Customer Reviews


472 Reviews
5 star:
 (233)
4 star:
 (117)
3 star:
 (63)
2 star:
 (41)
1 star:
 (18)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher - you get what you expect, but its always highly entertaining
Lee had a successful career as a British television executive, until he was fired in one of the routine shake-ups that beset that industry, and headed off to America to write. Jack Reacher was the result. An ex military cop, who worked his way up through the ranks until he commanded a special operations unit. Now retired, the habits of a lifetime die hard. Rootless,...
Published on 10 May 2010 by A Common Reader

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puerile tripe
I managed to get half way through this before getting so fed up with it that I came on here to read some reviews to see if it was just me. After seeing some of the comments I then managed to finish it out of sheer pig-headedness, I wanted to see if the end was as bad as people say it is.

Make no mistake, they are right - if you manage to plough your way through...
Published 9 months ago by David P


‹ Previous | 1 248 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puerile tripe, 14 Jan 2014
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I managed to get half way through this before getting so fed up with it that I came on here to read some reviews to see if it was just me. After seeing some of the comments I then managed to finish it out of sheer pig-headedness, I wanted to see if the end was as bad as people say it is.

Make no mistake, they are right - if you manage to plough your way through the boring turgid mess that constitutes a plot here, you will be rewarded with experiencing one of the most awful, childish, contrived, grotesquely unbelievable piles of drivel that has ever made it in to mainstream print. It is hard to describe just how abominably terrible it is. I think Lee Child must have caught his publisher on their way to an urgent appointment and said "Oh, I've got another book ready for you" - "Ah, right, gotta go, I'm sure it's fine, put it in the print pile over there". There is no way a publisher read this and approved it.

I'm a big fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher creation, but the standard here of storyline and technical detail is so far below the norm that I am convinced that he was at least helped by another writer, if indeed the whole thing wasn't put out to a very poor ghost writer. I could quite easily believe that a small child came up with the idea for the story. Or his dog. But that is probably an insult to the novel writing abilities of the average canine.

If you like the Reacher books, then it's still worth reading just to see how bad a really bad book can be. But it is not in the same league as the earlier books. Or any books come to that. You have been warned, it's dire.

SPOILER ALERT

Just some of the nonsense details that the whole story hinges on (and therefore falls apart on):

What is the fascination with this irritating flaming countdown? Countdown to what? Answer - Nothing. There is no deadline or event that anyone in the story is aware of, so it's complete nonsense. The only person who knows when the deadline is coming is the author. Every single book ever written might as well end every chapter with "58 pages read. 124 pages to go".

The siren going off at the local jail means ALL the police have to turn out and take up assigned stations, leaving everything - EVERYTHING - else they are doing. They can't fail to show up, because there will be (sharp intake of breath) roll calls and an audit, and there is a legal contract! Defending a key witness against a known assassin threat is no excuse. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C

Why put a fuel tank hundreds of feet underground? You'd never be able to pump the stuff up again - not with a simple fuel truck suction pump anyway. There are plenty of buildings it could be concealed in. For me this is very reminiscent of one of the key plot holes in Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, where the emergency shut-off for the seriously overheating computer has been installed at the bottom of the pit housing the computer, thus forcing anyone wishing to use the switch to climb down through the computer-come-furnace. If only they'd run a cable up to a desk in the office...

Why could they manage to drill down hundreds of feet through all sorts of rock, but then only manage to dig out chambers with 5 feet of headroom? Which is very conveniently just enough room to allow the diminutive but "perfectly proportioned" 4-foot-something bad guy to run about unimpeded.

Why can't Reacher then move about in this restricted area in any manner other than shuffling about on his bottom? He's quite big, not a 15 foot high giant troll. I can walk about bent over a little bit without my legs hurting so much I have to sit down, I wonder why he can't? Does he have bad arthritis that we haven't been told about?

It doesn't matter how tough or fit or ruthless you are, if someone built like Reacher repeatedly punches you in the head as hard as he can, and then repeatedly slams your head in to a concrete floor as hard as he can, you are going to succumb. You can't ignore it and just carry on fighting regardless simply because you're clearly a bit miffed.

