Get Your Free Audiobook

Past Tense

By: Lee Child
Narrated by: Jeff Harding
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (245 ratings)
After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Past Tense by Lee Child. 

From number one best seller Lee Child, the thrilling new blockbuster featuring hero Jack Reacher.

Reacher, the eternal drifter, happens by chance on the small New Hampshire town he remembers his father was supposed to have come from. But when he starts looking for his dad's old home, he finds there's no record of anyone named Reacher ever having lived there.

©2018 Lee Child (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    144
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    146
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not to the Usual Standard

I did not like the story line and not happy with the narrator.Not up to the usual standard

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lee Child at his excellent best

Reacher is exactly as we know and expect him to be. What a treat. Loved it

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not up to earlier Reacher

I know Reacher is all about over-thinking and to a certain extent coincidental meetings, but this one is stretched.

Two separate (and by Child’s standards; predictable) narratives only intertwined by absolute chance. A bit much.

Further, why is every character starting to sound like Reacher? The repetition and runaround with unrealistic dialogue gets excruciating at times. And the narrator doesn’t help with a bland, inflected tone.

It’s an ok listen, but going through the motions and none of it holds up under scrutiny.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Narration Annoying

I didn't resonate with the narrator's choice of voice. I found it to be distracting and folksy. I personally prefer previous narrations of Reacher stories. The actual story was not up to the usual standard. Not terrible but hardly gripping. I really didn't care for the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

just another JR story

Love JR. you know what you are going to get and you get just that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Classic Jack Reacher

finish was a little flat but the narration was perfect and overall story was engaging

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Reacher, the Good Ol Boy? Bring back Tom.

Although a long time fan of the Reacher series, I was disappointed with this. The thing is, I'm not sure if the form is tiring (or me of it) or it was ruined (for me) by the characterisation of the reader.
There has been plenty of comment about using Tom Cruise in the movie franchise, even so, while he is a short arse without the famed bulk and power of the author's creation, at least his accent is neutral and his portrayal of the character reflects the wit and intelligence that we have come to know and, dare I say, love. And by wit of course, I'm referring to his mental ability to reason, deduct, and strategise even while demolishing a medium sized crowd of semi-zombie hulks.

I'm afraid Mr Harding's imagining was way off beam for me. The lethargic drawl, the ponderous roll out, it was more Arnie with a computer manual than an intelligent, experienced, top of the class investigator processing, planning, operating. Come on, a guy born in Europe, French speaking, who has lived all over and never put roots down would not arrive in middle age with an accent like a Good Ol Boy or an Arkansas share cropper.

Look, maybe I am being disrespectful to Mr Harding, to Good Ol Boys and to Arkansas share croppers. If so I apologise. I'm Australian, what do I know about it. But for me, it was completely wrong.

The other comment is that the book appears to be performed completely as published. This is my first Audible book - but a performed work is different to a work to be read. When we're reading text there has to be information that's necessary but that we largely, subconsciously ignore: information that is not required in a performed work. You read a play, you read the stage direction. You perform a play, those elements are obviously not required or included. In this reading of Past Tense, there seemed to be no editing of the minor elements that were no longer required, principally, numerous 'he said' 'she saids' that were superfluous with the voice characterisations, and annoying. Surely the authors would permit some careful editing of these elements.

I'm not looking to troll Mr Harding, I'm just saying surely the budget could run to a Director that could oversee the production and give some informed direction. I believe this would produce a better product and obtain a more committed audience.

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

a very boring read, badly written

a third of this book could have been edited out and nobody would have noticed. the writer just waffles on and on about things that are not relevant and the narrator was terrible

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

Its good suited to the series

This book l listened to on audible rather than read and lve given it 4 stars, not for the story but for the thought aspect which was so much more noticeable in listening rather than reading.

What l mean by that is Reacher has a assumption or conclusion and Lee Child in this book breaks down the rational behind it. Normally that might be very boring, but it wasn't, it was sort of smooth,interesting.

He has had strong story-lines before but still good, worth the read

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

There were inconsistencies in the characters. The set ups in the storyline were clearly there for future 'visual' effect.
The young couple, while somewhat frightened, were not traumatised by what was happening to them and how it ended for them is somewhat questionable. They had been protrayed as being a bit on the thick side but suddenly they have their wits about them and able to make a clear and calculated decision.
The brothers, while working in concert, had no proclivity for family or loyalty which just suddenly appeared without a prior hint.
The loose end was disappointing.
Overall, I think this book was written as a screenplay for that little person to act in.
I would await with great anticipation at the release of each book. I was a huge Jack Reacher fan. However, after the last couple of offerings and this one in particular, I have lost interest. The best of Jack Reacher has long been written.
I have now found another writer and character comparable to the old Jack Reacher and I am thoroughly enjoying them.
So long Jack Reacher.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Callan
  • 11-12-2018

Not keen

Like Jack Reacher books. Not keen on this reading style. Too forced for me. Need another narrator maybe

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ray
  • 02-12-2018

Very disappointing!

