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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Red Rabbit Hardcover – August 5, 2002

2.6 out of 5 stars 893 customer reviews
Book 2 of 10 in the A Jack Ryan Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's not a shot fired until page 602 in Clancy's lumbering new thriller, and readers up on their history will know the outcome of that shot on page 17. What comes in between is a slow-moving but, given Clancy's astonishing flair for fly-on-the-wall writing, steadily absorbing imagining of the back story behind Mehmet Ali Agca's (real-life) failed attempt on the life of Pope John II in 1981. By going back 21 years, Clancy provides a fresh adventure for a young Jack Ryan, but Ryan fans (and presumably Ben Affleck) may be surprised to learn that Ryan is, until the final scenes, only a supporting player here. The book's main heroes are the husband-and-wife team of Ed Foley, CIA station chief in Moscow, and his agent-wife, Mary Pat, and Oleg Zaitzev (code-named Rabbit), the mid-level employee in the KGB communications department who for conscience's sake decides to defect to America when he's asked to encrypt messages that reveal a plot, under the auspices of then-KGB chief Yuri Andropov, to kill the pope in response to the pontiff's secret letter threatening to resign the papacy and to return to Poland to resist Soviet domination. In real life, the pope wrote such a letter, and analysts have long speculated that the Soviets, via Bulgarian controllers, dispatched Agca to kill him. It's utterly fascinating to read Clancy's playing out of that likely scenario is there a writer in the world who brings so much verisimilitude to scenes both high (Politburo meetings) and low (details of spy craft and everyday Soviet life)? But while Clancy delivers a believable and encyclopedic version of real-life events, the suspense is minimal a disappointment when other writers (Forsyth in Day of the Jackal, for one) have shown that there can be enough tension in a fated-to-fail assassination plot to give a stroke to a yoga master.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Clancy returns to Jack Ryan's first days in the CIA, when the fate of the free world hung in the balance as Ryan discovered a heinous plot to assassinate the Pope. Clancy is so big that this new novel merits a special limited edition (ISBN 0-399-14914-7. $150).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (August 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399148701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399148705
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (893 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jon D. Lindjord on January 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It seems more likely to me that he outlined the basic plot and then turned it over to someone else to do the grunt work. In particular, the dialogue and characterization of some key players (very notably Ryan's wife -- who is not even remotely recognizable as the woman in the other books) is stilted and crude compared to Clancy's own writing. Clancy uses profanity in dialogue in a way that makes sense and is that is consistent with the character who is speaking. In this book, the use of profanity is stilted and capricious, almost as if the writer was not a native American English speaker. Finally, one of the hallmarks of every one of Clancy's previous book was his careful attention to technical details in a way that added depth to the storytelling. That is not at all evident in Red Rabbit.
I am a major fan of Clancy's past books, and I have no problem with him making a few extra bucks by "phoning this one in", but I think he did his readers a disservice.
If he did write this himself, it's even more disappointing.
Oh, well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I heard that Clancy wrote a book that was set back in the 80's Cold War era again I was hopeful that he could regain some of his earlier writing success. Not that I was hopeful for his well-being, but more that he would start writing books that were as enjoyable as the ones he wrote early in his career (Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, Hunt for Red October, etc.). If Red Rabbit was an attempt at reliving the early years then he failed miserably.

Red Rabbit focuses on the spy game that was so prevalent during the Cold War 80's between the Soviets and the British/Americans. Attempting to relieve political pressure from the Pope and remind Poland who's boss, the Soviets decide to assassinate the Pope. Having read previous Clancy books I assumed that this was the catalyst and that the plot would promptly fill in around it. That was my first mistake (and possibly Clancy's too). Instead of moving on with the details of the assassination and the West's attempt to prevent it, the story completely switches gears, now attempting to highlight an unremarkable character in KGB agent Oleg Zaitzev that has an attack of conscience and decides to defect with his family and some very sensitive information. On a sidenote, how can Clancy possibily expect the reader to believe in the shear coincidence of Zaitzev arbitrarily choosing a person on the subway to help with his defection because the guy looked like an American, when in fact he's actually chosen the CIA chief of station in Moscow. Lucky guess, right?

My second mistake was assuming that the story would right itself and get back on track with what seemed to be more interesting, the prevention of the assassination. Instead the pace of the books slows considerably while the focus has shifted to the defector.
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By A Customer on September 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Save some time and just read this:
While sleeping the sleep of the just he looked at his wife, the eye cutter, and asked himself, "How many divisions does the Pope have?" which made him realize that little girls give the best hugs. Suddenly he recalled that the KGB had roasted a traitor alive and made a film of it so he decided to buy some Starbucks stock before it was available. Then the Pope didn't get killed.
Now read it again and again and again.
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By A Customer on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I quite enjoyed Clancy's previous books and I will no doubt purchase the next one, but I would not recommend Red Rabbit to anyone. First off, Clancy has Jack Ryan talking like a foul mouthed hippie and it is very much out of character for Ryan. Most disappointing, though, is that there is NO suspense. Everything the Americans and Brits plan comes through without a hitch and the Russians are depicted as, if not stupid, then certainly quite naive. Rabbit's wife hardly questions his defection! A very poor effort from Clancy. Seems almost as though this book was written to meet a publisher's deadline rather than to entertain readers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A generous review: take this book as a long character exposition piece, with a middling storyline around it. The book gives some foundation to Ryan, the Foleys, and the crew at the CIA, and puts some meat on the bones of Ryan's reputation at the CIA. The book does a pretty good job at conveying an impression of the cities and offices in which the action takes place (note that I say "an impression" not necessarily "an accurate impression." Clancy has his foibles and faults as an author, but when you read a Clancy wannabe, you can see his talent. Fine for a long plane ride and pretty good for sitting by the pool.
Now, what I really think: Gadzooks, does this book suck! Where to begin? The main plot: we know the Pope gets shot and we know he lives, so whether the KGB guy gets out of the USSR is irrelevant: which makes it hard to really get too worried about the KGB guy. Moreover, the fact that NOBODY IS CHASING THE GUY makes his escape not terribly dramatic. As for Ryan, the part where he works in the garden, drips sweat on Lady Somebody's roses, and the next day they bloom a color never seen before by mere mortals, was pretty cool. Just kidding, but even in a genre where you expect to main character to be an all-around stud, the "Ryan Is Perfect" kick was over the top. So Ryan is a jock, brave, has a brilliant wife who loves to cook him breakfast, is a millionaire, a PhD, brilliant himself on all matters large and small, thinks little girls give great kisses and refers to his son as "the little bast___," and I think he was in the Marine Corps (I think this because it was mentioned about 4,353 times in the book).
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