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The Enemy: Library Edition (Jack Reacher) Preloaded Digital Audio Player – Unabridged, July 1, 2009
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Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier's son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army's brightest stars. But in every cop's life there is a turning point. One case. One messy, tangled case that can shatter a career. Turn a lawman into a renegade. And make him question words like honor, valor, and duty. For Jack Reacher, this is that case. New Year's Day, 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down. The world is changing. And in a North Carolina âhot-sheetsâ motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Jack Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. But this situation can't be controlled. Within hours the general's wife is murdered hundreds of miles away. Then the dominoes really start to fall. Two Special Forces soldiers - the toughest of the tough - are taken down, one at a time. Top military commanders are moved from place to place in a bizarre game of chess. And somewhere inside the vast worldwide fortress that is the U. S. Army, Jack Reacher - an ordinarily untouchable investigator for the 110th Special Unit - is being set up as a fall guy with the worst enemies a man can have. But Reacher won't quit. He's fighting a new kind of war. And he's taking a young female lieutenant with him on a deadly hunt that leads them from the ragged edges of a rural army post to the winding streets of Paris to a confrontation with an enemy he didn't know he had. With his French-born mother dying - and divulging to her son one last, stunning secret - Reacher is forced to question everything he once believed. . . about his family, his career, his loyalties - and himself. Because this soldier's son is on his way into the darkness, where he finds a tangled drama of desperate desires and violent death - and a conspiracy more chilling, ingenious, and treacherous than anyone could have guessed.
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- Publisher : Brilliance Audio Lib Edn; Unabridged edition (July 1, 2009)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1615455388
- ISBN-13 : 978-1615455386
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.75 x 1.25 x 8 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
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I have often wondered why, with all the money that Lee Child must have brought in from his writing, he can’t seem to afford a staff who will proofread and correct the many mistakes throughout his books. Same goes for his publisher.
I held onto hope with each successive book that he might learn something about writing and make his books easier to read. I hoped, with the addition of his brother on the last couple, that the books would improve but seemed to get only worse. Sometimes, 2 whole pages of back-and-forth banter are written with nothing to occasionally let you know who is speaking, so multiple readings may be needed at times to sort it out. I think almost all, if not all, of the pages have sentences with commas where none are needed, periods where commas are needed, clauses used as sentences, and a new paragraph starting from a clause that belongs in the previous sentence of the preceding paragraph. As I said, hard to read if you understand basic sentence structure.
There are often times where I wish Lee had done one iota of research to get facts right. I refer to passages in the stories where it was apparent that Lee Child had no experience or knowledge; I guess, more or less, the writing is off the top of his head.
Some problems are:
1: He thinks the flashing emergency lights of vehicles in the western states are the same as in much of the New England states (blue on fire trucks and red on police).
2: He didn’t know what the average shoe size in America is actually 10 ½ (stating it as 9)
3: He thinks a large man like Jack Reacher would have what Lee evidently thinks of as a large foot size of 11, instead of something closer to 14 or 15 (I am 6’1” and wear a 13.) I assume Lee has a small foot.
4: Lee has never been near a fast-moving train, thinking there is violent ground movement when the train is even over a mile away and hurricane force winds near one traveling 60 mph.
5: He seems to think that all gas stations and quick marts sell khaki pants and various shirts, packs of socks, and underwear.
6: Jack Reacher can knock anyone unconscious and very often dead with one punch. I can remember only a couple times when it took two.
7: He thinks face bones will “shatter” from a Jack Reacher punch and can knock out a gorilla or even an elephant. Jack also never has injuries to his hand or elbow from such amazing blows.
8: Jack Reacher’s hands are said to be as large as a dinner plate and his fists as large as Thanksgiving turkeys…really?
Yes, his books are hard to read for these and other reasons caused by lack of oversight by his publisher and lack of staff. Please, I hope never to find out he has a staff that lets this stuff through. Good storyteller, other than the lack of research on details and no idea as to sentence/paragraph structure..
Rating would be five for the story.
Won't buy future books
Here's the tree:
ONE--The first book outlines the future books
in crude form. Everyhing is in Killing Floor, good and bad,
the corny as well as perfect plots, the terrific and flaccid
prose, the cliched and profound characters, the gripping as well as tedious action sequences. It's a test, and it's such
a mess at times that it is "out" of the series. Except that it's
where Joe dies. Aside from that, it's "for fans only".
TWO--Die Trying is actually the first book, a well-connected
triumph of the elemnts that distinguish the best of the series.
Spooky, weird, hideous, tender, and extremely powerful, for ex the cave and tunnel sequence. It succeeds everywhere Killing Floor either fails, muddles or flies apart. The first of the truly creepy villians. Now he's cooking.
THREE--Tripwire, the grand slam homerun, the royal flush, the best of the series and one of the most stunning thrillers ever written. This is greatness! Conrad, Poe, Wells, Verne level.
