PDA

View Full Version : I'm Really Starting To Develop A Dislike For Lee Child



gothicangel
07-26-2011, 12:18 PM
Well, he didn't make me a fan with his jibe against literary fiction a few months ago. Then this morning he said this on the BBC?


Women want to be him [Jack Reacher] too. Because he's a capable man.

WTF? :Wha:

I don't think I've ever read a book where I've thought 'I want to be that character.' Never mind, 'I want to be that character because he's a capable man.'

On the contrary actually. I like reading books about wounded heroes, the ones that aren't capable.

The thought of a female reader that fantasizes about being a capable man quite frightens me. :scared:

shaldna
07-26-2011, 01:20 PM
perhaps he meant to say 'capable person' and the 'man' part is irrelevant

scarletpeaches
07-26-2011, 01:24 PM
Lee Child will only be capable of saying something relevant to me when he pulls his head out of his own arse.

Torgo
07-26-2011, 01:29 PM
Well, he didn't make me a fan with his jibe against literary fiction a few months ago. Then this morning he said this on the BBC?



WTF? :Wha:

I don't think I've ever read a book where I've thought 'I want to be that character.' Never mind, 'I want to be that character because he's a capable man.'

On the contrary actually. I like reading books about wounded heroes, the ones that aren't capable.

The thought of a female reader that fantasizes about being a capable man quite frightens me. :scared:
That's got to be a misquote or slip of the tongue, surely? Isn't it part of that 'women want him, men want to be him' trope - so he's saying women want a capable man?

That may well still offend you, of course. As an incapable man it kind of offends and depresses me.

fireluxlou
07-26-2011, 01:38 PM
Isn't Lee Childs a bit up himself anyway? I don't usually take notice of him.

gothicangel
07-26-2011, 01:48 PM
That's got to be a misquote or slip of the tongue, surely? Isn't it part of that 'women want him, men want to be him' trope - so he's saying women want a capable man?

That may well still offend you, of course. As an incapable man it kind of offends and depresses me.

No. He was asked why he was so popular, and then he said he originally thought this, then realised that women actually wanted 'to be him.'

It kind of stunk of 'penis envy' to me.

Torgo
07-26-2011, 02:05 PM
No. He was asked why he was so popular, and then he said he originally thought this, then realised that women actually wanted 'to be him.'

It kind of stunk of 'penis envy' to me.

Oh dear oh dear. What a plonker.

Mr Flibble
07-26-2011, 02:15 PM
Why would I want to be a man, capable or otherwise? I mean, all those dangly bits getting in the way when you sit down and stuff. And seeing as, being me, I'd still fancy men, the smexy time would be quite different...And crap, I'd have a beard. I don't want a beard, or to shave my face every day.




What a plonker.


I think Torgo summed it up quite nicely.

gothicangel
07-26-2011, 02:30 PM
Why would I want to be a man, capable or otherwise? I mean, all those dangly bits getting in the way when you sit down and stuff. And seeing as, being me, I'd still fancy men, the smexy time would be quite different...And crap, I'd have a beard. I don't want a beard, or to shave my face every day.

:roll:

seun
07-26-2011, 02:32 PM
I thought this was going to be about what Child said the other day about literary writers being jealous of genre writers, but this quote is still enough to mark him out as a bit of a prat.

RobJ
07-26-2011, 03:46 PM
Perhaps some women do? Perhaps he thinks that because, as the author, he's had that feedback from his fans? Who knows? Doesn't make him a plonker for saying so.

I've read two of his novels and enjoyed them both. Got a couple more on the shelf ready.

Torgo
07-26-2011, 03:48 PM
Perhaps some women do? Perhaps he thinks that because, as the author, he's had that feedback from his fans? Who knows? Doesn't make him a plonker for saying so.

I've read two of his novels and enjoyed them both. Got a couple more on the shelf ready.

I've read all his novels, enjoyed them immensely (except for the last two), still think he's a plonker.

RobJ
07-26-2011, 03:48 PM
I've read all his novels, enjoyed them immensely (except for the last two), still think he's a plonker.

:D

seun
07-26-2011, 04:05 PM
I read the first couple of pages of one of his books and thought it was total crap.

