrey Archer's from one of my pal. It was his suggestion to start with "Not a penny more, not a penny less", after getting exhausted with Fredrick Forsyth "The Afghan", I got myself into a state of tireless after reading 'Not a penny more, not a penny less'. My three words to describe this novel would be awesome, splendid and fantabulous. Archer, in this work had concentrated only ...more
Ankit Agrawal
Of all the Jeffrey Archer books I have read, I have liked this one the least. The reason is simply because this was not a typical Jeffrey Archer book. Jeffrey Archer in his own words loves to write simple novels, simple fiction for everybody to read and understand. It doesn't necessarily appeal to people of any particular age group, like or dislike. His books are there for everybody to read and enjoy. He has himself said that he doesn't like to write anything violent, sexual or even extravagant. ...more
Heather Burnside
Oct 20, 2015 Heather Burnside rated it liked it
I read this book a couple of weeks ago but have only just got round to reviewing it. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed, 'Prisoner of Birth' a couple of years ago, I had high expectations for this book. Compared to 'Prisoner of Birth' it came as a bit of a disappointment for me. I wouldn't say it was a bad book and perhaps I was influenced by my high expectations. However, these are my views:
Four men set out to recoup their losses after they have been swindled by a 'lifelong king of shady deals'
Jan 07, 2013 Aparna rated it really liked it
Am a big fan of Jeffery Archer and this book was completely enjoyable to read.Brilliant plot, humorous and a terrific climax. Its about how a team of 4 people claim their money they had deposited as shares in a fraudulent Oil Company. Also this book happens to Archer's first novel published in 1976 and was inspired by his real life experience of near-bankruptcy.
Chanaka Hettige
Dec 20, 2015 Chanaka Hettige rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, thriller
At least two brilliant minds are there to illuminate a story by Archer and this is not short of it. Not a Penny More, not a Penny Less is another thrilling ride by Archer, which is wound around a stock market scandal which leave four innocent people with not a penny left. This triggers a story of reconciliation from seemingly ordinary four, which embark on a mission to retrieve every penny lost. The brilliance in all of them will drive the story forward with interest.

As usual Archer offers an c
Adhy Kumar
Mar 16, 2015 Adhy Kumar rated it it was amazing
In Not A Penny More, Not A Penny less, Jeffery Archer depicts the story of four men who get cheated out of their life savings through a false company run by a rich man out for himself . All four men are brilliant in their own special fields of work and make a pact to get their money back, Not A Penny More, Not A Penny less. Each person has to make their own plan and together they will practice it to perfection enact it, when the time is right. The person who cheated them is not an easy man to br ...more
Jun 08, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a penny more, not a penny less.

Interestingly, well accidently really, I've read Jeffrey Archers books in anachronistic order. Having read and loved his latest novel last month (Only Time will tell), I was intrigued to read his first novel - which launched his writing career. A novel that thirty years ago had US publishers fighting to grab the rights, and which Jeffrey admits changed his life; but I guess $3 million dollars thirty years ago was considered a lot of money.

So with the luxury of
Feb 19, 2013 Sadaf rated it really liked it
An elaborate plan to get money - in this case, to get money back, is the kind of stuff that Archer writes really well. I thoroughly enjoyed The Fourth Estate, and there was no doubt I was going to like this one.
The book begins with a bit of background on Harvey Metclafe, and as soon as you start to feel proud of his enterprising efforts, you realize he is going to con a few innocent people of a million, and he immediately becomes the 'villain'.
The four men who are duped of their money, are an
Ray Kelly
Feb 22, 2015 Ray Kelly rated it it was amazing
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less is an outstanding first novel by British author Jeffrey Archer. It is an amazing tale of fraud and revenge. With a fake oil company and a few well places "rumor" Harvey Metcalfe pulls off a multi-million dollar swindle. Four disparate men are each conned out of their savings by this clever con man. On their own, they are powerless to do anything about it, but united they develop a plan to win back their lost money without exacting any further punishment than at ...more
Vaishnavi Ramesh
Jan 08, 2015 Vaishnavi Ramesh rated it it was amazing
I have read many other Jeffery books
I wonder how I missed his first book " Not a penny more not a penny less"
A brilliant work with every character well researched , revenge with masterminding plans with thrilling twists in all the plans. However I guessed who Anne would be long before James gets to know . I would say it's THE BEST of Jeffery's work I ever read .
The conned:an Oxford don, a revered society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord. They have one thing in common. Overnight, each novice investor lost his life's fortune to one man. The con: Harvey Metcalfe!!

