Saturday, December 07, 2013

Books read in 2013: No. 53 -- Worth Dying For

by Lee Child

Started: Dec. 4
Finished: Dec. 7

Notes: So much of my reading of late has seemed serious, quite a bit of it non-fiction, and I'm thinking it's time I jumped into something breezy with lots of action for a change of pace. I'm hoping this will be it. For some time I've been meaning to check out this thriller author and his popular Jack Reacher character.

Mini review: This pretty much fit the bill, but it felt fairly generic. It was like reading a screenplay for a modern action movie, not that that's all bad. There is no background material hardly at all, and the characters are all pretty much blank slates other than very basic qualifiers ... such-and-such is "the doctor" or such-and-such is "the Italian" and the like. Even the main character, Jack Reacher, gives up next to nothing. I can tell you everything I know about Reacher in one sentence: He's big, about 250 pounds, probably in his mid-30s, has brown hair, was a military cop at some point during 13 years of some kind of military service, he needs to get to Virginia. That's it. The story keeps rolling, but it's not constant action, with plenty of stops for dialogue scenes. A good airport novel to kill time, I suppose, but ... it just felt so generic. Give me a reason to care for the good guy, other than the fact he seems a little smarter and better trained than everyone else around him. Not a bad novel, and not bad writing, but I didn't see much to draw me back.

2 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, your "screenplay" comment resonates with me. I've only read one Lee Child. It was ok but felt somehow incomplete, with less of what I read novels for.

Ty Johnston said...

For good or ill, over the last decade I've noticed the screenplay-like trend in a lot of popular thriller writers. Patterson, for example, and Dan Brown. Even Grisham and Crichton from the last 10 years. Not a big fan of the style, but at least it makes for a quick read. It's kind of like the fast food of literature.