Donald Trump Meets Jack Reacher

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s disastrous time in the White House. Also, I finished reading Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel last week. The Trump-Reacher connection? There is no connection. But I’m going to make a connection. “Fake news” and all that.

First my brief review of 2017’s The Midnight Line, Child’s 22nd Reacher novel. (I’ve read 20 of them, and will eventually get to the two I missed! As Jack says, “Good to go.”)

The Midnight Line has some of the visceral action Reacher fans love — various villains get battered by Jack in innovatively choreographed ways. But this book also features a more mature, reflective Reacher — the big guy is now 57, after all — and there are poignant passages amid the page-turning excitement. Plus plenty of social commentary about America’s drug scourge and grievously wounded veterans — with the roaming Reacher getting a firsthand look at both problems while trying to locate a woman whose West Point ring he finds in a Wisconsin pawn shop. Last but not least, Child’s writing is as lean and impressive as ever, and includes the usual touches of humor.

My “fake news” connection between Jack (a good-hearted man of integrity) and Trump (a heartless man of no integrity)? I’m going to seriocomically discuss America’s Predator-in-Chief using the titles of all 22 Reacher novels. As I do that, I’ll keep in mind that Trump has boasted about sexually assaulting women, called majority-black countries “shitholes,” made life hell for immigrants, pushed awful tax “reform” that benefits only the ultra-rich, tried to yank away health care from millions, removed environmental protections, and more.

Killing Floor: Trump’s words and actions are so low there’s no floor to them. He killed the floor.

Die Trying: What happened to the woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, who bravely tried to counter Neo-Nazis the white-supremacist Trump would then praise.

Tripwire: What might keep Trump’s hair in place when he exits Air Force One after flying on a windy day.

Running Blind: If the didn’t-protect-his-eyes Trump had looked longer at last year’s major eclipse, this book title would have described his reelection effort in 2020.

Echo Burning: Sort of like Eco Burning — Trump has hurt the U.S. ecology in many ways.

Without Fail: The almost-always-wrong Trump never admits he’s almost always wrong.

Persuader: Trump has expertly persuaded everyone he’s a jerk.

The Enemy: Today’s GOP — including Trump, Paul Ryan, and other cruel far-right Republicans.

One Shot: All the out-of-shape Trump would manage to heave up on a basketball court.

The Hard Way: Democrats trying to win elections despite Republican voter suppression, gerrymandering, big corporate money, and biased right-wing media.

Bad Luck and Trouble: Nicknames for Trump’s two adult sons.

Nothing to Lose: Trump figured that was the case when claiming bone spurs to avoid the Vietnam War draft, even though he was healthy enough back then to play intense sports. His scam worked.

Gone Tomorrow: We wish. But then there would be Mike Pence. 😦

61 Hours: How long it takes Trump to read a paragraph.

Worth Dying For: No war that Trump might start with his reckless words.

The Affair: Not just one adulterous relationship for Trump while he has been married.

A Wanted Man: How law enforcement should label the corrupt Trump.

Never Go Back: The current White House occupant cowardly avoids visiting his posh Trump Tower home in New York City, where he’s loathed.

Personal: Trump takes criticism very personally.

Make Me: What Trump told his father, who bankrolled his not-self-made son’s real-estate career.

Night School: The incurious/ignorant Trump could use some schooling any time of the day.

The Midnight Line: Any repugnant sentence Trump spews out on Twitter when most of us are asleep.

Conclusion: Reacher would know what to do with someone like Trump.

I’m sure you could come up with other ways to discuss Trump via those Lee Child titles! Try if you’d like! Β πŸ™‚

My 2017 literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for The latest weekly piece — about the complicity of my town’s Republicans re the vile Trump — is here.

64 thoughts on “Donald Trump Meets Jack Reacher

    • Ha, Jack! You are too modest. πŸ™‚

      If you do read a Reacher book or three, please let me know what you think.

      BTW, I was just in the library today and took out “Gorky Park” on your recommendation. I’m looking forward to reading it!


  1. I am no longer in a joking mood, even a little bit, when it comes to the president, his handlers, enablers and sycophants.

    Every day I see what was left of a shaky representative democracy pulling itself apart over everything, even Russian interference and manipulation of our election.

    As Colbert put it, in the earliest daze of the Russia investigation: “It’s funny, ’cause it’s treason.” If there’s a punchline in our present circumstances, I missed it. It’s more like a punch in the head.

    I do enjoy Reacher books, as you know, mostly in airports. I look forward to the next one I haven’t read, and there are a few, including the one you got for Christmas.

