The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

by Heather Martin
The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

The Reacher Guy: A Biography of Lee Child

by Heather Martin


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An exquisitely written and nuanced biography of an exceptional individual and writer who has created the # 1 international bestselling hero Jack Reacher, revered by dedicated and loyal readers worldwide.

Lee Child has a great public persona: he is gracious and generous with readers and fans. But Jim Grant is a reticent and very private man.

This rags-to-riches literary and social biography is based principally on disarmingly frank personal conversations and correspondence with the author since 2016 and privileged access to archival materials. It consists almost entirely of original material, and is the nearest thing the world is likely to get to the autobiography he does not intend to write.

There are a handful of great Lee Child/Reacher stories that have been recycled over and over again. They are so good that no one has bothered to look beyond them. This book revisits (and sometimes revises) those irresistible stories, but goes back further and digs deeper. The emphasis on chronology, accuracy and specificity is unprecedented.

The Lee Child origin myth is much loved. But mostly it sees him springing fully formed from the brow of Granada Television. There are glancing references to Aston Villa and the schoolyard, but no one has examined the social and historical detail or looked closely at where Lee really came from: the people, places and period.

This is the first time someone has described the Lee Child arc: from peaceful obscurity in the Yorkshire Dales and Upstate New York to cult figure, no. 1 in America, rock star, celebrity and publishing institution through to backlash, the changing zeitgeist, and intimations of retirement. The analysis of the emotional power and significance of Lee’s work in the final chapters—the themes of happiness, addiction, dependency, loneliness, and existential absurdity—and the first-hand retrospective accounts of his life and second-act career are all exclusive to this definitive biography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643135861
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 09/29/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 672,488
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Heather Martin grew up in Aix-en-Provence, Paris, and Perth, Australia, where she would fall asleep to the sound of the Indian Ocean. She read Languages at Cambridge, where she also did a PhD in comparative literature, and has held teaching and research positions at Cambridge, Hull, King's College London, and most recently, the Graduate Center, City University New York. Heather is a long-time Reacher fan. While waiting to get her hands on the next in the series, she once read a Lee Child book in Spanish and wound up writing to the author about the fate of his character in translation. The Reacher Guy is her first biography. She is based in London but visits America regularly.

Table of Contents

1 The Library 1

2 The Wharfedale 8

3 A Tale of Three Grandfathers 15

4 Coventry 24

5 Humans v. Aliens 32

6 The Finest Hour 43

7 Grievous 54

8 Cherry Orchard 64

9 Elmwood 75

10 Maman 83

11 An Armful of Air 93

12 A Heart Thing 100

13 Always Lucky 118

14 The Age of Aquarius 128

15 Happy Days 139

16 Blessed or Cursed 150

17 Gentleman Jim 170

18 School Report 186

19 Lee Car 194

20 Easy Rider 206

21 Paperback Writer 216

22 The Crucible 226

23 Thornsett Road 241

24 A Charmed Career 256

25 You're Fired 273

26 The Judge 290

27 Like Winning the Nobel 303

28 Ruskin's View 319

29 The Apprenticeship 332

30 How Hard Could It Be? 345

31 The Plan 361

32 Four Thousand Tons 380

33 My Home in America 389

34 Out of One, Many 400

35 Great Expectations 413

36 The Treadmill 431

37 The Happiness Business 448

38 The Servant King 461

39 Die Lonely 474

40 Cloverleaf 485

41 Blue Moon 493

Epilogue 503

Bibliography 504

Acknowledgements 512

Index 513

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