24th - 26th August 2018
Power, Politics, Passion

Andy Martin

Andy Martin’s most recently published work is Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me: “as if Jack Reacher wrote literary criticism instead of beating bad guys to death with his elbows” (Steven Poole, Financial Times). He was the first ever surfing correspondent to the Times of London and studied under Jacques Derrida at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. He has been a Cullman Center Fellow in New York and a Norman Mailer Fellow in Wyoming and has written about Napoleon, Brigitte Bardot, and Jules Verne. He teaches French at the University of Cambridge and writes weekly essays for The Independent.


Canberra Writers Festival events

Crime: Reacher said Nothing
Andy Martin in conversation with James Phelan

Lee Child started writing his 20th Jack Reacher novel, ‘Make Me’, at 2.26 pm on September 1, 2014. He finished it at 12.24 on April 10, 2015. From the first word (‘Moving’) through to the last (‘needle’), Andy Martin sat in his office in Manhattan, and shadowed the author around America and Europe, and watched him write it. The result is the book Reacher Said Nothing, described as "literary criticism as never practised before, over the shoulder as the writer writes.” London Evening Standard 

Join Dr Andy Martin, lecturer at Cambridge, and thriller writer James Phelan, as they discuss the genius of Lee Child, the enduring appeal of Jack Reacher, and give a glimpse into the thriller writing process.  

‘I loved writing Make Me, and Andy Martin's Reacher Said Nothing gives you the how, why, when and where - warts and all.’ Lee Child.

Saturday 26th August 2017, 2:00pm. Terrace Room, National Portrait Gallery.
Tickets: Adult $24.00; Concession $21.95; Junior $11.75 


About the book

On September 1, 1994, Lee Child went out to buy the paper to start writing his first novel, in pencil. The result was Killing Floor, which introduced his hero Jack Reacher. Twenty years later, on September 1, 2014, he began writing Make Me, the twentieth novel in his number-one- bestselling Reacher series. Same day, same writer, same hero.

The difference, this time, was that he had someone looking over his shoulder. Andy Martin, uber Reacher fan, Cambridge academic, expert on existentialism, and dedicated surfer, sat behind Lee Child in his office and watched him as he wrote. While Lee was writing his Reacher book, Andy was writing about the making of Make Me.

Reacher Said Nothing is a book about a guy writing a book. An instant meta-book. It crosses genres, by bringing a high-level critical approach to a popular text, and gives a fascinating insight into the art of writing a thriller, showing the process in real time. It may well be the first of its kind.

Reacher Said Nothing is published by Penguin Random House.

Buy this book from the festival's bookshop partner Dymocks.


More reading

When CTG met... Andy Martin writer of Reacher Said Nothing (and Lee Child!!), Crime Thriller Girl, April 2016. [interview]

Andy Martin, Author, Stribling's New York Radio Show, April 2016. [radio interview]



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