Broadswordbabe
07-26-2011, 07:04 PM
Apparently he did think 'Men want to be him, women want to be with him...' in fact I believe that was a strapline on one of the books, wasn't it? (Brief derail - I read one book and really didn't want to be with him at all. Jack Reacher is a complete and utter Gary Stu. He's so totally good at everything, so completely cool, women fall over themselves to get into his knicks, and he's still really boring. At least James Bond had a sense of humour. /derail...) anyway now he's realised that women want to be strong and competent too. Possibly without having to be men, even. Gosh, who knew? And here I was thinking all we wanted was to be wimpy and rescuable!

Torgo
07-26-2011, 07:11 PM
I read the first couple of pages of one of his books and thought it was total crap.

I picked one up on holiday and read it guffawing at his hilarious staccato prose style. But actually, it grew on me. For airport thrillers, they are quite varied and often clever in the plotting.

seun
07-26-2011, 07:19 PM
Jack Reacher is a complete and utter Gary Stu. He's so totally good at everything, so completely cool, women fall over themselves to get into his knicks, and he's still really boring.

That was the half the issue that put me off. Reacher is one of the least original characters I've come across - and one of the dullest.


I picked one up on holiday and read it guffawing at his hilarious staccato prose style.

And that was the other half of the issue that put me off. ;)

Jamiekswriter
07-26-2011, 07:32 PM
I wanted to be with Jack Reacher . . .until he became Tom Cruise. Then I was just befuddled. Especially since Reacher's supposed to be 6'5" and Tom Cruise is like 5'5" and Child's response to the (mis)casting was something along the lines of Reacher's size is a metaphor. ORLY? He stopped a bullet with his chest. . . . ::sigh::

I didn't want to *be* Reacher. The man is homeless and can't seem to walk into a town without being arrested or someone trying to kill him.

I love the books. The new one is coming out soon! ::bouncy bouncy:: I think Lee Child's website is pretty keen-o. I don't think I'm going to see the movie until it comes on cable, though.

But yeah reading what Lee Child has said recently doesn't make me want to go out and read more interviews with him.

Ari Meermans
07-26-2011, 07:34 PM
Alrighty, Child's comment brings up the question of who is really writing the Reacher novels. Seriously, the dude doesn't know his own character. Reacher is not capable; he is a killing machine. Oh yeah, he has justice deeply ingrained in him but his method of retribution is over the top. Overkill.

Don't get me wrong, I do love the series—mysterious stranger comes to town, sets everything right, moves on—but I wouldn't want my man to be Reacher, much less be Reacher myself. The dude has a serious hygiene-impairment. That's a deal-killer.

RobJ
07-26-2011, 08:36 PM
Lay off, you lot, damn it! I'm Jack Reacher, and so's my wife!

gothicangel
07-26-2011, 08:48 PM
Apparently he did think 'Men want to be him, women want to be with him...' in fact I believe that was a strapline on one of the books, wasn't it? (Brief derail - I read one book and really didn't want to be with him at all. Jack Reacher is a complete and utter Gary Stu. He's so totally good at everything, so completely cool, women fall over themselves to get into his knicks, and he's still really boring. At least James Bond had a sense of humour. /derail...) anyway now he's realised that women want to be strong and competent too. Possibly without having to be men, even. Gosh, who knew? And here I was thinking all we wanted was to be wimpy and rescuable!

I decided to pop into Waterstones on my lunch-break and read the blurb on some of his books [he'd never taken my fancy before] and this is exactly what I thought.

RobJ
07-26-2011, 08:54 PM
I decided to pop into Waterstones on my lunch-break and read the blurb on some of his books [he'd never taken my fancy before] and this is exactly what I thought.
So you've never actually read any of the books?

shelleyo
07-26-2011, 09:36 PM
Meh, his controversial comments may well just be a way of getting more publicity.

I've never read one of his books, don't know much about him, but I have read about his comments disparaging literary writers and explaining that he could write one of their books in three weeks and sell as many copies of it as they did, but they were jealous of him because they couldn't write his books. (Sounds like a designed-to-ignite-controversy-comment to me.)

I'm a huge Tony Martin fan, and found his column about it (http://thescrivenersfancy.com/scarcely-relevant/2010/05/26/child-abuse.aspx)pretty hilarious.

Shelley

Alpha Echo
07-26-2011, 09:41 PM
That's disappointing. Lee Childs isn't my favorite, but I have enjoyed his books. They're brainless crime novels, IMO. Sometimes you need that. But his attitude is sickening. I hate that.

IceCreamEmpress
07-26-2011, 09:52 PM
Well, I'd like to be immortal like Jack Reacher. The books are fun, but it's completely ridiculous how over-the-top omnicompetent the character is. Compared to Jack Reacher, James Bond and Richard Sharpe are like Inspector Clouseau!