    But I’m done with laughing about Trump. At least one UFO is the real thing: Unfit For Office.

    Duck and cover.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hear you, jhNY. I still try to joke about/satirically slam Trump/his cabinet/his enablers/etc. here and there (in this week’s blog post and often in my local weekly humor column), but the guy is seriously a disgusting person and a menace to the U.S. and the world.

      Great line about him being more of a punch in the head than a punchline. And a clever UFO mention.

      I highly recommend “The Midnight Line” for one of the times you fly in the future. Almost every quality Reacher displays in that novel (and in the other books in the series) is the opposite of Trump’s qualities — which of course you know as a Reacher fan. Jack is brave, honest, compassionate, hardworking, respectful of women, etc. America’s Jerk-in-Chief is none of those things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not a big deal, his supporters don`t care. Cheated on his first wife , then cheated on Melania and had a long affair with porn star while Melania was having a baby. If it was any other person Country would throw fits, but with trump the liar in chief they just shrug their shoulders and move on.
        trump is not ashamed of infidelities, has convinced Americans he has no values whatsoever. Have history of lying, defrauding ordinary citizens.

        Jack Reacher is none of that, he saves ordinary citizens risking his own life.

        Suddenly for some of us the Country has become a lonely place.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “Suddenly for some of us the Country has become a lonely place.”

          I like how you put this.

          It is beyond disquieting that so many people among us voted to have this misruler hold what will never again be the prestigious office it was for over 2 centuries. Consolation, though small: more Americans, nearly 3 million more of us, voted for somebody and something better.

          Liked by 3 people

          • VERY well said, bebe and jhNY!

            Yes, Trump’s hardcore supporters just don’t care how awful he is. It’s shocking, really, yet many have grown accustomed to it — while of course hating it. White evangelical Christians, especially, are so hypocritical it’s beyond words.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I just don`t get it Dave.
              My close friend since `70s , is honest hardworking lady supported Hill the first time in “08. Fast forward suddenly she discovered O`Riley from Inside Edition in Fox and now she has become a trump supporter. Her son is a physician now and always been a liberal, so is her husband.
              Her story is now, ” hey my vote was negated by my husband so there….”
              I am in touch , I had arguments with her, bur she wanted to be left alone in her political stance and now to me friendship became more important.

              Liked by 1 person

              • bebe, hard to believe anyone — especially a woman — could support, and continue to support, the Predator-in-Chief. But propaganda like Fox News can unfortunately be effective. 😦 Nice that you’ve still maintained the friendship. I know some very conservative people (more online than in person) that I’m still in touch with. Not easy in the era of Trump.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave, you are so much ahead of me and also I know you do your research well, Jack Reacher is 57 ? Why did Lee Child advanced his ago to a couple of decades is beyond me.
    Midnight Line I have read one third but was able to renew the book today which is great.

    The last one I read was “Make Me” where a strong female character was of great help and came to support Reacher when he was in trouble which was a new thing to absorb.

    Now trump ( I always us lower case when I address that man) is of excellent health of a man of 72 with a pot belly, sagging jaw , popping a dozen cans daily with perfect teeth and well fed in McDonald and never believes in excesses except chasing porn stars around his hotel room in his white undies. He claims to be a multimillionaire yer gave ( only) 130 thousand as the hush money tells one how cheap that man is.

    Now Jack Reacher on the other hand have class, devoid of any greed , have no possessions is a free man always with a helping hand.

    Also could beat up trump to a pulp.

    This is done by someone I used to know in Nashville

    Liked by 2 people

    • bebe, that is a FANTASTIC video that deservedly criticizes Trump! Thank you for the link!

      Reacher’s age? He was born in 1960, according to the “Internets,” so he could’ve been 57 for 2017’s “The Midnight Line.” Then again, I’m not sure that novel is actually set in 2017, though there are certainly plenty of relatively recent touches in it such as smartphones. And I’m not totally sure Lee Child ages Reacher a year with every new yearly book, but there are references to him getting older in the recent novels. Child seems to be finding some material in Reacher aging, though there would have been something to be said for keeping him a “Killing Floor”-aged 37.

      As you allude to, Reacher is definitely respectful of women, admires strong women, and treats women as equals. One of his major appeals.

      Yup, Trump has to be unhealthy no matter what that White House physician said, and he’s probably a lot less rich then he claims. Might partly explain his refusal to release his taxes and his constant use of the presidency as a money-making machine.

      Reacher, albeit fictional, is indeed a MUCH better man than Trump.

