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Dead or Alive Hardcover – 7 Dec 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (7 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718157419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718157418
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,946 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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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
"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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Hank Moody on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Drambuster on 13 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Cassiday on 1 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Dead or Alive" would be an excellent spy thriller if it was half as long. Its overblown length militates against its very categorization as a thriller.

For the most part there is ample action to sustain the propulsive momentum of the novel. However, there are many extraneous subplots that pointlessly bog down the rest of the novel. Not only that, several of the subplots lead down unfulfilling and ultimately frustrating cul-de-sacs.

One subplot in particular was intriguing, only to be abandoned as of no consequence. It regards the special ops agent Sam Driscoll. In the beginning of the story he kills a plethora of enemies in caves on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

A member of the US attorney general's office wants to bring charges of murder against Driscoll when he learns that Driscoll took out a number of defenseless enemies in their sleep, at point-blank range no less.

Driscoll's slaying of the enemy terrorists begs the question: is it morally as well as legally acceptable for a soldier to blow away enemies while they sleep?

It's an intriguing subplot. But it goes nowhere. It is cursorily dropped by means of yet another subplot that comes to nothing.

This other supererogatory subplot concerns Jack Ryan Senior's mulling over whether to run for president again. Apparently, the only raison d'etre for this subplot is to allow author Clancy to drop the aforesaid subplot of Driscoll's prosecution for murder. Candidate for president, Jack Ryan conveniently persuades the attorney general's office to eighty-six their prosecution of Driscoll, and that is the end of that.

That being said, "Dead or Alive" is generally intriguing and moves along at a brisk pace, considering its unwarranted immense length that juggles too many unnecessary subplots.

All things considered, I recommend this fascinating, if bloated, spy thriller.

--Bryan Cassiday
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