Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Affair

the affair by lee child

I just finished reading The Affair.  It is Lee Child’s sixteenth book casting Jack Reacher.  Jack is the man that most teenage boys wish they could be—big, strong, smart, confident, and fearless with war scars and more success in bed than Stuart Wood’s Stone Barrington.  In the first fifteen novels, he has washed out of the army and is hitch hiking across America, righting wrongs that only a vigilante can right.  He is one of my favorite characters, perhaps because some vestigial teenager lies entrapped within my seasoned skin.  The Affair takes us back to the beginning and shows us how Reacher squashed his career as an MP in the Army.  The plot involves a series of murders of women, a beautiful female police chief with a suspicious past, a politician with a lot to lose, and Jack’s superiors who order him to cover up any evidence that might taint the Army.  Needless to say, Jack has a problem with authority.  Ronald Regan once said, “Trust, but verify.”  This book reinforces that basic principle.  Much of what Jack is told comes from solid sources, but lives depend upon his ability to decipher the truth.

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The Hunger Games

the hunger games book coverI enjoyed Suzanne Collin’s novel, The Hunger Games, and I watched the movie yesterday.  The premise is a young woman’s struggle to survive against impossible odds, and at the same time, to preserve her humanity.  A different truth struck me.  The future world that she painted reflected too closely Germany under Adolf Hitler and the Soviet Union under Stalin and present-day Iran under religious fanatics.  Evil is an integral part of the human soul.  It will always be with us, just as there will always be individuals who will strive to do that which is right.  No matter how good life becomes, there will inevitably be someone with a convincing voice who will tell us that we have been cheated or that we deserve a greater share of life’s rewards and that somebody else is to blame.  There will always be someone who will pit people against each other and stir the pot until hatred boils over and destroys the good will that years of tolerance and good deeds may have created.  All that we can do is enjoy the good times, treat other people fairly, and shun those who teach animosity towards people who are different from us.

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