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Dead or Alive (A Jack Ryan Novel) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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“Heart-stopping action…entertaining and eminently topical.” —The Washington Post
“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)
About the Author
Tom Clancy's debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it "the perfect yarn." Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and suspense. He lives in Maryland.
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When he talks weapons, he goes into the detail that a munitions dealer would deal with. In this novel we see operators using a Knights Armament M110 Sniper System. He tells you it's the best because he has done the homework. It is facts like this that the master storyteller weaves into the tapestry of his books that many readers including myself find fascinating.
I am not going to discuss the plot in detail because that's why we read the book. Here's what you need to know. This is a big blot book which is what most of Clancy's books represent. In this case, Jack Ryan is a retired President of the United States. His son Jack Junior is running a secret independent anti-terrorist agency that his father the President started.
It is called The Campus, and it has been successful for years going after the bad guys. The current President seems to be weak on terrorism and is more concerned with guaranteeing the legal rights of the bad guys than protecting the country. You are already seeing the subplots develop.
Clancy puts us in the thick of it. We as readers are in the game. When Delta Force operators and Rangers go into the caves of Afghanistan we are with them. We breathe the odors; we hear the sounds, and we feel the tension. We find ourselves silencing our own voices because we don't want the good guys to be caught, and that is classic Clancy.
In this book there is evil in the world, and in DEAD or ALIVE, an evil man in the world is at lodge. He has wreaked havoc on the Western world. We call him the Emir, and his objective is to deal a devastating terrorist blow to the United States. The book takes you around the world while Ryan Junior, and his father's old hands John Clark and Ding Chavez join Ryan along with Brian and Dominic Caruso with Mary Foley.
It's a race for time, and for America. Will the good guys win, and where is the Emir? Is he in a cave 8,000 miles away or is he right here among us? You will have to read the book to find out and oh what an ending.
Why I Love Clancy and you will too?
Please allow me to give you a feel why Clancy was the absolute best writer in his fiction segment. It is his incessant ability to weave odd important facts into his stories, and to weave reality into the fabric of the plot:
* His description of the computer setup at the National Security Agency is without equal.
* There are 125,000 cranes in the world and currently Dubai has 30,000 of them currently building and rebuilding the city. Who knows things like this?
* Plans do not survive the first contact with the enemy.
* Laziness has consequences. If you are a sentry, if you pause, if you hesitate, if you light up a cigarette, you are DEAD.
* You don't have to like it; you just have to do it.
* The FBI Urban Tactical Training Facility is preeminent in the world. They are the best of the best. See why in the book.
This is a great read, all 848 pages of it. You start the book and you can't put it down, and in the end isn't that why we read Clancy. We just keep going until we are finished, and when we are finished we are ready for more. That is why he will be missed by so many readers out there. Read it today and see for yourself, and thank you for reading this review.
At times you get lost in the minutia of the details, and more than once I found that I had to re-read a paragraph to understand what was written. Definitely not the typical Clancy style.
In the older Clancy books, I could hardly put it down until I finished it... sometimes staying up until the wee hours of the night reading it. But with this book, it was a chore just to get through it, and I nodded off once or twice I think from sheer boredom. Definitely not what I have come to expect from Clancy.
Also grammatically, it was terrible as sometimes the paragraphs and dialog ran together so much so that I it was hard to tell who was saying what.
I got this book as a kindle edition so perhaps the conversion to kindle had something to do with that.
All in all, the book was too long, and really could have used a bit of editing.
Finally, is Clancy trying to be PC with this book? I began to wonder about half-way through the book, with statements such as Christians are racists.
OK, so maybe he is just going for the shock factor, but perhaps he is getting Politically Correct?
Overall, pretty disappointed - from a long time Clancy reader.
If you gotta have this book, wait until you can buy the cheaper paperback so you won't feel as disappointed.