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Old 06-08-2011, 12:06 PM   #16
HarryT
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I've always avoided Lee Child on the principle that I don't approve of British authors trying to pretend to be Americans. But perhaps I should reconsider, based on the recommendations.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:20 PM   #17
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^ I was totally unaware Child was British when I read the first Jack Reacher book. Pretty transparent from what I can tell, though that doesn't mean much coming from me [as I am not the most critical reader with these kinds of books] and I certainly wasn't looking for it.

I generally feel as you do - oftentimes I notice non-native authors making errors with American colloquialisms. <cringe!> Child gets a lot of credit from me on this.

"Great" literature this stuff ain't, but IMO definitely guilty-pleasure reading that's a significant cut above the rest.

YMMV,
-les
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:07 PM   #18
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I always think of Plato's Republic when reading Reacher.

I'm no scholar and it's been a long time so feel free to correct me. As I recall, Plato describes an ideal society. It would be ruled by highly educated people well versed in philosophy. The general populace he labeled Artisans. A third class was the Guardians. These would be the soldiers, the warriors.

Unlike the Artisans, the Guardians would have little interest in material possessions. They would value strength, skill, honor, justice and courage. He didn't want an army of blood thirsty savages that might turn on the citizens so he describes the perfect Guardian as one who is aggressive but also possesses the opposite quality of gentleness. In addition to physical training, they should learn the value of literature and music.

Reacher is a Guardian. He was born to a Marine and lived on military bases all over the world as a child. He learned to harness his natural aggression as a way to cope with the problems of being the new kid at school. He joined the army and received extensive training as a warrior. All he'd ever known was the soldiers life. He was content to serve his country as an officer in the Army MPs.

Post Vietnam, the military downsized. For the first time, nobody came around to ask Reacher to re-enlist. He wasn't accustomed to making choices about his future. The easiest choice was to do nothing. This resulted in the end of his military career. With little interest in possessions, he'd saved enough money that he figured he could just wander around the country awhile. Most of his life had been spent overseas and he wanted to see the country he had been protecting.

So here you have this classic Guardian wandering the country side, walking, hitching or riding the bus, who owns the clothes on his back and a folding toothbrush. He no longer has a chain of command to point him at this battle or that war. He's uncomfortable choosing for himself so he lets chance guide him. He's not looking for a fight but he's not about to run from one either. He's intelligent with years of investigative experience. I enjoy watching him work. I think Plato would also.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:07 PM   #19
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John, nice character association! My rare criticism is how he is almost too perfect... then makes a blunder. Still enjoyable. And, after comparing Barry Eisler's books, I notice Child's sense of location, describing any particular real world location, feels weak.

Whoever in the thread suggested women don't dig these books must not have heard of Reacher's Creatures, lol, a term seemingly stolen from Child's official site -- http://www.reachercreatures.com
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
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I never thought I'd hear Plato and Jack Reacher mentioned in the same sentence. I like it... it's just that I can't afford to put quite that much thought into why I like it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cassidym View Post
Yeah, I've read all of the Jack Reacher series and have really like every one. Start with the first one and read them in order. You will not be disappointed!
My favourite fictional character at the moment.

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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I've always avoided Lee Child on the principle that I don't approve of British authors trying to pretend to be Americans. But perhaps I should reconsider, based on the recommendations.
You should give him the benefit of the doubt, as they are well worth the read. At least he does live in the States, so has some credibilty there.

Last edited by orlok; 06-08-2011 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:59 PM   #22
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John, nice character association! My rare criticism is how he is almost too perfect... then makes a blunder. Still enjoyable. And, after comparing Barry Eisler's books, I notice Child's sense of location, describing any particular real world location, feels weak.

Whoever in the thread suggested women don't dig these books must not have heard of Reacher's Creatures, lol, a term seemingly stolen from Child's official site -- http://www.reachercreatures.com
Yes, it's not the perfection, it's the blunder. Being right (in his work) is one of the few things Reacher values so I can accept that. Nobody's perfect and how you cope with failure is a good indicator of eventual success so Child introduces a blunder. It seems awkward. I pick up a book wondering what the blunder will be this time.

I was checking out the link you mentioned and came across a thread "A Little Reacher Fix". Deanie there found an Amazon page for Joseph Finder's Buried Secrets. If you scroll down you'll find Reacher giving a character assessment of the books protagonist. http://www.amazon.com/Buried-Secrets...7574628&sr=1-1

BTW I've added Barry Eisler to my wish list, thanks!
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:25 AM   #23
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Why do I have a sudden craving for coffee after reading this thread?
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:27 AM   #24
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It's a 'guy' thing. Reacher is definitely NOT 'chick-lit.'


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I thought it might be, I call them male wish fulfilment books (ducks for cover here). Mind you I did only try to read one, not my thing, but then neither is chick lit.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:44 AM   #25
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^ Bodice-rippers anyone?

EDIT: Jack Reacher will whup Fabio's blow-dried butt any day of the week.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:36 AM   #26
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I thought it might be, I call them male wish fulfilment books (ducks for cover here).

You could be right on the mark here. Many of us would love to be 6'6", 225lb of solid muscle, having absolutely no responsibilities other than what one wishes to take on, having no possessions that require care, and the skills and abilities to meet every challenge with confidence, and meeting a different beautiful woman in every town we stop in who will simply fall into our beds without complications...

Personally, I'd settle for 6'2", if I could get all the rest.


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Old 06-09-2011, 04:43 AM   #27
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^ I am easier - just give me ooodles and oodles of cash and I am perfectly content with being 5'10.5" tall. Then I could hire guys like Jack Reacher to make me look good.

And yes, the .5" counts
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:29 AM   #28
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^ I am easier - just give me ooodles and oodles of cash and I am perfectly content with being 5'10.5" tall. Then I could hire guys like Jack Reacher to make me look good.

And yes, the .5" counts
That's .5 on me. Should I now feel inadequate, given that it counts .
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:11 AM   #29
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I think I'll give this series a try

Wait, is there a lot of romance in this series? I get annoyed easily by that xp
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:20 AM   #30
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Ms. A. Christie is much the same for me - minus the ass-kicking tooth syndrome (more Bentley 2-seater perambulation), ignore any that aren't Poirot, and surrender yourself to the inevitable Deus ex machina ................
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