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  • Personal

  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,314 ratings)

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Summary

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child’s number-one best-selling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris - and then to London. The stakes have never been higher - because this time, it’s personal.

The brand-new Jack Reacher short story, "Not a Drill", is now also available exclusively as a digital download.

©2014 Lee Child (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Personal

Average customer ratings
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  • Mr
  • 09-09-14

Reacher gets Dull !

Sorry Mr Child, you have dropped the ball on this one. 15% Reacher 85% sleeper....yawn!
I have listened to every Reacher story and this is dull as ditch water. There is far far to much over thinking of everything Reacher does and over explaining every little detail just to pad out a weak story.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Child over-reachers himself?

I'm normally a sucker for a Jack Reacher novel. I've read most of them now and naturally jumped on this one when it popped up as an Audible recommendation. I've always loved this character walking alone and with his own strong sense of honour and justice . . . if not law!

Child sent him further afield than is typical, possibly to add some spice via unusual locations for him but to me this one didn't quite work out. Reacher seemed more restricted and out of his comfort zone to no great dramatic effect.

It's Jack Reacher so it's good, just not as good as usual!

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Still enjoyable but not the best Jack Reacher.

If you could sum up Personal in three words, what would they be?

Villains too cartoonish.

Would you recommend Personal to your friends? Why or why not?

Despite the shortcomings this Jack Reacher is still a good read and Lee Child's writing is still way ahead of the average thriller writer. The author clearly wanted to set a Reacher story in his home country. Unfortunately the location seems restrictive. The UK is a much more intimate setting compared to the huge geography of the U.S. Policing is much more formal and centralised in England and Reacher's semi-forced collaboration with the forces of law and order makes him more of a bystander than usual. He still makes his own decisions and drives the storyline but he seems much more constrained than in previous books. The villains are too exaggerated to be truly believable; a sniper who is just too good to be true and a gangster who is physically huge and supposedly terrifying but actually comes across as not particularly bright and all too easily provoked into poor decisions.

Which character – as performed by Jeff Harding – was your favourite?

The only characters I can clearly remember from this story are Reacher himself who Jeff Harding voices to damn near perfection, the sniper who in my memory has little dialogue, the main villain who is an East London character (very different to a cockney and well voiced by Harding) and Reacher's U.S. government minder who was a bit insipid compared to Reacher's previous female companions. I recall there was a mysterious British authority figure. (Presumably Special Branch) but I can't picture him in my head and remember very little about his part in the story. There were some Russian or Eastern European gangsters but they didn't make much of an impression on my memory.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It left me reasonably satisfied but wanting more. For the first time ever when reading a Lee Child I found myself thinking of ways it could have been better.

Any additional comments?

It was a light and fluffy Reacher novel that at least assuaged the itch until the next real story comes out. Having said that I'll almost certainly read it again at some point and would definitely read it in preference to some other so called thrillers out there at the moment. Even when not at his best Lee Child still writes a great tale.

4 people found this helpful

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Truly Unbelievable

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you have personal hygiene problems, America may need you.

Has Personal put you off other books in this genre?

I have another book by this author and it was ok. However he has really pushed the bounds of fantasy with this one.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narration was fine, just the content.

What character would you cut from Personal?

The main character at 25 stones and 6 ft 5 inches, is clearly overweight, unless he spends half his life in the gym (which he doesn't ).
He uses just a toothbrush for personal hygiene. No toothpaste or deodorant. The character only changes clothes every other week, if there is a handy second hand clothes handy which stocks everything including underwear!
He doesn't seem surprised when other undercover operatives spot him. I should think they just follow the smell and the flies.I guess he is supposed to be a real man?

Any additional comments?

The plot is also very weak. I am surprised his editor, let him get away with this offering, it will do nothing for his reputation.

3 people found this helpful

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Last time I read a Reacher

What disappointed you about Personal?

Lee Child's continues his decline

What could Lee Child have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Lee Child's books have been going downhill over the past 4-5 years.....last time Reacher visited England was the last decent book. This one has no real story line and seems to be padded out to make it reach some time of number of words agreement.

How could the performance have been better?

I know it is unabridged but really....I said....blah blah.....she said blah blah.....I said blah blah....she said....blah blah....and on it went. Then the Accents, Welsh! In fact, it's worth listening to this book for the worst ever take on a Welsh or indeed English accent EVER.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None at all

Any additional comments?

I gave up reading the Reacher novels and now I am going to give up listening. Some people have described this as a return to form after recent poor books....they are obviously connected to the publisher or are being paid to write reviews. This is without doubt the worst book I have ever listened to. I used to really enjoy Reacher books. Please Lee, either re-read your 1st 10 books and try and recreate that magic, or, better still retire Reacher and start again, you can write but you have lost it, you are an Englishman, stop over yanking everything.

