Jack Reacher Series discussion

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message 1: by Scott (new)

Scott (mscottfowler) | 3 comments I want to say that I appreciate how Lee Child writes. He explains the thinking process so well in a way that's so simple it amazes me.

Any thoughts? Examples?

Scott


message 2: by Bru (new)

Bru (brucoder) | 107 comments Mod
I like the way the books are predominantly in third person (he, she rather than I). It allows Lee Child to get into the reasons Jack does what he does. You don't get that as much in first person singular. This allows us to understand and follow the personal decisions Reacher makes. So it's kind of like being at the controls of a very dangerous and effective thinking weapon without the possibility of being harmed.

Getting details about what's going on around Reacher as well as what is happening in his head is what gives the novels their "fullness." They are not point the gun pull the trigger and move on to the next scene. That's one of the things I feel is missing in the Joe Pike character by Robert Crais. You don't really identify with the character because he's so impersonal and blank. Hard to feel anything for him if he dies.


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott (mscottfowler) | 3 comments I totally agree with you, Bru! It's definitely a nice surprise, for sure!

Scott


message 4: by Sean (new)

Sean Black (seanblack) | 3 comments The beauty of Lee's prose, for me anyway, is how he stacks such wonderfully simple uninflected sentences one top of the other to create a real emotional impact as the chapters fly by. He's very similar to Hemingway in that respect, and despite the way some literary snobs may look down on thrillers, to me he is in the same league.


message 5: by Bru (new)

Bru (brucoder) | 107 comments Mod
Well said Sean. His style makes for a really easy and intense read.

Have you ever read one of those books where you keep having to go back to earlier pages to find out who the heck George is? I swear, some books have upwards of 30 odd characters and you're supposed to remember all of them. Argghh! I used to like the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child books, but they are really starting to suffer from character saturation.


message 6: by Sean (last edited Aug 31, 2011 12:15PM) (new)

Sean Black (seanblack) | 3 comments Very often it's easier to fix a plot point by just introducing a new character but it can be slightly lazy and detract from the reader's enjoyment. Depends on the kind of thriller but a lot of the time, the less characters, the more concentrated the action is, and of course the easier it is to follow for the reader. Another thing writers should watch out for is trying not to have characters with similar sounding names. Sounds kind of obvious but you get a Susan and a Suzanne in the same book and it instantly has you turning back to work out who's who.
It sounds counter-intuitive but the easier the read, the more work involved on the writer's part, which is why I admire Lee so much. I never really understood just how clever he is until I was a few books into my own series. There's a reason he's so respected among crime writers, and that's because they all know how tough it is to achieve what he has.


message 7: by Bru (new)

Bru (brucoder) | 107 comments Mod
Sean, I forgot to mention, if you are after terse styled writing, the master has to be Robert B. Parker. You can read one of his books in an afternoon. They are so easy to read, and the humor that he adds is exceptionally funny.

It's a pity he died. I tried one of his ghost writer's attempts, and the thing was adulterated with the "F" word, which to the best of my knowledge never appeared in one single book of Parker's. Not that I'm against the word, just that Parker was an English teacher, and those guys always used to beat into my head, "swearing is an indication of a poor vocabulary." Something Parker never lacked in and would never espouse in his books.


message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane Capri (dianecapri) | 6 comments Bru wrote: "I like the way the books are predominantly in third person (he, she rather than I). It allows Lee Child to get into the reasons Jack does what he does. You don't get that as much in first person si..."

These are very astute observations on Lee's style, Bru. It's more astonishing because it's so instinctive for him. I really believe this is "just the way Lee thinks," which makes it more remarkable. Thanks for explaining this well.


message 9: by Diane (new)

Diane Capri (dianecapri) | 6 comments Scott wrote: "I want to say that I appreciate how Lee Child writes. He explains the thinking process so well in a way that's so simple it amazes me.

Any thoughts? Examples?

Scott"


Thanks for introducing this thread, Scott. Very interesting discussion.


message 10: by Bru (new)

Bru (brucoder) | 107 comments Mod
..And thank you Diane for contributing your thoughts in several of the threads. Looks like we might reach critical mass here with all of these new bibliophiles!


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 2 comments It's a little plain... And can be a little boring for a first-timer(:


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1 comments I have just started the Reacher series with book number one The killing floor, but have already bought thr next two books of the series.

I have heard not all books of the Reacher series are written from the I perspective?

Is this true? When yes...what do you think of this strange change of perspective in the middle of series? Any idea why Lee Child did this?

Personaly like the I perspective as it makes it easier to identify with the hero character.


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