Phaeal
07-26-2011, 09:53 PM
Well, if I were to be a male character, I'd rather be Sam Gamgee. Sorry, Lee.

Torgo
07-26-2011, 10:24 PM
Omnicompetent biffing of goons is kind of fun though. I like 'em.

blacbird
07-26-2011, 10:24 PM
I don't know squat about Lee Child as a person. But a friend gave me one of his books a while back, and I found it so clunky that it bored me to sleep. I've had the same problem with Dean Koontz.

caw

shelleyo
07-26-2011, 10:30 PM
I don't know squat about Lee Child as a person. But a friend gave me one of his books a while back, and I found it so clunky that it bored me to sleep. I've had the same problem with Dean Koontz.

caw

I'm curious if it was an old or new Dean Koontz book.

Shelley

AmsterdamAssassin
07-26-2011, 11:06 PM
Seems like Jim Grant forgot what he wrote when he was Lee Child.

I like the beginning of Killing Floor, which was awesome character building without exposition, but the story became overblown pretty quick. The sequels are a mixed bunch, with interesting bits but also pretty formulaic story-telling. His research is quite good, but the lack of fallibility of his MCs makes the stories predictable.

And the fact that he makes stupid remarks in public/media doesn't do much for his appeal...

gothicangel
07-27-2011, 12:23 AM
I'm a huge Tony Martin fan, and found his column about it (http://thescrivenersfancy.com/scarcely-relevant/2010/05/26/child-abuse.aspx)pretty hilarious.

Shelley

Thanks for that, I belly-laughed [several times.]

And forgot to press play on the DVD. :tongue

mirandashell
07-27-2011, 02:21 AM
Jack Reacharound....... LOL!

aadams73
07-27-2011, 03:31 AM
I'm not nearly as eloquent a speaker as I am a writer, so I'll probably wind up being lambasted for something I say, I'm sure. Often things sound better/cooler/funnier in my head, then they roll on out and... yikes!

One of my best girlfriends is a huge Reacher fan. After meeting Lee Child, she commented about how he was warm, friendly, and listened attentively to each of his fans/readers at the signing she attended. That says a lot more to me than some silly, throwaway comment. For all I know, it sounded much more clever/funnier/cooler in his head.

Anyway, I have no desire to be Jack Reacher, either; none of my clothes would fit! Or my shoes!

gothicangel
07-27-2011, 11:41 AM
One of my best girlfriends is a huge Reacher fan. After meeting Lee Child, she commented about how he was warm, friendly, and listened attentively to each of his fans/readers at the signing she attended. That says a lot more to me than some silly, throwaway comment. For all I know, it sounded much more clever/funnier/cooler in his head.

Most charming people do come across like that. I'm convinced that it was a Freudian slip.

If you haven't read Shelley's link, please do.

scarletpeaches
07-27-2011, 12:05 PM
I don't think this is a silly, throwaway comment at all. Child has a record of being an utter choob.

And charming? I'm sure he is. Charm has nothing to do with whether or not you're a genuine, likeable, trustworthy, un-arseholey person. I know plenty of charming men. It's their charisma that sucks people in, but it's wafer thin, and the arsehole soon shows through.

gothicangel
07-27-2011, 12:08 PM
And charming? I'm sure he is. Charm has nothing to do with whether or not you're a genuine, likeable, trustworthy, un-arseholey person. I know plenty of charming men. It's their charisma that sucks people in, but it's wafer thin, and the arsehole soon shows through.

QFT. :D

Broadswordbabe
07-27-2011, 12:50 PM
Well, if I were to be a male character, I'd rather be Sam Gamgee. Sorry, Lee.

Oh, totally. Sweet, loyal, tough as nails and a hell of a gardener? Actually, even if I wasn't going to be him, I certainly wouldn't mind having him around. <relives early crush on Sam...>:heart:

Broadswordbabe
07-27-2011, 12:51 PM
It's their charisma that sucks people in, but it's wafer thin, and the arsehole soon shows through.

QFT. Also, this has now provided me with a rather disturbing mental image.

Lillie
07-27-2011, 12:55 PM
If I want to be Jack Reacher, Lee Child wants to be Bella Swan.

Old Hack
07-27-2011, 01:35 PM
Well, he didn't make me a fan with his jibe against literary fiction a few months ago. Then this morning he said this on the BBC?



Women want to be him [Jack Reacher] too. Because he's a capable man.

