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Tom Clancy

The Hunt for Red October   Red Storm Rising

First exploring Tom Clancy's works in high school, the attention to detail was overwhelming. Clancy meticulously researched his subject matter which showed in the highly technical descriptions in his novels. The plots were intricate as well. Red Storm Rising was Clancy's first novel. It was an interesting World War III scenario, climaxing in some US-Russian cooperation. At the time during the Cold War, Clancy's ability to to make such a scenario plausible was extraordinary.

The pick of the bunch is The Hunt for Red October, which was made into an excellent theatrical film. The film is great, but the book is twice as good because there is at least twice as much story. This book also introduced Jack Ryan, who became the centerpiece of Clancy's books. Next was Patriot Games, which entangles Jack Ryan with IRA terrorists and the British royal family. The book is much more cerebral than the theatrical film. The Cardinal of the Kremlin was also a well-written novel about getting a US spy out of Russia. John Clark made his first appearance in this book, which is now outdated by the fall of the Soviet Union.


Unfortunately, Tom Clancy's subsequent books got grittier, darker and less appealing. Clear and Present Danger made a better movie, which says it all. The Sum of All Fears, published in 1991, aimed at the Republican White House, but his incompetent president turned out to foreshadow President Bill Clinton. The plot has become much more gripping since 9-11. Debt of Honor tackled international economic conspiracies and computer hacking, but was again lacking the edge of Clancy's earlier works.


Absolut Paradigm

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