It's a perfect book. Everything works. Scary as hell. Beautifully written, brilliantly constructed. Completely outrageous while utterly convincing. Empathy, sympathy, the whole bit. It's all there and it shines like a gem. Plot is enthralling. Bashed out of the park. "Third time's a charm."
FOUR-- So, how do you top it? Answer, you don't. You do something competely different, and that's Running Blind, the
strangest of the bunch by far, so bizarre it stretches your mind until you think it will snap and the book will suck. But
it doesn't happen; in fact it's one of the very good ones, but not great like Tripwire. Doesn't have the range. It's a meditation, a study, and it's the most haunting as well as most suspenseful of the bunch. Focussed. But just not enough of all the sweeping energy
you know he's capable of after Tripwire's ferocity. It's not as "large". Very beautiful, though.
FIVE--Finally, he just frigging blows it. Echo Burning. Even the title is cliched. This is the crash. A "job". This hack book sucks so bad that I thought it might be intentional. Maybe he wants us to think he's human. Whatever, now we know he's normal, and in a way it does make him more interesting. Now you know how terrible he can be. It's a mess. So bad I couldn't finish, couldn't cross the finish line of the last 50 or so pages. I could just barely skip read the rest like Evelyn Woods. Torture. It is as horrible in every way as Tripwire is spectacular. "The Bottom."
SIX--He surfaces and grabs some air and it feels good, but we're still having some problems with oxygen: plot, morality, sketchily drawn
characters and an ending that is a let down. However, Without Fail also has some of the very best writing Child has ever done. And M.E. Froelich is well done, however "small". her death is quite beautifully done. Much of what we're let down from. One of the best atmospheric passages ever towards the end; finely tuned and paced; the descriptions are perfectly exquisite. He makes up in Wyoming for what he does to us in Texas. Without Fail is like a convalescence, the author "coming to", with flashes of unprecedented genius, but overall weakness and a choppy, sloppy finish.
SEVEN-- Holy Toledo! 'Thar she blows!' The mighty writer is completely out of the water and fully back in his form and then some. WOW! "Persuader" is exactly that. Now we are treated to the best since Tripwire, and even better fight scenes, in fact the best in the business. The plot is really good, the suspense is high, the characters sympathetic
and well drawn, and the hero is so freaking brilliant that you're shocked. This is why we read Lee Child, this and Tripwire. The setting in Maine, the house, the ocean! The fight with the goon in the driveway! The villian, so human, so odd...
EIGHT--- Again, how to follow such terrific books? Again a departure, and a meditation. The Enemy has the best portrait of the hero, and that's the point. So, the book is restricted somewhat, not unlike Running Blind, a study, but it surpasses R.B. because the writer is better, so the artist can't hold the portrait together. The frame just blows apart fantastically, and it's got the best ending by far of all the series. Breathtaking. And some of the most convincing writing in the face of the outlandish plot. That's a very hard trick to pull off. Child's a genius. A close third place after Persuader.
So now I sit tight for my large print One Shot. The tree is tall. I'm confident One Shot will be up there. Child will
never suck again. That "tree" is the true sign of a great writer.
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Having said all that, and happily admitting I will continue to look forward to and read Reacher's adventures in order and will recommend them to other avid readers, I do so wish I could have introduced Lee Childs to punctuation such as commas and semi colons and conjunctions; anything other than the constant short sharp sentences. I find the staccato style of writing, e.g. " The night was dark. It had been raining. The ground was wet. It was cold." just so distracting and irritating that I started filling bits in myself!
Many writers also have what you might call signature phrases that appear so regularly you find yourself beginning to count them, but it would be impossible to keep tabs on all the 'I/he/she said nothing's and the I/he/she shrugged'. I visualise a society of people ignoring each other and heaving their shoulders up and down repetitively!😂
Ok, rant from the grammar police over and meant with tongue in cheek and still full of admiration for the stories themselves.
This is more of a whodunnit than many of the other books and it was all the better for doing so. Reacher's self confidence is a large part of his appeal and this tale did not disappoint in that but it was nice to learn of mistakes and miscalculations. Scenes of his personal life were a nice inclusion too.
Of course there were some parts that are always present; coffee, getting frisky, fight scene and a grand finale but it wouldn't be a proper Reacher book without all that.
I bought "Never Go Back" with "Killing Floor" at half price almost on a whim. I started with "Killing Floor" and am currently on "The Affair" having bought every one of the series and have pre ordered anything not yet in print.
Why? I found that the character was so believable AND readable plus in each of the books I found Lee Child had inserted and described in such absorbing detail, small almost irrelevancies that were as good to read as the main storyline that they became, not just fillers as other authors insert, but real and very readable. I can't praise the series enough - each and every book has really brought back my love of reading - "Thank you", Lee Child - brilliant!!