Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nothing To Lose by Lee Child

I probably shouldn't be doing this, but I really couldn't resist.  I had written a review of this book, but I felt like I was a little disconnected in my usual approach so I took the time to see what others had been saying about this book.  I'm so glad I did because the comments all made me laugh and they kind of ticked me off.  I thought I'd share a couple and share some comments after.

#1 (anonymous review) The plot involves tough hombre Jack Reacher treated rudely in a company town called Despair, where he promptly deposits several men to the hospital. Reacher makes several repetitive trips across a barren landscape to investigate the nefarious doings at a scrap metals plant in Despair, aided by a female cop from a neighboring town called Hope. Somehow, the plot never gels--religious fanatics, environmental damage, war vets, etc. -- all the major issues of the day are mixed in this salsa. Probably most disappointing are the oddly written passages that seem the work of a lesser writer than Lee Child (see Reacher mulling over meanings of the word UHaul as he looks at a truck-- a dismal passage that left me wondering if Child's editor was the victim of a roadside bomb).  OUCH!

#2 (anonymous review)  I know it is hard to keep a series going but the last Reacher novel set in LA was great so I had high hopes for this one. It is a fast read but overall was disappointed because the whole set up seemed contrived.  The whole set up that Reacher didn't get served coffee and is chased out of town and he just doesn't move on seems a bit ridiculous...he's not helping or saving anyone so it all just seemed a bit much.  The main thing is really there isn't much happening in the book other than Reacher going to the town, leaving going to the town, leaving etc. Oh, and the ending...right, she's gonna push that button..would never happen.

Gee whiz, people!  Where's the loyalty? Better yet...did we even read the same book?

In the book Jack is headed to San Diego by bus, car, foot...when he arrives in Despair, Colorado and is subjected to harassment by the local townsfolk because they have secrets, and they don't like outsiders.  After being driven out of the city by law enforcement, Reacher being the stubborn character that he is, decides he wants to head back to Despair and find out what all the fuss is about.  The book takes Reacher back and forth between a neighboring town called Hope where he meets Officer Vaughn, and together they set out on an exciting adventure to discover the truth about Despair.

In the book you'll find a town ran by a religious fanatic that has been surplussing uranium at his recycling plant in the hopes of jump starting Armageddon, Reacher discovering a dead body in the desert as he makes his way to Hope, a war vet that brings to life the reality of the War in Iraq, an officer that is struggling with the consequences of said war, and an ending that will leave you believing that there is absolutely nothing that my man, Jack- can't do! 

As for the garbled written reviews above?  Let me dissect them just a little.

#1-religious fanatics, environmental damage, war vets, that pretty much speaks for itself...it's true. All of this in the book.

#2-see Reacher mulling over meanings of the word UHaul as he looks at a truck-- a dismal passage that left me wondering if Child's editor was the victim of a roadside bomb.  I don't understand why your upset with this.  At the time he's discussing the origins of the company name U-Haul, he's been driving a beat up car for hours while driving behind a U-Haul truck and was trying to keep himself awake.  And seriously-you've never found yourself doing this?  I have.  For instance...why is Mtn Dew called Mtn Dew?  The can is green, the liquid is green.  Why not just call it Mtn Green or better yet, why don't they just drop the Mtn all together?  Is the word Mountain subliminal?  See, everybody does this. 

#3-he's not helping or saving anyone so it all just seemed a bit much.  Hmmmm...correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he stop a mad religious freak from using a dirty bomb to kill thousands of people in an attempt to jump start Armageddon?  And didn't he find a dead body in the desert?  And didn't he pretty much save Officer Vaughn from her life of misery by giving her some much needed lovin' and a better understanding of how to deal with her husband. (Okay, that last sentence sounds kind of bad, but you really have to read the book to understand.)

#4-Oh, and the ending...right, she's gonna push that button...would never happen. Well, I personally would have been irritated if she hadn't pushed the button.  I would have pushed the button, so in all likelihood, she would have pushed the button, too.  It just makes sense. 

So, there you have it- my take on Nothing to Lose by Lee Child. It's a great book and I highly recommend it.

9 comments:

dkn1 said...

I agree with you. Did they even read the same book? Maybe you could give them lessons on reading about Reacher. The book sounds action packed and interesting.

Sara said...

I think it sounds like a great book. I am also glad that I'm not the only one who wonders about random, pointless facts. Sometimes it's scary to be in my head :) Great post, Sabrina!

Stephanie said...

Wow... great job Kate! Thanks for bringing in the bad reviews... I thought they were comical and I liked the way you dissected them! You ROCK!!!

Jarrett said...

I love Lee Child and Jack Reacher, but this is one I couldn't get through. I just felt like he wandering the desert between the towns too much. I need my Reacher interacting with people and he didn't do enough of that hear. Sounds like I may have bailed a chapter or two too early. (And didn't he pretty much save Officer Vaughn from her life of misery by giving her some much needed lovin' and a better understanding of how to deal with her husband. )

You've got me thinking I need to go back and try to pick up where I left off.

jchrz said...

I love the way you dissected the other reviews, it sheds a whole new light on how to look at story plots that occur in fictional books. I think some people get so wrapped up that they forget these are real people writing fictional stories and the whole point is to fantasize and have fun with it, which you seem to do. Great review I am sure Mr. Grant will appreciate your open mind and understanding of his character and writing style.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Jarrett-

I'm so glad to hear you are reconsidering a reread of this book. Often times, I find that when I don't like a book it has to do with my attitude and not necessarily the the book itself. Is it over the top...possbily, but I'm in love with Jack Reacher and I think I have a huge crush on Lee Child. These two men will never do wrong in my eyes.

With that being said, thanks for the comment and I hope you come back often to visit.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

jchrz-

Funny that you would mention Mr. Grant...I do talk about him often on my blog, so I can totally understand the confusion. And yes, I like to believe that he "appreciates my open mind and understanding of his character..."
I have no idea if that is true, but a girl can always dream.

angelabarra99 said...

I think it sounds like a great book, i need to start reading but why when i have your blog lol

Christine said...

Well, we'll try this again, Sabrina/Kate. As I mentioned before, I have purchased several of Lee Child's books but have yet to read them, (terribly busy at home) Because you have brought "Reacher" to life, how could anyone NOT read all about the HE man "Reacher." My new project after Christmas, to read, read and read about "REACHER." Thanks for the great reviews. You certainly make life interesting Sabrina/Kate. Keep up the good work.