Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Damsels Kick Butt

Not long ago I mentioned I had started reading the suspense series by Lee Child. At that time, I’d read two and had decided to go back and start the series from the beginning. I read them out of order because one title had been recommended and I picked out another based on the cover blurb. I needed two books to take on a trip. But I enjoyed those two so much I decided to read all in the Jack Reacher series.

At this point, I’ve now read two others – the first two. I’m still enjoying the series and feel like I’m learning a lot. One thing that has really struck me is how much description and explanation there is in each book. I had thought that in order for a book to be suspenseful, you had to keep it moving. Fast. Clip, clip, clip. So, it’s been educational for me to discover that Child can spend so much time on details without losing my interest. I keep turning pages and covering up the last lines in a chapter so I’m not tempted to glance ahead.

It’s also interesting how Reacher (and Child) treats the women in the books. They tend to be strong women, either physically or mentally or both. They are actively involved in the story, but, of course, Reacher remains the protagonist. Reacher, so far, is always attracted to the female lead, but whether he will hook up with her varies from book to book. Without a doubt, though, you, the reader, sense the relationship will not be permanent. That’s not in the character’s personality. And in what I’ve read so far, Reacher is true to character. Speaking as a woman, it’s nice to see a male protagonist suspense/thriller book in which the female lead is not some weak ditzy damsel in distress.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. I’m going to take a break, though, and read a nonfiction book, just so the Reacher plots don’t begin to blend together since I’m sort of blowing through them.

I have to stop today, though, at the end of chapter two in Bob Woodward’s State of Denial. I promised myself I’d do some work on my other job, Legends In Our Own Minds. Plus, I need to clean house today. Bleh. Talk about damsel in distress.

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