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The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

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An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide.  Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man.  This rags-to-riches literary a An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide.  Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man.  This rags-to-riches literary and social biography is based principally on disarmingly frank personal conversations and correspondence with the author since 2016 and privileged access to archival materials. It consists almost entirely of original material, and is the nearest thing the world is likely to get to the autobiography he does not intend to write.  There are a handful of great Lee Child/Reacher stories that have been recycled over and over again. They are so good that no one has bothered to look beyond them. This book revisits (and sometimes revises) those irresistible stories, but goes back further and digs deeper. The emphasis on chronology, accuracy and specificity is unprecedented.   The Lee Child origin myth is much loved. But mostly it sees him springing fully formed from the brow of Granada Television. There are glancing references to Aston Villa and the schoolyard, but no one has examined the social and historical detail or looked closely at where Lee really came from: the people, places and period. This is the first time someone has described the Lee Child arc: from peaceful obscurity in the Yorkshire Dales and Upstate New York to cult figure, no. 1 in America, rock star, celebrity and publishing institution through to backlash, the changing zeitgeist, and intimations of retirement. The analysis of the emotional power and significance of Lee’s work in the final chapters—the themes of happiness, addiction, dependency, loneliness, and existential absurdity—and the first-hand retrospective accounts of his life and second-act career are all exclusive to this definitive biography.


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An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide.  Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man.  This rags-to-riches literary a An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide.  Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man.  This rags-to-riches literary and social biography is based principally on disarmingly frank personal conversations and correspondence with the author since 2016 and privileged access to archival materials. It consists almost entirely of original material, and is the nearest thing the world is likely to get to the autobiography he does not intend to write.  There are a handful of great Lee Child/Reacher stories that have been recycled over and over again. They are so good that no one has bothered to look beyond them. This book revisits (and sometimes revises) those irresistible stories, but goes back further and digs deeper. The emphasis on chronology, accuracy and specificity is unprecedented.   The Lee Child origin myth is much loved. But mostly it sees him springing fully formed from the brow of Granada Television. There are glancing references to Aston Villa and the schoolyard, but no one has examined the social and historical detail or looked closely at where Lee really came from: the people, places and period. This is the first time someone has described the Lee Child arc: from peaceful obscurity in the Yorkshire Dales and Upstate New York to cult figure, no. 1 in America, rock star, celebrity and publishing institution through to backlash, the changing zeitgeist, and intimations of retirement. The analysis of the emotional power and significance of Lee’s work in the final chapters—the themes of happiness, addiction, dependency, loneliness, and existential absurdity—and the first-hand retrospective accounts of his life and second-act career are all exclusive to this definitive biography.

