14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
, January 10, 2011
This review is from: Worth Dying For (Hardcover)
Ok. Let me begin by saying I'm a fan of the Reacher series. I've read them all and I'll read more. The character Reacher is great. Far-fetched, but great. Its great fiction. However, much of the backround stuff Reacher travels through or deals with is so ridiculously incorrect, I have to wonder of there is an editor in the house who has ever ventured beyond the big city. A few cases in point- Worth Dying For:
1. THE BASEMENT DOOR. Reacher is trapped in a pitch black "storm cellar" with no way out. The cellar door from the house upstairs is a "FEMA approved, steel core, steel framed, basement door that can withstand a category 5 storm with oversized hinges, burstproof lock and can withstand a 300 mph gust". It goes on to tell us that it "opens outward because if it opened inward, the 300 mph winds might break the lock and blow the "cellar" door in". OK, first, say Category 5 storm in Nebraska and they will look at you like you must be from the gulf coast or Mars. Category 5 is hurricane language, like in Florida. This is Nebraska, and the 300 mph winds are an F-5 tornado. Thats the tip of the iceberg though. Reacher is not in a cellar, he's in a house basement. If he was in a cellar, his door would be accessed from outside and could conceivably be a strong reinforced door set into the concrete house foundation. Reacher's door is in the kitchen and goes down the steps into the basement. This is a regular stick framed house built with 2x4s, sheetrock and siding. An F-5 tornado would turn this house into toothpicks in 1 second and that FEMA door with 30 adjectives would be stuck in a tree a half mile from the house. The door itself might be indestructable, but it is still attached to a weak little 2x4 wall just like your bathroom door at home is. It would be like taking an armored door from a tank and putting it on one of those little plastic cars kids pedal with their feet and thinking it could now take a direct missile hit...the door might survive, but the car is toast. Same thing with the house.
2. DRIVING. The terrain is described to be very very flat. No hills or gullies. Yet, Reacher's maximum speed on this 2 lane road is 60 mph??? I could do that in my garage! Believe me, I've had enough tickets to know, those flat 2 lanes are good for 100 easy. This isn't the first time this has appeared in a Reacher book. In another book, set in eastern Colorado, Reacher can only drive 50 mph. An ATV will do 50. Any car on the road will do 90 with one finger on the wheel.
3. ENGINE OIL. A pickup is chasing Reacher. Reacher gets under the truck while the truck is high centered and drains the oil. Unlikely, but hey, its Reacher. What happens? Well, what should happen is truck runs for a little bit and locks up tight and thats that. However, somehow this automatically leads to an instant fireball and the truck catches fire and explodes. Really? Gee, imagine what nuclear level explosion would happen when he has a flat?
4. BIG V-8. The pickup has a big V-8 engine....impressed? That sounds like something Franklin W. Dixon might have wrote in a Hardy Boys book in 1952, like maybe "the sedan had a big V-8 and it was rapidly gaining on Frank and Joe and Chet and...." Real world, 90% of trucks and 1/2 the cars for the last 40 years have had a V-8. Let me just name a few V-8s. Ford 289, 302, 351, 400, 428, 429, 460. GM 283, 305, 327, 350, 396, 400, 427, 454, Mopar 318, 340, 383, 413, 426, 440...and there are many more of course. Get the picture?
5. TRUCK VS FENCE. Here is my personal favorite. So, the bad guys are in their houses, which are inside a perimeter formed by a wood fence. Reacher sets the houses on fire. Their truck and Cadillac are inside this perimeter too. Reacher is waiting outside the perimeter with a gun and he knows they'll be on foot because the fire has blocked the driveway and no way the truck can break through a wood fence....Really? Sure enough, they get in the truck and ram into the fence, but no way. Really? Are they driving that little plastic truck the kids pedal with their feet again? Let me tell you right now. Any pickup from a little Toyota on up can smash down any wood fence. Period. A volkswagon would smash it down.
6. PROPANE TANKS. Same fire, same houses. The fire reaches the propane tanks, located inside the house, and explode. Really? Ever seen a propane tank inside the house? Me neither. If you've ever been outside the big city, you've seen those long white or silver tanks with the red cap that sit out by the fence. Boys and Girls, those are propane tanks. And they are connected to the house by a line usually buried a few inches or a foot or so underground. Its a code and safety thing. The propane truck drives in the driveway and extends a long hose and fills the tank. Wonder how the propane company fills these inside tanks at the bad guys' house. Do they pull up in front of the porch, open the front door and pull the long 2" thick rubber hose through the house and down the hall and around the doorways and flip open the tank lid located next to the fridge, all while the family is sitting around in the kitchen eating, and stand there and smell up the house with fumes while he fills the tank. Maybe while the tank is filling he sits down and eats with the family or plays a quick game of cards, then maybe moves to the living room and watches the game on the couch while every so often he gets up and checks the tank level. Then he rolls up the hose and sets down to watch the last few plays, then says "bye, thanks for dinner, see you next month." Really???
But hey, I'm just poking fun here. I like the books and the character and the series.
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