As a dedicated Reacher follower, I was really surprised to find a book that I didn't enjoy. The storyline was weak and full of padding which added nothing to the plot.
It felt like the book had been put together because it was expected by Reacher devotees.
Even Jeff Harding's unique narration style, which I normally enjoy, seemed to grate a bit.
The constant short staccato sentences ending in the same tone began to become annoying. It is obvious that Jeff has matched his delivery to the punchy short sentence style that Lee Child uses.
In this book there seemed to be an overuse of the descriptive style that Lee employs.
I will buy the next book in the hope that this one was just an aberration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jeannie-mar
  • 23-11-2018

brilliantly crafted .

worth waiting for. Reacher never disappoints even as he is aging, he just uses his accumulated knowledge a lot more effectively

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karl
  • 22-11-2018

Finally a new and great Jack Reacher book

This story begins with a incredible stupid or gullible Canadian couple who gets tricked into being prisoners at a hotel in the woods. The story unwind and it gets more and more intriguing by the pages. I think this is a great Jack Reacher story, among the top 10 in my opinion. The story wound me up in a great way. Jack Reacher is as always good, smart and predictable but in a good way. The narrator is fantastic (good to get rid of D..ddd..dick Hill). Thank you Lee Child!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John Forge
  • 15-11-2018

Child not at his best...

Lee Child writes in essentially one way: exploiting his creation Jack Reacher to the fullest degree by crafting interesting stories and adding a couple of supporting characters. Alas, the story here is rather laboured and the supporters are a bit underdone. Even Jeff Harding, my equal favourite reader, seems to be having a hard time. A disappointment, unfortunately.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • 14-11-2018

one of the better Reacher books in a long time

Jeff Harding have the perfect voice for this book I feel like I would recommend him every day

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 06-11-2018

Jack Goes Back to Basics!

In Past Tense Lee Child has reached back to the essence of some of the most classic Reacher stories. Jack drifting from anywhere to pretty much anywhere arriving in the middle of nowhere and trouble ensues. It's not so much if you're looking for trouble you've come to the right place as much as you've found the right guy. Here Reacher stumbles upon the birthplace of his father and of course a simple enquiry reveals a whole lot more and Reacher's robust application of his moral compass soon lands him in trouble. It's classic Reacher, Child's completely unforgettable character doing what he does best.

Jeff Harding to me is the voice of Reacher, gloriously gravelly tones that just crunch through Child's direct, simply structured prose. The now expected, almost slow-mo fight sequences broken down to almost fractions of seconds and the classic Reacher logical thought processes. For me at least Reacher doesn't need some huge international espionage setup etc, he just needs bad guys to fight. That said, if there is one weakness in the last few books it is that the bad guys aren't quite tough enough. I like Reacher beating up the bad guys but recently he's had it too easy. To quote the awful corporate world that I sadly exist in Child needs to set Reacher some stretch goals if he's to be the best vigilante he can be.

This is very much a stripped back to basics Reacher thriller with some interesting filling in of Reacher's back story and some clever mystery thrown in. More like this please, just beef up the bad guys a bit more!

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roberto
  • 12-11-2018

Reacher: Back at his best

Classic Reacher - no globe trotting just a wandering Jack Reacher seeking out trouble and bringing justice to those who cause it. Brilliant.

Jeff Harding - sublime as always. The quintessential voice of Reacher.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Judith
  • 12-11-2018

His best to date?

I know I’m not the most unbiased judge as I love this series, but some are better than others. This one is better!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • 11-11-2018

This is a good one

I have read all the Reacher books and this one is excellent up there with Bad luck and Trouble. Jeff Harding is his usual brilliant best. Thoroughly Recommended

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-11-2018

Really great read

I do enjoy Reacher and Jeff harding is a perfect narrator. Reacher is brutal and compassionate in equal measure. Listened happily over 2 days.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • 09-11-2018

back to old skool Reacher

best Reacher for a while. narrated well as always


reminded me of some of the earlier ones

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • vaughan
  • 06-11-2018

Reacher's back!

He's back to being the right doing, hard hitting, ex MP, son of a marine that make us love him.
after the last book I was bourdering on boredom.
this one's a real page turner though.
I'm really glad he's back.....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 06-11-2018

Back to his best work, I finished it in two days<br />

The business, I finished it in two days, unmissable, I could not put it down. A great improvement on the past two novels

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben in Herefordshire
  • 12-11-2018

superb

another superb installment and another winner.
what is not to love about this book?
if you have got this far through the series, the review is superfluous

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 18-11-2018

Sub Par Reacher

New Reacher novel. I love Reacher. He's my hero. But...as they say, here's the thing. Lots of description. I mean, a lot. Plenty of dialogue. A lot. Plenty of action? No, not much. 24 chapters in, only two scuffles. Literary style - annoying. Reads like a sedated James Ellroy pastiche. Staccato. Telegrammatic prose style. Lots of short sentences. Dullsville. Literature for illiterates. I like Reacher in action, not inaction. End of chapter 24. 'Nothing much happened'. You don't say. The rest of the book? Chapter 37 is good and kick starts the much needed action sequences which are over quicker than an anonymous bad guy's life expectancy. By the way - Reacher as righter of wrongs and avenging angel has now become more of serial killer given the final body count so how on earth can he be morally acceptable and enjoyable? The guys become a psycho killing machine not a hero. Overall this is very disappointing, not so much phoned in as telegrammed. Must try harder.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful