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Undersea adventure worthy of its accolades

  • Nov 17, 2013
Like "The DaVinci Code" or any of a score of Clive Cussler novels, after watching hundreds of (mostly) men carrying paperback copies of them through airports, I decided it was time to read "The Hunt for Red October".  I don't choose what I read by what's popular, but sometimes the intense popularity of a book or author suggest that I should find out what all the fuss is about.

So here's what I found:  Red October is a very good military thriller, and Clancy, while writing his debut,  was a serviceable writer with potential to improve.  After a career full of bestsellers that were the source of several popular Hollywood adaptations, clearly the late Clancy fulfilled his potential.  Even as a beginner Clancy was better at writing fictional characters and dialogue than the laughably bad Cussler (I have also read one of his to find out I will never read another), and at least the equal of "DaVinci Code's" Dan Brown at writing thriller action.

By now everyone who cares enough to read this review already knows that Red October is a new Russian sub whose commander had a hand in designing its top secret drive system, but also a desire to defect to the West.  So the taut action which starts from page one revolves around how to drive a top secret sub to the coast of the US and turn it over to your new country without starting World War III.  If that isn't hard enough to do, how about adding an unknown KGB spy onboard, a jealous fellow sub commander with an axe to grind, and the difficulty of conducting secret operations to accept and hide the sub and its crew in the  leaky political and journalistic  atmosphere in the US.

One reason I never read a Clancy novel until now is my concern that it would be too much about the military hardware and not enough about the writing.  Unless you are a military buff, the hardware is just a prop, and the story is the thing.  And the story lives up to the billing.

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November 18, 2013
Thanks for sharing.
More The Hunt For Red October reviews
review by . July 03, 2009
The Hunt for Red October is a fast paced tech-thriller from the mastermind of Tom Clancy. It a very exciting read that often feels too real for the reader's own good- you almost feel as if you're reading some sort of top secret file that you somehow picked up by mistake. In that lies the magic of Tom Clancy's thrillers: it's all in their believability.     The plot revolves around Tom Clancy's signature character, CIA pencil pusher Jack Ryan, as he attempts to assist a Russian …
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Todd Stockslager ()
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I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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About this book


Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision: the Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on....

The Hunt for Red October is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career. A military thriller so accurate and convincing that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Its theme: the greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: the chase for a runaway top secret Russian missile sub. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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ISBN-10: 0425133516
ISBN-13: 978-0425133514
Author: Tom Clancy
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Berkley
First to Review

"Amazing tech thriller"
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