Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2015
Let's see: customer criticisms. A couple of customers commented that there was too much detail or "filler". In fact, this detail is essential to Jack Reacher books because it is essential to Jack Reacher. He survives by noticing small things that others might not. "Look, don't see; listen, don't hear. The more you engage, the longer you survive."
Another criticism: Reacher doesn't do the same things in this book that he's done in previous books. He doesn't hitchhike. He doesn't fold his clothes and put them under the mattress. He doesn't get the girl (see below). As for hitchhiking and placing his clothes under the mattress, these aren't statements of character; they are a means to an end. When Reacher has a vehicle and keys (needs the keys because having never stolen a car he doesn't know how to hotwire it), obviously he's going to drive. He isn't stupid. Ditto for the clothes. I know Lee Child would be delighted if he didn't have to think up new stuff for every book but could just take the hitchhiking and primitive pressing procedure and recycle everything by changing a few locations and names.
In fact I was also a little worried at first. On page 47 Reacher said the first dumb thing I've ever heard him say. Could have got him killed, but he got away with it and, aside from that, he manages splendidly by his usual attention to those small details some people find so irritating they skip right over them. And this book is personal. Lee Child's titles are always appropriate and this one certainly is. Throughout "Pesonal" Reacher is forced to re-experience and to confront the tragic death of Dominique Kohl, perhaps the only woman other than his mother whom he ever loved and never screwed. Child manages to convey the combination of grief, anger and probably undeserved guilt without getting bogged down in it. I suspect this is why Reacher doesn't have sex in this book, that plus the fact that he's getting a little long in the tooth. Seriously.
Reading a book is as much about the reader as the author. Everyone has different likes and dislikes. It helps to know why you like or dislike something.
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