There is No Point in Reviewing Lee Child

The brief post was titled “THE AFFAIR: Funniest scenes almost ever.”

It was posted on Dorothy L, a terrific loop for “lovers of the mystery genre.”

“I have lost it Lee Child-wise. In THE AFFAIR–the woman undressing Reacher bit by supposedly sensual bit, commenting on his cheap socks–I was laughing like a maniac. Then when they …er, you know…because of a roaring train–I was almost weak with laughter. A clothes dryer maybe–but a train, soot flying? When she said, “Let’s catch the train tonight…” well, I was completely undone. This is parody, right–RIGHT?”

There is no point in reviewing Lee Child.

You know what you are going to get.

The setting changes, the situation changes and in The Affair we are told this is a story from early days of Jack Reacher as the legendary and all-powerful Mr. Fix-It, when his uber-Mojo was in its early stages.

So Reacher is allegedly younger but still, the formula is the formula. We know Reacher must both taunt and battle the enemy forces. We know he will put his fist in a few faces. We know he will bed at least one lady, usually the most mysterious and alluring and most visible one on the radar.

“Then we moved lower.”

“She moaned a little. So did I.”

“Ten amazing minutes, we changed places.”

There’s the toothbrush, the personal upkeep, the clean shirts, the math, the ability to track time without a clock, the lack of wordly possessions.

Reacher is a bad-ass bohemian.

He’s Batman, Bond and Clint Eastwood in “Hang ‘Em High.” He’s the Lone Ranger and Jackie Chan and Buford Pusser. He can’t be intimidated, never flinches and feels cheated if he only gets to take on a handful of punks at once. He kills with his hands.

“He lived for the tactical victory. I lived to piss on the other guy’s grave. Not the same thing. Not the same thing at all.”

(If ever there was a better explanation of a character’s motivation than those few lines, let me know.)

Parody?  Of what?

The Reacher novels aren’t parodies, they are carefully defined mystery-thrillers that pack a satisfying wallop of entertainment. Events are fantastic. The enemies are uniformly formidable. Reacher needs no help. We see what he sees until Reacher is already on the move, about to mete out considerable justice before he lets us in on who did what to whom and why.

For consistency book to book, it doesn’t get much better than the Jack Reacher series.  The situations change but Jack Reacher does not.  Reality is not a factor but it’s Lee Child’s universe and once you know how far it stretches, it feels comfortable.

Jack Reacher lives. This is not a review of The Affair.

 

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6 responses to “There is No Point in Reviewing Lee Child

  1. I know the original poster and respect/like her, but I disagree as I had no issue with the scene as written. It certainly was not a parody and was true to the series. I did review the book and my main issue with it was the fact that Lee Child constantly reminded us it was 1997 which took me out of the story each time he did it.

    As I pointed out at the time on the list, I have had friends who used one of the local trains to great effect.

  2. Kevin — Maybe Lee Child got the inspiration from your friends…Thanks for commenting.

  3. I meant a parody of himself or of sort of shy, clunky middle-aged sex…I wrote that squib and stand by it. At least quote me before you try to diss me…LOL.

    My biggest beef with Child and Reacher is that Reacher, besides being tiresome diet-wise (the pie, the pie) and clothing-wise (same duds days at a time), is getting more sadistic.

    Star Lawrence

  4. Lee Child’s series is an absolute conundrum to me. It’s not like anything else I normally read. It’s not like anything else I normally like (to wit: I bought a paperback with ‘if you like Lee Child…’ on the cover–and had to put the book down 40 pages in). And yet–I love Lee’s books. I await the next in the series with only a little less urgency than I awaited my wedding, the births of my children–or my own first book coming out.

    Why? It’s not the sex scenes, though these wouldn’t lure me in most any case, reading-wise. I mean, how good can even the best ones be?

    After a lot of self-examination, I’ve decided it’s Jack and his brand of justice, first, and second, Lee’s ability to bring picayune details about war and weaponry and vengeance to life. No one does this better, imo. And when you live in a world where havoc descends unbidden–as we all do–well, you want a little Jack around.

  5. Well said, Jenny, well said ! Thanks for the comment.

  6. Thanks, Star. I wasn’t trying to diss you! I find some of the scenes hilarious and over-the-top too…deliciously over the top. It’s Lee Child’s universe; welcome to it.

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