Jack Reacher and short fiction

I’ve just finished listening to Lee Child’s Three More Jack Reacher Novellas: Too Much Time, Small Wars, Not a Drill and Bonus Jack Reacher Stories.

I’m a longtime fan of the Jack Reacher series. Jack Reacher, along with Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, is one of my favorite characters in crime fiction.

I have sometimes felt, though, that full-length Jack Reacher novels have a tendency to become a bit repetitive. There are (sometimes) a few too many reversals and fight scenes, as if Lee Child is padding out the story.

And that may very well be the case. Authors in traditional publishing are required to write novels to a certain length, usually within a tolerance of a few thousand words. This is a result of the pricing and distribution scheme that has become part of the traditional publishing business model.

Jack Reacher stories are far more fast-paced (and much less repetitive) in the shorter format of the novella/short story. The tales in this collection contain no fluff, no wasted words, or excessive, looping plot circles. If you’re already a Jack Reacher fan, you’ll love this collection. If you’re new to Jack Reacher, this might be a good place to start.

At present, this collection seems to be audio-only. I’m not sure why that is. Dick Hill does a decent job on the narration, but—for me, at least—Scott Brick remains the gold standard of audiobook narrators.

Anyway, if you like audiobooks and crime stories, you might want to check this one out.

**As I have noted before, I listen to a lot of audiobooks during the summer lawn-mowing season. Nothing breaks up the monotony of yard work like an audiobook. I listen to audiobooks that I’ve downloaded onto my phone, via my 3M WorkTunes headset.

I personally recommend this hearing protector headset for anyone, as it syncs easily with my iPhone, and provides great hearing protection. (Also, you can get it on Amazon.)