Solar Plexus Watch

First, some background. Then, the evidence:

“It was obvious to Breen that, whatever about his own reservations, she was hitting the public smack bang in the solar plexus.”
—CENSORING HOLLYWOOD by Aubrey Malone

“She palmed him in the solar plexus.”
—GOD’S WAR by Kameron Hurley

“Rupert opened the door and doubled over laughing like he’d taken a punch to the solar plexus.”
—BAKED by Mark Haskell Smith

“But when she sang, she was a mythological beast, a bird flying high in the sky, a punch in the solar plexus from the woman you love.”
—VERSION 43 by Philip Palmer

“The landlord reacted with a blow to Jonas’s solar plexus.”
—HOLLYWOOD HILLS by Joseph Wambaugh

“He set her down and turned back to Roland in time for Roland’s fist, traveling toward Stein’s body at great velocity, to make impact with the unmuscled pit of his solar plexus.”
—STEIN, STONED by Hal Ackerman

“And then it would hit them like a ton of bricks in their psychic solar plexus.” —GAME CHANGE by John Heileman and Mark Halperin

“I turned to the one on my left. Jumped backwards away from him over the wreckage of the chair and horse-kicked the guy behind me in the solar plexus,* aiming for the wall two feet past him. *For those following along in their GRAY’S ANATOMY, in medicine the solar plexus has been called the celiac plexus for the last few decades. About as long as it’s been since anyone read GRAY’S ANATOMY.”
—BEAT THE REAPER by Josh Bazell

“Boone dropped Jerry with a short sharp right to the solar plexus and left him puking Cuervo on the floor of the bar as he walked out to his truck.”
—THIS WICKED WORLD by Richard Lange

“He felt as though he’d taken a war club to the solar plexus.”
—.45-CALIBER FIREBRAND by Peter Brandvold

“So a few days later, I find myself in a cab on the way to the studio with the magazine’s design director, who keeps assuring me that there will be nothing edible on my solar plexus and no Mapplethorpian whips in my orifices.”
—THE GUINEA PIG DIARIES: MY LIFE AS AN EXPERIMENT by A.J. Jacobs

“With a sharp crunch, the attacker sank translucent teeth into Glyn’s ribs and bit off the top of the Englishman’s body at the solar plexus.”
—FRAGMENT by Warren Fahy

“They might have noticed that whereas my right hand was certainly moving to catch him by the collar, it was only moving a split second after my left hand had already stabbed him in the solar plexus, very hard, but close in to our bodies, hidden and surreptitious.”
and
“A hard blow to the solar plexus will do that to a person.”
—GONE TOMORROW by Lee Child

“As she ran toward the figure he raised the knife, but she knocked his hand aside, punching him in the solar plexus as she did so.”
and
“Mulvaney crouched to hear; there came a quick movement, Pendergast’s fist arm shot upward into the cop’s solar plexus, and with an abrupt sigh of expelled air Mulvaney bent over the gunwale.”
—CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

“He easily ducked a sluggish roundhouse punch, then pounded the beast’s hairy solar plexus.”
—ENEMIES & ALLIES by Kevin J. Anderson

“His mouth opened and I could actually see his chest expand as he drew in a sharp breath in order to scream, but Top rose up lightning fast and kicked him hard in the solar plexus with the tip of his steel-reinforced left shoe.”
—PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Mayberry

“Then I hooked a hard left into his solar plexus.”
—THE MURDERER VINE by Shepard Rifkin

“He swung his scuba tank like a wrecking ball into Hassan’s solar plexus, doubling him over.”
and
“Knox stretched both arms around the big man’s waist, made a fist of his right hand, thumb just below the solar plexus, then squeezed his abdomen with a sharp upward thrust.”
—THE ALEXANDER CIPHER by Will Adams

“Cape dropped his knees, landing on Tommy’s solar plexus.”
—GREASING THE PIÑATA by Tim Maleeny

“It was perhaps five minutes later that Major Smythe felt a curious numbness more or less in the region of his solar plexus.”
and
“He measured the distance to Mr. Krest’s solar plexus.”
—QUANTUM OF SOLACE: THE COMPLETE JAMES BOND SHORT STORIES by Ian Fleming

“Like a sock in the solar plexus.”
—THE LAUGHTER OF DEAD KINGS by Elizabeth Peters

