R is for Jack Reacher

R week is nearly over but, as they say, better late than never. This is part of the Alphabet of Crime Fiction series. Big thanks to Kerrie for doing the leg work. You can show your appreciation by heading on over to Mysteries in Paradise and either signing up or cheering everyone on.

R is for Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher is Lee Child’s soft-walking big-stick-carrying off-the-grid-living bear of a man who gets involved in situations against his better judgement. Thankfully, for us (and Lee Child), Reacher never seems to learn and we get to enjoy the result which is a page-turning, nail-biting semi-procedural about a retired MP (that’s Military Police not Member of Parliament, though that would be cool as well, just not as believable) who likes to travel around the country on buses or hitching rides in cars and trucks. Reacher is a loner and his distinguishing characteristic (other than his imposing 6’5″ ~250lbs) is his distinct lack of luggage. To say that Reacher likes to travel light would be an understatement. He travels with only his toothbrush in his pocket and the clothes on his back. When his clothes are dirty, he either washes them or simply buys a new pair. Accordingly, parts of every book are devoted to Reacher walking into military surplus stores, mom-and-pop stores, five-and-dimes and various other establishments and searching through the racks for cheap and serviceable clothing. Jack Reacher’s other distinguishing characteristic is that he can’t walk away from a good fight. The worse the odds, the more eager he is to stay. Throw in (sometimes) cartoonish villains, the obligatory beautiful “oh-so-close-o-independence-but-still-needs-Reacher’s-help” woman and you get a fast paced thriller worth your money. I should know, I’ve read all of them.

Factoid that will horrify me and many other people: They cast Tom Cruise as the 6’5″ 250lb Jack Reacher in the upcoming movie.


4 responses »

  1. Peter – Jack Reacher has certainly reached ‘icon’ status for some people. He’s the eternal wanderer isn’t he and he does have a strong sense of doing the right thing. But I am in complete denial about the whole Tom Cruise thing. Really? Really?

  2. Peggy@Peggy Ann's Post

    A dear elderly friend of mine loves Jack Reacher and I have bought him all the books over the last couple of years and finally did read one and it was really good. I had a hard time putting it down. We have been waiting and waiting for the movie and I too was shocked (actually appalled!) that they chose Tom Cruise. No way no way no way. I can’t even stand to go to a movie with him it and he is NOT Reacher. Oh well what are we to do?

    • It is puzzling. The books/story are strong enough without needing a big star like Cruise on the ticket. They picked a good book to start with so there is that.


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