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Dead or Alive [Hardcover]

Tom Clancy
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Dec 2010
For years, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus have waged an unofficial and highly effective campaign against the terrorists who threaten western civilization. The most dangerous of these is the Emir. This sadistic killer has masterminded the most vicious attacks on the west and has eluded capture by the world's law enforcement agencies. Now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their latest recruits, John Clark and Ding Chavez, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his cousins, Dominick and Brian Caruso, are determined to catch the Emir and they will bring him in . . . dead or alive.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (7 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718157419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718157418
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 15.9 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Clancy is America's, and the world's, favourite international thriller author. Starting with The Hunt for Red October, all thirteen of his previous books have hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His books, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears have been made into major motion pictures. He lives in Maryland where he is a co-owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Grant Blackwood is the author of the Briggs Tanner books and the co-author along with Clive Cussler of Spartan Gold. Blackwood is a U.S. Navy veteran who lives in Colorado.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
"For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness." -- Psalm 38:4-5 (NKJV)

Dead or Alive pits the Emir and his global terror network against the United States, with only the hope that the secret group, The Campus, can act in time to avoid horror. If that plot sounds familiar, you've read some variation on it several times in the last decade by other authors. What's different here? Authors Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood work in the major surviving characters from the earlier Jack Ryan novels. Although the names are familiar and friendly to the memory, the characters themselves are more similar in name than in reality. So if you think you are going to enjoy a vintage Jack Ryan thriller, think again.

If that puts you off, realize that you'll be disappointed if you are looking for the old zing in this series. It's just not there. You'll probably grade the book as one or two stars, as a poor imitation of "the prior characters and stories."

If you can put that feeling aside and focus on the book itself, it's about a two-and-a-half star effort that's mainly marred by taking forever to develop over the 950 pages in my edition. The strength of the slow development is that your curiosity will grow about what the terror plot involves, but I doubt if you'll be intrigued. If you enjoy learning how to run a terror network over the Internet, the book becomes a little more interesting. If you want to gain a little paranoia about American vulnerability to terrorists, the book is decent in that regard.

The test for me with such a "thriller" is whether I can put it down in the middle for a few days and feel relaxed about not knowing what's coming next.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing return from Mr Clancy et al. 13 Dec 2010
In the 90's Clancy was huge, his books were huge and it seemed he could do no wrong. It was probably wrong to think such a srata of books would remain contemporary forever.

For many, Clancy went off the boil and in some cases the later books were poor by his standards. This new novel, co-written by someone I confes i have never heard of, is moving that quality line back towards where it once was. OK, so it's not Clear & Present Danger or Executive Orders, but it is better than some of the later offerings.

In places, you might be able to spot the Clancy chapters and this makes the book a little patchy but the characters are old friends and the plot in well put together. At 600+ pages it is a 'shorter' Clancy, but the fact that I finished this in under a week means it held my interest and was clearly a good read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame on you Tom 22 Feb 2011
First off I'm a big Tom Clancy fan. I guess that is why I'm so disappointed with this book. Although the plot is decent, if not a little cliche these days, the writing is absolutely atrocious. If you are not a stickler for detail you may not even notice it, but for those that know and love/d Tom Clancy for his realism and attention to detail you will find neither here. Some errors are truly pathetic for a professional author, such as numerous misspellings an improper grammar or vocabulary usage. Others are just errors in accuracy (such as the statement that the Shia are the minority in Iraq, when in fact they are the majority), which would not be a major issue if this wasn't Tom Clancy. I realize that Grant Blackwood co-authored, but in the end it is Clancy's name that is in bold print. Whether the literary and grammatical errors were vomited from Clancy's pen or Blackwood's is irrelevant, I would hope that Mr. Clancy would have at least read the final draft before he signed his name to it.

Over the past decade Clancy fans have already had to be wary of the myriad of "created by Tom Clancy" books, which were actually authored by unknowns. We used to wait with baited breath for the rare releases of novels actually written by Clancy. Unfortunately, it seems even the original is no longer up to par. I regret to say that it seems obvious that Clancy has now completely sold out for money and forgotten all about his artistic integrity. I think its time Clancy either holsters his pen, or goes back to writing his own books. Oh, and since he has so much money now he might want to spring for a decent editor. Shame on you Tom
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
You do, in fact, need to be a practitioner of neurosurgery to fully appreciate this book. Not because the book itself is subtle or requires much by way of thought or interrogation by the reader. No, it's because if Tom Clancy was anywhere near the actual writing of it then he has, clearly, recently undergone a successful lobotomy.

Forget about the hackneyed plot for a moment. Forget about the successful use of torture as practised by the characters (a practice on which Clancy has usually proclaimed himself to be of the 'it doesn't work' camp, 'The Sum of All Fears' notwithstanding). Forget about the uncharacteristic lack of authorial political sophistication, or the fundamental misunderstanding of the characters' long-established mindsets (Ryan Sr's all-new attitude to politics comes as a particular surprise). Let's just think about the writing itself.

It's clunky. It's graceless. It chunders along with all the finesse of a dying steam locomotive, heading falteringly in only one possible direction with bits dropping off and going 'clang' as it goes. It is so inescapably bad that it actively prohibits enjoyment of the novel. Whatever its faults, 'The Bear and the Dragon' was at least competently written. 'Dead or Alive' is not. Read it only if you want to see what Clancy's famous characters would look like in a parallel, but much, much worse, universe.

An unremittingly ghastly attempt at a technothriller.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Tom's books
This is the usual Tom Clancy at its best. I love and read all of his previous work, though the story was a little weaker than previous novels but I still enjoyed it.
Published 3 months ago by E. D. R. Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars The Hardy Boys - 2013 ?
I really can't decide whether to give "Dead or Alive" three or two stars. ...But I will throw a slightly bigger spanner by giving it two stars. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ole Bjrsvik
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Just hurry up with the next installment. As I have already said, I read the full set in two months. I can not wait for more pleasure
Published 9 months ago by Michael O ` Leary
3.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the Ryan legacy
Like all Clancy books, this starts slowly, with a very detailed back story, but it is worth it in the end. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Teacher
3.0 out of 5 stars thanks
well priced and a great read, would recommend it to anyone who has read his other books, or just anyone
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Anil Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift
Brought this for hubby and he has not yet read it, but is keen on the whole series and has read all the other books
Published 13 months ago by peps
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
As always, Tom Clancy at his best. Keeping you absorbed right to the end with intrigue. Next book at the ready.
Published 14 months ago by John Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved every minute of it
A really gripping story, that held your attention all the time.
The only time you would stop reading this, would be for a meal of if the phone rang.
Published 14 months ago by Brian Duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy the master again!!
Another magic book by Tom Clancy young Jack is chip off the old block looking forward to the next one.
Published 14 months ago by Mr.M.J.Alton
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his Dad
Jack junior has a long way to go to catch up with his dads exploits but still worth a look!
Published 15 months ago by Steve P
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Is this 1 cash in on the Tom Clancy too many? 15 24 Jan 2011
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