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Dead or Alive (A Jack Ryan Novel) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
“The best characters from all of Clancy’s previous novels are on the case.…For fans of the genre, Dead or Alive is likely to provide a long weekend’s pleasure.”—Los Angeles Times
“Clancy is back at the top of his game…In-depth research, continuous suspense, and scores of fascinating characters.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Top Customer Reviews
"Dead or Alive" is in most respects exactly what you expect from Clancy--globe-trotting special agents whose names are now familiar. Exquisitely researched, down to almost mind-numbing detail on everything from internet protocols and encryption procedures, to the operation of weapons systems, and the layouts of neighborhoods half a world away.
It is a terrific book, and will be embraced by Clancy fans all over. It falls somewhat short of five stars for several reasons. Without giving away too much of the plot, I found the big targets in "Dead or Alive" to be implausible: why not go after Chicago or LA, given the ultimate objective to kill as many people as possible? Why target a huge South American oil refinery, when all of East Houston will do just as well? Just me, though.
But the second objection was what I consider a glaring, and most uncharacteristic mistake by Clancy. In providing background on Iranian army moves along the Iraqi border, he describes the Iraqi Shi'a population as a minority, and subject to persecution by the Sunni majority. In fact, it's the other way around. 80% of Iraq is Shiite, but Saddam Hussein was a Sunni, which is the primary reason the Sunni countries in the Middle East--which is all the others except for Iran--almost uniformly opposed his removal. It was unimportant to the plot, but I'm surprised that it survived what was probably double- and triple-checking by the editors, and no doubt by Clancy himself.Read more ›
Unfortunately, for a number of years now Clancy has chosen to go the James Patterson route of becoming a book mill using "co-authors", and the quality of his releases has suffered accordingly. I haven't even bothered reading his stuff for quite a while now.
So when I saw this book that promised to bring "Together for the first time, an all star cast of Clancy's characters..." (from the book jacket), I snapped it up with high expectations.
I wish I'd saved my money. What a bore!
First of all, the story line isn't anything new or inventive at all. Pretty standard fare about Islamic fanatics trying to blow things up. Been there, done that. Now, obviously that is a current and timely theme in this day and age, but there's nothing at all original about the execution in this book. Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp does it about a hundred times better.
Far too many characters with exotic Middle Eastern names for me to keep track of without a scorecard, and none of these jokers is at all unique or distinguishable. I'd think to myself, "Didn't this guy get killed off about 80 pages ago?", then I'd go back and find out that, no, it wasn't this guy, it was another guy with a weird and unmemorable name and no distinguishing characteristics. They were about as interchangeable as lug nuts.
The pacing is awful; there's never at all any buildup of tension or excitement. It's like watching paint dry.Read more ›
Well, Dad didn't miss much on this one. I wanted to like it. But... yech. I have suffered through this book, aiming at the wall and heaving the dastardly tome at least five times. Flat, silly, inane, political diatribe. Rants interrupted by criss-cross trips around the world to kill bad guys who are also taking trips on planes, trucks and boats and killing anyone who pilots the vehicles. Seriously, with all the blood splashed and bodies dumped, you'd think international headlines would be screaming about a world wide serial killer. Absolutely no tension or suspense. Everybody is supposed to be so savvy and crafty and "intelligent." So, why doesn't Jack Ryan (super sleuth with best friends in all the high/right places) know what his son does for a living? at the secret place he, Jack Sr., devised? Oh, come on! And yeah, Jack Jr. is soooo ready to do field work, with absolutely no training. And how does the cousin flash an FBI badge at a date and then go off to Sweden or insert-nasty-foreign-place and knife/shoot/strangle a bunch of guys? And... I could go on and on. But mostly, if I am reading a thriller, I want to be thrilled or at least intrigued. I don't want to hear how much the people who kill the bad guys hate the rest of us for going about our daily lives. Or how different political parties are ruining the country (and I'll give you 2 bits and a case of Fox News to let you guess what side is which). Not just once or twice, mind you. But spewing from every character AND even sandwiched into exposition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Without a doubt the worse crap one can read. Nothing tied or it it did, it made no sense. I listened to it and who the heck ever thought Lou Diamond Phillip should read needs their... Read morePublished 1 day ago by PointTeacher
Drags a bit in places. I'm really tired of top rank authors hiring "ghost writers" who's name then appears in tiny print on the books jacket, then selling them as if the... Read morePublished 6 days ago by sam moore
I like the Jack ARyan series, and this continues on with Jack Jr. Very good entry of action and plot vs plot, I am sure you will enjoy another Clancy hit.Published 9 days ago by J. Palmer
The book keeps you in suspense throughout each chapter. I like books that keep you on the edge, guessing what the next turn of events will uncover and this book did it for me.Published 11 days ago by Gary L. ORielly