Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jack Reacher Novels: Trickster Conspiracy Theater Frame

Reading a Jack Reacher novel. (Lee Child's series.) Die Trying. Like it. So far. Second Reacher novel I've read. First one was Nothing to Lose. Liked that too -- would have liked it a lot better if not for the end. End was disturbing. SPOILER: Reacher murders people in a pretty terrible way just because...unsure. Yeah, they were scum. Crazy scum. You don't kill on a potentiality.
Anyway. Die Trying. So far, enjoying it. As with the first -- despite the end. Big fan of hard boiled detective outsider type fiction, so discovering the Reacher novels in the staff book exchange bin was a treat. But. One thing I noticed, here, elsewhere, is how "conspiracy theorists" are framed by entertainment culture. Haven't finished Die Trying. Yet. But so far, the racist psychotic sadistic zealots in the novel spew conspiracy theories at the drop of a hat. Detailed, on the mark. Research has been done. Childs has done his homework. So I got to thinking. The conspiracy theories are not without substance. Not at all. What the torturing domestic terrorists believe is true is true. Except. They're believed by dangerous and cruel people who do dangerous and cruel things. So what is the message here? The truth of the conspiracy theories are then not true (or worthy of consideration) because truly crazy characters embrace the truths of these "theories?"
Author Childs politics come through in another way. Through the voice of other characters on the "right side" of things. The FBI. Local police. Average citizens. Even the outsider hero Jack Reacher. All reject the conspiracy rantings of the criminals with tax paying law abiding good citzenship non-racist perspectives. (Throwing in the racist angle adds to the marginalization of "conspiracy theorists" and further demonizes them. As it should. See how that worked? Racist, no one wants to be that. Except for conspiracy nuts.)

No. Haven't finished Die Trying. Will though. Like I said. Big fan of hard boiled pulp type stuff. Adding to the Trickster twisting of conspiracy vibes, is the recent Jack Reacher movie starring Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise, Scientoloigst. Playing an ex-military outsider type. Who, in the books, is described as:

220-250 lbs.,
50" chest
 Ice Blue
3XLT coat, 95 cm. pants' inseam
on the Official Jack Reacher website. Cruise is not any of those things.  Now, haven't read what Childs really thinks, or even the whole book. I could be full of stale cold beans. But so far, the conspiracy theorist framed as psycho killer is an interesting development. Course, this book was written in the late 1990s. Different President, pre-9/11. Just.  Does that matter? Is that fact pertinent? Shrug.


  1. Had you ever seen any of the Andrew Vachss _Burke_ crime novels? I don't think I've read anything in the genre quite so good, eh?

  2. Alfred, I LOVE Vachss. I've been a fan for years. Burke too, though I haven't read as much of his work.