WTF? :Wha:

I don't think I've ever read a book where I've thought 'I want to be that character.' Never mind, 'I want to be that character because he's a capable man.'

On the contrary actually. I like reading books about wounded heroes, the ones that aren't capable.

The thought of a female reader that fantasizes about being a capable man quite frightens me. :scared:

I watched the interview too, and didn't think that Childs was implying that women wanted to be capable men at all. His word-choice was unfortunate, though.


perhaps he meant to say 'capable person' and the 'man' part is irrelevant

That was the impression I got. It was implied that men wanted to be like Reacher and Childs then pointed out that women might want to be like Reacher too, because he's such a capable character. In my opinion Childs did not suggest that women really just want to be men, as the OP implied.


It kind of stunk of 'penis envy' to me.


I'm convinced that it was a Freudian slip.

Gothic, are you currently reading a pop-psychology book from the 1970s? Ha!


Apparently he did think 'Men want to be him, women want to be with him...' in fact I believe that was a strapline on one of the books, wasn't it?

Childs will almost certainly have had no say on that strapline: his publishers will have provided that. Attributing it to him in this way is out of context.


That's disappointing. Lee Childs isn't my favorite, but I have enjoyed his books. They're brainless crime novels, IMO. Sometimes you need that. But his attitude is sickening. I hate that.

I strongly suspect that Gothicangel misunderstood Childs' intentions. You might like to try to watch the interview for yourself before you dismiss him like this.

shaldna
07-27-2011, 02:06 PM
I think 'Choob' has just become my new favourite words.

Scarlett Peaches, expander of vocabularly.

scarletpeaches
07-27-2011, 02:17 PM
I think 'Choob' has just become my new favourite words.

Scarlett Peaches, expander of vocabularly.You're weclome*.

*Anyone who watches Still Game will get that.

gothicangel
07-27-2011, 02:29 PM
I don't think I did misunderstand him. But that's my opinion.

RobJ
07-27-2011, 03:15 PM
I don't think I did misunderstand him. But that's my opinion.
You don't even know how to spell his name. Hint: it's on the front of his books. ;)

Old Hack
07-27-2011, 03:40 PM
I'm concerned that this discussion is turning into a "let's have a go at Lee Child", which isn't on for all sorts of reasons.

I suggest that anyone who is interested in this watches the interview which you should be able to find here on the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12505151) (sorry if the link doesn't work: my connection doesn't allow me to watch BBC's iPlayer), and then you'll be more fully informed.

ETA: I think that link will only work until next week, after which you'll find next week's show.

gothicangel
07-27-2011, 09:42 PM
You don't even know how to spell his name. Hint: it's on the front of his books. ;)

Hint: I've been at work for seven days straight, and starting to suffer sleep deprivation. Spelling is always the first thing to go. :D

Alpha Echo
07-27-2011, 09:50 PM
I strongly suspect that Gothicangel misunderstood Childs' intentions. You might like to try to watch the interview for yourself before you dismiss him like this.

Well, for the record, I wasn't exactly dismissing him. I'll probably still read his books. I know what I'm getting, and sometimes that's exactly the type of book I want to read.

I don't write off any artist's talents based on what he/she may or may not be like in real life.

Bufty
07-27-2011, 10:46 PM
Well, I've read and enjoyed all his books despite not being able to finish the one that started in a tube train in new York. Can't remember what it was called.

But I also thought the last one was going to be a sequel, and it wasn't.

I read them for escapism and that's exactly what he provides. His personal life is of no interest to me.

And his sales figures I saw mentioned some time ago of one every few seconds globally - if true - are scary.

AmsterdamAssassin
07-27-2011, 11:25 PM
One of my best girlfriends is a huge Reacher fan. After meeting Lee Child, she commented about how he was warm, friendly, and listened attentively to each of his fans/readers at the signing she attended. That says a lot more to me than some silly, throwaway comment. For all I know, it sounded much more clever/funnier/cooler in his head.
Does she have big boobs?


I don't think this is a silly, throwaway comment at all. Child has a record of being an utter choob.

And charming? I'm sure he is. Charm has nothing to do with whether or not you're a genuine, likeable, trustworthy, un-arseholey person. I know plenty of charming men. It's their charisma that sucks people in, but it's wafer thin, and the arsehole soon shows through.

Choob? Is that a cross between a cherub and a noob?

Charm is often superficial, but real con men can make it look sincere...

amrose
07-27-2011, 11:36 PM
If I had to pick a male character I wouldn't mind being...

