New format time! I’m revamping the Shameful Book Club starting this month to make it simpler and less time consuming in order for me to try to maintain it while in school. July’s genre is and will always be CRIME!! If you’ve seen Spike Lee’s masterpiece Do The Right Thing, you know the heat can bring out all the bad behavior and angry feelings even in the best of us. And if you haven’t seen Do The Right Thing you absolutely should, because it’s unfortunately very very relevant. And if you have seen it, rewatch it.
In honor of my move to Pittsburgh and my deep love of the Jack Reacher movie starring Tom Cruise (to all Reacher fans’ dismay), I thought I would start in on the beloved series by Lee Child with Killing Floor. This is not the book the movie was based on (that was One Shot), and Reacher is not actually in Pittsburgh for this story, but I enjoy making loose connections!
I got this one on Audible so I could listen while I packed, and I will say that the reader Dick Hill was amazing! Props to you, guy! He had great voices for everyone and did a very good job at catching Reacher’s sly sense of humor.
Overall I felt that this book was kind of bland. The plot revolved around a counterfeiting ring based in a small, idyllic Georgia town. I personally find counterfeit money boring as hell, but this was in the late ’90s so maybe it was more of a scandal back then. The antagonists were built up as an old money family with a history of severe violence and cruelty, and while the acts they perpetrated were in fact horrifying, they were almost comic book joke-like. I felt like the antagonists were incredibly weak characters, so all of their actions felt extreme and over the top. I was not scared of them for even a second. This feeling of mine extended to other characters as well, especially Officer Roscoe, the token female (eyes roll so hard). She was not well developed, and she fell for Reacher really quickly. I understand that this is a trope of these kinds of books, but I felt annoyed that she didn’t have more to do. She wasn’t even a good cop. She wasn’t bad, but (like the book) just very bland.
The characters I did enjoy were Detective Finlay and Jack Reacher himself. Finlay was also a bit of a bubble head, but he had an interesting back story and was fairly capable as a cop. Reacher was definitely a lot of fun. He’s a complex character, and I really liked his constant smirk. The book did a pretty good job at setting him up, explaining his past and family, and really showing who he was as a person and what he was capable of. I’m hoping he will only become increasingly complex as the series continues, and fingers crossed that complexity leaks out to the enemies and lovers as well.
And I’m not going to lie, I totally missed why the book is called Killing Floor. I was expecting some kind of Texas Chainsaw Massacre explanation of violence, and maybe their was one, but I never noticed it.
Now for the big question: do I think Tom Cruise makes a good Reacher? In short, yes. Long-time fans of the series were up in arms when Cruise was cast because he doesn’t look like Reacher. And he doesn’t. He’s almost the physical opposite. Reacher is tall, blond and big. Not Tom Cruise. But why Cruise nails Reacher is not because of looks; it’s that sly smirk I keep talking about. The easy confidence and sense of humor that is so characteristic of Reacher is perfectly emitted by Cruise. That slow smile and tip of the head–it’s perfect! Cruise might be a bit too polished, but I’m only judging from book one. Maybe Reacher cleans up a bit over the next dozen books.
If you’ve read this series or this book, I’d love to know what you think about it. And how do you feel about Tom Cruise as Reacher? I actually own the next three books in the series because my boyfriend grabbed them at a warehouse sale, so I will at least be reading through to that point. And a second movie is in the works. You better believe I’ll be showing up!
August is for adventures, and this August’s adventure will be Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. I also got this one on audiobook, and guess what? Fricken Tim Curry is narrating! I’m loving it! I had a long drive to Pittsburgh, and this definitely kept me company. Who has read this classic sci/fi adventure? What are your thoughts? Have you seen the classic film starring Brenda Fraser JUST KIDDING I mean starring James Mason, Patt Boone, and Arlene Dahl? How does the book compare?
If adventure novels don’t excite you, September’s genre is classics. I have one queued up that is amazingly embarrassing for me to admit that I haven’t read yet, mostly because I very recently exclaimed publicly on Facebook that I had in fact read this upcoming book. But I have not. Case and point.