Red Rabbit (Hardcover)
|Author: Tom Clancy|
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|In a lethal game of cat-and-mouse that is the Soviet Union versus the United States, the Pope's life is in danger, as is the stability of the Western world. Jack Ryan is at the center of the action, but it may already be too late for a novice CIA analyst to do anything about the conflict. This is Clancy at his best--and there is none better.|
From the Publisher:
Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA's Deputy Director, Vice Admiral James Greer—as well as his counterpart with the British SIS, Sir Basil Charleston—and when Greer asked him if he wanted to come aboard as a freelance analyst, Jack was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible, and he was sure he could fit it in with the rest of his work.
And then Jack forgot all about the rest of his work, because one of his first assignments was to help debrief a high-level Soviet defector, and the defector told an amazing tale: Top Soviet officials, including Yuri Andropov, were planning to assassinate the Pope, John Paul II.
Could it be true? As the days and weeks go by, Ryan must battle, first to try to confirm the plot, and then to prevent it, but this is a brave new world, and nothing he has done up to now has prepared him for the lethal game of cat-and-mouse that is the Soviet Union versus the United States. In the end, it will be not just the Pope's life but the stability of the Western world that is at stake. . . and it may already be too late for a novice CIA analyst to do anything about it.
"Clancy creates not only compelling characters but frighteningly topical situations and heart-stopping action," wrote The Washington Post about The Bear and the Dragon. "Among the handful of superstars, Clancy still reigns, and he is not likely to be dethroned any time soon." These words were never truer than about the remarkable pages of his breathtaking new novel. This is Clancy at his best—and there is none better.
CIA analyst Jack Ryan tries to foil a Soviet plot to assassinate the Pope, who has threatened to resign in a protest against Soviet domination (the novel is set during the 1980s, when a real-life attempt was made on the Pope's life). Clancy's novel is distinctive from his other works in that not a single shot is fired until very late in the story.
Customer Reviews of Red Rabbit
Not the best of Clancy; OK for Jack Ryan fans10/19/2003
This is not the best book to ever come from Tom Clancy, and I hope it is not indicative of his future works (I haven't read Teeth of the Tiger yet). The Good: For acquainted Jack Ryan fans, this takes us to the early days. Pre-"Hunt for Red October," but post-"Patriot Games." You get to see Jack Ryan and family in England along with familiar characters from the other books (Ritter, Greer, Dan Murray, etc.). The book on the whole is also a good fusion of fact and fiction. He even draws in small events of the time that are big features of American culture now, such as passing mentions of Starbucks and CNN, which were start-ups then. He also uses the real-life personalities of Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, the Pope, Yuri Andropov, and Brezhnev. The Bad: Clancy is stuck on quotable lines no doubt picked up from real use, but overused frequently and making for dull, annoying reading ("spook," "reading the tea leaves," etc.). I suppose that people do overuse phrases in real-life too, but it is noticeable in the book. He obviously did research on events of the time, in and out of espionage, but mentions this to ad nauseam, even if it is distantly related to the plot: the assassination of Leon Trotsky and Georgi Markov are mentioned numerous times. Hitler and Stalin are mentioned a lot too and it just becomes dull. I am a fan of Clancy, but as the book starts it seems unnecessarily long-winded for the first half. The second half is better because more of the text is related to the plot. The dialogue seems artificial at times. He really doesn't do a good job with characters other than Ryan, especially Rabbit himself. Many other espionage books do great details about motivations for treason, not to mention spy tradecraft. (Don't get me wrong the motivation is clearly outlined, but it just is not written as well as in other books). Clancy is simply not good with espionage. Matters of analysis, politics, or (especially) military are his forte, but not espionage. His fame for detail seems to be more in one to two-line trivia items or the few history cases he cites over and over. Summary: If you're a Clancy fan, you will probably read it anyway, no matter what anybody says. I would. If you are not familiar with Clancy, don't start here, follow him through the series from the beginning instead. This book is meant for long-term fans who know about all the little nuances of Jack Ryan that Clancy fleshes out.
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