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Old 05-09-2020, 09:25 AM
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Jack Reacher series to be taken over by Andrew Child


Not news, but I was recently thinking about it. There are dozens of these books (as well as a couple of movies, and perhaps even a TV show), and many people love them. They have consistently come out at the rate of one per year or so. But, recently, the author has essentially said he did not have it in him to continue the series indefinitely.

So, my question is, why bother making sure more novels are produced, if you don't even feel like writing them? Why not just quit, and write something new and inspired instead?

(No need to formally "kill off" the character, by the way. Matthew Scudder is still alive, just kind of old and retired. As for Reacher, the author was intriguingly going somewhere or saying something when, for a change, instead of the usual Hollywood invincibility Reacher actually had some lingering effects from one concussion too many, had to see a doctor and everything, and, at the end of the story, did not leave town and hitch a ride to destination unknown. But when the next book in the series came around, nothing came of it, and things were back to strict formula.)
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:45 AM
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Well, you can never have too many 'Drifter Who Fixes Stuff' books out there.

I hope it goes as well as Dick Francis co-writing with his son Felix, then handing off the books to him. The formula, the strengths (and the exact same weaknesses) of the writing persisted, and I can barely tell the difference.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:34 PM
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I'm sure there are readers who've got to have their fix of a particular series and enjoy the results when another author takes over, but I prefer opting out at that point, or more usually while the series is tailing off and getting less satisfying.

I have been tempted, though, to get permission from the John D. MacDonald estate to write a sequel to the Travis McGee novels. Haven't gotten very far with the plot, except for Travis dodging skin cancer from his permanent deep Florida tan, and having Meyer opt out of further adventures because he's tired of risking death from homicidal lunatics. Working theme color: black.

*I was hoping from the thread title that "taking over the series" meant that another actor would play Reacher. Tom Cruise was a mistake.
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:49 PM
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Amazon has a Jack Reacher series in pre-production, according to IMDB. No word on casting, except that the title character definitely won't be played by Tom Cruise. And he'll be tall.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:06 AM
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Amazon has a Jack Reacher series in pre-production, according to IMDB. No word on casting, except that the title character definitely won't be played by Tom Cruise. And he'll be tall.
I believe Lee Child is completely aware and deliberate when he says these sorts of things, so it is hilarious when he points out how Tom Cruise "is too old for this stuff. He’s 57, he needs to move on...", while Reacher is the same age or even a couple of years older!
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:42 AM
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I was going to suggest that Ray Stevenson would be a good choice for Reacher but he's 55. Stevenson is 6'3" though.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:59 AM
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I believe Lee Child is completely aware and deliberate when he says these sorts of things, so it is hilarious when he points out how Tom Cruise "is too old for this stuff. He’s 57, he needs to move on...", while Reacher is the same age or even a couple of years older!
That's true, and it feel ridiculous for a man that age to be voluntarily drifting around America on Greyhound buses. Cruise wasn't terrible in the first film (the second was a complete dud) but he didn't have Reacher's presence.

The Amazon series reportedly begins with the first Reacher novel, The killing Floor,
when the character was in his late 30s. If it's like every other U.S. drama tv show, I predict that the lead will be a British or Australian actor doing an American accent.
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Old 05-13-2020, 12:04 PM
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Reacher's original back story was that, due to his military career overseas, he had never seen much of nor spent much time in the United States, and was availing himself of the opportunity to satisfy that desire.

Obviously, it would not have taken 30 years to scratch that itch, but eventually it was established that Reacher disdains money, domesticity, comfort, and even staying too long in one place, and does love looking for and even stirring up trouble--- that seems to be the current situation.

