Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Book Club book #11: One Shot

I used to have a rather consistent blogging schedule - every week or 2, I would think back on the week that had passed and start to write something that came out of it. Lately though, I've been so busy organizing whatever needs organizing for my presentation at SpringOne 2GX in September.

SpringOne 2GX 2013 banner

It's my first ever presentation, so I've been taking queues from a lot of other presentations that I've been at or seen recently. For example, a month ago I was at WDCNZ, and while I was attending each presentation, I took careful note of what each of the speakers did, said, and the slides they made. I've also been watching a few of my favourite presentations in hopes of infusing my own presentation with whatever it was that made me like those other ones so much.

It's basically been a lot of that for me these last 2 months, leaving a lot of my usual things - namely blogging and keeping up with all the Thymeleaf issues on GitHub - on hold until this is all over.

So, given the lack of proper subject matter, it's time for another book club book review.

One Shot

Book, $7.65 USD on Kindle, written by Lee Child, http://www.amazon.com/One-Shot-Jack-Reacher-Novel/dp/0345538196/
One Shot cover

I remember spending a very large amount of time trying to get an e-book version of this book that didn't have Tom Cruise's mug on the front of it. Alas, once the movie came out, all the Kindle versions turned into Tom Cruise, and I was stuck having to download his digital face into my iPad. I swear that is one of the reasons this thing now feels like it turns on slower than I remember it.

Continuing on the trend of picking books that aren't older than any of ourselves, we chose this book because we haven't delved into the modern-day thrillers genre yet. After Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Youg Adult books, the murder/mystery/thriller category would probably be the next type of book that I used to borrow a lot of from my local library. Starting One Shot felt like treading familiar territory: something terrible happens at the beginning, and then our hero is brought into the fray.

One Shot is the 9th book in the Jack Reacher series of novels by Lee Child, and the story that got turned into the Jack Reacher movie that came out recently, starring Tom "I'm gonna go Emperor Palpatine on Oprah" Cruise. It starts off with a lone gunman going on a sniping rampage in a city in Indiana. It doesn't take long for the sniper to get caught, and during his interrogation he says, "Get Jack Reacher for me."

Enter Jack Reacher, a former US Army Military Police officer, and current wanderer and vigilante-justice-dispensing badass. Seeing the news of the shooting some 1500 miles away, he gets on a bus to the city in Indiana to sort this shit out, though not initially in the way you'd think.

The previous 2 paragraphs feel like the beginning of pretty much every book in this genre, and I went through this book rather unsurprised at how everything plays and turns out. I didn't know much about the Jack Reacher character, but he's basically superhuman in his ass-kicking and detective skills: knowing when he's followed, knowing what the bad guys are thinking, having to explain seemingly innocuous evidence and how important it really is to the other characters, and thus the reader, etc etc etc.

That didn't stop it from being a page-turner though. I was always eager to find out what would happen next, causing me to finish the book at some ridiculous hour between midnight and when I should be waking-up to get ready for work.

That's kind of how it always is with this genre: you can guess ahead of time and be pretty accurate about how it's going to end. It's just the whole 'how it gets there' part that differs, and keeps us all hooked throughout the story.

6 out of 10.