NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy: you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com.
I picked up this book because Lee Child is one of my bookstore's consistently steady sellers and I feel obligated to read the biggest authors so I can amp up my suggestive sells. Unfortunately, after reading the other reviews on this site, it appears the general consensus is that the Child novel that I randomly chose from the shelf is among the worst in the series. And boy was it bad. So very, very bad, and all because of the characters. Everyone in the novel was painfully flat, seeming to lack any motivation or internal dimensions or even personalities. The story was set in fictional/metaphorical Colorado towns called Hope and Despair and alas, the ha-ha-clever constant wandering between the two by the characters was apparently used as a substitute for any actual expression of emotions on the part of Reacher & co.The particular details of the plot were actually fine--mildly intriguing, not dull or incomprehensible. However, the pacing of the story felt worn--even without having read any of the other books in the series I can guess at the formula that probably girders all of the others: taciturn, tough Reacher wanders into small town, sniffs out something fishy, randomly decides to fix it all, and serendipitously attracts a beautiful/fragile woman to sleep with him--I mean aid him in his investigations. Much coffee is guzzled and many barfights with incredulous odds are started and won by Reacher. I'm right, aren't I? If anyone can say different maybe I'll pick up another--like I say, the plot wasn't horrid, and this is supposedly the worst of the lot--but until then, I'll consider my research complete.