“Killing Floor: Jack Reacher Book 1” – Bookcast #36

Killing Floor: Jack Reacher Book One (1997) by Lee Child

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Overview of “Killing Floor”

  • A very brief description of “Killing Floor”
    • Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.
  • What Child sets out to do / Purpose of the book
    • To tell an old-fashioned cowboy story updated to a modern world
  • The intended audience of the book / Who will benefit most
    • Anyone who likes action, crime, mystery and great writing
  • Who probably WON’T like this book?
    • People who don’t like graphic violence
    • People who don’t like bad things happening to good people
    • People who need lots of talking about feelings and warm happy fuzziness
    • Honestly? Women lol (most of them anyway) 
  • How does this book specifically benefit Men? 
    • This book is about a man doing what needs to be done to fight against injustice. It’s about being smart, being savvy, surviving getting your ass kicked and then kicking some ass in return.
  • Is this book Easy, Average or Difficult to read? / How long is it?
    • Easy to read and very enjoyable, though the graphic violence may be hard for some readers – 562 pages, 17 hours 49 minutes on audible
  • What are the overall book reviews? Is the book well-known? Popular? Significant?
    • 24,882 ratings, 4.5 stars
      • #26 in Vigilante Justice Thrillers
      • #34 in Military Thrillers
      • #51 in Private Investigator Mysteries 
    • Audible
      • #2 in Military Thrillers 
      • #7 in War & Military Fiction
  • Book-To-Movie Translation 
    • Two movies plus an Amazon show

Bio of Lee Child (James Dover Grant)

  • James Dover Grant (aka Lee Child) was born in Coventry, England. He is the second of four sons; his younger brother, Andrew Grant, is also a thriller novelist. Grant’s family relocated to Handsworth Wood in Birmingham when he was four years old so that the boys could receive a better education. Grant attended Cherry Orchard Primary School in Handsworth Wood until the age of 11. He attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham.
  • In 1974, at the age of 20, Grant studied law at University of Sheffield, though he had no intention of entering the legal profession and, during his student days, worked backstage in a theatre. After graduating, he worked in commercial television. He received a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the University of Sheffield in 1977 and returned to the University to receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in 2009.
  • Grant joined Granada Television, part of the UK’s ITV Network, in Manchester as a presentation director. There he was involved with shows including Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. Grant was involved in the transmission of more than 40,000 hours of programming for Granada, writing thousands of commercials and news stories. He worked at Granada from 1977 to 1995
  • After being fired due to “corporate restructuring” Grant decided to start writing novels. In 1997, his first novel, Killing Floor, was published, and he moved to the United States in the summer of 1998.
  • Grant has said that he chose the name Reacher for the central character in his novels because he himself is tall and when they were grocery shopping his wife Jane remarked: “‘Hey, if this writing thing doesn’t pan out, you could always be a reacher in a supermarket.’ … ‘I thought, Reacher – good name.'”
  • Grant married his wife Jane in 1975. Since 1998 they have resided in New York state. They have a daughter, Ruth.
  • Lee Child has written 27 Jack Reacher novels. Damn.

Breakdown of Themes

  • Love/Committment vs Freedom and Anonymity – As much as Reacher loves people, he loves the open road more. At least in this novel anyway.
  • Unapologetic about pretty much everything – Reacher is who he is, love him or hate him.
  • Good vs Evil – The good guys and the bad guys are quite clear. The moral of the story? If you’re up against Reacher, don’t be a bad guy
  • Reacher’s own moral code – He’s violent, tricky, manipulate and murderous but he all his actions are done for a purpose and for the right reasons.
  • Self confidence – Reacher doesn’t doubt himself or his decisions

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"Killing Floor: Jack Reacher Book 1" - Bookcast #36 1

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