Affair (Child)

Discussion Questions
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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The Affair:

1. How would you describe Jack Reacher? What are the rules he lives by? One of his most famous—"All you need, and nothing you don't"—could almost be called his "credo." What other codes define his life, and what do they say about his character?

2. Why has Reacher left the military?

3. A number of reviewers felt that this book gives the entire Reacher series a much needed boost, that the past several installments in the 16 book series have "jumped the shark," meaning that they had lost their freshness and were rehashing overly familiar ground.  Presuming you've read previous Jack Reacher books, in what way does this book differ from the others in the series?

4. Reacher has always been somewhat mysterious. What background information do you learn about him in The Affair—particularly about his family, as well as some of his idiosyncrasies (obsessions?) that appear in the 15 other Reacher books. In his various recollections and re-interpretations of his life, does Reacher learn anything about himself?

5. Lee Child writes with a degree of humor, which seems odd given that the series is in the suspense/thriller genre, not usually known for humor. What passages did you found funny?

6. What do you think of Sheriff Deveraux? How would you describe her—is she simply a female version of Reacher? Or is she a distinct personality in her own right?

7. What does Reacher mean when he says, "if I ever buy a house, it's going to be next to a railroad train." What's the fascination with trains—and what does it reveal about Reacher's personality?

8. The novel takes place four-and-a-half years before the 9/11 attacks. How does Child portray the US Army? Do you think his portrayal has validity?

9. What role does political connection or privilege play in this novel?

10. Does Child do a good job here of ratcheting up the suspense? Does the novel live up to it's name as a "thriller"?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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