Gotcha to read this, didn’t I! Honestly? Naaah, I don’t really hate-hate-HATE the fictional character Jack Reacher or the human writer Lee Childs. I just strongly dislike Reacher stories and scratch my head about the entire Reacher “thing/series/industry.” I am far from alone. My friends and strangers ask me why?
First off! Well, you all know Jack Reacher! The Lee Childs mysterious person, who and that-
– Was a U.S. Army military police investigator
– Is like…6’9” and VERY strong
– Is just a super-duper fighter
– Wanders America like a total hobo
– Stumbles into 25, America-shaking, enormous, complex violent plots of international criminals, corruptions and terrorists, etc. that become more and more preposterous with each book, (not that the very first one was preposterous enough!)
People have passed unto me no less than four Reacher books. I could not finish any of them. I honestly tried. I just couldn’t be bothered. Then, still under this social pressure, I forced myself to at least finish the first Killing Floor in an audio book. Killing Floor It was the first Jack Reacher book in the series. It is a horrible mish-mash of poorly organized, preposterous plot events and filler writing. Don’t get me started here on the plot. I could fill an essay on how whacked out this was. The Killing Floor was a terrible book. A terribly constructed book. But Childs…got a contract for it? And yet, there were still more of the same in the series? (I often half-joke that one could conduct a whole college writing class on how bad that book was.)
My personal opinion after these reading attempts is – I think Lee Childs is not a good writer and not a good plotter. It is possible, due to pressures in the book industry, he has to work with editors and a staff helping him push out books and these folks are not good writers or plotters either.
The author is – a Brit – yet writes about the inner workings of the US Army military police. The series is hard for me to digest too because I was once an Army investigator. His version (as well as TV shows like NCIS, etc) are bloated, and wildly inaccurate representations on so many, many levels. Childs doesn’t seem to care a bit about the realities of US military police.
Yeah, I know, I know… that is all just fiction. A story. Literary license. I own that license too. I understand! And if this point were alone? I could quietly co-exist on this planet with this series as well as any other fictional series I chose to ignore. (We all do this, ignore series and characters that others adore.)
Now, this wacky hobo thing. Reacher the hobo. I was a bit of a hobo once. For almost two years I lived off the back of my motorcycle, after high school. Granted it was in the early 1970s. But, the hobo life sucks. So, Reacher’s life must actually suck. My and your experience and my and your common sense shows us that none of the true and daily problems of hobo-ism seem to hamper the walking, hitch-hiking, bus-hopping, no credit card, Jack Reacher in the slightest way. No luggage. Nothing near ID. Just some change in his pocket. Buys new clothes in the closest Army/Navy store and throws out the old, dirty clothes in the nearest trash can. Some readers find this romantic. Despite his disconnect with TV news, internet and society (he does read the newspapers), he still stumbles into these utterly amazing Goldfinger-esque, super, criminal and espionage plots that – AND each, in true serial story progression – must outdo the previous book just published eight months ago in the throat-cutting pressure of the horrible and confused book industry. Now, with over 25 of these amazing events and counting…counting. Lee, you lose me. You lost me at Book 1.
Now we come to Reacher-the MOVIE! Short Tom Cruse is not the giant Jack Reacher. Hard-core fans of the books really objected to this choice. (Is there anything worse though than having Matthew McConaughley playing Dirk Pitt in Cussler’s Sahara?) The Reacher movie, in and of itself, was not bad. Like an adequate, 1980s action flick? And Cruse, like him or not, is usually always good in every movie he is in. They could-have/should-have selected a better actor, but Tom is box-office, ka-ching. Say no more! I watched the film. I…half-liked it, still disliking the overall Child/Reacher “industry.” But most of the Reacher books are too long and too boring to be movies and even TV episodes. Screenwriters need to rescue them. There is a Reacher movie sequel! Ka-ching! Little Tommy boy returned as the giant, action figure and that movie was not so good.
Jack Reacher is like a little industry. But the whole Jack Reacher thing is flat lost on me. Please stop sending me the books. We all remain mystified about each others entertainment choices, won’t we? Why do we watch and like, what we watch and like? It can be quite mystifying.