Can the people in the town really be so thick that they never realised that the straight 2 mile long, really wide road just outside town is a runway?

Why is the cold such a terrible handicap in this town? Where are they, the North Pole? People in the US seemed to cope very well with -20, -30, -40 in their cold snap they had just now by simply putting a hat and an extra scarf on.

How is a south american drug lord able to fly a 737 through US airspace and land it on an unknown airstrip without anyone noticing or batting an eyelid?

How does a 2 mile long runway cleared of snow days ago then remain clear through subsequent storms?

Someone should tell airports around the world that they are wasting their money on all these landing lights and the electric bills for them. All they need is a traffic-incident flare at each corner of the runway. They can be seen for miles through snow storms and burn for hours, apparently.

How could a bit of jet fuel burning, or even exploding, hundreds of feet underground create a flame that reached a thousand feet up? Or melt snow on the ground for 2 miles in every direction? A small nuclear explosion would have trouble with that.

You can't suspend belief and immerse yourself in the story, as you might with well written tales of the supernatural or magic or aliens, because it is all just so terribly silly. Nothing happens the way it would, nobody reacts the way they would.

It is all very well saying some or even all of these jarring incongruences are explained, but that is not the point. Nobody has any trouble engaging in fantasy when it is well written, but the more mundane every-day stuff has to be plausible, or the illusion is shattered. A superb example of this can be seen in the latest hobbit film. Believing in all the dwarves and elves and hobbits and a talking treasure-hoarding dragon is no problem at all, but when Thorin takes a ride in a wheelbarrow floating in a trough of molten gold, you just think "That's daft" and the whole illusion is, as I said, shattered. It's the same throughout this book, in spades. "How can I make it harder for Reacher in a fight? I know, I'll put him in a room with a low ceiling where he can't stand up, and I'll make the bad guy really strong but really short. Hmmmm, why is the ceiling low? I know - the rock above and below this 5-foot seam of conveniently softer rock is a bit too hard to dig out". It's all just hyper-contrived, and daft.

And the final insult comes when you are then expected to buy the next book to find out how Jack finally survived the utterly preposterous catastrophic end to this dreadful tale. I will not be indulging.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher - you get what you expect, but its always highly entertaining, 10 May 2010
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Lee had a successful career as a British television executive, until he was fired in one of the routine shake-ups that beset that industry, and headed off to America to write. Jack Reacher was the result. An ex military cop, who worked his way up through the ranks until he commanded a special operations unit. Now retired, the habits of a lifetime die hard. Rootless, and liking it that way, Reacher travels America, taking short-term contract work where he finds it - and usually ending up in the middle of a serious criminal conspiracy along the way.

Reacher, the ultimate good-guy has this habit of getting involved. He checks things out and finds them not quite right. His trained, logical mind works out connections nobody else sees, and his unique insights into human motivation raise suspicions in his mind about the otherwise unquestionably pure and honourable folks around him.

61 Hours opens with Reacher riding a bus through an ice-storm in South Dakota, when the driver crashes into a ditch, leaving the passengers stranded for a few days in a small town that depends for its survival on servicing a brand-new correctional facility a few miles out on the prairie. Things are not quite right. The police are locked into a service contract which requires every last officer to rush to the perimeter of the prison within ten minutes of a riot or escape alarm sounding.

These sporadic evacuations of the law from the town provides an ideal opportunity for serious criminal behaviour, especially when not too far away there is an abandoned air force installation (with a network of tunnels ideal for storage purposes), which happens to be occupied by a gang of bikers.

I'm not quite sure how Reacher, who travels light, manages to gain the trust of the struggling senior police officers but he seems to have the connections to get information hidden from the locals and soon all hopes depend on him - or do they? Maybe not all the officers are batting for the same side.

Its important to pay attention when reading Lee Child. He scatters clues along the way. Sometimes you realise that things don't quite add up. Other times a new revelation has you scampering back through the pages to check a clue you missed earlier. Reacher's powers of analysis equal those of Sherlock Holmes, and he is a master of predicting likelihood and calculating probability, always getting as far as he can get but often still finding that the evidence was not quite complete enough to avoid trouble - and then his other more physical attributes come into play.

