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2010 SKETCHBOOK (60 pages, black/white/tone, print run 100 copies)


Friday, January 03, 2014

Howard Chaykin, Lee Child, Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, and ... I

Howard Chaykin has recommended Jack Reacher books to me. The above statement makes it sound like Howard Chaykin actually knows who I am, but thats not quite true. We are "Facebook friends" and we once in a while exchange messages recommending books to each other. Through this friendly exchange I have discovered Alan Furst, Lee Child, Amor Tower's "Rules of Civility", AND Richard Price (whose "Samaritan" is the best crafted crime fiction book I ever read...thank you Mr. Chaykin!). I am actually pretty amazed at the range of Howard Chaykin's reading interests and his ability to absorb information. I believe my only contribution was recommending Bernard Cornwell, Mary Renault, and Erik Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts". So anyhow, I started picking up Jack Reacher novels at the library, either as regular books or as audio recordings. I think I got through 5 or 6 different books. Some I liked more than others, but on the whole I enjoyed them all. In fact I enjoyed the genre enough to pick-up a few Jesse Stone books as well (and I watched all the Tom Selleck movies based on Jesse Stone character). And just about as I was in the middle of this crime fiction serial book phase, I read that Tom Cruise will be Jack Reacher on the big screen. I don't know who I expected to play Jack Reacher, but it definitely was not Tom Cruise. Jack Reacher (in my mind's eye) was big, ugly, and looked more like Robert Mitchum (with a broken nose). Tom Cruise is trim, compact, and graceful...he looks more like a ballet dancer to me. I did not make it a priority to see "Jack Reacher" when it first came out in the theaters, but just last weekend I saw it at the library and I picked it up. Got to watch it over the holidays, and I have to say Tom Cruise did a great job. In fact I liked the angle that a lot of big guys did not take him seriously because he was shorter. Also this movie definitely tried to underline the fact that in a gun fight, your height is not the deciding factor. This was not a perfect movie, but it was enjoyable and some parts of the novel were perfectly adopted to suit the strengths of film and some were re-written to fit the new medium better. There were one or two scenes that made me "stumble" as a viewer, but over all (just like the books that inspired the movie) I enjoyed the film. I think I would have also enjoyed Howard Chaykin graphic novel adaptation of one of the Child's books :)

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