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Customer Review

on October 18, 2002
No doubt- Clancy is a bit tired of writing Jack Ryan novels. Evidence includes his involvement in the myriad of paperback serials with his name on them and his string of non-fiction military books. But the biggest hint has been the continued downturn in the quality of his novels. "Rainbow Six" was good, but not really a Ryan novel. The "Bear and Dragon" was a cumbersome read and "Debt of Honor" was more a lesson on economics than anything else, despite it's eerie ending. His last gripping book was "Executive Orders", but is last great book may have been "Without Remorse", again not a Ryan story.
All this is to say that despite Clancy's apparent disinterest in Ryan and the book's non-action, the writer finds spots of intense interest. Clancy continues to write a characters mind very well and the tension does build at certain points. But without another world crisis for Jack to fix, the tension can only get so far. The book is long but reads quickly.
If Clancy wants to explore other characters (Mary Pat, etc), it would be better to do something like "Without Remorse" or "Rainbow Six", and leave Jack out of it. "Red Rabbit was not really a Jack Ryan story.
Complaints about anachronisms and historical accuracy are true, but they do not distract from the story, unless one is looking for another thing to complain about. Others have taken real historical events and turned them into excellent spy novels and other fiction. See William F. Buckley's Blackford Oaks series as evidence it can be done. Remember, that despite any author's attempt at social commentary, if they are writing a spy story it is meant to be fun.
Probably not worth the cost of a hardcover, so wait for the paperback or go to the library. For Clancy fan's it is a must, and the story does provide some additional back story to many characters in Clancy's world.
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