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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt is On
The Hunt for Red October

Although it was the first of the series to be published, Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October is actually the third novel in the Jack Ryan series. It propelled Clancy, who had been an insurance salesman with only a few letters to the editor under his writing belt, to best-selling superstar. His success with military and...
Published on May 30, 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writer's style is not engaging or entertaining for me. He's probably good for military technical buffs.
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy.

This guy is a popular best selling author. But not for me. I assume his fans are those who love to think and talk about military technical stuff - with a story to go along with it. The author is regularly welcomed aboard jets, submarines, and destroyers. Admirals and generals give him access, Pentagon officials...
Published on March 2, 2012 by Jane


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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt is On, May 30, 2003
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The Hunt for Red October

Although it was the first of the series to be published, Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October is actually the third novel in the Jack Ryan series. It propelled Clancy, who had been an insurance salesman with only a few letters to the editor under his writing belt, to best-selling superstar. His success with military and espionage-related fiction earned him a title he does not readily accept: father of the techno-thriller.

This novel, if I remember correctly, was the first work of fiction published by the Naval Institute Press, the publishing arm of the United States Naval Institute, a civilian entity which promotes all things naval, including the study of naval history, strategy, technology, and tactics. Some of the Naval Institute Press' other books include A.D. Baker's Fleets of the World, Clay Blair, Jr.'s Silent Victory, and Norman Friedman's Desert Victory: The War for Kuwait. But considering that although Clancy's novel deals with the workings of other federal agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and both the Executive and Legislative branches, the heart of the story is a sea chase.

Based loosely on a 1975 incident in which a Soviet frigate attempted to defect to the West, The Hunt for Red October tells the by-now familiar tale of how Captain First Rank Marko Ramius and a group of selected officers aboard the Soviet Navy's newest Typhoon-class SSBN (the Navy designator for a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, or "boomer") band together to defect to the United States and hand over the Red Navy's most advanced "stealth" submarine.

Ramius, you see, is motivated by one of the strongest emotions of all: the desire for revenge against the callous Soviet state. Not only for the death of his wife as a result of negligence by a well-connected surgeon, but for all the injustices he has witnessed from even his early childhood. His father, a Lithuanian communist and devoted Party apparatchik, was responsible for many deaths and unjust acts, and Marko, raised by a decent grandmother, sees both his father and the State as monsters who care for nothing but power and expansion.

In this novel, set sometime in the mid-1980s, Clancy introduces us to Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst being groomed by his mentor, Admiral James Greer, for better and more crucial postings within the Agency. Now currently assigned as CIA liaison in London (which puts this novel's setting to be after the current Clancy novel Red Rabbit), it is Ryan who first hands the U.S. its first intelligence data on Red October, courtesy of the British Secret Service.

The novel's focus is on Ramius' defection attempt aboard the Red October, which has been modified to use a "caterpillar" drive (described in the movie version as a "jet engine for the water") which enables a sub to glide through the ocean almost undetectably. It also deals with the Red Navy's desperate attempts to seek and destroy the defectors' submarine, and the almost equally desperate moves of an Anglo-American fleet to acquire Red October.

