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Couldn’t Wait April 11, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in Books, Other.

I spent much of my free time the last two days reading Nothing to Lose, the latest Jack Reacher thriller by Lee Child. In fact, I took half the day off yesterday, partly because the weather was so warm, for a change, but partly because I just wanted to read it.

It has been nearly a year since I started reading Child’s addictive series, of which this is the eleventh. All of the previous ten I have read more than once. So when I found out that the book was available already at the U.K. version of Amazon.com, I ordered it and sent my pounds thither posthaste.

I don’t quite get why it was released on March 24th in that backward land across the sea, but it won’t be released in the United States until June 3. There are some editing changes to be made, I know. But how long does it take to replace all the instances of “tyre” with “tire?” “Kerb” with “curb?” “Oestrogen” with “estrogen?” I suppose that they will have to sort out all of the instances where, for example “organisation” must be changed to “organization,” and sort out the other s-z issues.

And there are some words that seem to have made the jump across the pond already. The Smiths brought the word “spanner” with them packed in one of my favorite rhymes of all time:

I broke into the palace
with a sponge and a rusty spanner,
She said “I know you and you cannot sing.”
I said “that’s nothing, you should hear me play piano.”

So now we all know that a spanner is a pipe wrench.

Oh, and the covers had to be different, too, because the UK version had to show a picture of what a town in Colorado might look like (above), whereas in America these have been carefully branded over the years as a target with a bullet hole in it (below).

I guess all of the punctuation marks should be put on the other sides of quotation marks, too, so there’s one more thing to do before releasing the book here. Probably the publishers want to spare themselves having to answer irate letters from American readers complaining about [nonexistent] typographical errors.

At any rate, now that it will be another year before I get to read another Jack Reacher novel. Does anyone out there know of any books as entertaining as these with a similar hero?