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The Sum of All Fears (A Jack Ryan Novel) Mass Market Paperback – May 7, 2002
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Despite such a dramatic story line, Clancy doesn't neglect the individuals who drive his tale. Jack Ryan's problems are as much domestic as they are part of the international crisis that is the ostensible narrative: National Security Director Elizabeth Elliot has the president's ear, and she has convinced him that Ryan's ethics are questionable. She hints at marital infidelity and an insider-trading scandal. Of course, both accusations are false, but her arguments have enough evidence behind them (e.g. some photographs of an innocent embrace with a friend) to cause a strain in the Ryans' marriage and a flurry of media attention. While "Mr. Clark" tracks the terrorists, he also provides some needed intelligence to heal the Ryan family.
The Sum of All Fears is the stuff of nightmares but contains enough verisimilitude to terrify sober minds. Ryan has matured into a complex protagonist as Clancy's writing, too, has matured. Ryan is plagued by stress and self-doubts that test even his dauntless moral compass and make him a more interesting subject for readers' attention. Those fascinated by military hardware, from nuclear submarines to atomic weapons, will find almost enough here to start their own army. And Clancy's understanding of international politics seems chillingly correct. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Almost too true to life to be a work of fiction, this book is more technical and heavily written than earlier Clancy works, but the high degree of detail and heart-stopping tension more than balances the scientific complexities in the narrative.
At times the characters a carbon copies of earlier Clancy protagonists but the brilliant use of them makes up for some of their predictability.
Ryan and crew are back with a vengance and the safety of the world are in the balance. A must read and a well and worthy effort. Not perfect, but by far, one of the finest nuclear terror novels ever written.
And keep in mind, it could all happen as soon as today.
The book's main character is also named Jack Ryan, but he is a veteran analyst who has worked his way up to number two in the CIA. The top guy, who happens to have the same name as the Morgan Freeman character in the movie, is a stuffed shirt who is content to bask in the perks of his position and let Ryan run the agency, and is little more than a bit player in the book. The centerpiece of both book and movie is the bad guys setting off a nuke at the Super Bowl. But the events leading up to and following the nuclear detonation are what make the book the riveting thriller that it is, and none of that found its way into the movie.
In the book, Ryan has managed to get on the bad side of the president's girlfriend/National Security Advisor. That doesn't really figure significantly in the action until after the bomb, but along the way, in a comic-relief scene I find myself pulling the book off the shelf and rereading repeatedly over the years, we get to see the mysterious and sinister Mr. Clark morph into a marriage counselor and save the Ryans' marriage. I'd love to see a movie depiction of Clark and Chavez escorting Cathy Ryan through a bad neighborhood to a restaurant ("We can't go out, the neighborhood isn't..." "Um, safe, ma'am?Read more ›
If you're just starting with Clancy, I'd start with Clear and Present Danger or one of the more recent one like Rainbow Six. I'd start just about anywhere else if you want the best of this excellent author.
("The Bear and the Dragon" also has this in common with "Sum." They're the only ones where he tries to write sex scenes, and, well, let's just say it's not his forte. He should have learned from this novel that he doesn't do it well, and left it alone.)
This is the only Tom Clancy novel I have been unable to reread. Some of them I've read five or six times. This one I just can't make it through a second time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my favorite of all the Clancy books, but the Kindle version has a problem: within each chapter, Clancy uses "scenes" to go from one character/situation to another,... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Ron A.
Great overall book. Would be 5 stars, but the ending was rushed and somewhat disjointed.Published 11 days ago by Will
One of Clancy's better ones. Rumor has it that the movie version got delayed until after 9/11, lest it inspire bad guys. Maybe it did.Published 21 days ago by jdgalt
Fast and intense action in different locations, but all linked in time, space and action, as properly set out in traditional rules. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer