He's back. Jack Reacher. That 6'5 monster of a man created out of the mind of Lee Child, is back with a new novel entitled, Make Me. I confess; I've been waiting impatiently for this book to land in a bookstore. Reacher, the character, is a powerful addiction that is hard to let go. Once you meet him, you can't forget him. So that causes you to go out and read all the other Jack Reacher novels. With this newest one, that'll be 20 novels, thank you very much.
An ex-army officer, a top notch investigator in a special unit he led in the Army's military police, Reacher is that kind of guy whom you think the word 'primeval' fits perfectly for a descriptor. The guy is a monster physically. And very, very good at figuring out how to contain the violence a violent world likes to spring onto the unsuspecting.
Most of the novels have Reacher out of the Army and just thumbing his way across America . . . and getting into trouble . . . without any kind of anchoring device to tie him down with responsibilities.
Interesting. And definitely different as far as story plotting goes. Never being tied down to one spot means that anything for a situation can happen. And usually does.
(The two covers you see are the same novel. One is the European cover. The other is the American cover. I'm thinking the one on the right is the American one. Technically, the novel is not supposed to come out in the US until around the 18th of September. But obviously you get a copy of it now.)
Lee Child, the creator of Reacher, is an interesting character study himself. An Englishman who, for some reason, creates an American army officer for a character, writes in the same way many writers, including myself, do. He just starts writing. No outlining. No plot in mind. Just sits down and goes. Everything about the plot is worked out as he goes along.
My kind of writer.
I bring all this up because the news is out that the second Jack Reacher movie is going to start filming soon, Called Never Go Back, the move roughly follows one of the earlier novels. Reacher goes back to his old haunts in Washington D.C. and his old army command to sort out problems which, naturally, involve him,
If you are a Reacher find I can hear you starting to go ballistic right about now. The reason for this
psychotic meltdown is obvious. Guess who plays the screen version of Jack Reacher. That's right; it's Tom Cruise. That Tom Cruise. The one that stands, if he is wearing thick soled shoes, maybe around 5'5. A good foot shorter than the Jack Reacher found in the books. A good 70 to 80 pounds lighter in weight. Considerably less intimidating if held up to the original.
Yet . . . .
If you have an agile mind, if you can separate the Jack Reacher found in the novels from the cinematic Jack Reacher . . . you'll make a damn interesting discovery. The cinematic Jack Reacher is just pretty damn good.
It's not so much size (although, for many it is, admittedly) as it is about attitude. The attitude Cruise brings to the cinematic Reacher is, as some friends of mine in England say, spot on. Both versions have this no-nonsense, just below the surface violence ready to pop up into full view at a moment's notice.
Smarts and violence. I think these are the reasons why Jack Reacher is so popular. I know it is for me.