30 review for The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Hatton

    As followers of both series probably know, the character of Jack Reacher was based on that of Travis McGee, protagonist of a 21-book series by John D. MacDonald which ran from 1964 to 1984. Well, true up to a point, but that’s hardly the whole story. What we soon learn from this well-researched and well-written biography is that Reacher was just as much, if not more based on the man who created him. The man born James Dover Grant in Coventry, Warwickshire on 29th October 1954. Like his fictional As followers of both series probably know, the character of Jack Reacher was based on that of Travis McGee, protagonist of a 21-book series by John D. MacDonald which ran from 1964 to 1984. Well, true up to a point, but that’s hardly the whole story. What we soon learn from this well-researched and well-written biography is that Reacher was just as much, if not more based on the man who created him. The man born James Dover Grant in Coventry, Warwickshire on 29th October 1954. Like his fictional creation, James (known henceforth as Jim) was a second son, although, unlike Reacher, he would later have two younger brothers. As the book runs through Jim’s earlier life: his childhood, first in Coventry, then Birmingham, his time at Sheffield University (where he met his wife Jane) and his subsequent career at Granada TV, we learn through the recollections of friends, teachers, relatives and colleagues of incidents in Jim’s life which would later, after some degree of embellishment, become incidents in Reacher’s adventures. We are almost two-thirds through the book before we reach the pivotal stage in his life where, as yet another victim of Thatcherite neo-liberalism, Jim is considered “surplus to requirements” at Granada. What to do? The man who’s been an omnivorous book reader all his life decides to write one of his own, spends some of his redundancy money on pencils and paper and then the next nine months at his kitchen table in Kirkby Lonsdale honing his debut novel “Killing Floor”, based around a character who’s also been deemed “surplus to requirements”; this time by the U.S. Army. I suppose I could say the rest is history, but what a fascinating history it is. I can’t think of any other biography where the relationship between a fictional character and his creator is so clearly defined. An absolute must-read for all Reacher fans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    With someone as well known as Lee Child many of you will already feel that you know something about him, with some opinions formed purely on the back of his Jack Reacher novels. Let me tell you now that you don't know Jim Grant, Lee Child, nor Jack Reacher until you read his biography!! Heather, and Lee, have delivered an utterly enthralling read topped off with a fantastic selection of photographs of Jim/Lee, family and friends over the years. Born in Coventry, raised and educated in Birmingham With someone as well known as Lee Child many of you will already feel that you know something about him, with some opinions formed purely on the back of his Jack Reacher novels. Let me tell you now that you don't know Jim Grant, Lee Child, nor Jack Reacher until you read his biography!! Heather, and Lee, have delivered an utterly enthralling read topped off with a fantastic selection of photographs of Jim/Lee, family and friends over the years. Born in Coventry, raised and educated in Birmingham, with Irish and Yorkshire family influencing his childhood, Jim Grant was much like many other kids of his time but it's in these early years that Heather shows us that Jack Reacher was effectively born. There are strong similarities in their characters, and even some of Jim's childhood nicknames would have made Jack smile - "Grievous" being one of them! We see Jim grow up through the eyes of his old school friends, go to university where he met and married his wife, Jane, and then he ends up working in TV as a programme controller for Granada. Faced with redundancy in the late 1990s, Jim decides to give writing a go, and that sees the birth of Reacher with his first novel Killing Floor and the creation of his pen name, Lee Child. There is so much fascinating information in here, including the skill it takes to write a Reacher novel with Lee's short punchy sentence style. There's Shakespeare (a big influence on the young Jim), The Beatles, being a roadie for Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison's parents buying an old family home, and also how America captured Jim's heart through a picture book, and ultimately led to him emigrating there in 1998. I could go on but I won't because I want you to get a copy next week and read it for yourselves. I made a lot of personal connections with this book, partly because I'm biased (and honest 😉) but mainly because I come from the same area that Jim grew up in, and because I used to work down the road from his beloved Aston Villa. I like a lot of the same music that he likes, have a love of cars but not the money to buy them so used to work in the motor trade. These were personal overlaps that just added to my enjoyment but I urge you to read it. You'll be pleasantly surprised and will learn so much more than I can, or am willing, to tell you here. I've already said more than I planned to but I think that you can tell that this fan wasn't disappointed! 🤩🤩