The novel, as if often the case, is far better than its film adaptation. Not that John McTiernan did a bad job with Paramount's 1990 feature film, but in slimming down the characters and situations to fit within a 2-hour movie, far too many exciting scenes were ignored and the scope of the sea chase is narrowed down from "seeing" almost the whole spectrum of the Soviet Navy in the novel to actually seeing one Bear-Foxtrot anti-submarine bomber and one Alfa-class attack sub. I am not saying the movie is not worth watching, but the book, with its various characters and storylines (some of them which would be woven back and forth in all the other Ryan novels), is far better.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An impossible book to put down, May 4, 2000
By A Customer
Russia's newest Typhoon-class nuclear missile submarine the Red October, equipped with a silent Propulsion system, sets sail from Murmansk. Meanwhile a mysterious letter is sent from the captain of the Red October, Marko Ramius, to the Chief Political officer of the Soviet Navy. Ramius has made a fateful decision, the Red October is heading west. The Americans want her and the Russians want her back. Soon after the whole Soviet fleet from the Mediterranean and North Atlantic are sent to hunt down the mighty ship. CIA-analyst Jack Ryan believes that Ramius is trying to defeat the west, however the Pentagon thinks that Ryan is lying and believe the Soviets, who told them that Ramius is a "mad man" and will launch a nuclear weapon at the United States. The Race between NATO and the Soviet Union begins, as does the most incredible chase in history.
Tom Clancy developes a strong feeling of intensity throughout the book. The suspense captivates the reader and makes it remarkably hard to put the book down. By using a lot of explicit, factual detail, Clancy is able to captivate the mind of the reader. The dialect used in "The Hunt for Red October" is also a major key, which helps this book keep the interest of even the least attentive readers. Clancy kept each page, each paragraph exciting, interesting and full of detail.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The HUNT is on, May 2, 2000
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"The Hunt for Red October" Tom Clancy's first book, is about a Russian submarine lead by sub master Marko Ramius. Ramius and the other leaders of the ship have plans to use the submarine to escape to the United States. To rid the ship of the original crew, Ramius orders them to evacuate because the submarine is going to explode. To complete the plan, Ramius volunteers to stay with the ship to see that the United States does not get a hold of their new submarine technology. This way Marko is seen as a true Russian while in fact he plans to become a US citizen. Clancy's use of setting is what sets this book apart from other military novels. Even without knowing anything about submarines or the military, readers can still pick up on what is happening. The book takes place not only in the Russian sub, but in American subs and ships as well. Clancy's nautical terms compliment the setting by putting the reader in the setting as part of the crew. The book is slow to start due to the nautical and military terms, but once familiar with it the book reads quite well. Most of the setting is on the Russian sub, so some Russian words and phrases are used, but they are explained. The thing I enjoyed most about the book was the realism. Clancy did a great deal of research on the subject before writing this book and it is definitely seen throughout the writing.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt for Red October, September 7, 2002
The Hunt for Red October written by Tom Clancey is by far one of the best submarine action-adventure techno-thrillers to come along in quite awhile. The action is so convincingly gripping you feel like you're there watching the story play out in front of you.
The plot is some espionage coup and this is a Jack Ryan novel, Claney's main hero in the book. Red October is a new class of Soviet submarine and it's captain, Captain First Rank Marko Ramius and his command crew have a plan to hijack the submarine and defect to the United States. This book is at the height of the cold war in time frame and Clancy does an excellent job setting the ground work and stage of the book. Red October is the latest in technology th Soviets can muster an the United States wants to find out more about it.
There are action-packed submarine chases chock-full of high suspense as Clancy works the plot and sub-plots to a masterfull stroke making this book a real page turned. I finished this book in one evening as I was riveted to the story as the character development was solid to the storyline.
As we read on in the book, you feel the emotions and adrenalin rush, making this one of Clancy's best written books. Buy this book and you'll have a story that you can read and reread as the adventure will remain fresh and electrifying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Audio Book Out there, October 29, 1999
By A Customer
I am an avid Audio Book listener. I check out quite a few from the library on a regular basis. The Brilliance Co. edition of this book is the Best book on tape ever...bar none. The story is great on its own, but Mr Charles' voice makes it even better. I liked it so much I bought the set and pull it out to listen to it again and again. Get this Tape
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down ! Intense cat and mouse game !, November 21, 2000
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When this book came out, the Kremlin ordered 500 copies! The idea of a Soviet sub commander deciding to defect to the United States with his submarine was their deepest, darkest fear! The U.S. Navy and FBI also were very unhappy - they wanted to know who had been talking to Clancy - they couldn't believe that someone could find out all this by doing research. They were convinced that several people with Top Secret clearances had been talking to Clancy.

The storyline is this: Marko Ramius is the Russian Navy's most experienced and highly decorated submarine commander, who has become disillusioned with the Communist Party. After seeing the plans for the newest Russian submarine - "The Red October". A sub that is almost completely silent - a submarine with one purpose - "to start a nuclear war". Ramius decides to steal the submarine with the help of the officers of his crew after he is assigned the command of The Red October. Before leaving port on it's madien run, Marius mails a letter to the Secretary of the Navy telling him of his intent to steal the sub. The letter arrives 2 days after the Red October sails from port. The Soviets in a panic, send their entire fleet in the region after it trying to find and sink the Red October. The Soviets approach the United States telling them that Marius sent a letter to the Secratary of the Navy explaining his intent to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, and ask for help in hunting the sub down and destroying it.

Jack Ryan, currently a CIA analyst, who has written several books on naval warfare strategy, and who has met Marius at a diplomatic party, is asked to consult the President of the United States and the Chiefs of Staff at an emergency meeting. Jack mentions the possibility that the sub may be trying to defect. No one at the meeting believes it, but the President gives Jack permission to join up with an American sub on patrol and to attemp to make contact with the Red October to find out what Marius intentions are.