“He aimed the knife point at Remo’s solar plexus, and moved forward, knife, hand, and arm.”
—THE DESTROYER #10: TERROR SQUAD by Richard Sapir & Warren Murphy

“It was written quickly, in an almost unintelligible script. I can make out the words ‘amateurs,’ ‘solar plexus,’ ‘hand,’ and ‘should have run.'”
—DO TRAVEL WRITERS GO TO HELL?: A SWASHBUCKLING TALE OF HIGH ADVENTURES, QUESTIONABLE ETHICS, AND PROFESSIONAL HEDONISM by Thomas Kohnstamm

“The sharp tip of the steel blade struck the apache in the solar plexus and pierced upward into his heart.”
—THE GUNSMITH #23: THE RIVERBOAT GANG by Robert J. Randisi

“His second hard blow landed on the boy’s solar plexus.”
—WHO CAN SAVE US NOW?: BRAND-NEW SUPERHEROES AND THEIR AMAZING (SHORT) STORIES edited by Owen King and John McNally

“As the man came abreast, Quinn slammed his elbow into his solar plexus.”
—THE DECEIVED by Brett Battles

“Frank butts him in the solar plexus with the blunt end of the bat, then swings the handle up in an arc and catches the man under the chin.”
—THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow

“Got one chair leg in the guy’s solar plexus and another in his gut.”
and
“Behind it lies the celiac plexus, the largest autonomic nerve in the abdominal cavity. Sometimes called the solar plexus.”
—NOTHING TO LOSE by Lee Child

“He felt like his hips and solar plexus had been hit by a pair of sandbags.”
—OLD FLAMES by Jack Ketchum

“The revulsion hit Hewitt’s solar plexus in one direct shot.”
—SEPARATED AT DEATH by Sheldon Rusch

“You must smash engine in solar plexus!”
—DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN — VOLUME ONE by Denny O’Neil, Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano

“As I struggled to get to my feet, the heel of his palm struck me in my solar plexus.”
—THE MARK by Jason Pinter

“I rolled over to see Gaius Justus Gallicus with his short sword sunk to the hilt in the solar plexus of Jeremiah.”
and
“‘No Master-‘ Simon began to shout but he was cut off by a vicious blow to the solar plexus from Peter, who then pushed the Zealot to the ground and sat on him while furiously whispering in his ear.”
—LAMB: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST’S CHILDHOOD PAL by Christopher Moore

“Remo got a little metal twister that came with the Garby’s and poked it into Jethro’s solar plexus to help him breathe.”
—THE DESTROYER #7: UNION BUST by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

“Jo blocked him with her body, then threw three quick blows: A straight-hand finger strike to his neck, followed by a closed fist shot to the solar plexus.”
—VERTICAL COFFIN by Stephen J. Cannell

“She dropped her bag from her shoulder, stepped across the car, and sent a punch to his solar plexus that drove the wind out of him.”
—CIRCUMFERENCE OF DARKNESS by Jack Henderson

“And the second you get tired is the second that someone lands a fist to your solar plexus or a foot to your head.”
—L.A. OUTLAWS by T. Jefferson Parker

“He felt the gun against his spine just as the black cop swung a lazy arm toward his solar plexus, clenching his fist at the last minute and knocking the wind out of him.”
—BEATING THE BABUSHKA BY Tim Maleeny

“He drove a fist into her solar plexus and knocked the air out of her, shut her up.”
—HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill

“I dropped back down, my breath gone; then his steel toe kissed my solar plexus.”
—STEP ON A CRACK by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

“Gabriel struck him again, this time in the solar plexus.”
—THE SECRET SERVANT by Daniel Silva

“Bourne grabbed the policeman’s pistol and drove another fist into the man’s solar plexus.”
—THE BOURNE BETRAYAL by Eric Van Lustbader

“The powerful killer pulled him up by the neck of his parka and then swung his machine pistol around hard into Harvath’s solar plexus, knocking the wind from him.”
—BLOWBACK by Brad Thor

“She kneed him in the groin, and shot her elbow hard into his solar plexus.”
—THE PRODIGY by Charles Atkins

“On his solar plexus, there was a rectangle of gauze taped down with bandages.”
—PRECIOUS BLOOD by Jonathan Hayes