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Before you consider reading this biography of Lee Child, the writing pseudonym for James Dover Grant, and creator of the bestselling “Reacher” novels, you need to be warned. You’ll need to be either a patient reader or one who skims ahead and just focuses on the good parts. For me, I took the longer route and read the entire 500 plus page tome… which brought both frustration and joy. The frustration was that this was an overly long and distracting read, especially for the first 300 pages. The aut Before you consider reading this biography of Lee Child, the writing pseudonym for James Dover Grant, and creator of the bestselling “Reacher” novels, you need to be warned. You’ll need to be either a patient reader or one who skims ahead and just focuses on the good parts. For me, I took the longer route and read the entire 500 plus page tome… which brought both frustration and joy. The frustration was that this was an overly long and distracting read, especially for the first 300 pages. The author, Heather Martin, doesn’t write this as a linear biography in any measure. She jumps around a lot, bouncing from Lee’s grandparents to his parents, to different moments in his life depending on what she wants to emphasize rather than a logical aging perspective. Although this approach is distracting and challenging, I could almost accept it if that were the only problem. However, she makes it worse by writing it as an academic study like a research or thesis paper. The combination of these factors makes the first 300 pages an excruciating read at different points along the way. Although there are some excellent behind the scenes moments of how Lee included his real-life experiences into his writing, those influences are shrouded in a lot of academia literary references… On the other hand, there was a lot of joy in the last 200 pages. The curtain is pulled back and we get a personal peak at the network job firing that drove Lee to try his hand at writing, his plan and motivation to succeed, and his incredible motivation to become one of the world’s bestselling authors. We witness first-hand how his creation of Reacher grew from a fictional hero to becoming a world-wide legend, including the fans rebellion of Tom Cruise portraying him on the big screen and its impact on Lee. I especially appreciated gaining a better understanding of what drove Lee to want to retire and hand over the reigns to his younger brother Andrew. For me, the last 200 pages was a great payoff for getting through the first 300 pages. I only wish that more time and focus would have been spent on Lee’s writing years and publishing activities because that was the true heart of this biography. Overall – I was glad to read this book, but it came with a cost. Even with those frustrations that I described, it was worth it to truly get the chance to understand better from an internal perspective as to how Lee created and grew his success with the Reacher novels. Because of Lee’s participation, the sharing of his publishing phenomenon was told in greater depth and detail than ever before. More important, the enduring qualities of an American fictional hero – Jack Reacher - were explored in a fascinating and illuminating light. It brought home to me of all the many reasons that I love the character of Reacher and the universal heroic qualities that he brings to life. You can either do it the hard way – read the entire book – or the easy way – focus attention on the last 200 pages – it’s your choice. Just pick the approach that works best for you and enjoy it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Sosniecki

    My wife gave up on this book after 30 pages. I labored through the first 182 – up to the first photo insert – and surrendered any hope of finishing. I love the Jack Reacher thrillers, but why does their author deserve a 503-page biography, especially one that wanders all over the place and devotes almost 200 pages to his childhood in England? Lee Child (pen name of Jim Grant) is a talented author of commercial fiction, but he isn’t a Hemingway or a Steinbeck. As any Reacher reader knows, Child/G My wife gave up on this book after 30 pages. I labored through the first 182 – up to the first photo insert – and surrendered any hope of finishing. I love the Jack Reacher thrillers, but why does their author deserve a 503-page biography, especially one that wanders all over the place and devotes almost 200 pages to his childhood in England? Lee Child (pen name of Jim Grant) is a talented author of commercial fiction, but he isn’t a Hemingway or a Steinbeck. As any Reacher reader knows, Child/Grant is a master of short, precise sentences. I counted one sentence of more than 100 words in his biography. Jack Reacher would be embarrassed by the extravagance. The meat of the book starts on Page 345 with Child/Grant, out of work, deciding to write a book. That part was interesting. Then I skipped ahead to his recent retirement and the bequeathing of the Reacher franchise to his younger brother Andrew. I commend the author on her extensive research, but I just didn’t enjoy reading her book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fred Forbes