3 people found this helpful

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Not Best in Series.

A little lack luster compared to most of the series but still an enjoyable book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • d
  • 23-11-14

dissappointment

What disappointed you about Personal?

it seems to be one book too many , it has lost the jack reacher majic

What will your next listen be?

the new tom clancy

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

Any additional comments?

one book too many. I should have took notice of some of the reviews

2 people found this helpful

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Good as ever

I am impressed that Reacher is growing older with relative grace. He now works less by brute force and more by experience and intelligence. Also, I am grateful that he is now more of a mentor to his female colleagues and doesn't necessarily have to bed them. The seam of his life to date was pretty well mined out, and this book acknowledged that and took Reacher forward in time in a way I was able to believe.

I love these books because of their internal consistency and economy. There's a reason for everything in them.

Jeff Harding generally reads these exceptionally well. His London and Welsh accents in this one are more than a bit dodgy, but I was able to forgive him.

I had intended to save this for my holiday, but I couldn't resist listening to it, and I don't regret it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good listen

I was a bit dubious about this one at the start because a lot of people said it wasn't one of Child's best. I personally loved it. It did feel like a bridge onto the next book in places, but still a great listen.

I think if they ever replace Harding as the narrator I will leave these. He has it nailed.

1 person found this helpful

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It's Jack Reacher...

listening to a Lee Child / Jack Reacher story is like sitting down to your favourite meal or sitting in your favourite chair: it's comfortable, familiar and you just know your going to enjoy it 😀 This is no different.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-14

A swing and a miss

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Story line needed more work. Overall needed more action and violence.

Would you recommend Personal to your friends? Why or why not?

No, out of all the Jack Reacher books this is near the bottom.

Have you listened to any of Jeff Harding’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, consistent performance.

Could you see Personal being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. Definitely not Tom Cruise.

Any additional comments?

Jack Reacher needs to die. What a fantastic book that would be.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 15-09-14

Tedious

I have enjoyed Jack Reacher sagas before, but this one did not engage me at all. Jeff Harding did well to put energy and some urgency into his reading of it, but even that could not rescue this book. Despite being tempted to ditch Personal, I limped on but the end did not redeem it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Paul
  • 14-09-14

Very disappointing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Much better casting of the voices, especially for Reacher. I can forgive the selection of Tom Cruise, but I don't understand why Reacher was made to sound angry and aggressive and suspicious all the time...he sounds like a caricature of Reacher...and all the other voices are worse.

What was most disappointing about Lee Child’s story?

It was a weak story, it felt like Lee went through the motions on this one. Dare I say it, it felt like he did a Grisham.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jeff Harding’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from Personal?

Ms Nice

Any additional comments?

I have read every Reacher book from the beginning and am a long term fan...but the audio version of this book is a fail.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Marcus
  • 13-10-14

Not up to Mr Child's usual standard

Lee Child doesn't have a bigger fan than me. But this is a little disappointing - for two reasons. Firstly, he's spending way too much time explaining in minute detail how Reacher mangles bad toughguys and how he creeps through corridoors. And secondly - what was the Producer/Director thinking!?! Some of the characters' voices (brilliantly read by Jeff Harding) are inaudible (travelling in a car or where there's anything other than pristine silence). Didn't anyone look at the VU meters in the studio! This is a 'Childish' mistake - for which the Producer/Director must take responsibility.

2 people found this helpful

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  • melanie
  • 27-06-21

A good read. On par for Lee Child

I’ve read five or so novels by Child and re-read each at least three times. He’s a good descriptive writer with interesting story lines. If you like the character of Jack Reacher then this book is as good as any of them. I worried the first person narrative would break the forth wall too much but it turned out not to, and maybe even gave a slightly different perspective of what’s going on in Reacher’s head. The last chapter felt a little rushed but still satisfying. Recommended if you like tough ex-army dudes, taking care of business, solving problems, with a sense of justice, peppered with humour and strong scenery and situational description.

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  • jeannie-mar
  • 24-07-17

weakest plot line

this is the only Reacher novel I struggle to listen to . The story is too convoluted even for a Reacher plot and the supporting cast is lame at best . I guess 1 out of 20 plus is acceptable but still disappointing

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  • Carly
  • 30-04-16

One of my favourite Reacher's

Loved this one, fun that it took him outside his usual US small town wandering etc etc etc... very enjoyable. Great narration as always.

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  • Lyn
  • 23-03-16

Jack is back!

Jack Reacher takes time out from his solitary wandering for another adventure. Jeff Harding is the voice that perfectly portrays the rugged character. A totally enjoyable experience.

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  • Suzanne Tonkin
  • 15-02-16

as good as I expected

as I expect from Lee Childs. Mystery, drama , humour and a good story. More please