“Sandy brought the .45 to eye level in a Weaver stance, left elbow low, and took nearly five seconds to put five rounds into a melon-sized group in the target’s solar plexus.”
—PROMETHEUS’S CHILD by Harold Coyle and Barrett Tillman

“Another second and he would wheel oh so unexpectedly and put a move on Bishop, probably a punch to the face or the solar plexus.”
—DAMNATION STREET by Andrew Klavan

“It struck Belinsky like a blow to the solar plexus.”
—RED MOON by David S. Michaels and Daniel Brenton

“The next blow was to his solar plexus.”
—DEATH AND THE DEVIL by Frank Schatzing

“By the time I boarded, Ali was nowhere to be found, and I was left feeling as if I’d been kicked in the solar plexus.”
—POWER PLAY by Joseph Finder

“Raoul let the search continue for fifteen seconds before he Frisbeed the small folder across the room, where the corner of it hit Tiger at high speed in the solar plexus.”
—CATEGORY 7 by Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson

“With casual cruelty, DeGroot kicked him in the solar plexus, doubling him over with pain.”
—SAFE AND SOUND by J.D. Rhoades

“It was as if someone had punched him hard in the solar plexus.”
—THE DYING by Leslie Horvitz

“The beast roared and launched, its large head striking Caster in the solar plexus and bowling him over.”
—MORBID CURIOSITY by Deborah LeBlanc

“Max dug a furious left-right combination into the kid’s ribs and solar plexus.”
—MR. CLARINET by Nick Stone

“His first hint that all is not well comes when a masked and gloved Laurent appears out of a shadowed nook and knocks him dazed and sprawling with a single punch to the solar plexus.”
—INVISIBLE ARMIES by Jon Evans

“Strahov wheels on me furiously and slams a big fist into my vulnerable solar plexus.”
—VOLK’S GAME by Brent Ghelfi

“Keller stunned her with a stiff-fingered jab to the solar plexus, then took hold of her and broke her neck.”
—HIT PARADE by Lawrence Block

“I thought the name would land like a punch in the solar plexus, but it fazed him not at all.”
—MARKED MAN by William Lashner

“Williams crouched, straightened, and drove his massive fist into my solar plexus.”
—STRAITS OF FORTUNE by Anthony Gagliano

“Remo liked him, but not so much that he didn’t knock him out by releasing his shoulder, leaning forward, and driving a hard index finger into his solar plexus.”
—THE BEST OF THE DESTROYER by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

“The sound of him saying her name was like a punch deep into her solar plexus.”
—THE BLUE ZONE by Andrew Gross

“‘It’s taken a while to establish that we all speak English here, don’t we, pal?'” Vinnie said, whirling and punching the nearest body in the solar plexus with his fist, causing the man to groan.”
—CI: HOMELAND THREAT by David DeBatto and Pete Nelson

“A pair of hands built for wrapping around glass mugs clamped under my solar plexus and squeezed.”
—AMERICAN DETECTIVE by Loren D. Estleman

“Losing Tony Stevens was akin to a boxer taking a hard punch to the solar plexus, but it hadn’t knocked him down.”
—SHELL GAME by Jeff Buick

“Sightlessly informing himself of his position and the angle of his arm by the hold she has on him, Chase yanks the knife from between Crow’s teeth and sinks the blade at a downward angle into his solar plexus.”
—YOU DON’T SCARE ME by John Farris

“Williams struggled beneath him, but Art drove a knee into his solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him, then wrenched the rifle free with a finger-snapping yank.”
—CARVED IN BONE by Jefferson Bass

“When the husband charged me I finally lost the temper I’d been trying so hard to keep and I punched him sharply in the solar plexus, pulled his shirt over his head, and pushed him to the floor.”
—THE FALLEN by T. Jefferson Parker

“Before Jun could stop him, Yuan wrenched the sword from her grasp and jabbed it back at her, catching her in the solar plexus and knocking her down.”
—STEALING THE DRAGON by Tim Maleeny

“‘It’s your solar plexus,'” he said by way of explanation.”
—DEATH IN PRECINCT PUERTO RICO by Steven Torres

“The next, more carefully directed, struck Branch in the solar plexus.”
—PANDORA’S LEGION by Harold Coyle and Barrett Tillman

“Before she could respond again, his fist slammed her solar plexus, doubling her over, causing her to gasp for air.”
—DEAD HEAD by Allen Wyler

