Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2017
I acquired this some time before I got around to reading it, in the proper sequence, for several reasons. By the time I read it, there were several reader-reviews posted, and the movie - from which it was, apparently, partially-"derived"** - was out and had been for awhile. Fortunately, it turned out to be substantially better than the movie (no surprise there, on several counts* - filmed versions "derived from"-even in part-this sort of "action/adventure" novel seldom-enough even closely resemble the original material, being almost-inevitably at variance in ways that make them, overall, a poor imitation [at best] of the original stories), and also than what might be expected from some of the reviewers' accounting. On balance, an intriguing, interesting and very entertaining outing for the Big Guy.

Jack Reacher's, of course, that "rugged-independent" semi-hero/anti-hero that a lot of men would really love to be - and realize full-well they can never measure-up to, even if they happen to be as big and fit and perhaps even maybe as tough as he supposedly is, or could somehow find themselves in the midst of one of his storied escapades. In this outing, he stays true to type and profile, cutting-through the opposition at every encounter. It's good, hard-nosed fun. watching him deal with it all, finding out what's REALLY going-on, and managing to come out on top, once again...which everyone of the readers just KNOWS he will, by whatever means necessary... A nice, slick, fast ride to the finish - there are some minor discrepancies, here and there, but hey...it's "adventure hero" fiction - you've simply got to give a wee bit of "slack", now and then, right?
Four well-deserved Stars - not the best-of-series, but up towards the top-end, that's certain.

And the series rolls on...Keep 'em coming, Lee!...You may have started-out as a Brit, but you're doing pretty dang well in the American-context with that big ol' ex-M.P. Major and his nomadic adventures.

(* The biggest problem, really, with the movie, was the actor who attempted to portray Jack Reacher - aside from the obvious size discrepancy [Tom Cruise is a fairly-decent actor, even though his essays into "tough-guy" characters don't generally play all that well, but compared to the Jack Reacher character in the stories, Cruise is a SHRIMP! I don't care who you are - if you're only 5'-7" and maybe 160 - 170 lb. tops, you simply can't "play" 6'-5" and 250 lb. Sorry, Cholly, that won't work - makeup and wardrobe and camera-angles can't make that "happen", even if you stand on a box for close-ups, like Alan Ladd {another shorty "action-hero"} supposedly did in "Shane", or play a bunch of the scenes while seated - which clearly Cruise couldn't do in the Reacher film - the size differential is just too great], Tom Cruise was SIMPLY NOT able to portray the sort of hard-core Alpha-Male "dominating presence" that is part-and-parcel of the Jack Reacher persona, fictional though it really is. For any actual reader of the novels, the additional "suspension of belief" is/was really too much to be managed. The role needed to be taken by someone with a much, MUCH greater ability to represent such a potent, hard-nosed, take-on-any-challenge character, fictional or not.)

(**I know, I know - they CLAIM that the movie was actually made from an earlier Reacher-starring novel, the ninth one in the series called [I believe] "One Shot", but - sorry, I don't entirely buy that; the GENERAL THEME [more-or-less] of "One Shot" runs through the film, BUT there's a pretty nice piece of "Never Go Back" tied-up in there, albeit chopped into a lot of rather small bits, here 'n there - along with bits from at least a couple of OTHER Reacher episodes...and, if you make a direct comparison, aside from most of the general story-thread of "One Shot" SORTA-KINDA wandering through there, there's very little match-up between the movie and ANY actual Reacher novel in the series - and a whole bunch of the book series were "optioned", in advance, by the movie people {apparently in the expectation/hope that the film starring Cruise would be the start of a whole new "franchise series" of films from the novels - which clearly has not happened, and seems highly-unlikely to ever develop, at least not anytime soon} - and virtually ANY series-novel-to-film "translation" is always going to be a composite in some respects - so...draw your own conclusions - I've drawn mine. For what it's worth - from my recollection, "One Shot" was a very good Reacher-outing, one of the definite top-end ones.)
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