I read a lot of books. Most are fairly serious, but I relax with Lee Child and also Gerald Seymour - who like Lee Child, came from the world of British television. Nobody would claim that their books are great literature or that they will become classics. But for sheer page-turning entertainment they are hard to beat.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely tense, 20 Mar 2010
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
61 Hours is a good, solid Jack Reacher novel. It's not one of the all time greats, but it's very far from being the worst either. It has momentum and unexpected twists and the tension builds slowly but steadily to a gripping ending. Lee Child seems to have taken on board some of the criticisms lobbied at his recent books. Reacher doesn't display unbelievable deductive powers, he doesn't bed any women in improbable circumstances and he doesn't always get things right.

The book is set in freezing South Dakota in the middle of a snowstorm. Reacher has hitched a ride on a bus tour of senior citizens. When the bus crashes, he finds himself in Bolton, the location for a recently built prison and headquarters for a gang of meth dealers. A drug dealer is in prison, facing trial, and the key witness is under police protection. The deputy chief of police asks Reacher to help him figure out what's going on and to keep the witness safe. From the book's outset we are counting down 61 hours to a major event, although it is some time before it becomes clear what that will be.

One of the things I particularly liked was the way that we learn more about Reacher's army background, personal history and appearance than we have to date. He develops a relationship that is his most honest and open in a long time. As usual, he is able to see things and reach conclusions that the local police can't. In the words of one character, he's "the sort of guy who sees things five seconds before the rest of the world."

Readers should be aware that this is the first Lee Child book that is not entirely self-contained. It ends with a cliff hanger and the words "to be continued". If you don't want a six month gap between installments, you may choose to wait to read this closer to the release date of the next book in September.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 61 Hours too long!, 21 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love Jack Reacher and have read all his adventures and escapades that Lee Child has masterfully written. It therefore pains me to say that this is a poor book by Lee Child's standards. Tedious to read and with a stupendously unreal ending which, even by Jack Reacher standards, beggars belief! The publisher even has the audacity to suggest to the reader that they buy the next book ("Worth dying for") to find out how Jack escaped the truly unbelievable ending (by the way, "Worth dying for" is worth reading but you do not need to read the drivel that is "61 Hours" to enjoy it). I understand that Lee Child has written a third novel in an arc which begins with "61 Hours", then "Worth Dying For", called "A Wanted Man" which, based on the improvement made between the first of this mini trilogy and the second book, should hopefully be an absolute corker and make the effort of reading the turgid opener of "61 Hours" worthwhile.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee and Jack back to their very, very best., 24 Mar 2010
By 
L. Kernan "LTJ" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This has been a saviour for me for the Reacher series. I was getting slightly worried as Lee's books were becoming merely good books, with outstanding moments, rather than the norm - which was outstanding books with magnificent, heartpounding, pulse-racing moments.

I do genuinely believe that Lee has taken the criticisms and concerns that Reacher fans had, absorbed them, looked at Reacher's character and decided to go back to focusing on Reacher the character and man, instead of his near superhuman feats.

This was a totally stripped down Reacher, being unmanned by something even more fierce. The cold. This really was another dimension to the story, and could even be argued to be a main character, just as the heat is in Echo Burning. The description of the snow and ice was excellent, and was as good as anything that even the great Alistair McLean managed (which is a feat in itself!)

The countdown device at the end of each chapter - in most other authors hands - could have been hackneyed and tedious. In Child's hands (keys?) it's ridiculously exciting and builds the tension superbly.

Only when I did I get to the end of the book did I realise that there was barely any of the usual byzantine complex plot, or the usual crunching action scenes. And it was all the better for it.

Lee is back and has written one of his best books. Which makes it one of the best thrillers ever.