“The husband was about to pass him when his hand whipped out, punching Lichter in the solar plexus.”
—JUDGMENT DAY by James F. David

“She punched Freddy as he came, a hard thrust to the solar plexus.”
—JACK KNIFE by Virginia Baker

“He connected with the Dark Angel’s Solar Plexus.”
—THE BOOK OF NAMES by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori

“I landed a hard punch in his solar plexus, a popping sound came from his throat, his weapon dropped to the floor, and he fell to his knees, gasping for breath.”
—MAN IN THE MIDDLE by Brian Haig

“McNeil jumped up to defend his friend and coworker, and instantly caught a two-finger jab to the solar plexus.”
—AMERICA’S LAST DAYS by Douglas MacKinnon

“Freddy Aviles rocked gently from his center of gravity, which in his case was located near the solar plexus.”
—THE TRIKON DECEPTION by Ben Bova and Bill Pogue

“Nat felt something akin to a heavy punch in the solar plexus.”
—UNQUIET SPIRIT by Derek Wilson

“Still reeling from the kick to his stomach, he wasn’t ready when Daniel came at him again, delivering a roundhouse kick that struck him in his solar plexus.”
—CAUSES UNKNOWN by Leslie Horwitz

“As he fell, Yeoman swung once with his fist, to the solar plexus; the man grunted and lay still on the ground.”
—GRAVE DESCEND by John Lange

“I let go of Beth Ann, and punched him in the solar plexus.”
—SCHOOL DAYS by Robert B. Parker

“I pounded my fist into his solar plexus.”
—TIN CITY by David Housewright

“Jack delivered a hard palm jab to his solar plexus.”
—HARBINGERS by F. Paul Wilson

“And Hewitt had to push her guts back down into her solar plexus when she lifted the sheet, saw the same look of destroyed innocence on another tragically expired face.”
—THE BOY WITH PERFECT HANDS by Sheldon Rusch

“She smashed with the ball of her foot, nailing his solar plexus.”
—THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE by Kim Wozencraft

“He drove the first punch-a haymaker-straight at my solar plexus.”
—THE SHADOW CATCHERS by Thomas Lakeman

“One hand wrested the gun out of the Guardian’s hand while the other struck him in the solar plexus.”
—THE TESTAMENT by Eric Von Lustbader

“But his training in Kali paid off as he sidestepped and struck her in the solar plexus with the extended fingers of his right hand.”
—COUNTERPLAY by Robert K. Tanenbaum

“He yanked him forward and at the same time brought his left knee up, delivering a vicious blow to the older man’s solar plexus.”
—CONSENT TO KILL by Vince Flynn

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26 Comments »

Comment by Shon
2008-02-01 14:28:56

As soon as I saw this section, I thought of Remo. I felt vindicated when I saw his entry.

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Comment by RP
2008-02-02 10:54:36

I wonder if there was a solar plexus smoking gun–a usage based on 1 author’s research that was so influential that it spawned every other solar plexus attack.

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Comment by Jiro
2008-02-02 18:33:28

“He felt the gun against his spine just as the black cop swung a lazy arm toward his solar plexus, clenching his fist at the last minute and knocking the wind out of him.”
-BEATING THE BABUSHKA BY Tim Maleeny

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Comment by Lola
2008-02-20 20:04:22

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison (p. 345 in my copy):
“The words ripped from my solar plexus.”

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Comment by ahierholzer
2008-03-17 16:39:26

Things are always happening with the solar plexus in ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ as well. It’s in there a lot.

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Comment by dead prezident
2008-03-25 10:42:02

“Double-breasted, bulletproof vested, well protected: the heart, the ribcage, the chest and solar plexus…”
–The RZA
Wu-Gambinos off Raekwon the Chef’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…”

I know it’s not literature, but whatever. Solar plexus is a beautiful phrase.

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Comment by Jiro
2008-04-09 15:26:17

“As I struggled to get to my feet, the heel of his palm struck me in my solar plexus.”
– THE MARK by Jason Pinter

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Comment by DMC
2008-12-07 17:49:58

Three Destroyer mentions. Nice! Now, if you listed beheadings, you’d hardly have to cite anyone else’s books. Or wet splotches appearing on trousers.

