You pretty much know what you're going to get. Actually, they make me happy. The way a pizza makes me happy. Or a cheeseburger and fries. This one did not make me happy. This was a pizza with pineapple on it. A cheeseburger and fries left to harden in its own fat. I'll still eat it, but it's a little sad.
I don't know if Child is getting tired of writing for Reacher or what, but he was clearly not in good form this time.
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I honestly think that Child's writing at times approaches the sublime in its clunkiness. He's not trying to be literary. His prose is as subtle as walking into a door, but it is appropriate for the stories he tells and I find his disdain for pretense refreshing. But this time I think Lee Child was phoning it in.
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Sure, we get the usual Reacherisms. We get the usual taciturnity, the geeky obsession with trivia and numbers, the smart mouth to the bad guys and the requisite ultraviolent retribution at the end. Reacher goes shopping for new clothes at the dollar store like in every other book.
He sees injustice, like in every other book, and a mystery and to sate his curiosity takes extreme and unauthorized measures to set things right. This book has the required elements.
But ultimately it was soulless. It was checking the box. Going through the motions. Most of the dialogue was basically reacher thinking aloud with others about what might be going on. And driving.
A lot of driving. Here and there, back and forth.
Check on this, check on that, drive drive drive. The conclusion was appropriately violent with Reacher taking on the enemy against all odds, but so what? Unlike previous installments that often had bad guys that were worthy of our hate, the bad guys here were "terrorists" and some middle-management types. Basically faceless. Really, I don't know what Child was thinking. Maybe he thought he could coast a little, what with a movie coming out and Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher. I can't blame Child for letting Tom Cruise play Reacher. If Cruise is in a movie it for sure is going to get made.
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The road to hell is paved with movies that were sold but never made. So in that sense Child's decision is as practical as his prose and probably a good one. But still and this makes no logical sense I can't help but feel that if Dolph Lundgren was playing Jack Reacher this novel may have been better. Lundgren is physically perfect for the role.
He's actually not a bad actor, but he's not as popular as Cruise. I get the feeling that if this were the case then maybe Child would not have set the "Cruise" control on this novel. Maybe he would have felt more of a hunger to make this Reacher novel, you know, kinda good. But, Reacher and Mr. Child, I have not given up on you. I know they cannot all be gems. I am understanding. Considering the countless hours of mindless escapist enjoyment you have provided me I am still, indeed, in your debt. I am still a "Reacher Creature. Reacher spoke of a motto in one of the books: Never forgive.
Never forget. Just sayin'. View all 14 comments. Apr 04, James Thane rated it liked it Shelves: lee-child , crime-fiction , jack-reacher. Late one night in the middle of winter, Jack Reacher is standing by the road on an Interstate highway cloverleaf in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. It's cold, there's very little traffic, and he's trying to hitch a ride that will get him to Chicago, from where he can make his way by bus or train to Virginia, which is his ultimate destination.
Catching a ride under these circumstances could be difficult in the best of times, but Reacher is a huge guy much, much bigger than Tiny Tom Cruise , and Late one night in the middle of winter, Jack Reacher is standing by the road on an Interstate highway cloverleaf in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska.
Catching a ride under these circumstances could be difficult in the best of times, but Reacher is a huge guy much, much bigger than Tiny Tom Cruise , and he's sporting a recently broken nose that makes him look even more intimidating. Most reasonably normal travelers aren't going to take a chance on a guy who looks like this, especially at this time of night, and fifty-odd cars pass by without stopping. Finally, ninety-three minutes after Reacher first stuck out his thumb, a car finally stops.
The car is carrying two men and one woman who are wearing matching shirts and whom Reacher initially decides are on some sort of corporate team-building exercise. He accepts their offered ride and they speed off into the night.
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But as Reacher listens to them talk and watches their body language, he realizes that something is clearly off-norm here. Meanwhile, back up the road, a man has been stabbed to death in an old pumping station by what would clearly appear to be a professional killer. Two men were seen leaving the scene and the local sheriff puts out an APB. Almost immediately, though, the FBI swoops onto the scene along with some other very secretive government types. Clearly, this is more than your average, run-of-the-mill homicide.
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Thus begins another action-packed page turner from Lee Child. Reacher is on top of his game, broken nose or not, and there are two very interesting female characters along with an assortment of bad guys and government bureaucrats who, as we all know, should simply get the hell out of the way and let Reacher get the job done right. I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the book, but this is three stars for me, rather than four, because the last quarter of the book didn't measure up to the setup.
I don't want to give anything away, and so I'll simply note that the payoff seemed a bit drawn out and even a little tedious. One always has to suspend a great deal of disbelief when reading a book like this, and I have no problem doing so. But the end of the book seemed a little over the top even for a Reacher novel and not nearly as inventive or as interesting as the climaxes of most of the other books in this series. Still a fun read, but the first sixteen Reacher novels have perhaps set my expectations a bit too high for this one.
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View all 7 comments. Nov 20, Kashmir White rated it it was amazing. I really did not want to read the reviews for this book. So I waited a long time before finally adding it to my "read" list and then looking to see how many stars it got. I was right to wait, because as I predicted the 3 star reviews are starting to get on my nerves.
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Maybe there's just no pleasing people anymore. I had the greatest time reading this book. I didn't hate Worth Dying For, but I could understand why some readers didn't like it; it wasn't one of the best I really did not want to read the reviews for this book.