      Great comment! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, M.B. πŸ™‚

      None of us can read every author, so no shame at all!

      I was convinced to try the Reacher novels several years ago by several regular commenters here — bebe, Mary Harris, jhNY, and others — and am VERY glad I was convinced.

      Definitely a strong military vibe in many of the novels (I know the military is a specialty of yours), but definitely not a right-wing vibe from Lee Child. Reacher was a military cop before he started roaming the country.


  3. Ha, Dave, very funny and so true! I got a bit panicky when I saw the title of this week’s post, because I’ve yet to read any of the stack of Reacher books I’ve got on my shelves. So, I’ll put you on the spot and ask for your recommendation as to which one I should try first of those I have: “Gone Tomorrow,” “Make Me,” ” Bad Luck and Trouble,” “Persuader,” and “Nothing to Lose.” As someone who reads a ton of mysteries and thrillers, especially when they are part of a series, it’s difficult to remember them all (at least for me). But I did find your description of “The Midnight Line” very compelling, especially the part about wounded veterans, because you may remember my best girlfriend is a psychologist specializing in veterans with PTSD, and women vets for sexual assault. But I’ll wait until it comes out in paperback or in the library.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kat Lib! Sorry for the delay in responding; for some reason I didn’t get an email notification for your comment.

      The titles and the plots blur a bit for me with the Reacher novels, so I’m going to jog my memory by looking up the descriptions of the five books you mentioned and get back to you soon! My favorite Reacher novels — including “Killing Floor” and “61 Hours” — are not among the five, but I have never read one of the series that didn’t range from a B+ up to an A+… πŸ™‚

      I think you will find “The Midnight Line” worth waiting for!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay — a toss-up between “Persuader” and “Bad Luck and Trouble.”

        In the first, Reacher is in his usual loner role. In the second, he and his old “team” reunite.

        I guess you could flip a coin. πŸ™‚ You could also read the Wikipedia summaries of each novel, but that would give away some plot points.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I decided to go with the one that made me laugh the most of those two titles; therefore, Don, Jr. and Eric it is! I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it or any book. In late November I fell in a doctor’s office and hit my head on the wall. Just a week ago, I fell and hit my head on my kitchen/dining table, and then just yesterday I fell again in my kitchen and hit my head on a lower kitchen cabinet. The only really serious fall was the middle one, as Bill was out walking my new dog and came in to find me lying in a pool of blood and called 911. Other than having to have 3 staples in the wound in the back of my head, the ER docs let me go home once the results of the CT scan and other tests came back OK. I’ve been treated for years for something called orthostatic (or postural) hypotension, meaning that my blood pressure drops when I change positions, especially sitting to standing.

          In other words, my ability to play the piano or read anything more difficult than Archie comics, has been somewhat limited. However, who knew that I was such a hard-headed woman, per the lyrics sung by Elvis and Cat Stevens. Though perhaps I need to start wearing a helmet, at least around the house! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

          • I like the way you made that Reacher-book decision, Kat Lib. πŸ™‚

            So sorry about your falls, and the reason they happen. That’s incredibly difficult to live with. It’s very admirable having a sense of humor about it — though actually a helmet doesn’t sound like that far-fetched an idea.

            Would listening to novels rather than reading them be somewhat easier? (I realize you probably tried that already.)


            • The only audio books I’ve listened to have been on road trips to Atlanta with my sister, but that was her thing, not mine. It was a good suggestion, Dave, but I guess I’ll always prefer the printed page — or perhaps a good televised version of a book — almost all of which have been done by the BBC or A&E.

              Liked by 2 people

                • The ones I remember listening to with my sister were “Anne of Green Gables” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Both were very well done, but I never felt compelled to listen to any others. I’m now contemplating a road trip (didn’t I say I’d never do another one?), but I now have Sirius XM so I have the Springsteen, the Beatles and the Elvis stations. I’m sure there are more that would be interesting, plus I still have a CD player. I guess I didn’t mention where I was going to, which is Austin, TX, as I’m seriously thinking about moving there with Bill, 2 dogs and 1 cat. I’ve been in touch with a guy I knew from high school, who’s a musician who actually studied sitar with Ravi Shankar, and is now living in Austin (he’s a professor of ethnomusicology at UT). So this may just be pie in the sky, but I said the same when I moved from a condo near King of Prussia to a single family home in Kennett Square (with a large yard)!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Well, you picked two great books to listen to, Kat Lib! πŸ™‚

                    On longer car trips, I usually pass the time with CDs.