A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And now, a hunted man.

With nothing left to lose four strangers are about to come together-each expert in their own field. Their plan: find Harvey, shadow him, trap him, and penny-for-penny, destroy
dipesh singhal
Dec 24, 2014 dipesh singhal rated it really liked it
It is a classic from JA. I have stated long back and left in middle. but I always want to finish. most liked part of book is twisted in last part.
May 03, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Hahaha, I loved this book. I have been reading Jeffrey Archer's new novels and thought I loved his writing but to go back and read his very first book I now know that he is a really amazing author. I can't wait to start reading all his other books on my bookshelf.
Harker US Library
Aug 26, 2014 Harker US Library rated it it was ok
When a millionaire pulls off an elaborate scheme to steal money from other millionaires, it’s up to the conned millionaires to chase the criminal millionaire around to all his high-society haunts so that they can surreptitiously extract their fortunes from him and become millionaires once more. As a non-millionaire, it’s hard to sympathize with all these fabulously wealthy characters whose most important traits are their holdings in African gold and their prize-winning orchid collections. Archer ...more
Jbb Lim
Oct 21, 2014 Jbb Lim rated it really liked it
This is my take on Archer's first ever published book. My very first encounter with Archer is that I've read the "Kane and Abel" series. Now that was a bloody fantastic series especially the first.

During the course of reading, adrenaline never cease to pump on plots and plans on how to get back their cheated investment. Schemes and rehearsals were well thought off and how each plan was near failure whilst one reader can never expect that the 4 of them is able to salvage it in the nick of time.

Asma Qadriyah
Sep 25, 2013 Asma Qadriyah rated it liked it
Shelves: ok-ok, my-ebooks
Though I felt the beginning was quiet boring, I just couldn't be any more happy that I continued reading as after a while is when the fun and witty part begins.. I think it was more than ok-ok but seriously the beginning got the better of me.. Overall it's a good read.. ;) fun, hilarious, witty, thrilling, boring and a page-turner all rolled into one.. Truly its worth "not a penny less and not a penny more"..
Dec 19, 2015 Charlotte rated it it was ok
(As ever, check me out on, where I have cross posted this review.)

I had high hopes for this novel.

Unfortunately (I bet you saw this coming from at least a mile away), those hopes were dashed.

The premise and synopsis were promising, if somewhat familiar, suggesting at an intelligent, finely crafted narrative with lashings of witty humour and oodles of barbed dialogue. The usual fare, for this sort of novel, but familiarity does not always breed contempt, and, on this o
Jan 15, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Jeffrey Archer's stories. The characters are well developed. Nobody is all good or all bad. The plots are detailed but you don't get lost - there are always twists, turns, and surprises. A great read.
Rishi Kaushal
Jan 11, 2016 Rishi Kaushal rated it really liked it
This is the first novel by Archer, but not the first read by me by him. When reading this book, i did not once feel that this was the first writing of Archer, as it was written with polish.

The story is fun to read, but in no way deep. The characters are well described which allows the reader to paint a vivid picture in the mind about how the characters would be. Written in typical Jeffery Archer pattern, there is a powerful business magnet, who duped a few men of their money, and the story tell
Nov 26, 2015 GRV rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-my-shelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2016 Anita rated it really liked it
Jeffrey Archer’s inaugural work of fiction, first published in 1976, is reminiscent of the ‘Mission Impossible’ television series, where every undertaking is carried out covertly and using old-school methods, which range from detailed bait-and-switch to cavalierly winging it. This made it incredibly refreshing to read in this day and age of technology and gadgetry. It was additionally engaging because the characters were fallible, and plans were liable to go wrong. Said characters, having lost a ...more
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Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.

He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married
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“Making a million legally has always been difficult. Making a million illegally has always been a little easier. Keeping a million when you have made it is perhaps the most difficult of all.” 20 likes
“The bastard. It's bad enough knowing he's stolen our money,but it's humiliating having to watch him spend it.” 8 likes
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