Ali Karim, on behalf of The Rap Sheet, interviewed Lee Child about his latest book and other subjects.
Part of the Q & A:
AK: In Nothing to Lose, you offer readers a neo-Western set-up. So, are you a fan of the movies of Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa?Read the full Q & A.
LC: Not really, I’m pretty oblivious to Westerns as a genre. I think the point is that Westerns are rooted to periods of history way back, like the medieval chivalric sagas which I am very familiar with due to my readings in English Literature (King Arthur, Robin Hood, etc.). But you can trace it back even further, as the theme is the basic human story--the idea of the nameless loner with no past and no future who just exists in the present. It is a basic human paradigm which has always been popular.
AK: And you have a great barroom brawl in this new book. Do you find the action scenes fun to write, in contrast to the more serious issues addressed in your subtext?
LC: It’s actually all the same to me when I’m writing it, as it is important for the book that one scene is as important and as well-written as the next. But when you have important issues to explore, you don’t want the hero to be a pious, sanctimonious protagonist, so the violence in the barroom brawl helps flesh him out. This is not some “good-two-shoes,” this is a guy [Jack Reacher], who will do whatever it takes, in whatever arena.