Thursday, July 29, 2021

The New Reacher Books and TV Show


Been having fun talking with others about Lee Childs and Jack Reacher online lately. I initiated the discussion by posting “Bad and Good News About Reacher.”

 According to the Manchester Guardian, Lee Child (aka James Grant), the mega-popular bestselling author, has turned his iconic hero over to his younger brother Andrew (Grant) Child. I bought Andrew’s first Reacher novel, The Sentinel, and I must say I was very disappointed. Andrew, alas, is no Lee.

 Better news, though—a new Reacher TV series NOT starring Tom Cruise (too tiny for Reacher) is forth coming on Amazon. And follow-up seasons would feature different ensembles to match a one-book-per-season adaptation plan (Lee Child's debut Reacher novel, 1997’s Killing Floor).

 Cast as Reacher is Alan Ritchson, who is 6’4” and about 235 pounds. His acting creidts include Blue Mountain State and the ongoing DC’s Titans, neither of which I have seen. But I can’t wait to see the new TV series whenever it starts (tba).

 Someone else felt The Sentinel was great and asked what were my problems with it.

 So, I replied:

 Andrew apes Lee's style—short punchy sentences, lots of detailed interiority, some decent description, and of course action. But the plot of this one is clunky and complicated and after a while I just couldn't care about what happened to these characters anymore. Reacher storylines usually are clear and clean. It may take a while to get the whole picture, but I always feel comfortable on the journey with the POV in Lee's books. Voice is really important in mystery and suspense fiction and it just isn't there in The Sentinel. It's not easy to do what Lee Child did over and over.

The discussion branched out in a more general but still satisfying way. Someone mentioned being dissatisfied with a mystery novel written by Jonathan Kellerman in collaboration with his son. Why couldn’t these writers exit with grace and dignity, my correspondent wondered?

M-O-N-E-Y, I suspect, is the answer, though I didn’t say that.

What I did say was that I totally get the disappointment when this happens. I had high hopes for daughter successors to Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, too, but so far had been disappointed by their books. I said I was reminded of what happened to Doyle when he tried to kill off Holmes. Fortunately, HE was the one picking up where the stories had previously left off.

Someone else brought the discussion back around to the new Reacher book. They, too, were disappointed with it. They also worried that the upcoming TV series would ruin the franchise. And here is where we disagreed because this respondent felt that the Bosch TV series was not even close to be as good as the books.

To which I replied that while I agreed that the TV Bosch is different than in the novels in some ways, I still think it's great stuff. So does Connelly, who has had quite a hand in writing it. I never would have envisioned Titus Welliver as Bosch but after watching the show I can't think of Harry any other way.

The great thing about writing a blog about writing is that you can always have the last word, which I just did.

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