    Lee Child or rather James Grant (as he was) is one of my favorites with his annual release of a new Jack Reacher novel eagerly awaited. Now that he has "retired", but passing the mantle to his brother and "assisting" in the first one or two raises the question of how long I will continue the series. I find Lee an interesting person and felt a biography to answer the questions like what was behind his firing from the TV firm her worked at for many years, how did he go about writing the first of t Lee Child or rather James Grant (as he was) is one of my favorites with his annual release of a new Jack Reacher novel eagerly awaited. Now that he has "retired", but passing the mantle to his brother and "assisting" in the first one or two raises the question of how long I will continue the series. I find Lee an interesting person and felt a biography to answer the questions like what was behind his firing from the TV firm her worked at for many years, how did he go about writing the first of the Reacher novels, who are the characters based on, why did he elect to move to the U.S. from his native Britain, etc.? How did he and his wife meet, what were his early family and school experiences like? Well, the answers are all in here. However, you need a shovel to dig them out. It seems there is an interesting 200 page work buried in this 503 page tome that is full of digressions, repetitions, really poorly organized material that could have benefited from some significant editing. Really tends to bury the interesting facts in piles of superfluous material. I put the book down several times as it became quite plodding but picked it up a few times until about page 300 when it began to move along somewhat.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kincaid

    Two things make THE REACHER GUY an outstanding literary biography. First, the depth of detail about the man himself. At the heart of the book, as with most authorised biographies, is a series of detailed interviews between Lee Child and Heather Martin that bring the writer vividly to life. The last time I felt quite so convincingly in the subject's presence was when I read Boswell's biography of his friend Dr Johnson... Child's version of his early years is cross-referenced with accounts from fr Two things make THE REACHER GUY an outstanding literary biography. First, the depth of detail about the man himself. At the heart of the book, as with most authorised biographies, is a series of detailed interviews between Lee Child and Heather Martin that bring the writer vividly to life. The last time I felt quite so convincingly in the subject's presence was when I read Boswell's biography of his friend Dr Johnson... Child's version of his early years is cross-referenced with accounts from friends, and the two don't always match. A portrait emerges of a man who is plainspoken and rigorously honest, but also a potent self-mythologiser. Then there's the literature. Lee Child's propulsive style and the landscapes and hero he has created seem quintessentially American. But here we see how far the values of these books are rooted in the formative experiences of someone born and raised to mature adulthood in the English Midlands and North West, in those decades marked by decline in British industry and international influence following WWII. The picture is complete - no one else could've made this particular American hero. There's often a pattern to the biographies of successful artists that's hard to avoid. My feeling is that usually the early chapters are the most interesting, followed by those about the first success. Then there's often a long tail. One huge success after another isn't very dramatic, is often very samey - at least when seen from the outside. That's not true here, partly because Lee Child has chosen a different kind of ending to his career, but also because Heather Martin is too good a storyteller herself. There's no part of this book that isn't full of interesting detail and insight about the subject and his milieu. If you're a Lee Child super fan, you'll get more from this than you bargained for. But so will everyone else.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike Marsbergen

