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Archive for July, 2010

I have been reading a lot of Lee Child lately.  One after another, like a souse at 1:55 AM knocking back shots and drafts before 2 AM closing time.  It’s not at all bad for what it is, but what it is isn’t so great.   Jack Reacher is an ex-military hobo with an aversion to staying more than one night in the same place, a low threshold of irritation, and a ton of training, courtesy of Uncle Sam, as a walking Death Machine.  Lee Child is a solid literary carpenter with an aversion to words of more than two syllables.  Each Reacher adventure is as predictable as a Seinfled episode.  Somebody does him or someone else wrong, he kills a bunch of people, gets laid, and moves on.

So what’s not to like?  I’m not sure.  The books are satisfying and forgettable, the later ones better than the earlier as Child warms up to his craft and his character. The interesting thing for me is that, at least at this juncture in my life, the complete  lack of effort required in reading this stuff feels great.  I have a huge stack of books that I want to read, that I know will be really good.  McCarthy, Banks, Lethem, Swanwick, Mievielle, Gaitskill, Johnson.  I’ll get to ’em.  I really will.  But first I have to suck down Jack Reacher #15 onto my Kindle and duck out to that nice cafe on the corner of Hopkins and Monterey.

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