                    Good luck with the trip to Austin, if you decide to do that. That city would be a nice play to live (one of my wife’s sisters is a longtime resident who likes it a lot), but of course moving is a hassle and you just did that relatively recently. Good luck with your decision about that!

                    Studied sitar with Ravi Shankar? Wow!


  4. Humor is the elixir of life! I will zoom in on: The Affair, plenty of prequels, Stormy Daniels the latest.

    61 Hours: How long it takes Rump in hair and make up on a monthly basis to get “camera ready.” Just the hair weave portion takes up this time in short measure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Michele, for those two excellent/creative Reacher-novel-summaries-made-Trumpian!

      Yes, definitely plenty of affair prequels before Stormy Daniels. Yet the vast majority of white evangelical Christians still support Trump. So “family values” of them…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a pity I can’t find a way to upload a couple of images here. I have wonderful images of an orange chameleon and his presidential orange doppelganger side by side! Also, I want you to know it was very difficult to accept Trump’s name mentioned in a wonderful article about my fictional heartthrob Jack Reacher!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mary! Ha! I can picture those images, and I’m sure the non-Trump one is much more appealing. πŸ™‚

      Yes, having Trump in the same article as Jack Reacher sullies Reacher in a way, but I couldn’t resist…

      Thanks for being one of the people who recommended I try the Reacher series! Have you read “The Midnight Line” yet?

      Liked by 1 person

          • Fixed! I hear you — it IS hard to find time to read and do other important things, including your extraordinary animal rescue work. But if you ever have the time to get to “The Midnight Line,” I think it’s at least in the top ten of Reacher books.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Lulabelleharris, I didn’t know you were involved in animal rescue. Good for you! That must be so rewarding. I just adopted my 3rd rescue from one of our local shelters, a beautiful Great Pyrenees/Yellow Lab mix. She’s 80 lbs., but the most sweet and gentle dog I’ve ever been around. I’ve got a dog trainer coming in a couple of days to help me with both dogs (the other rescue is a very pretty kitty). I’d like to see if either or both of them could be trained as a service or emotional assistance dog.

          Liked by 4 people

          • That is wonderful, Kat Lib!!! I wish everybody would adopt rescues! I have 4 rescue dogs, all of which started out as fosters, PLUS I am fostering (truly) a momma dog and her 6 six week old puppies. They will be gone in a couple of weeks. It’s all very rewarding, but also very stressful! I try to help people with injured or sick dogs who don’t have assets for vet care plus I make sure that no animals picked up by the county are put down.

            Liked by 2 people

            • lulabelleharris wonderful what you do, I have to tell you then about Tucker which I`ve posted before.

              One lady, Ms. Mimi a neighbor, 90 plus a few years ago driving with her daughter and saw this large, short haired, white male dog on the highway at least 150 pounds, the daughter went back and brought him home with them and named him Trucker. Since then, Tucker became that Lady`s constant companion and now the Mimi is home-bound with angel-care , after hip surgery and what not.
              Tucker, believe it or not is big and strong and wants to be a lap dog.

              A month ago I was going to visit the Lady with a box of chocolates, angel-care asked my name from the door and Tucker snuck away. She panicked and so did I, Mimi pleaded with me , please get Tucker back. Tucker trotted along in my neighborhood toward the creek and this handsome man playing ball with his stepson, was visiting his mom from Seattle.
              He got hold of Tucker, the angel-care woman walked back Tucker home holding his collier. He trotted back with her and did not resist.

              Funny as i was 30 ft behind, Tucker looked back once if I am following.

              I am still so grateful to get Tucker back to Mimi and that young man was godsend,
              I wrote to his mom with my gratitude.

              It could have been a disaster but we were saved with grace

              Liked by 3 people

            • All of my animals came from a no-kill shelter on a beautiful farm near where I live, and which was started as a place for retired racing horses, which probably would have been euthanized if not for this shelter. They expanded into cats and kittens (the Cat House), puppies (the Puppy Palace), dogs, cows, pigs, emus, peacocks and others that I can’t remember. All three of mine had some health problems, but it was so rewarding getting them all back to health, with the help of my vets. As I may have mentioned before on this blog, I have some health problems, and I met with a trainer yesterday who will train Lilyan as a service dog for me, by sending her to his farm for a month, starting in March. You are inspiring to me, and I wish there was more I could do — six puppies — yikes!

              Liked by 3 people

            • bebe, I now have two dogs, the large one I just adopted (Lilyan), the small Chihuahua mix (Willow), and a cat who was a kitten when I got her at the rescue (Jessie).

              Liked by 3 people

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