As Reacher's sit-rep says for his Unarmed Combat capabilities; Beyond Outstanding.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, from a writer who can and has done better, 7 Jun 2011
By 
Anton Gourman (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review will follow the vein of many others. I am a fan of Lee Child and his writing. It's light, effortless and blends great action, mystery and a hero who you cheer for and want to win. He is a superman who travels the land, and because of Lee Child's talent, that becomes hugely enjoyable. There are plenty of writers who attempt to do the same but fail. I've read every single Lee Child book to date, but the last two (this one and the previous one about the Afghan terrorists) have been a deviation from Mr. Child's usual strength.

When I read mysteries, I like to maintain a naive mindset - it makes the reading much more enjoyable for me. I like to figure out the mystery together with the protagonist, to be surprised and finally go "aaah, it was there all along". In this book, the secret hired killer is so clearly telegraphed that I figured it out mid-book. I thought that the ending was clever, putting Reacher in a situation where he cannot use all of his natural advantages. However, it is handled poorly, and doesn't actually present any hindrance to Reacher in the end. Then, as others have written, the book ends with a massive cliffhanger. I haven't read the next book (waiting until the cheapest pocket), but I am weary of another slightly lazy instalment with an unbeatable hero who made it out with nothing but bruises and goes through the same cycle again and again.

Maybe it's time for Lee Child to either take a hiatus from Jack Reacher or retire or maybe even kill him in a blaze of glory. I'm sure that there are stories that Mr. Child could tell us, and we're keen to hear them, but I, as probably most of you, don't like being milked for my money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unforgivable ending, 9 April 2011
Unlike some of the other two star reviews, I actually enjoyed this book. It was my first Lee Child novel and I shall read more of them. But. The manner in which the story ended was an absolute disgrace and should never have been allowed. What a con. I will not be buying the 'Worth Dying For' as a matter of principle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, very interesting., 1 April 2010
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
As expected loads of reviews on here already with the "Star graph" very much weighted towards the 5 star review. So "Oi'll give it four"

Why not 5?

It's not up there with the best in the series but it is a decent enough book and it is possible to read in one, long session or in my case train journey. I have to say that in common with some of the more negative reviews I believe that the Reacher series was and perhaps still is in danger of petering out as the situations our hero finds himself in become more artificial, convoluted and too darn coincidental.

But that is the nature of the beast in this sort of action novel isn't it?

Yes it is and to be fair it is only Lee Child's brilliance (and I don't use the word lightly) as a thriller writer that keeps you turning the pages because even although you suspend disbelief rather more than you might with other authors (my favourites being Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben and Robert Crais) you still want to know what happens next and before you know it you are finished this book and desperately waiting for the next one in the series to come along.

So with the proviso that the next Reacher novel hits the shelves PDQ, I would only hope that after that Mr Child turns to another protagonist in future to reinvigorate himself. If his publisher will let him... or if he wants to...or do both!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor show, 15 Nov 2010
This is not a good book. It is boring, with the most absurd, ridiculous plot, empty chapters, nothing happening and a monotonous countdown at the end of every chapter that tells us '50 hours to go', '48 hours to go', '44 hours to go', '41 hours to go', '38 hours to go', '36 hours to go', '34 hours to go'. Bored? Me too. And countdown to what? Nothing really. The whole plot is wafer thin. The bikers who live on an abandoned military facility, who vacate the place and leave behind a key to a bulding that Reacher just needs to get into. Pretty handy huh?. In the worst and coldest snowstorms ever seen, the bikers clear a wide, perfect 2-mile runway that remains perfect for days so that a plane can later land on it -- I dont think so! And of course Reacher figures out the most unbelievable stuff with the most meagre information leaving all the local cops looking like complete dummies. Its just laughable, really. The author has given Reacher too much power - making him unassailable, omniscient, best at everything. He is therefore not even close to being believable. May as well give him X-ray vision and a cape and be done with it. Apart from anything else, he never changes his shorts for days. Then we have the crazy Latin megalomaniac midget who has his own Boeing 737. I just can't bear to think about this book for a minute longer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Reacher yet., 21 May 2010
Best Reacher yet only wish it didn't leave you with a cliff hanger until October. That's the first time Child's ever done that before. Still an overall outstanding effort by Mr Child, best in years. Looking forward to the rest of the book come next winter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 248 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

61 Hours: (Jack Reacher 14)
£3.32
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews