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Better Off Dead cover art

Better Off Dead

By: Lee Child,Andrew Child
Narrated by: Jeff Harding
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Reacher never backs down from a problem.

And he's about to find a big one, on a deserted road in Arizona, where a car has crashed into the only tree for miles around.

Minutes later, Reacher is heading into town. To introduce himself to the shadowy crew who made it happen.

Their boss has a terrifying reputation, and the stakes are high. Just to get in and meet him, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible.

To get answers will be even harder. There are people in this hostile, empty place who would rather die than reveal their secrets.

But then, if Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.

©2021 Lee Child, Andrew Child (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Better Off Dead

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Crap narrator. This is the worst Reacher novel.

give me back my money. so bad. Don't buy. it's shit. so. shit. don't buy.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Oh dear, what a disappointment

I persevered but was just unable to finish this audio book.

Maybe it was the performer, whom I would characterise as ‘modern American macho’ and to whom every truncated sentence, finished on a flourished emphasis, was like fingernails across a chalkboard.

Or maybe it was the facile and simplistic - and disjointed - plot line.

‘Reacher kicked open the DOOR. He pulled his Sig Sauer 17 shot 9mm pistol from his SHOULDER HOLSTER. His two shots caught the bad guy between the EYES. Blood and brains splattered the WALL. Reacher SMILED. Life was GOOD.

A very disappointing experience for me, but one I am sure will find an avid audience within a certain segment of the American audience.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

Did not enjoy the narrator. Voice did not match the characters. Not to the normal standards.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration needs to be reviewed

The narrator is very hard to tolerate, possibly the worst I've listened to, does not flow and is borderline robotic.

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Rinse and Repeat

If you have heard any previous Jack Reach books then you have pretty much heard this one. The story is pretty bland and predictable, just a re-hash of the same structure.....was a real struggle to finish. The book seems to maintain a flatline throughout, never peaking at any point. Jeff Harding does his usual thing which is fine, If you are looking for something exciting then I suggest you look elsewhere.

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bland and uninspired

Story based around a single idea and its obsession with oversized men and their physical prowess. This is the third Reacher book I’ve read or listened to over the years and I really need to accept it is not for me. That said, a lot of people really love this series.

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  • Ben
  • 03-01-2022

Narrator absolutely awful

I have read every Reacher book and been listening to Audible for a couple of years now. I thought I would listen to a Reacher book via Audible for the first time. What a mistake. The narration is absolutely awful. Grating voice that doesn’t tell the story at all well. I have tried to push through thinking I will get used to it but I give up. I will consider getting the paperback book to finish the story and look for another Audible book with a different narrator.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the story.

Great narration , diction and voice style was fabulous. Very easy to listen to.
The humour in it was subtle.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration - struggle

I haven't gotten past five chapters - the narrator is awful and monotonous and I just can't listen to it. It's boring and I can't follow the story.
Worst audible book I've listened to yet.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Being a big Jack Reacher fan this was a first for me - I almost gave up on the book about half way through - was in no way compelling - the last 2 hours are OK but overall really disappointing!

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  • Jasmine
  • 27-11-2021

Better than the last one

This story was in first person, and it seemed to take away the edge. I love Jack Reacher stories and the narrator always makes it good but the story was lack lustre. The essence that makes Reacher who he is is missing. It's like I'm reading about his ghost. The feeling is there but the guts and glory are gone.

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  • Mark Lipscombe
  • 07-11-2021

Ugghhh

Just terrible in comparison to previous work. It’s a stuttering mess with boring plot line, Bond villains and completely unrealistic. Loved Lee Child’s Jack Reacher…Andrew not so much! The cashing in on the name is not a worthy pursuit. Also, hate the Reacher in the first person approach. Every second sentence starts with “I”. Took me a couple of weeks to get through (yes, I could put it down) and I was frankly glad that I’d finished.

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  • DB
  • 01-11-2021

Finished more due to loyalty than enjoyment.

