A Wanted Man & One Shot | Lee Child | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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December 5, 2012
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Talks at Google
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A Wanted Man & One Shot | Lee Child | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Lee Child discusses the creation of his iconic character Jack Reacher and the appeal of pragmatism in his novels.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What inspired the character of Jack Reacher?

Reacher is a legendary character that has been reinvented throughout history in various cultures. He represents the noble loner who does whatever needs to be done, regardless of the laws or rules.

Q: Do you think Reacher sets a bad example by taking the law into his own hands?

No, because readers understand that fiction is an escape from reality. While they recognize the need for rules and laws in society, fiction allows them to indulge in a different perspective where justice is often more immediate and satisfying.

Q: How do you create suspense in your novels?

Child believes that the key to suspense is leaving questions unanswered and making readers wait for the answers. By withholding information and gradually revealing it, he keeps readers engaged and eager to find out what happens next.

Q: How did you develop Reacher's distinctive writing style?

Child wanted to create a character who was intelligent but socially isolated, leading to a fragmented and inarticulate way of speaking. He also aimed to develop a unique writing style to make his voice stand out and distinguish his work from others.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lee Child describes his approach to creating the character of Jack Reacher, a total pragmatist who is the judge, jury, and executioner.

  • He explains how Reacher serves as a form of consolation for readers frustrated with the rules and laws of real life.

  • Child discusses his writing style and the importance of developing a unique voice for storytelling.

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