When he was a child an English lad named Jim Grant read a book about a boy who lived in Manhattan. He read the book over and over until it nearly fell apart.
The odds of the lad ever living in New York City, let alone owning a penthouse apartment, were against him. As he grew older, the dream faded as he raised a family and worked as a television producer. He might have gone on like that forever, but fate intervened. At the age of thirty-nine Jim Grant was fired from his job. Rather unceremoniously, in fact.
So at the age of thirty-nine he feeling a wee bit bitter and one might say that he had a few unresolved anger issues. Perhaps he even thought of bashing a few heads against a car door.
Well, we can be grateful that he didn't, because Jim Grant -- now Lee Child -- used that pent up anger to create an iconic hero who has captured the hearts of readers around the world. Jack Reacher is not burdened with a complicated past. No ex-wives after him. No wives who have been killed or murdered. A device popular with too many authors. No kids. No real attachments to anyone. Or anything. Not even a cell phone. He just likes to bang bad guy's heads against a car door or use any of the other methods he has for disposing of people who don't deserve Miranda rights.
Now, years later, as Lee Child sits in his beautiful home in Manhattan he has to be grateful for being fired. Otherwise he might still be in England, just about old enough to draw a pension and having to deal with their terrible National Health Insurance.
This is a good lesson for all of us. From failure can come success -- if we are ready to seize the opportunity.
What is your favorite Jack Reacher book? I particularly like "Never Go Back" -- it is beautifully plotted and filled with lots of surprises. Leave a comment.
Here is what Robert Crais, Mystery Writer of America Grand Master, said about his friend, Lee Child....
Robert Crais talks about Lee Child
One of my favorites...
So much better and satisfying than the movie...