Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere. A Chicago street in bright sunshine. A young woman, struggling on crutches. He offers her a steadying arm. And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach.
Chained in a dark van racing across America, Reacher doesn't know why they've been kidnapped. The woman claims to be FBI. She's certainly tough enough. But at their remote destination, will raw courage be enough to overcome the hopeless odds?
©1998 Lee Child (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks
Lee Child is a genius at taking all the tropes of an action movie, and of a ridiculously competent action lead, and making them feel believable and grounded. Reacher is somewhere between Rambo and Sherlock Holmes in his ability to work out whats going on and deal with it in the most efficiently violent way possible. What helps the reader suspend their disbelief is that nothing in these books is vague; everything is meticulously explained. But Child doesn't drily regurgitate his research, he writes with a crisp, spare, lively style. The pacing is also excellent, the tension never letting up as we track the movements of the several parties involved. The various mysteries and cliffhangars threading the book are maintained expertly. Child is a master of leaking information to the reader in one subplot just as it will affect them most because of what's going on in the other subplot. The supporting cast are well sketched enough to keep easy track of, and to feel genuinely attached to in many cases. In this outing, Holly Johnson serves as Reacher's point woman, emerging as perhaps more impressive than even Reacher.
This is definitely one I'd reccommend unabridged. The plot is ruthlessly lean in any case. I also think action thrillers like this are particularly great for audio. Listening to a Reacher as you get on with your work is like watching a movie without the inconvenience of having to look at a screen. Some books you want to immerse yourself in the lyrical language on the printed page. Listening on audio, you might not get to wallow in the beauty of the descriptions, and the beautifully-crafted lines of dialogue might be coloured by indifferent performances. A Reacher is not a book that you have to worry about this.
John McClain gave a thoroughly creditable performance. His tone was laconic, but engagingly varied (on another Reacher novel the reader's habit of giving every line the exact same intonation began to get to me). McClain's voices for each character were suitable (if a little extreme sometimes - the bad guy sounded like both Mickey Mouse and Michael Jackson at points, and General Garber's overly gruff bark made me burst out laughing), and largely consistent. I did feel McClain got a bit mixed up at a few points and ascribed the wrong voice to a the wrong character, or accidentally carried a character's voice over into his narration. But these were rare instances within a very enjoyable performance.
This is not a perfect book, it's plot wanders a bit and some things made me wonder to yourself why the characters seem to be doing things the hard way.
This book was very usual in it kept my interest and keep me involved for the entire 8+ hours. The story just flowed beautifully and I never once got board.
This is not high literature, but is the perfect book for the lovers of action novels.
The narrator was nice to listen to, but some of his character voices were cartoonish, with the director of the FBI sounding like something between James Cagney and Popeye.
Tense, Satisfying, wild ride.
He is not as good for this type of book as Dick Hill the narrator in the Killing Floor the previous book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, but he is good and I did enjoy the story very much.
So far the "Jack Reacher" series is very good. I am reading through it.
"Reacher is THE BUSINESS!!"
It is fascinating to follow this special drifter as he copes with whatever life throws at him as he walks by!
Interesting story based around domestic terrorism.
Review is about a classic error perpetrated by the recording houses.
I get all I need to know to picture Reacher from the regular reader, then this new guy and all the depth and even menace of Reacher disappears.
There were a couple of Disc World stories read by women having got all the characters sorted with Stephen Briggs. Wrecks the images.
"Good story, better than book one in my opinion"
This is a very enjoyable listen.
I read other reviews saying it was boring and "read like an artillery manual". In my opinion this simply wasn't true. I listened through this book much faster than many others I've bought; it kept me engaged throughout.
Although the story will not stand up to very close scrutiny, it is none-the-worse for this. It is what it is: a fantasy adventure set in a believable world.
I found the characters believable and likeable (or thoroughly un-likeable as appropriate).
I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoyed book one. In my opinion this is a stronger story than the first book.
"Getting into Reacher"
Getting more into the Jack Reacher character was the best part of this story.
I always find the performances often take a bit of time to get used to and this was no different. there wasn't really anything wrong with it but it didn't stand out either. I did find some of the breaks betwen paragraphs a bit abrupt at times.
Enjoyable story, if a bit insular to the US. Still, I felt the tension built well and left me with enough desire to make my next download the 3rd Jack Reacher novel.
"A slump compared to the first offering"
Not much to like. Fairly wild plot with plenty of holes. It seemed that the story was written to follow the unbelievable plot. There was very little of the guesswork and pulse racing of the first instalment and absolutely zero characters of merit beyond Jack himself. Here's hoping that the series improves from here.
Not favourably compared to book 1 of the series.
Narration was hit and miss. Jack was nailed I feel and Bo got a good turn. Webster was very jarring though and often at excessive volume levels compared to the rest.
I probably will upset a few fans here - I did not get on at all, yes the premise is superb, but I felt it was like reading an artillery manual, on how to shoot a gun, again and again in painful detail in various formats, not sure whether I can read any more in the series, though I am told that they get better,will have to wait and see.
"Strong story line, well read"
It holds your attention and John Reacher is such a great character.
Would not say one bit was better than the others as it is all strong. I like the way that the man (Reacher) is portrayed as strong and competent but that Holly also is a strong and competent woman
I liked the part where Holly and Reacher were in the back of the truck and they were just getting to know each other. Each thinking they should be looking after the other one. She hoping to keep him safe as she was FBI and he knowing his experience could help her
Worth a read or a listen
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