Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jack Reacher Parody

One of my secret delights is Lee Child's series of books about Jack Reacher, a former military policeman who drifts around the country solving crimes and punishing the wicked.  The 15th book, Worth Dying For, just came out last week and I have tunneled through it.  I've read all 15 books, some of them twice, and at this point I know Jack Reacher as well as my own brother.

  • He is 6'5", same height as my husband.
  • He loves coffee.
  • He also likes pretty ladies.
  • He's an expert shot with a rifle.
  • There are lots of things he would like to tell you about the design and manufacture of firearms.
  • He can sleep literally anywhere.
  • He thinks it is rarely not a good idea to head butt someone.
  • He doesn't have a cell phone, and in fact is slightly confused by some of our newfangled technologies.
  • He likes to travel by bus.
  • He carries no luggage.  Each book gives us a scene of Reacher buying new clothes and stuffing the old ones in the store trashcan.  My dad theorizes that he rinses out his underwear in motel bathrooms, but this has not been made clear.

Juliet posted about Reacher last week and it reminded me of my love for these books.  My sister also wrote about him last year, and her review wound up as a blurb on the author's website.  It is odd, really, that we three peace-loving, refined ladies love these books so much.  I can't account for it.  Any of you guys fans?  As Juliet says, they are like Hardy Boys for grown-ups, just about that unrealistic and formulaic.  But the formula is so, so pleasurable to the initiated, which is the point of a formula, I guess.

My favorite is The Enemy, followed by The Persuader, then Killing Floor, I think. Y'all?

Jack Reacher CRIES OUT for parody, so I wrote one, inspired by the question of what would happen if Reacher came to my world.  You can read it here if you are into it.  Or you don't have to.  No big whoop.

Oh, and listen up any malefactors out there.  If you pass this story off as your own, Reacher will find you and break your knee with a kick from one of his stout English shoes, each of which, as we learn in The Hard Way, weighs two pounds.



Kelly said...

I want to read more!

Elizabeth said...

I've never heard of him but am intrigued -- does one have to be a mystery genre lover to like him? Or a Nordic detective genre lover?

Elizabeth said...

And if it's anything like what you've written, I'm in --

Amy said...

Jack Reacher is awesome!! Learning about the manufacture of the Colt vs. the Glock just never gets old. And yes, head butting is more effective than you might realize. It does seem funny that someone like me would like these books so much, but they are totally addictive. Jason and I fight over who gets to read it first.

I'm just getting into Worth Dying For. I tell ya, there is something cathartic and satisfying about these's just nice to see justice win the day, I guess. With a few roundhouse kicks thrown in.

Great parody, Beck! You've got the tone just right.

Amy said...

Oh, and also: he presses his clothes under the mattress each night. And he carries a folding toothbrush in his pocket.

Ok, I'm starting to sound like a freak.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

I'm in. Do you ever read Robert Crais' books about the detective, Elvis Cole? I lurve those like it sounds like you love Jack. Highly recommend.

Keely said...

I haven't heard of him but now must read! I'll wait to read the parody. Because reading the parody before the actual books is silly...right?

M said...

Whoa, this looks cool. As if your effusive rec wasn't enough, I took a gander at Lee Child AND Jack Reacher's website. Unless I was in some kind of hallucinogenic stupor from my Mad Men withdrawal, it appears that Child is literally blowing smoke across the screen from his cigarette. I'm now officially smitten and heading to Barnes and Noble tonight. Thanks for the heads-up; I'd never heard of this series.


Chris W said...

I read The Persuader and one or two others at the suggestion of one of my bosses. I enjoyed it, but not enough to read any more. I feel I've done Reacher now. He has kind of an anti-hero quality in the sense he will not hesitate to take your lunch if he feels hungry but he won't beat you up unless you truly deserve it.

Jenni said...

Well, go on with your fan fic!

I'm going to have to check this guy out.

Megan said...

Never heard of it, but now I have to check it out! I'm looking for more great fiction for the bedside or iPod (I read in bed and then listen/read when I run or clean or knit or cook... or work... sh!). I've been on a non-fic-kick, but it's time to switch back. If you and Amy both are addicts, that's all the encouragement I need.

Thanks for the hot tip!

Oh! And for a totally different genre of mystery, have you read the Louise Penny "Three Pines" series? Quirky and addictive.

Elle said...

I read yr doc & I am confident about saying you are a much better writer than Lee Child.

15 formulaic books just lined up sounds dreamy, but I'm thinking I went out with a Reacher-y archetypal sort, Becky. I would be all, "Still you, with the poor sleep hygiene and the loutish head-butting? This is why it ended, this!" It would be distracting.

Also? That dude prob goes commando. I mean, not to stay on about the pants & all night after night, but I'm just thinking about what I know.

Jen said...

Love this blog. You're so real with no pretentious bone in you. Do you have a pic of Frenemy or her daughter on here anywhere? Would love to see some to place the faces with the stories. Sounds like the Mom should be in Guiness for the world's most overly-protective parent! Pretty funny stuff. Check out my new blog when you get a chance. Just started it so not much there yet. Jen.

Jen said...

Oops, meant "bones" instead of "bone." Here's my blog


Star said...

Never heard of him, but really looking forward to reading the stories, now (oh darn it! I'm already drowning in books). Similarly, I'm a devoted fan of Lindsey Davis' series created around the character "Falco": wonderful wise-cracking noir style murder mysteries set (very realistically) in ancient Rome. LOVE them!

Marie said...

As I was reading your writing, I was clearly hearing the theme to "Mission Impossible" and then realised the sound was my own humming.

Ginny Marie said...

Holy shit, I'm two books behind! My favorites? Die Trying and Bad Luck and Trouble.

Can't wait to read your parody!

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

This makes me feel like I'm missing something very, very cool.

I guess I'll head down to the public library this week and check out #1.

I'm going to wait to read the parody, since I probably won't understand the brilliance of it until I've read at least one of the books.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Now that I'm almost done with all the Conan Doyle stories, it is time for a new series. Perhaps Jack Reacher will feed my reading need. Well done on the parody, beautiful Becky. I suspect I will appreciate it even more after I read one of the books.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

"and the girl kept up just fine, running in strange little circles around him as he advanced towards the automatic doors."

Beck, I'm laughing my a** off and sneezling.

Could you next write a heaving-bosom Harlequin parody?

Juliet Grossman said...

Thanks for the link! LOVE your parody:-)

gretchen said...

Okay, missy. That parody is pretty damned close to brilliant. I need to read me some Reacher.