Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jack Reacher Audiobooks

by Lee Child

I should have lived in the era when reading books aloud was an after-dinner pasttime; I love listening to literature. Certain books doubtless are more engaging out loud than they would be to read, particularly if the narrator is skillful.

I'm not sure what I'd think of the Jack Reacher books in print, but thanks to clever (if somewhat outlandish) plotting and a great reader, every one I've tried save the latest ("A Wanted Man") is most enjoyable.  Reacher, a 6'5", 250 pound ex-military policeman, wanders the country with only a toothbrush in his pocket and the clothes on his back, preferring to buy a new outfit when the current one gets dirty rather than bother with luggage.

A word, however, on "A Wanted Man."  This one starts out promising with the one little glitch that Reacher has a broken nose, and Dick Hill, on average the perfect auditory Reacher, delivers the injured hero in a stuffy, nasal voice...14 clogged hours of it that drove this listener to distraction. When the story goes rogue with ridiculous twists and incomprehensible spy vs spy nonsense, the experience is intolerable by disc 9 of 12. 

I fear Lee Child is following action author colleagues Grisham, Patterson, Connelly, Ludlum, and Clancy, churning out books after creativity has run dry.  If this wasn't written in collusion with a ghost-writer, perhaps he should hire one. It couldn't get any worse.

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