Nothing gelled in this story.
The characters were thin, the situations implausible and the story line moronic. Even Jeff Harding seemed less than enthusiastic.
Ether Lee is tiring of Reacher as a character, or the co-writing hampered his normal style, but page turner this wasn’t.
Well less than satisfied, well left alone.

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  • Stephen Gelle
  • 02-12-2022

limited Action

Unlike most other Reacher books, this one had very limited action. Early on and in the end, in-between lots of blah blah blah.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay
  • 27-06-2022

Fine story but troubling narration.

I enjoyed the story and the characters, but I struggled with the narration. The reader had a highly repetitive sing song quality, that was hard to listen to. I found it to be rather distracting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-03-2022

As Always - great book

I have always been a fan of Lee Child and of Jack Reacher of course. Brilliant and as expected.

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  • Clare
  • 30-10-2021

Time for a new storyline, please!

Love Jack Reacher and this jointly written edition is no let down in terms of writing, which I’m impressed by. Andrew can definitely replicate the Jack Reacher we know and love… but, here is the rub, I’m bored with the same Jack Reacher storyline… yet another story of Jack turning up in a crime-ridden backwater town where he is drawn into helping someone fight an injustice. Please can the record change? Bring back his old army mates, draw on past political connections, send him overseas on a mission, have Jack need help from a friend… whatever… but, time to mix it up a bit, please.

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  • Argybargy
  • 05-11-2021

Oh dear...

Never thought I would be returning a Lee Child novel. I simply could not finish this book and sadly will be returning for a refund. The plot was too weak and meandering, Not the usual crispy Reacheresque escapism. I have been a Reacher fan and read most in the series. But this one just did not work for me.

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  • Mr K
  • 29-10-2021

Better Off Unpublished

A very poor attempt at recreating a worthy Reacher adventure. A good Reacher book has always been a little far fetched but this has an utterly preposterous story line. No one ever spots these daytime murders and the subsequent bodies bundled into the trunks of numerous cars. The writing feels lazy and rushed with a distinct lack of any meaningful relationships. First Reacher book that I didn’t really care how it ended. So very disappointed!!

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  • mr j preston
  • 29-10-2021

A long way from the killing floor

I usually love the Jack Reacher books.
Fast paced with a good story.
This one was pretty weak, I couldn’t really get into the other characters and for a short book it seemed to drag on.
Narrated well as usual.

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  • D. Dykes
  • 06-11-2021

Lost his touch

Usually live Reacher and have listened to everyone. His previous book was poor but this was dull. If i can work out how to return this I will!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-2021

Lazy writing and outdated narration

I love the jack reacher books. I read most of the books but have listened to the last couple on audible. The story on this book is a mixture of many other reacher stories and the narrative is dull and slow. I found myself not really bothered about what was going to happen as I knew that reacher would win in the end with no real problems. Whilst that is why we love the character as he is the hardest man alive, it’s all becoming very predictable. I would strongly suggest changing the narrator for the next book, and maybe making reacher a little more human. The book was ok but certainly not the best reacher story. Felt a bit like just going through the motions.

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  • Kay
  • 30-10-2021

spoiled by narrator

I finished the book because I wanted to know how it ended but it was a hard slog with this narrator.

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  • Shirley mcgough
  • 28-10-2021

Great Reacher story again 😃

I liked the storyline albeit a little far fetched, not sure about the favor owed by the agent in the story :( would have loved Jack to have more of a love interest is these last 2 📚s , I would recommend. And as usual Jack wouldn’t be Jack without the voice of Jeff Harding.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-2021

Worst storyline in series

I have read every Reacher book in order. I don’t think Jeff Harding had any chance at making this a great listen. The storyline was weak and boring. It’s obvious Lee didn’t write this. Rubbish !

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  • Clare
  • 15-11-2021

Terrible book

The first Jack reacher book I quit half way through...my god what happened..plot is terrible. characters are weak and certain traits about Jack have been removed..Lee Child needs to have a rethink about handing the reins to his brother. if you want to read Jack Reacher go to the earlier books which are brilliant.

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