    If you're a writer, read THE REACHER GUY. If you're obsessed with Reacher, read THE REACHER GUY. If you think Lee very well could be a genius in his own right, read THE REACHER GUY. Fitting into all three categories, I decided to read THE REACHER GUY, and it's a captivating book, showing how hard work, sheer necessity, and a keen sense for detail can lead to someone becoming immensely successful and wildly inspirational in the creative world. The research put into Jim Grant/Lee Child's life is magn If you're a writer, read THE REACHER GUY. If you're obsessed with Reacher, read THE REACHER GUY. If you think Lee very well could be a genius in his own right, read THE REACHER GUY. Fitting into all three categories, I decided to read THE REACHER GUY, and it's a captivating book, showing how hard work, sheer necessity, and a keen sense for detail can lead to someone becoming immensely successful and wildly inspirational in the creative world. The research put into Jim Grant/Lee Child's life is magnificent and thorough. As a side note: Today I had the pleasure of watching a live-stream of Lee Child chatting with James Patterson about his Alex Cross book. We were free to ask questions in the chat, and during a time where everyone seemed to asking James Patterson a question, I decided to get over my fear and ask Lee something that's been on my mind: "How would you feel about a parody of Jack Reacher (and Baldacci's John Puller)?" He said he would love it. That Private Eye magazine in the UK has actually done it a little, and that if you believe strongly in your character, you shouldn’t fear a parody. Bring it on, he said. The reason I asked is because I'm writing a comic-mystery novel about exactly that. And one day I hope to have Lee (and maybe even Baldacci) read the first Joseph Tugger novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    Obviously, for Reacher fans only. I hadn't read Lee Child until 2015, when I discovered he would appear at The Rancho Mirage Writers festival, mentioned in this book. I read the first one and spent the year catching up, and have continued to read. I found his early years in post WWII England quite fascinating. It must be particularly interesting to write a biography of someone alive, and the writer seems to have had quite a bit of access to him. The saddest part for me is Lee is retiring and han Obviously, for Reacher fans only. I hadn't read Lee Child until 2015, when I discovered he would appear at The Rancho Mirage Writers festival, mentioned in this book. I read the first one and spent the year catching up, and have continued to read. I found his early years in post WWII England quite fascinating. It must be particularly interesting to write a biography of someone alive, and the writer seems to have had quite a bit of access to him. The saddest part for me is Lee is retiring and handing Reacher to his brother. I am actually waiting for that book from the library, possibly tomorrow. I hope I won't be disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    This one is a must read for any Reacher fan. Now we can add another author to the Reacher universe. We have Lee Child, Scott Blade, Jude Hardin, Diane Capri, Andy Martin, Dan Ames, Heather Martin and now Andrew Child. All those are great contributors to the world of Reacher. This book with the appropriate title The Reacher Guy is a story of how Jim Grant became Lee Child. I have always liked reading about people and since I am a sucker for this character I had to read it and I found it very inte This one is a must read for any Reacher fan. Now we can add another author to the Reacher universe. We have Lee Child, Scott Blade, Jude Hardin, Diane Capri, Andy Martin, Dan Ames, Heather Martin and now Andrew Child. All those are great contributors to the world of Reacher. This book with the appropriate title The Reacher Guy is a story of how Jim Grant became Lee Child. I have always liked reading about people and since I am a sucker for this character I had to read it and I found it very interesting to get to know Reachers father. I strongly recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Blunt

    I've never read a Lee Child novel so my interest in the Author was not from a fan perspective. In fact, this book was being read by my partner - who is a fan - who suggested I read it because of some of the biographical information about the writer that she felt would be of interest to me. Jim Grant/Lee Child describes his upbringing in the English Midlands and his love for Aston Villa Football Club, two things we share in common. In the early chapters I sensed a degree of arrogance and I wasn't I've never read a Lee Child novel so my interest in the Author was not from a fan perspective. In fact, this book was being read by my partner - who is a fan - who suggested I read it because of some of the biographical information about the writer that she felt would be of interest to me. Jim Grant/Lee Child describes his upbringing in the English Midlands and his love for Aston Villa Football Club, two things we share in common. In the early chapters I sensed a degree of arrogance and I wasn't warming to Lee Child/Jim Grant at all. However, I persevered and gradually started to enjoy Heather Martin's biography of a successful author and his writing process, experience and journey toward becoming a bestseller. In the end I became more balanced in my attitude toward the subject. For anyone interested in the writing craft I strongly recommend reading the book. You do not have to be a Jack Reacher reader to get a lot out of it (although I might just pick one up to see what all the fuss is about)!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    An excellent first draft of history - but oddly (necessarily?) lop-sided. Immensely detailed about the author's early years, helpful about the process of getting his first novel into print, but then downright skimpy. The detail's often good and important - after all, it's about the making of Lee Child the author and Jack Reacher, his creation - but almost as often just padding. In one of the more egregious examples: a paragraph that does nothing more than list the synonyms for 'misery' listed in An excellent first draft of history - but oddly (necessarily?) lop-sided. Immensely detailed about the author's early years, helpful about the process of getting his first novel into print, but then downright skimpy. The detail's often good and important - after all, it's about the making of Lee Child the author and Jack Reacher, his creation - but almost as often just padding. In one of the more egregious examples: a paragraph that does nothing more than list the synonyms for 'misery' listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. So there's interest here, and insight, but the book could have been a third shorter with no loss of content.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Woods