Anyway, the first novel co-authored by the younger brother comes out this year, which may or may not shed some light on his take on and plans for the character. Not that there are no potentially engaging directions in which to take things, but I still wonder what the soul of Lee Child personally gets out of this arrangement (as opposed to established fans who are always happy to pick up the next one). There are at least a couple of writers of long novel series on this forum; I wonder if they have any insight?
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:28 PM
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He’s 57, he needs to move on...", while Reacher is the same age or even a couple of years older!
Where did you get this information? I assume that Reacher is aging at a slower pace than Lee Child and us.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:09 AM
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The Amazon series reportedly begins with the first Reacher novel, The killing Floor, when the character was in his late 30s. If it's like every other U.S. drama tv show, I predict that the lead will be a British or Australian actor doing an American accent.
My pick has always been Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. They'll likely want to shoot it in Canada to save money anyway. Jensen Ackles can play the brother that dies in the first book.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:17 AM
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Where did you get this information? I assume that Reacher is aging at a slower pace than Lee Child and us.
I got it from Reacher being in his late 30s when he finally left the Army in 1997, after having left home at age 18, graduated from West Point after 4 years, and 13 years of military service. (This info is summarized on leechild.com, for instance.) His birthday is given as 29 October 1960.

It's a pretty concrete bio time-wise, and not only are there no indications he is aging at a slow pace (except for still being in excellent shape), there are references to how he is not as young as he used to be.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:38 AM
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It also has to be said: Lee Child has always been unapologetic about writing for commercial success rather than aiming for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the series is still selling. Then again, easy for me to say, but he could spend his time writing something else, potentially commercially successful. For example, J. K. Rowling made up a new pseudonym and has been cranking out a new series.

Last edited by DPRK; 05-14-2020 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:29 AM
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My pick has always been Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. They'll likely want to shoot it in Canada to save money anyway. Jensen Ackles can play the brother that dies in the first book.
Not bad, but maybe a little too pretty? There will have to be some compromise along those lines, of course. Reacher is big and mean looking. Child describes him as the kind of guy who walks into a room and makes everyone nervous. He's been variously described in the books as having 'hands like catchers mitts' and a 'fifty-inch chest.' Lest we forget, his massive pecs once stopped a bullet, saving his life and astounding the doctors. In other words, finding a replica Reacher for the role will be all but impossible. I do think he should be kind of ugly, at least.

Because Reacher is half-French, I would picture Sébastien Chabal when reading the books.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:42 PM
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FWIW I always imagined Reacher looking like Dolph Lundgren.
Although I'm not one of those people that was bothered by Tom Cruise in the roll. It just wasn't that big of a deal to me; and the movies were enjoyable to me.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:31 PM
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I'm sure there are readers who've got to have their fix of a particular series and enjoy the results when another author takes over, but I prefer opting out at that point, or more usually while the series is tailing off and getting less satisfying.
The Jack Reacher series seems tailor-made for someone else to take over. They're incredibly formulaic. And I say that as someone who reads and enjoys them and will probably keep reading and enjoying them when we're on the fifth Dread Pirate Lee Childs.

There's also precedent for "flashback" books, so we don't have to focus only on aging Reacher. I could also see the whole series getting a refresh with Jack Reacher age adjusted into the present. Because as a loyal reader of Jack Reacher books, I don't care even a little bit about continuity. I want to see Reacher beat up some jerks who have it coming.

I thought Tom Cruise did a fine job as Reacher. I don't care that he looks nothing like Reacher as described. He nailed the badass with a chip on his shoulder attitude.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:41 PM
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I thought Tom Cruise did a fine job as Reacher. I don't care that he looks nothing like Reacher as described. He nailed the badass with a chip on his shoulder attitude.
Besides the size, Reacher in the books doesn't like to drive and isn't a great driver. Tom Cruise's Reacher likes to drive and drives like a badass, because Cruise likes car stunts.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:45 PM
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Besides the size, Reacher in the books doesn't like to drive and isn't a great driver. Tom Cruise's Reacher likes to drive and drives like a badass, because Cruise likes car stunts.
That's a fair complaint. I'm sure there are other things that don't match the book, but they don't bother me. Reacher is a warrior monk. Not owning things feels like an essential part of that, but not driving doesn't. Reacher does occasionally steal cars and use them.

