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Thread: The Appeal of Lee Child's Writing and Jack Reacher as a character

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    The Appeal of Lee Child's Writing and Jack Reacher as a character

    A Lee Child book is sold every 20 seconds somewhere in the world. Over 100 million of them have been sold. They've been translated into 42 languages. I'd like to know people's thoughts on two things:
    1. What do you think it is about Lee Child's writing that makes him so popular?
    2. What is it about Jack Reacher as a character that so many people find so appealing?

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    Welcome to the Book Joint, Joseph. Hope you join in with the other topics.

    I have been a reader all my life, I used to read a book every 3-4 weeks or so. I've only been a Reacher fan since 2006 when my daughter bought me a copy of One Shot for my birthday. I loved it, spent the next few months reading all the earlier ones. Since then I've read all the new ones within a few weeks of their release. And since then I've been reading 2-3 books per week. Many have been from recommendations on here and the previous forum.

    I like Lee's writing style and the fact that the plots are "different" from other writers. Reacher is different, his background, his lifestyle, everything about him really. A couple of other authors (at least) have created characters in similar styles, ex something, kick ass drifters so Lee must have done something right. They say imitation is the best kind of flattery.

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    Bearded Member Dan M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Roland View Post
    A Lee Child book is sold every 20 seconds somewhere in the world. Over 100 million of them have been sold. They've been translated into 42 languages. I'd like to know people's thoughts on two things:
    1. What do you think it is about Lee Child's writing that makes him so popular?
    2. What is it about Jack Reacher as a character that so many people find so appealing?
    1. Lee's voice is just plain unique. There are very few authors that can grab and hold your attention with a story's opening the way he does. The rest of the book pretty much follows along in the same way, usually.
    2. This has been answered by Lee a jillion times. Reacher lives out his life the way we wish we could. No encumbrances, no waffling when it comes to decisions, ultimate flexibility to change direction, but most importantly, every tool required to live life by his rules--physically, mentally, and philosophically.
    The rules are: There ain't no rules.

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    member since 2011 4AMNTN's Avatar
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    This was not my first choice as a favorite but close ...I was drawn to the fact that he's ex military & Investigator, THINKS things thru, has an "effect" on people & does the right thing. I prefer the flashback books now that Reacher should be getting older. The only draw back is the amount of bodies he leaves behind - not that they're dead - just he's never gotten caught?. I like that he's rough & can figure things out. A lot like Lucas Davenport - was. kinda like John Puller? and my favorite John Becker. also Will Trent looks at thing differently ... smart & a nice guy luv those books! Becker is NOT a nice guy, ha!
    So for me usually my favorite is going to be Medical/Forensic books then the law enforcement characters always seems to come into play.... My first favorite was Patricia Cornwell, yes! Then Robin Cook, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Iris Johansen, Michael Palmer.. So that's ALL medical. Jeffrey Deaver is really good. Nelson Demille, James Patterson, a local city character with the JT Ellison books, then Brad Meltzer & for a good time favorite the Stephanie Plum series. gotta luv Lula - oh & Ranger (I say as I fan myself) ha!

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    Thank you, everyone, for your replies so far. This is shaping up to be a really interesting discussion.
    Dan M,you're right, Lee Child has spoken of the appeal of Jack Reacher and you sum it up nicely: "Reacher lives out his life the way we wish we could. No encumbrances, no waffling when it comes to decisions, ultimate flexibility to change direction..."
    My question - and I am asking this because I genuinely don't know the answer - is: is this the appeal of Reacher to both men and women?
    I think there is something on what you (and Lee Child) say: Reacher is an archetypal male fantasy figure: which man hasn't wanted to be the toughest guy on the block, able to move on to the next thing on a whim, able to go the wind takes him?
    But is this the same for women? I'd be really interested to hear the female point of view on this.
    Or is it just "Reacher is the man men want to be and the man women want to be with"? However, this seems a little too simplistic and reductionist. But maybe it's not. What do people think?
    Thanks for posting, everyone, and please feel free to pile into the discussion!

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    Sometimes 'simple' is the correct answer. Women do want to be with Reacher. Some probably think (foolishly) that they could change him in some way.
    I'd venture to say that a lot of women also find him appealing in the same way men do.

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    member since 2011 4AMNTN's Avatar
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    Again, I like the fact that he's smart, tough, good reasoning - timing. A little big for me but the tough appeal is there tho LC says some folks take a look and are taken-a-back. He does the right thing no matter what. His determination in unwavering. I believe that bwtn the military & life experiences (family too) - it's the reason he doesn't settle.

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    Keen Reader momckee's Avatar
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    Hi Joseph, good to have you on the forum.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the welcome!

    Would be very interested to know: what's your view on the appeal of Lee Child's writing and the Jack Reacher character?

    Thanks again!

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