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Comment by Craig Clarke
2009-03-13 11:05:24

From Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (p. 76):

“I turned to the one on my left. Jumped backwards away from him over the wreckage of the chair and horse-kicked the guy behind me in the solar plexus*…”

[the asterisk indicates the following footnote]

“*For those of you following along in your Gray’s Anatomy, in medicine the solar plexus has been called the celiac plexus for the last few decades. About as long as it’s been since anyone’s read Gray’s Anatomy.”

I love it: a solar plexus reference complete with a statement of the phrase’s medical inaccuracy.

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Comment by Craig Clarke
2009-04-09 03:20:03

“Then I hooked a hard left into his solar plexus.” — Shepard Rifkin, The Murderer Vine

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Comment by Edward Pettit
2009-04-09 19:31:01

Holy shit, you have a lot of time on your hands.

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2009-08-31 02:52:54

[...] Bookgasm: Reading Material to Get Excited About » Solar Plexus Watch http://www.bookgasm.com/solar-plexus-watch – view page – cached “With a sharp crunch, the attacker sank translucent teeth into Glyn’s ribs and bit off the top of the Englishman’s body at the solar plexus.” —FRAGMENT by Warren Fahy — From the page [...]

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Comment by Craig Clarke
2009-11-25 10:55:08

“He felt as though he’d taken a war club to the solar plexus.” — .45-Caliber Firebrand by Peter Brandvold

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2009-12-03 07:44:24

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by bookgasm: Warren Fahy’s FRAGMENT lands on our Solar Plexus Watch: http://bit.ly/vv9wy

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Comment by Brian Lindenmuth
2009-12-04 09:49:06

“Boone dropped Jerry with a short sharp right to the solar plexus and left him puking Cuervo on the floor of the bar as he walked out to his truck.” — This Wicked World by Richard Lange

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Comment by DannyK
2009-12-22 21:35:25

I don’t have the citation at hand, but the very good medical/noir thriller, Beat the Reaper, has not only a strike to the solar plexus, but also a side note that nobody calls it the “solar plexus” any more.

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Comment by Rod Lott
2009-12-22 21:41:41

Excellent find, Danny! Now added!

 
 
2010-06-21 14:39:16

[...] So you can keep up with this topic, Bookgasm records references to the solar plexus in literature on their Solar Plexus Watch. [...]

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2010-07-22 13:51:46

[...] Bookgasm has established a solar plexus watch, an effort to chronicle novels that refer to the network of nerves in the abdomen. It seems that just about any time somebody gets hit, they’re getting hit right in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of ‘em. Bookgasm is listing all of the published examples that they find. [...]

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Comment by Matt Baker
2010-08-16 17:10:59

I wish I still had a solar plexus. I think it’s that thing on your tummy that looks really cool on skinny people. I mean on dudes, on chicks it looks kinda gross.

But not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Comment by Brian Lindenmuth
2010-10-18 09:43:45

“He set her down and turned back to Roland in time for Roland’s fist, traveling toward Stein’s body at great velocity, to make impact with the unmuscled pit of his solar plexus.”

Stein, Stoned by Hal Ackerman

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Comment by Brian Lindenmuth
2011-01-06 08:43:32

“Rupert opened the door and doubled over laughing like he’d taken a punch to the solar plexus.”

from Baked by Mark Haskell Smith

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Comment by Brian Lindenmuth
2011-04-22 06:07:34

“Myx twisted and swiveled in Raine’s grip while he tried to catch the bands. She palmed him in the solar plexus. He grunted. His grip loosened. She pulled free and bolted.” — God’s War by Kameron Hurley

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Comment by Scott Pinzon
2012-02-07 11:01:15

This is great fun. So, will you guarantee a review on Bookgasm if I write a novel titled Solar Plexus?

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Comment by Troy
2013-05-19 14:47:02

From Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland by Ace Atkins:

“I hit him hard, square in the face, and harder in the solar plexus.”

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Comment by R
2013-06-24 12:04:34

From “Man of Steel,” the novelization. (Yeah, so sue me, it’s my first novelization in years and years.)

Page 220:

“But Faora didn’t care about innocent bystanders. Recovering quickly from their crash landing, she assailed Superman with a flurry of jabs and kicks to his vital areas. Her vicious hands and feet blurred as they lashed out at his knees, neck, and solar plexus.”

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