    Fascinating to read about how Jim Grant became Lee Child. Downside was that the first half of the book often wandered off subject and as such seemed disjointed. Second half read more like a Jack Reacher novel, which was an obvious bonus.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Have not finished - cannot get into the writer's style - will have to try again at a later date. Have not finished - cannot get into the writer's style - will have to try again at a later date.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    As much as I love "Lee Child" and Jack Reacher, this bio just didn't do it for me. As much as I love "Lee Child" and Jack Reacher, this bio just didn't do it for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Marinovich

    “The Reacher Guy” by Heather Martin is a tale of two epochs in Child’s life: one about his early life and work as a producer for Granada Television in the UK; and the other -- the reason many of us might pick up The Reacher Guy – his authorship of the best-selling Jack Reacher thriller series. For me, the “how he became” that comprises the first half the book is much less interesting than the “what he became.” To Martin’s credit, the Reacher Guy is deeply researched and connects a lot of dots. M “The Reacher Guy” by Heather Martin is a tale of two epochs in Child’s life: one about his early life and work as a producer for Granada Television in the UK; and the other -- the reason many of us might pick up The Reacher Guy – his authorship of the best-selling Jack Reacher thriller series. For me, the “how he became” that comprises the first half the book is much less interesting than the “what he became.” To Martin’s credit, the Reacher Guy is deeply researched and connects a lot of dots. Martin worked closely with Child to paint as detailed a portrait of the author as is likely to be produced. (Child stated he no interest in writing his autobiography, let alone another Reacher novel.) The novel is semi-narrated by Child, intercut throughout with his commentary. Child wrote his final novel, Blue Moon, while Martin was writing her book, and emailed the final paragraph of Blue Moon to Martin when he wrapped. Martin traces multigenerational roots of Child’s family history, walks the streets of his boyhood, and interviews scores of childhood friends, acquaintances, and Granada TV alumni. Young Jim Grant was more than an avid reader – he seems to have inhaled every book in his local library and continues to consume books like popcorn today. While lacking literary coursework, storytelling was baked into his DNA well before he sat down with his famous No. 2 pencil to write his first novel, Killing Floor. By Child’s own account, young Jim Grant was fast with his fists, and the intricate fight scenes he choreographed in his Reacher stories were drawn directly from his youthful skirmishes. From a young age, Child was fascinated by New York City, where he would eventually live and write most of his novels, and America gave him the expansive and diverse geography he would need to imagine 24 Jack Reacher adventures. After he was laid off at Granada, Child charted his own literary coursework and plotted an ambitious career path. Literary agent Darley Anderson immediately recognized Child’s extraordinary gifts in an early draft of Killing Floor and would become his publishing industry soulmate, shepherding both Child’s writing and career to stratospheric heights. Martin shares many fascinating personal insights about Child and reveals that some of his most popular tales were those he told about himself. Getting to the good stuff in The Reacher Guy – Child’s writing career -- was a slog for me. Yes, a good biography should cover the totality of its subject, all the things that contributed to them becoming biography-worthy, but between not-always-necessary background details and Martin’s often florid or academic writing style, it was a trek. Five stars for extra effort.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Minne