At least in the movie he finishes his car chase by getting out and walking over to board a bus.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:13 PM
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I thought Tom Cruise did a fine job as Reacher. I don't care that he looks nothing like Reacher as described. He nailed the badass with a chip on his shoulder attitude.
[golf clap]

I was so sure Cruise would suck as Reacher, and so surprised that he was great.

I also don't mind someone else taking over the series, because if they're not up to standard, I'll just stop reading them. There are a half dozen other authors writing their own version of Travis McGee (which Lee Child proudly admits he was doing, and in fact has written prologues to the McGee books).

We could have a whole 'nother thread on Reacher Wannabes, but I've got to point out The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie... and sequels, of course.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:14 PM
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There are a half dozen other authors writing their own version of Travis McGee...
Please list all you the other series you know as Travis McGee is one of the very few series I regularly reread.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:21 PM
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Reacher is a warrior monk.
As Reacher tells a female friend when they are spending some time together in a hotel room, "I'm not a monk."


Quote:
Not owning things feels like an essential part of that, but not driving doesn't. Reacher does occasionally steal cars and use them.
Reacher is also not an athlete, and does not like running.

More on Reacher's age: in an interview about 10 years ago, Lee Child explained that
Quote:
That's one of those double-edged things. When I began the series. he had to be fully formed; couldn't be Jack Reacher, boy detective. I made him 36, which is a peak age physically and intellectually. And then I aged him, but as the series became a success, I was faced with this problem – he's going to get older and older. So what I'm doing is throwing in the occasional prequel and slightly de-emphasizing his age. Maybe the stories will be set a month apart rather than a year apart.

Yes, I don't see him taking down a bingo cartel in an old age home.

No, that wouldn't really work.
So original Reacher was the age he was supposed to be, and was wandering around the U.S. because
Quote:
He's an American citizen but hasn't lived there much, so he's discovering the country much like a stranger. He sees everything with fresh eyes, too.
I like to imagine Lee Child thinks about and plans these things more than he lets on, but if he merely stuck to the formula that would already account for Reacher now being 60 and still wandering around, without having to read much into it. Or you could say that the character of Reacher has evolved in subtle ways, but not (yet) in ways that would make him buy a house and live there with a wife and kids.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:26 AM
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Please list all you the other series you know as Travis McGee is one of the very few series I regularly reread.
Seems I prefer my heroes with flaws... Peter Ash has claustrophobia due to PTSD... his books are by Nick Petrie (first one "The Drifter").

David Baldacci has a unique series with Amos Decker, who'd gotten hit hard in a football game and it gave him a form of synesthesia and eidetic memory. First book "Memory Man".

Baldacci also writes the John Puller books. He's a combat veteran and a military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Division. Book 1: Zero Day.

I love the Cork O'Connor series, by William Kent Kruger. I think Iron Lake is the first.

One list mentioned A Brewing Storm, by Richard Castle. I love the fact that they took Nathan Fillion's character from Castle and wrote "his" detective novels.... AND Nathan went on book signing tours as Castle!

Robert Crais used to write scripts for TV cop shows. Now he does the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series. A Dangerous Man is the first.

And, of course, Jason Bourne. Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity is a classic.

My favorite detective series is different. The Cormoran Strike series, by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. First book: The Cuckoo's Calling.

I just googled "Protagonists like Travis McGee" and got a lot of "Books like Jack Reacher" lists.

But sorry, NONE of these guys come close to Travis McGee.
(Ever heard Darren McGavin read the books? Out of print, abridged, on cassette, I've got a couple but can't find any now. But he did the perfect beachcomber world-weary McGee voice.)
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:41 AM
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There is a copy of John D MacDonald Value Collection on eBay with Deep Blue Goodbye, One Fearful Yellow Eye and the Lonely Silver Rain by McGavin for $70.
Also a copy of the Long Lavender Look for $14 with shipping.

Last edited by PastTense; 05-21-2020 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:48 AM
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There is also a 10 book mixed lot including a Tan and Sandy Silence. You might email the seller to see if he would separate out the volume.

Search eBay for the two names.

Thanks for the list of other authors.

Last edited by PastTense; 05-21-2020 at 10:48 AM.
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