WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS.
On September 1, 1994, Lee Child went out to buy the paper to start writing his first novel - in pencil. The result was Killing Floor, which introduced his hero Jack Reacher. Twenty years later, on September 1, 2014, he began writing Make Me, the 20th novel in his number-one best-selling Reacher series. Same day, same writer, same hero.
The difference, this time, was that he had someone looking over his shoulder. Andy Martin, uber Reacher fan, Cambridge academic, expert on existentialism and dedicated surfer, sat behind Lee Child in his office and watched him as he wrote. While Lee was writing his Reacher book, Andy was writing about the making of Make Me.
Reacher Said Nothing is a book about a guy writing a book. An instant metabook. It crosses genres by bringing a high-level critical approach to a popular text and gives a fascinating insight into the art of writing a thriller, showing the process in real time. It may well be the first of its kind.
[Spoiler alert: if you haven't read Make Me yet, this book contains spoilers.]
©2015 Andy Martin (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks
I recently read a review of Star Wars 7 in Time Magazine. If I'd read this before seeing the movie it would have spoiled the movie for me. But after reading the review I'd like to see the movie again to better appreciate the details, nuance & effort that went into making it. So too with this book.
I look forward to every new Reacher, but after listening to how "Make Me", and previous novels, were conceived and written, the care and attention given to the language and style, I previously had not appreciated. I now look forward to re-experiencing the Reacher catalogue from a new perspective.
"Reacher Said Nothing" is obviously not for every Reacher fan. For some, it will spoil their experience of the novels, but for others, like me, it will enhance their appreciation of the books and the writer. It is also more than a 'Fly on the Wall' type narrative, Andy Martin delves into Lee Child's back story, as well as events occurring during the writing of the book, with considerable discussion on the language and style.
I found the book to be an interesting read, and engagingly performed by Steven Pacey. I recommend this book to every Lee Child and Reacher fan who are happy to know more than is on the page, and who have read all the books. Take the spoiler alert seriously.
Lastly, Tom Cruise as Reacher is discussed, and comments are carefully presented. I enjoyed the movie, but I understand why Tom's physical stature is an issue for many. From this book I have a better appreciation of the difference between how we perceive in our mind's eye what Reacher should look like (and sound) as written, to how he should be cinematically, and on reflection I think I would prefer Reacher to be Tom Cruise, than say, The Rock.
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