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Our reviews of the latest Jack Reacher book might have left a lot to be desired, but that wasn’t the case for the book club discussion. That is always fun!

Before I get into the discussion, just in case people only read the beginning of my emails:

Our next meeting is September 25 and we have Chris M. down to lead AND bring snacks. Chris, are you still good for both?

Deadline to RSVP for the 9/23 Murder Mystery is August 31.

Let me know if you want to join us for Game Day at Enchanted Grounds on 10/8 from 1-4pm.

Ok, on to Reacher. Soooooo, first the scores for No Plan B by Lee and Andrew Child. Our highest score was a 7 and our lowest was a 3. We had the following scores (these included our 4 that were emailed in): four 7s, seven 6s, two 5s, seven 4s, and one 3. One of those 6s would have been a 10...if the book were a fantasy novel. But alas, it was not, so a 6 for Joel.

That’s an average score of 5.29 (the only time you will see me use decimals). Not really a great score. So, are we sick of Reacher or was this just a poorly (in our opinion) written book? Let’s see.

The consensus, even with some of the “higher” scores, was that it wasn’t Reacher at his best. Whether it’s Lee Child’s turning the reins over to his brother, or his just slacking off, we think Reacher isn’t as funny or interesting as he used to be.

Not only was the humor gone (we didn’t find the scenes with Jed trying to ride a bike humorous) but so was the whole analytics of Reacher. He used to be in the back of a panel van, knowing the exact time of day because of his internal clock, plotting the map of the drive based on the feel of the turns and the bumps in the road. He used to see the gun raised, calculate the milliseconds it would take for the bullet to fire, the time it would take to get to him based on the velocity, and the angle he would have to turn his head to miss it. We didn’t see a lot of that in this book, and we missed it.

Some club members saw the difference in the writing since the two brothers started to collaborate and some didn’t. This is the third collaboration, by the way.

The book started off strong. When Reacher saw the woman being pushed to her death under a bus, we were like – ok, this is gonna be good. And, then not so much.

The people who gave the book its higher scores thought it was entertaining. I, for one, like it when we follow multiple paths/people and they all converge at the end for some unknown purpose. I think the problem was, not all of the paths/people had a purpose. We all pretty much agreed that Jed had no business being in this book and added nothing to the story.

The book was formulaic, but this, in itself, isn’t a bad thing. We all know that Reacher is going to arrive in a town with nothing but the shirt on his back, an ATM card, and a fold up toothbrush. He will come across some baddies and will kick their butts and save the town and/or the townsfolk. It’s the story that contains this formula that can be entertaining, or boring. This fell more heavily on the boring side for most.

Some other criticisms were that there were too many short, stilted sentences. It felt like a travel guide for a tour of America. There was too much action. Too many one paragraph scene shifts. It was all over the board. Amy closed the book after the last page and exclaimed aloud, “wow, that was dumb.” Enough said.

There were 18 people in the room for club last night and this was the first Reacher for 8. Unfortunately, it was the last Reacher more many as well. Even Jose, who NEVER ditches a series, thinks he is done.

What we’re watching: Shelter is on Prime and it’s adapted from Harlan Coben’s books that feature Myron’s nephew. A bit YA, but some are liking it.

AlanRitchson

What we plan to watch: Reacher, Season 2...with Alan Ritchson. Well, at least most of the females are planning to watch.

See you all in September,

Kerry

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