Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reacher Creature

Another fun beach book just in time for summer, and this Reacher Creature (that's what his fans call themselves) couldn't wait long enough to find a beach to read it. 61 Hours by Lee Child has a main character called Jack Reacher, ex-Army MP and currently a nomad with no home address, so he is living off the grid from day to day wherever he wants to wander. I like his no-baggage approach to life. He never travels with luggage, he buys new clothes when he needs them and throws away the old ones. Works for me--today being laundry day. Reacher always finds trouble no matter where he goes and doesn't seem to mind. We can rest assured that he can handle any situation. By the by, we learn that he, a West Point grad, was kicked out of the Army after attacking a general who was withholding food from the troops on the front lines and selling it for personal profit. Jack Reacher has a clear sense of right and wrong. He becomes even more human and likeable in this book in the way that he relates to several other characters and his efforts to help others who can't help themselves.

This is Reacher's 14th adventure from Lee Child with the sequel due out in October. Amazon has some interesting reviews with complete plot summaries included. I didn't read them until I read the book and visited Lee Child's great website where he blows smoke across the page--great effect on a web page. Everything about this book seems implausible, improbable, and you've gotta be kidding, but it works. It screams "suspended disbelief." The ending really left me ticked off, so naturally, I am frothing at the mouth to get to the sequel. I think anyone who hasn't read the first 13 in this series would really enjoy them, but would also have a different view of 61 Hours. I've been a fan from the first book so I appreciate the development of the character and the series. 

Jack Reacher is a character who is always a leader no matter where he finds himself. A man with "skills," confidence and size is a natural hero. It is unapologetic entertainment with no pretentions to being "great literature" and this English major has suffered through some so called "Great Literature." This is a great page turner. I've tried to figure out my fascination with this bigger-than-life character. Yes, he's big, at six feet, five inches, he's not afraid of anyone. I like that attitude and his application of reasoning skills to know what are his odds in any situation and using facts to figure out how to overcome adversaries. He seems to know a lot about everything necessary for his self defense and solving crimes. I've concluded that I like how the character can take care of himself in any situation and doesn't mind taking on the bad guys because he always knows how to beat them. By the time he gets around to putting down villians who "really needed killing" it seems totally justified, and you wonder what took him so long. He waits until the reader agrees that it is a righteous kill. Hey, it's fiction and, like anyone with control issues, I like to think there are answers to some of life's pesky problems.

The author puts a lot of effort into the details of these adventures and I appreciate that kind of work. Considering that Lee Child has licensed all of the titles for movies, I am eager to see who they will find to play Jack Reacher. It just won't work if he isn't 6' 5" tall. Meanwhile, I always eagerly wait for the next one. Eat your heart out James Bond!  Who needs "shaken, not stirred."


  1. Have I told you I LOVE "Not a Poet?" :DDDDDD

  2. Thanks Robynn, it's really how I feel. I envy those who can turn out poignant poetry. I love the work of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson.

  3. Hi! I saw your comment above mine at Pioneer Woman's blog this morning about the blackberries and cream and I just had to come over and say hi! I am so excited to get my reading list together for the summer! I get to delve into lots of good books at the pool while my son is swimming. Nice to meet you today : )

  4. Thanks for the review, I might just have to check this out!