Action

June 23, 2013

Tags: Jack Reacher

I have finally finished the 500 plus page 5th Jack Reacher novel. I can’t say I understand this character much better than I did at the beginning. Why does he roam around with only one change of clothes, for example? Why does he get attached to people, help them through the worst crisis of their lives, and then disappear? How can he intuit the way a criminal is thinking and suddenly resolve all the clues and mysteries in the last twenty pages of his story—after a gun battle in the dark and a damsel in distress rescue. Much of the unraveling of the plot is, in fact, preposterous. Action, action, action, interspersed with literary descriptions of the Texas landscape—lightening storms, the horizon, the vegetation. I waited for those sequences but they faded quickly into action sequences; a sentence or two and there we were in the car again chasing around, or being chased. I get bored easily so why wasn’t I bored? Because the writing was strong, it has force. And speaking of force, there were guns—lots of them and lots of detail about them. I know where Reacher learned about guns—the military—and why he likes them so much—they destroy the bad guys. Vigilante justice. Not exactly my cuppa either. So why did I persevere to the very last word? Because I was curious, because I knew he’d save Ellie, a six-year-old girl, and her mother, Carmen. Because Jack Reacher is a superhero.

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