This book really opened my eyes up to what our capabilities are with submarines - I had no idea how advanced they are. This story is very fast paced and intense. It really makes you wonder how the U.S. would respond under these circumstances.

Great read!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Largest Hunt for an Invisible Sub, January 9, 2003
This realistic adventure hooks you from the very beginning to the end. While your not reading the book your thinking about future battles or the next idea Jack Ryan has to capture the typhon sub. The reader will be hooked tell the climatic ending.
This adventure is about a rouge solviet typhon sub with stealth capability, that was taken over by highly honored solviet officers, and Ramius the sapient sub master that trained the whole solviet sub fleet. While the duantless Jack Ryan and the C.I.A. are trying to figure out what the thing is, the solviets are trying to manipulate the americans to belive tha whole solviet fleet movment is just a big search and rescue. But the americans are smart, and they find out that there is a stealth sub in the sea that will defect. Then the race begins.
Tom Clancy is belived to have been briefed by the White House about this possible reality. If you are an adventure seeker and you want to read a book that will keep you awake all night, I would read The Hunt for the Red October.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I read this the second time, October 21, 2002
I recently re-read this gem of a book, and I'm very happy I did. This was the first Tom Clancy novel I ever read, and although it inspired me to read the rest of his library, my memory kept nagging at me that this was an "average" book at best.
Well, my memory is apparently malfunctioning. "The Hunt for Red October" is an exciting, fascinating book which sets the stage for the slew of outstanding work by Tom Clancy released since. All the elements of the "technothriller" appear in this novel for the first time, with strong hints of Clancy's understanding of human nature which he would develop beginning with "Patriot Games".
This book is much more than an encyclopedia of naval and submarine lore, which explains its lasting popularity. The pacing of your average Clancy is akin to Forsyth, however I find Tom Clancy's work to be superior. Even though the technical language is very prevalent, I never had the impression that I was being preached to; I actually enjoyed learning new things as I went along (as I do with every Clancy novel).
This novel was made into an excellent film, but the book delivers so much more than the film could.
"Hunt" is a great read by itself, but anyone interested in getting "into" Clancy would be better off reading both "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games" before making a final judgment about whether or not they enjoy Clancy's style. These two works tend to balance each other out between his "technical" side and his stronger "true" storytelling skills.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You've got to read it for yourself, April 29, 2003
It's the cold war. A Russian missile submarine -- the Red October, commanded by Captain Marko Ramius -- is secretly attempting to defect to the United States. Will the Russians stop her? Or the Americans get her?
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER is one of those incredibly detailed military thrillers that I would never manage to get through without the marvel of audio books. The characters and scenerios are fascinatingly real (note: this is a Jack Ryan, CIA novel) and the last quarter of the book is a riveting chase the likes of which I have never before encountered, but the first three quarters are so chock full of details about submarines, Russia, and politics that I would have bailed out within minutes were it not for John MacDonald's careful narration (note: he does an excellent job with the accents). While neither a Navy buff nor a techno geek, I give the book five stars because the realism is so intense that it reads like nonfiction, yet the plot is not so complicated that I got lost. I do think Clancy used the story as a vehicle to show off his great knowledge on various subjects, but he still kept the pace surprisingly fast. I could launch into a long dissertation here on the many plots involved, the many subjects covered, the Soviet and American political scene, but I think the reader will be far better off getting it from the book than from me.
While certainly not the sort of thriller to grab the hyperactive reader, THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER is one of those stories that is steadily persisting in becoming a classic and quite deservedly so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lure that pulled in generations of readers!, November 20, 2000
After a very disappointing experience with Tom Clancy's latest effort, "The Bear and the Dragon," I went back to "The Hunt for Red October" and "Red Storm Rising" to remember why it was that I started reading Tom Clancy's books in the first place...
"Red October" is Clancy's shortest book, but it's probably one of his best. The character development, layered story-telling, and attention to detail make it an extremely interesting read. I've read this book at least three times now, and I have enjoyed each reading as much as I did the first time through, nearly 15 years ago now.
Come along and join in the action as an unlikely hero, Jack Ryan get swept up by international politics and situations.
Definitely 5 stars.
If you enjoy this book, there's a good chance that you'll also enjoy "Red Storm Rising," "Debt of Honor," and "Executive Decision." Those all take on action of global proportions!
Good luck out there!
Alan Holyoak
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