Nope. Not for me. (Part 1.)
30 July 2008
Every now and then, reading outside of one's favorite genres or comfort zone can be a very good idea. I say this for at least two reasons: 1. it is always good to see what other people like to read, in a "can't we all get along" sort of way; and 2. It makes you that much gladder to get back to your preferred type of reading.
Rarely had I felt so glad to get back to nonfiction than after forcing myself through Lee Child's thriller Killing Floor, the first in his popular Jack Reacher series. Actually, "forcing through" is the wrong phrase. I did read the whole thing, and I raced through it, which is what you're supposed to do with thrillers. More on that later.
One reason it was not for me? Reacher is ex-military. I am to the point where I can't read anything with remotely military characters. Even ex-military characters. It makes me too sad to think of all these servicepeople out there, moving from base to base and raising children feeling no ties to and no particular fondness for anyplace. Not to mention growing up and continuing the lifestyle themselves. It is close-minded of me, and probably wrong, and there you have it. Not to mention, how in the hell could someone as "lone wolf" as this character is made out to be have managed to stay in the military so long?
I'm still forming my thoughts on this one, so I'll end it there for today. I just thought the ex-military thing was an interesting stumbling block, and a good reminder that even when a book is written serviceably well (the writing here is roughly one thousand times better than that of James Patterson), you just never know what's going to be a deal-breaker in a particular book, for any particular reader. Doesn't make it a bad book. Maybe just not right for readers with close-minded hang-ups about the military. And really, how could anyone predict that?*
More tomorrow. I know, you're all just on the edges of your seats, aren't you?
*I throw this out there because a lot of times librarians, bookstore staff, and anyone who suggests books to readers takes it personally when someone doesn't love a book the way we think they should. It's not personal. It's proof that reading is a mystery, and people are a mystery. And a little mystery is necessary in life, let's face it.