My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is certainly a prime example of Airplane Fiction, which is in no way a negative against Lee Child, an 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.
MOVIE: (trailer below)
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. Choose wisely.
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists, such as Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5