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Red Alert (RosettaBooks into Film) by [Bryant, Peter]
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Red Alert (RosettaBooks into Film) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Length: 166 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 477 KB
  • Print Length: 166 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (January 9, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 9, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XVYLA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,840 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Note: This review was originally published on Red Adept Reviews on June 1, 2011.

Overall: 4 3/4 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

Okay, let's this out of the way right now. My favorite movie of all time is the dark comedy classic "Dr. Strangelove." Red Alert was the novel that Dr. Strangelove was loosely based upon. Very loosely, I have to add. The essential story was carried over to the film, but the comedy elements were added in the screenplay. In other words, in the novel, there was no Dr. Strangelove, there was no breaking-into-the-Coke-machine scene, and Slim Pickens didn't ride the bomb down.

But don't be too upset. Aside from the comedy stuff, the storyline of Red Alert was carried over to the movie fairly accurately. As a fan of the movie, I even recognized much of the dialogue.

Instead of the psycho General Jack Ripper, there was General Quinten, commanding officer of the 843rd Bomb wing based at Sonora AFB, who decided to take out the Soviet Union with a massive first strike against their airfields and ICBM launch complexes. He issued "Wing Attack - Plan R" orders to his B-52s, and as in the movie, only he knew the recall code prefix ("OPE") that would bring back the planes. Inside the Pentagon's War Room, the President and his military and civilian staff argued the merits of sending in every SAC bomber to finish the job the 843rd had started. And on the B-52 "Alabama Angel," commanded by Captain Clint Brown, the crew went about their deadly business of delivering two hydrogen bombs.

And the Soviets did have a Doomsday Device that would destroy the world if it was triggered.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know how it is I never got around to reading this before. It's a classic novel and part of the foundation for the entire genre of Apocalyptic novels. This a cautionary tale of how failsafes can be breached and the system itself can be used against itself to spiral out of control.

It reads like any novel written in the 50's complete with main characters who are all white men and fine upstanding examples of duty and valor. But, that doesn't detract from the overall story, it actually makes the story more believable since the everyone is doing their duty to the best of their abilities. Its fast paced and relatively short - only 2600+ locations - and makes for a pleasant read. Unlike most modern novels in the genre, there is no gore, no panic in the general population and a comparably small body count.

If you're a fan of Apocalyptic fiction, this is a must read.
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Format: Paperback
Before you start to read this book it might be a good idea (especially if you are under thirty years old) to do a little reading about 1958 in an almanac or encyclopedia supplement for that year. For those of us who as elementary school students, were taught to turn our desks to the window and cower behind it, or hide in the halls; this could have been a true story. There were more than one or two scares in those days that could have led to a "Nuclear Exchange".

Of little note today is that SAC (the Strategic Air Command) had air fleets of B-52s armed and in the air from the 1950s until the early 1990s. During that time there were many 'incidents' that could have triggered a 'bombing' should there not have been numerous "failsafes" that kept this from happening. One of the major protections was the 'red phone' lines directly between the US President and the General Secretary of the USSR.

While Kubrick decided to turn this into a satire, most of what happens in the book does happen in the movie, without the comedy. What prevented this disaster from actually happening was that 'Plan R' was NEVER a scenario that was approved for use by the Joint Chiefs. One of the reasons that no one person (except for the President) could order a strike was to prevent some one going off the deep end and ordering a nuclear strike. In most cases it took two or more people to arm a missile and fire it. The 'Minuteman' sites were set-up so that one person couldn't turn both keys at once and the two men in the silo were armed so as to able to shoot each other should it become necessary to stop any attempted launch.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's little I can add about the quality of this book that hasn't already been written here in Amazon reviews. Still, I'd like to share my thoughts, however redundant they are.

Despite the long-ago culmination of the Cold War, this novel is an engrossing read. The geographic locations of America's enemies may have changed since publication (then again, maybe they haven't), but the story is still pertinent. In other words, the novel and its lessons aren't dated. On a personal note, I'm fascinated by the idea of living with the threat of nuclear war, as my parents did. Stories like Red Alert provide a window into that era and this one does so with an even hand, without political bias or heavy-handed messages. It lets you understand for yourself that the prevailing government mentalities of the Cold War and the escalation toward mutually assured destruction were insane.

The story is fast-paced, well-researched, and splendidly reported. I was particularly moved by the sacrifice of the crew of the Alabama Angel. There's a good blend of tense dialog and action, making it a terrific example in the military/political thriller genre.

Like others have said, it's hard to believe Dr. Strangelove was born out this novel. I love the movie (and now the book), and while there's a common thread that connects the two, the tone of each seems to me to be severely disconnected. Still, whether it's through the use of black humor or thrilling tension, this story is chilling and sobering.
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