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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Jack Reacher in Western drag

I was a big fan of westerns many years ago, and I happened to download Mustang Man by Louis L'Amour from Audible.com as part of my monthly account balance. It's a good story, written by a journeyman western author. Nolan Sackett (the Sacketts feature prominently in many of L'Amour's stories) finds himself enamored of a young city girl who has embarked on a quest to find some Mexican gold in the midst of Comanche territory. Smitten as he is, he agrees, against his better judgment, to help out. Classic western.

I'm also listening to Lee Child's Echo Burning, one of the better -- in a very good series -- of Jack Reacher novels. (See the archives for reviews of others in the series.) It struck me that the broad plot outlines of this story are very similar to the western genre. You have the quiet but extremely competent hero who never fails to help the damsel in distress. Change the setting and the replace the cars with horses and you have an old-fashioned western. This is not a negative, just an observation, and not terribly original, I suspect, either.

Both very good stories, page turners, and enjoyable.
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