    Heather Martin's biography is engaging, comprehensive and so much more. Her biographical storytelling is crafted around correspondence, conversations, original archive material including wonderful photographs and artfully poignant quotations from Lee Child's Reacher books. I love this book with all its historical, social and revealing private and public content. With access to Jim Grant himself, his friends and loved ones and to his private archive material, Heather Martin has written a definit Heather Martin's biography is engaging, comprehensive and so much more. Her biographical storytelling is crafted around correspondence, conversations, original archive material including wonderful photographs and artfully poignant quotations from Lee Child's Reacher books. I love this book with all its historical, social and revealing private and public content. With access to Jim Grant himself, his friends and loved ones and to his private archive material, Heather Martin has written a definitive biography in a style that is readable and meticulous. I am wondering where Reacher's fictional character begins and ends! Jim Grant is an extraordinary man. There is so much humour - Detention Card 1969 'Has paddled his own canoe' And Jim Grant's vulnerable raw honesty can be found throughout this book - 'I was totally unwanted', Lee said 'and disliked' I keep delving back into The Reacher Guy. It is such a good read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Frank Musumici

    Let me be honest. Biographies would not be my first choice of genres to read. But when I saw that someone had written a biography about Lee Child it intrigued me. Since Lee Child is my favorite author and his protagonist one of the best ever to grace fiction with a great quotable motto, “Hope for the best plan for the worse”, I decided to give a chance. Man, did Dr. Martin do a number on me with her meticulous research and detail into who I thought was Lee Child but turned out to be James Dover Let me be honest. Biographies would not be my first choice of genres to read. But when I saw that someone had written a biography about Lee Child it intrigued me. Since Lee Child is my favorite author and his protagonist one of the best ever to grace fiction with a great quotable motto, “Hope for the best plan for the worse”, I decided to give a chance. Man, did Dr. Martin do a number on me with her meticulous research and detail into who I thought was Lee Child but turned out to be James Dover Grant. The very thing that would have turned me away from a biography, reading about someone else’s life, was the very reason she kept me captivated. However, I will still stay away from biographies unless Dr. Martin decides to target another interesting individual.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Having read and thoroughly enjoyed all of the Reacher series including the short stories, I expected more from this biography of Lee Child. Well written, giving a good outline of how Jim Grant became Lee Child. However, I felt the detail of his story was too overdone, and though I now know all there is to know about Jim Grant/Lee Child, I didn't need quite so much information. I wish Jim's brother Andrew Grant every success in his continuation of the Reacher series. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed all of the Reacher series including the short stories, I expected more from this biography of Lee Child. Well written, giving a good outline of how Jim Grant became Lee Child. However, I felt the detail of his story was too overdone, and though I now know all there is to know about Jim Grant/Lee Child, I didn't need quite so much information. I wish Jim's brother Andrew Grant every success in his continuation of the Reacher series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellison

    Written by a fan girl she goes back to his grand parents and then his parents before she shares his life, schooling, first 'encounter', marries, and then works at a television station. AFTER page three hundred it turns into a Ted Talk-like examination of the creation of the character and his motives as well as title ideas, this for faithful readers that hang on that far. Pictures, swearing. Written by a fan girl she goes back to his grand parents and then his parents before she shares his life, schooling, first 'encounter', marries, and then works at a television station. AFTER page three hundred it turns into a Ted Talk-like examination of the creation of the character and his motives as well as title ideas, this for faithful readers that hang on that far. Pictures, swearing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Asher

    This is a great insight into the man behind Jack Reacher.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liam Coyne

    Reading this book answered all my questions about how Lee Child created the awesome Jack Reacher and Heather Martin wrote a really good book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I came to this book to learn more about Lee Child/Jim Grant. The author spent too much time talking about Reacher.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    DNF It's too 'all over the place'. Maybe Lee Child should have written this himself, rather than getting someone else to write it. DNF It's too 'all over the place'. Maybe Lee Child should have written this himself, rather than getting someone else to write it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Francesca Pashby

    Too much about the beginning, not enough about the end. But good, and made me vow to read all the Jack Reacher novels again, in numerical order!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daco Auffenorde

    Fascinating!! But I'm not surprised. Because of course Lee Child is!! Highly recommended!! Fascinating!! But I'm not surprised. Because of course Lee Child is!! Highly recommended!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roger Warren

  27. 5 out of 5

    Helena

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erika Bornman

  30. 5 out of 5

    George

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