Avid audiobook listener... primarily suspense/thrillers. Escapism at it's finest.
I am a rabid Reacher fan and was SO looking forward to The Affair. I've still got 3 hours of listening left but so far I'm a little disappointed. It's as though Mr. Child is just phoning it in. I can't quite put my finger on what's missing. It's not the same high quality, edge-of-your-seat story that we've seen in all the previous Reacher books (all of which I've listened to twice). I keep waiting for.... more... but more what, I can't say.
I DO know I wasn't waiting for more sexuality- even as mildly graphic as it was. Where did THAT come from? Did the publisher say "C'mon Lee, you need to sex it up!" I've thought of Reacher as a private guy and now he's describing his sexual events to me. Too much information, Jack! I guess I was expecting a military type affair, (requiring Class A uniform) rather than one conducted (entirely out of uniform) beside the railroad tracks at midnight. (was that a spoiler?) sorry.
The fact that everyone is raising hell with the casting of Cruise as Reacher should tell Mr. Child -and his publishers- that the previous 15 books strongly established Reacher in the readers' minds as the epitome of the strong, silent type ("I said nothing") and we can't easily accept or adjust to radical changes in his physical appearance or personality.
Having said that, I'll listen to the end with the hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised and will have to eat my words.
As for Dick Hill... I'd listen to him read the back of a cereal box. He's simply the best narrator out there, period...and I'd be willing to bet the farm that NO ONE thinks of Tom Cruise when they hear Dick Hill's voice.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
Sorry, I know I'm in the minority, but I have to agree with a few other reviewers, this all feels too familiar. Reacher is a know it all around others who have more experience, they are made to look and seem stupid in his presence.... and I find this annoying.
Overall it was an okay story and I'd give it a 2.5 if I could I guess. Just uninspired.
Semi retired magazine editor and part time university adjunct instructor who is often distracted by his 10-year-old daughter.
There was enough of the usual Jack Reacher in this book to appeal to his fans. But I was a little disturbed at the excessive "romance" included by Child, which I can only assume was a transparent attempt to bring female readers on board. Forgive me for stereotyping but, exceptions aside, that's what we had here. As a prequel, I think Reacher's level of vigilantism in this book was also a bit excessive. Either that or he mellowed as he aged. Criticism aside, I can't get enough of Jack Reacher and I hope Child keeps pumping these books out. I also enjoyed the short story bonus included although the level of expertise exhibited by a 13-year-old Reacher bordered on the unbelievable. But such is fiction and comic book characters. And as usual, for much of the book, Reacher said nothing.
But it’s a Kosher frog!
Book 16 and I will leave my generic Reacher review. Every man wants to be like him and every woman wants to love him. The bad guys (the few still alive) fear him. Bigger than big and larger than life, Jack Reacher is always a 4-star or better read.
I've read them all, and loved Jack Reacher for his quirkiness and insightfulness. Until recently, that is. The last two installments just don't seem to have the sparkle of earlier ones. Yes, there have always been unlikely plots and "surely that couldn't really happen" moments in every one . . . but that's one of the liberating qualities of fiction. But The Affair and Worth Dying For stretch the bounds of credulity too far for me. The conclusion of The Affair was so implausible as to completely sour me toward the entire novel.
Even the little bonus story, The Second Son, which purports to demonstrate Reacher's precocious insight, was just too unbelievable.
I do love Dick Hill's voice and performance, though it's probably better suited to the installments of the series portraying Reacher at a more mature age . . . but that I can live with.
I consider this purchase worth the price. I found the story engaging and the characters enjoyable to get to know.
The development of the story was a bit predictable but nevertheless, enjoyable.
I found Dick Hill's voice annoying. Reacher was supposed to be a man in his 30's and Dick Hill's portrayal made him sound more like 65. I also found his female voice weird and not enjoyable to listen to.
...than the last one. With Reacher, what you hear is what you get. A one man army who fights for the underdog. And Dick Hill brings that out beautifully. He is Reacher. Maybe they can use him to dub Tom Cruise, though that might be pretty bizarre. Lee Child has one way of talking for all the characters that aren't hillbillys, so you don't buy these books for great characterization. You read or listen to them for fun and visceral excitement. And they deliver. There are no actors out there currently that fit the bill (well known ones, anyway). We'll all just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, turn on your player and have a good time with "The Affair".
No confusion, no extraneous characters, and no boring moments: just straight-ahead action and entertainment. If Lee Child wrote 12 Jack Reacher books a year, I would buy them all. Only negative: Dick Hill always sounds like he runs out of air on the ends of sentences. During the first half of the book, I find myself breathing for him until my chest hurts; 5-6 hours in I get used to it.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
I would guess that most people reading this book are already fans of the Jack Reacher series. I'm going to break this review into to portions however; one for new readers and one for old fans.
FOR NEW READERS OF THE SERIES:
First of all, if you're new, don't start with this book - this is a full series of books, and while each can be an enjoyable stand alone book, it's better when read in order. The first book is "The Killing Floor" and I recommend you start there.
FOR EXISTING FANS:
This story is textbook Reacher. It's a flashback, with the events in it taking place just PRIOR to the events that take place in the very first of the series, The Killing Floor. This book gives insight into how and why Reacher found himself where he did in the first book of the series, and what events lead him to leaving the military.
This book as all the good and bad of any Reacher novel. As always, I am a little taken aback about his easy use of violence, all the way up to killing people; but that's who the character is; if you're not comfortable with that, this wasn't the series for you anyway. It's got the same good tempo as the other books and it left me guessing until the end about who the good guys and bad guys were, which is always fun.
All in all, if you haven't started the series yet, don't start here, and if you DO start, understand these books have a level of violence to them. If you already love the series, I think you'll be pleased and enjoy another visit with our vigilante drifter.