My rating: 2 of 5 stars
One Shot (2005) by Lee Child (real name: James D. “Jim” Grant) is certainly a prime example of “Airplane Fiction”, which is in no way a negative against Lee Child, a British author who has grown very rich and successful with over 17 Jack Reacher novels.
Airplane Fiction can be defined as fiction containing rather simple plot narratives (hero, ex-military, vs bad guys, usually Russian–and in this case it is; and don’t forget the female lawyers, which there is), sentences containing mostly fragments and simple structures (forget about complex sentences or vocabulary above the fifth grade–but hey, maybe that’s what you prefer- some do), chapters with 15-20 scene breaks (allowing for optimal chances during a flight or travel to slip in that bookmark), and absent themes of major life and death issues (the reader doesn’t want to contemplate the spirit world at 35,000 feet).
Airplane Fiction is simply another genre, and one that Lee Child has mastered. I bought this book at Chicago O’Hare and for two reasons: 1) Tom Cruise and the new movie; 2) to see how these types of novels work. As for the storytelling goes, it is simple and light and fast and does its job in gripping the reader to the pages, and for allowing the reader chances to take breaks, which is very helpful if you are a busy reader.
The story does not leave any lasting impression, nor should it, and is a story for those seeking to escape and not to think of anything deep or serious for a while (much like most of TV). As for the writing itself, it is almost cliched and doesn’t reach down very far; in essence, it is not literary, but rather a fun, entertaining read (there’s nothing wrong with that). I am waiting to see the movie, and think that the movie with Tom Cruise might just be better than the book.
After watching the movie Jack Reacher, featuring Tom Cruise, I must admit that the movie was slightly better than the book (although the former thought better to go with an eponymous title rather than the latter’s One Shot), and the movie was still but a shade of the actual story told in the book.
Tom Cruise certainly brings the role of Jack Reacher to life, but it is clear that the character of Reacher is represented best in the pages of a book rather than on the big screen. Reacher is made out to be the supreme ghost, bad-ass, and has a memory that can recall the serial number off a rifle after only a glance.
On screen the character doesn’t fit naturally with the flawed characters we often see in movies (Tony Stark in Iron Man; Logan in Wolverine; even Jason Bourne in the Bourne saga has his flaws–Reacher seems to have none, and though it works in the book, it doesn’t quite fit on screen).
The movie also left out some of the better parts of the book, especially the ending, which I really enjoyed (what I didn’t like about the book was its slow start and progression through the first 200 pages) and the movie (or should I say, Screenwriter and Director Christopher McQuarrie) changed much of the story found in the book, which makes me think the book and its story doesn’t convert well to the big screen, making me wonder why then it was made into a movie in the first place.
As a Tom Cruise fan (yes, I am), Jack Reacher (from the book One Shot) was not one of his most memorable roles, nor was it in the top twenty. Advice to Cruise: read the Reacher novels; but be careful when making any more Reacher movies.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).
Forthcoming: The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
You can follow the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 470,000+ followers
“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”
“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”
“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”
“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…”
“Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.”
“There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”
“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”
“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”
“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”
“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”
GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction
FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)
“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”
“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”
American Novelist CG FEWSTON
This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.
“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.
In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.
TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.
Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.
Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis