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Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me    by Andy Martin order for
Reacher Said Nothing
by Andy Martin
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you are a Lee Child fan and have read his latest Jack Reacher novel, Make Me, you might be tempted to read Andy Martin's Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me.

I would caution you to think twice because not only does this book contain spoilers that may ruin your enjoyment of Make Me, if you haven't yet read it, but I also don't believe that Andy Martin has created a narrative that is really worth spending much time on.

The main idea was to shadow Child and give the reader an idea of how the author works as he set about creating this latest Reacher installment. Although providing some insights into the creative process of this best selling author may sound like a good idea, the execution was anything but satisfying. In fact, it was rather frustrating to plow through Martin's commentary that, at times, was as much about him, it seemed, as it was about his subject.

As I read this book I jotted down notes and soon realized I was recording more negative than positive observations. In fact, I ended up with four sides of critical comments, which was a telling indictment of the book.

Early on, three pages on how Child beat a speeding ticket in the U.S. should have been a warning that this was going to be a rather inane read. Martin's insistence on sharing what he, his subject and others had when they sat down for lunch or dinner was another warning that this was going to be a rocky journey.

Ironically, the observation that Child's prose is sometimes guilty of 'lazy rhetoric and lyrical flights' is a charge that can also be made about parts of this book. I also found it amusing that Martin found it necessary to remind the reader from time to time that, in addition to being a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, he has also authored a number of books.

The irritating use of sentence fragments, far too many parenthetical expressions and a loose, rambling narrative didn't speak well of Martin's own literary skills either.

A book of this nature could be interesting and worth reading but, unfortunately, in this instance there is very little here that recommends this volume. Apparently, when informed what was planned, Lee Child's publisher was a little leery about this project. In retrospect, that was a valid concern. This book does very little to enhance Lee Child's reputation.

Reacher Said Nothing does nothing to enhance the character or author of the popular Jack Reacher series. To claim that this book will appeal to 'an academically-minded' audience is also a totally bogus claim!

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