My first entry into the world of audio-fiction was a Jack Reacher book - The Hard Way. I was so enthralled I went back and read all the rest of the books in the series and have followed them all since, buying most of them the day they are released. I was a smitten fanboy, rating all Reacher books with 4 and 5 stars.
That is....until reading "A Wanted Man".
If you are a diehard Reacher fan, you'll read this book anyway...you won't be able to help yourself. I couldn't. Even though I moaned and groaned nearly all the way through it I just had to finish it...keeping hope that perhaps it would redeem itself. The redemption almost came, but it was far too shallow, too late and too short.
Here are 10 reasons to skip this poorly-cobbled-together, highly contrived, lackluster Reacher book:
1 - no "Colossal Left Hooks" - or really any fighting at all. Just one small scene.
2 - What little gun action is present is filled with grievous errors
3 - Reacher spends the first 1/3 of the book in a car on the highway doing...nada, zilch.
4 - no "Reacher said nothing"
5 - copied story lines from several previous books (Nothing to lose, etc)
6 - Child puts in more anti-american slights
7 - the "Reacher loves numbers" is way overplayed and overdone
8 - no "major love interest", no action with the ladies - has Reacher been neutered?
9 - Reacher's nose is broken the entire book and Dick Hill overacts it with an annoying nasal voice. About an hour into the recording you will want to scratch your ears out.
10 - no "I messed up/I had it all wrong" Reacher moment - when he figures it all out and takes action.
At best, this is just a "black sheep" placeholder in an engaging series that will be followed up by another action-packed thriller.
At worst, "A Wanted Man" leaves us feeling like Child has run out of ideas and is trying desperately to pull the wool over our eyes since his fame almost guarantees that we will buy the books sight-unseen. It seems like he was trying his hand at a psychological thriller, but if that was case, it came across as very amateurish. It makes one wonder if Child has resorted to using a ghost writer.
Poorly written with terrible audio-acting makes this a Must-Skip read.
But you, like me, will probably read it anyway...and after suffering through it, will come back and read my review and see that I was indeed right on all accounts. Shame on us both for supporting this low-spot in the series. Let us hope it is not a sign of things to come. I can't believe I am saying this but I honestly hoped near the end of the book that Jack Reacher was finally being killed off and that this series might actually come to a painful end. This latest version of the character is by far the most pathetic and castrated yet. Perhaps this series has finally run its course. What a sad turn of events. Was Lee Child depressed while writing this book?
If only there was a major motion picture to save it and set things straight.....*groan*
Yes - I'm clearly an idiot, a sucker for self-abuse.
Not if it sounds like this one.
I would cut the first 3/4 of the book. It all becomes revealed as fodder once you get to the final scene.
Avoid this one if you can. Total waste of time/money. Send a message to Child that we expect more from his Jack Reacher series.
I wanted to love this book, I truly did. I read every word start to finish, hoping all along the way to find justification that might overrule the annoying narrative style and the subpar recording.
Jack's vocabulary is beyond that of a normal child his age, yet the author felt the need to repeatedly kick into our ears that Jack lacks the ability to use articles (esp. "the"). A few times would have been enough...but it was just too hard for me to suspend belief over an entire novel.
Furthermore, I have 5 children of my own (ranging in age from 2 to 11) and the author's concept of what it means to be a 5-6 year old is far-fetched and at the same time filled with shortcomings.
That said, I did rate the book 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the layout, plot and the carefully planned moments of tension. That was really all that held me to the last page. I compare it to eating the most amazing dinner while enduring an amateurish band smash through their songs. When I was finished, I was elated - for having survived as well as having been satiated by the book.
I found it very simplistic compared to all the great young adult fiction available. I gave it 3 stars because while I did enjoy it and found a few scenes entertaining, I just could never "buy into it". Was very far-fetched and asked very little of the reader...except to just accept mediocrity.
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