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Make Me by Lee Child

Honestly, I don't know what the title means. Not that I am fixated on its inspiration or anything, but like the protagonist's quest into the origins of the name of the town of Mother's Rest, I can't figure out what it implies.

And there ends all my complaints with the story.

Jack Reacher scores again. With much more elegance and style. Or probably, the elegance comes in the prose style of Lee Child. Basically, Reacher is still the hulking, laconic, vagabond do-gooder. The only difference this time round is the way Child has made Reacher a bit more suave.

The plot tends away from a crime thriller - though, as always, it starts as one - and ends in an action thriller genre; but those acquainted with the Reacher series would have, by now, been accustomed to this deviation. Nevertheless, it continues to be a little  bit disconcerting when the solution does not tie up with the rest of the story. Barring the ending (or rather the oh-shit-this-is-the-answer moment), the rest of the story is an excellent mix of good imagery, graphic action sequences, terse dialogues (majorly contributed by Reacher) and nice, well-rounded logical reasoning. For a change though, the side character of Chang turned out to be a real hit. There is no Katniss-level angst in her, but she is a muted Lara Croft. And more importantly, she is a perfect match for Reacher. (SPOILER ALERT: Is Reacher finally in love ??!). The story is set in the middle of nowhere, which adds to the other-worldliness of Reacher.

One of the good things about Child's books are his vivid descriptions of people of all categories. From a pauper to a prince, the physical description of his characters are very detailed. While I cannot brand the entire story as very cinematic, but his characters are far too well-covered to leave much headroom for further imagination (that is probably what happened with the movie; with all due respect to Tom Cruise - who I think is brilliant as Ethan Hunt - he simply wasn't, and can never be, Jack Reacher in my imagination).  With the right castings, Make Me can possibly turn out to be a very good movie.

I have never suppressed my love for Alistar McLean. While story-wise Lee Child appears to have much more to work on in order to catch up with the latter, Reacher can, any given day, give McLean's steely-eyed characters a run for their money. In a world of over-amicable people, always trying to curry favours, Reacher is a refreshing change.  


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