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auspex

Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess
Second Son (Jack Reacher, #0.1) - Lee Child A very interesting peek at the life of young (13 years old) Jack Reacher.

Reacher admits to a military-base bully that he's probably a psychopath, and he's probably right — but as Elliott Leyton, author of [b:Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer|1072369|Hunting Humans The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer|Elliott Leyton|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347703286s/1072369.jpg|2102131], tells us, the majority of psychopaths aren't Hannibal Lecter. As with any psychological diagnosis, there must be a range of psychopathy, from those who are merely empathically challenged to those who have no empathy at all. Young Jack Reacher exhibits many of the signs of psychopathy, but he does care for his family. Can he empathize with them? Perhaps not, but he fakes it well.

Another Canadian Elliott, Elliott Barker, says of The Partial Psychopath: "For about half a century, we have known one unfailing recipe for creating psychopaths -- move a child through a dozen foster homes in the first three years." I wonder if it even requires foster families: could moving a child as frequently between military bases, even with a loving but emotionally stunted mother, have some of the same effect.

This story shows that, even at 13, Reacher was dividing the world into Us & Them, and consequences to "Them" were never important, while he would protect "Us" (his family) at all costs. For the rest of his life, the attitude clearly never changes, though his definition of family does.