Gentleman Johnny Marcone for the suave and honorable evil. Not an MC though. And I'd only do it if I had a memory wipe and couldn't recall my previous womanhood 'cause trauma.

Phaeal
07-28-2011, 01:24 AM
Oh, totally. Sweet, loyal, tough as nails and a hell of a gardener? Actually, even if I wasn't going to be him, I certainly wouldn't mind having him around. <relives early crush on Sam...>:heart:

Rosie? Rosie, is that you?

If I was going to be a male character in a thriller, it would be Aloysius Pendergast. He does get hurt a lot, but he's got a great apartment at the Dakota, an artifact-packed mansion on Riverside Drive, and a 1959 Silver Wraith.

SirOtter
07-28-2011, 04:29 AM
One of my best girlfriends is a huge Reacher fan. After meeting Lee Child, she commented about how he was warm, friendly, and listened attentively to each of his fans/readers at the signing she attended.

That sounds more like the Lee Child I met and had dinner with (in company of seven or eight others) several years ago. Nice guy. And I've enjoyed the books.

Nya RAyne
07-28-2011, 04:55 AM
I love and have read all of Lee Childs' books and yes, I want to be Jack Reacher, in the sense that I love that he travels from place to place with no ties to hold him down. Every place he visits is another adventure, and a new encounter. In my eyes the man can do no wrong, but he is definitely not a Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher is so much better--that just pisses me off!!

Oh and I'm a woman!!

bearilou
07-28-2011, 05:21 PM
Rosie? Rosie, is that you?

If I was going to be a male character in a thriller, it would be Aloysius Pendergast. He does get hurt a lot, but he's got a great apartment at the Dakota, an artifact-packed mansion on Riverside Drive, and a 1959 Silver Wraith.

:heart: *shares in the Aloysius Pendergast love* :heart:

Phaeal
07-28-2011, 06:14 PM
Yup, Preston and Child are the masters of unabashed pulp trope exploitation. They even managed to lift Count Fosco whole (no mean feat, given his girth) from The Woman in White to Brimstone. :D

Broadswordbabe
07-29-2011, 10:46 AM
Aloysius Pendergast? Who he? (Am I about to get leapt on in horror for not knowing? ;) )

Phaeal
07-29-2011, 06:03 PM
FBI agent extraordinaire at the center of a series of books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (no relation to Lee that I know of.) His adventures begin with Relic and will continue shortly with Cold Vengeance.

blacbird
07-31-2011, 12:04 AM
I want to be Nero Wolfe. Get fat in my opulent brownstone with my very own gourmet chef, grow orchids on the roof, almost never go outdoors and be as smug and arrogant as I like.

Sounds like a plan.

caw

Kitty27
07-31-2011, 01:10 AM
I would like to be Archy McNally. Sharp witted,eats good,and always gets the girls.


I think a lot of people could benefit from advice my tenth grade teacher gave me: Think before you speak. Then think again before you speak. A lot of foolery can be avoided.

Phaeal
08-01-2011, 04:38 PM
I want to be Nero Wolfe. Get fat in my opulent brownstone with my very own gourmet chef, grow orchids on the roof, almost never go outdoors and be as smug and arrogant as I like.

Sounds like a plan.

caw

Pendergast is also a gourmet but whip-thin, and he can eat rat guts at need. Plus he trumps the orchids with bonsai.

Namatu
08-03-2011, 03:05 AM
Pendergast is also a gourmet but whip-thin, and he can eat rat guts at need. Plus he trumps the orchids with bonsai.I'm so behind with Agent Pendergast's adventures. Thanks for the reminder! Now if I can only remember which was the last one I read...

On topic, I don't want to be Jack Reacher. I like having a proper wardrobe, thank you.

Shadow_Ferret
08-04-2011, 03:35 AM
[SIZE=2]I don't think I've ever read a book where I've thought 'I want to be that character.'

Really? Every book I read I become that character. Otherwise I just throw it across the room.

And really, I don't get why all the anger over a silly quote. This is the reason I never read anything about authors I like. I don't care what they think, only about their next book.

gothicangel
08-04-2011, 10:41 AM
Really? Every book I read I become that character. Otherwise I just throw it across the room.



Being a character? When I read a book, I don't 'become' the character [there are plenty of MC's in my favourite books I wouldn't want to become, thank you.] I have empathy for characters, but become them? No.

Shadow_Ferret
08-05-2011, 07:28 AM
Guess we read differently.