No Shame: I Love Reacher

I’m deeply distrustful of authors whose books appear on the tiny book rack at my local Walgreens . You know them: Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson and his “co-writers,” Dean Koontz.

Now I’m scared that I’m an elitist asshole because I’ve discovered  Lee Child, another habitue of cheesy book racks everywhere, to say nothing of Hudson Books in airports. To quote Wikipedia, he started out in the tv biz , lost his job and moved on. His birth name is Grant.

“Grant joined Granada Television, part of the UK‘s ITVNetwork, in Manchester as a presentation director. There he was involved with shows including Brideshead RevisitedThe Jewel in the CrownPrime Suspect, andCracker.” (I still weep thinking about “The Jewel in the Crown.)He moved to New York City and started to write action novels. His series protagonist is Jack (None) Reacher , an ex MP Major. He’s six five, muscular and not big on nuance. He travels the country with no kit except what can fit in his pockets: an expired passport, an ATM card, a roll of bills and a folding toothbrush. He hitch hikes, and buys new clothes every three days because he fears the domestic delights of a house and a washer. I think I may be the first person to call him an existential hero.

Reacher is smart and invincible. There is — and this is the comfort factor in these scary books — the reality that Reacher will, every, every time, mangle, with his bare fists, the Bad Guys. He’s a modern cross between Sir Galahad and a mendicant monk.

Child writes a smart plot. Although he’s made huge progress as a writer, he’s no Elmore Leonard. But he’s learned St. Elmo’s greatest commandment: “Leave out the stuff people don’t read.”

The Tom Cruise Reacher movie is a bomb and I’m glad. The physical miscasting, for a start, is ludicrous. When you’ve been hooked into Reacher’s strange mind, you know it’s not going to be the basis of a Tom Cruise thriller. Totally lame.

So, the Reacher novels have got on to our reserve list at the Warrenville Library, along with Tess Gerritsen and Steve Hamilton. Maybe it time to read Nora Roberts? Nah.





Filed under Books, Library Card

3 responses to “No Shame: I Love Reacher

  1. Miss Maggie May,

    I do love your love for things! And so, due to the deeply felt and delightfully-expressed review/paean/crush above, I grabbed the thick red paperback so lately returned with us from the hospital (So THAT’S what occupied Chris all those times I’d be getting a doze on that cement chaise, and would peek over to see him turning pages, still engrossed in the dim halo between blood pressure and here’s your pill).

    He DID finish it and moved on to delve into my own hefty bag of necessaries. SO, last night, forsaking Holmes and putting my NOOK away to charge, I took Reacher to bed, His tee-ninecy print and my #1.75 specs fought it out for perhaps ten pages, and I can assure you, the first stop on the way home from Picking Up Sweetpea today will be to load all the adventures onto said NOOK, where pages turn silently and print is forgiving, stretching to a size for my eyes.

    And I DO understand your confidence in his ability to make all things right—it’s like relying on Mary Poppins or Travis McGee or John McClain.

    Chris will, very soon, be commenting on his own, for I told him to tell you how he Shares the Love.

  2. asuffusionofyellow

    It sounds like Adam Baldwin might be a good choice for that role. I’m going to load a bunch onto my Nook, too, thanks to your recommendation.

  3. Nora Roberts is actually really, REALLY good. Just don’t read the early stuff!

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