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Without Remorse: TOM CLANCY'S (Jack Ryan)

Without Remorse: TOM CLANCY'S (Jack Ryan) [Kindle Edition]

Tom Clancy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

Expanding the universe of Jack Ryan and his colleagues, Without Remorse tracks the early career of John "The Invisible Man" Kelly, the ex-Navy SEAL who eventually becomes the shadowy John Clark of Clancy's other novels. Kelly is a highly decorated hero and a masterful soldier, diver and sailor. But during the first Nixon administration he suffers two tragedies that transform him into a ruthless vigilante: his pregnant wife is killed in a freak accident, and Pam, the woman he turns to in his pain, is murdered. Motivated by revenge, Kelly systematically kills the drug-dealing pimps who had so brutalized Pam and her friends. At the same time, CIA man James Greer recruits Kelly for covert operations in Vietnam.

While most of Clancy's oeuvre celebrates high-tech gadgets and clear-cut battles of good versus evil, Without Remorse focuses more on the character, struggles and motivations of its hero. Kelly's status is always ambiguous, reflecting the uncertainties of the Vietnam era, and Clancy resists the temptation of making him into a puritan. From the start, he holds secrets from even his loved ones (he won't tell Pam the origin of his SEAL tattoo, for example). While he is a killer, he believes he has justification for each death, and the CIA is more interested in his deadly talents than his criminal record.

For Clancy fans, the insights into the early history of Clark, Greer and others build a sense of realism and depth into the Jack Ryan series. As Kelly becomes Clark, Clancy underscores the sombre sense of resignation and despair that underlies much of the book: "He was working for the Agency now, so Clark was his name. It made it easier somehow." Yet, in the darkness of this moment, one can't help but reflect on what Clark and his CIA will become. It's like watching Batman donning his cape for the very first time. --Patrick O'Kelley


From the reviews of Without Remorse:

‘The best in the business… he remains No 1.’
Los Angeles Times

‘Heart-stopping… the product of a master.’
Washington Post

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1173 KB
  • Print Length: 652 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399138250
  • Publisher: Berkley (1 Aug 1994)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

Since the publication of The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy has established an unrivalled position as the world's leading thriller writer, with a string of million-selling novels and three major Hollywood films to his name. He is also the author of SSN and the non-fiction books Submarine, Armoured Warfare, Fighter Wing and Marine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Clancy at his very very best 17 Sep 2003
By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I’ll admit it – I’m a big fan of Tom Clancy; his books are the type of epics you know you can start reading one day and will still be reading it 4 weeks later, and that’s before you start on his “powerplays” and others. Amongst his major novels, there tend to be two main characters – Jack Ryan and John Clark. This one’s all about John Clark, well actually John Kelly who becomes John Clark later on, and is set during the Vietnam war.
The book tells how Kelly handles personal tragedy, the loss of a loved one in a brutal and horrific way. His response is pure Clancy - clinical brute force response. What sets this book apart from other Clancy books is rather than going into arguably excessive detail about the weaponry used in battle, Clancy concentrates on the character, his mind, and his attitude.
As expected the book carries several stories in parallel – alongside Kelly’s problems, Washington need to find a suitable operative for a high-risk mission to Vietnam to rescue captured soldiers, and you’ve guessed it, Kelly’s the man for the job.
If you like Clancy, you will absolutely love this book! The way the threads are joined is superb; I cannot recommend it enough. Oh yeah, and don’t worry about the order you read Clancy’s books – it makes no difference.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thriller I've read for ages 7 Mar 2004
I've read this book at least half a dozen times in the last four years, and I've no doubt that I'll soon have to replace this substantial paperback due to sheer usage. This is a straightforward read and the immense size of the volume shouldn't deter the occasional reader; it's easy to get into and after the first fifty pages you won't want to put it down.
It is 1970. Devastated by the recent loss of his wife, former SEAL John Kelly helps a runaway prostitute escape from her drug-running captors, and begins to fall in love with her. But in a freakish twist of fate one of the scumbags spots her - and as a material witness they dare not let her live. After a frantic chase through the city they catch up with the couple, and brutally rape and murder her. Kelly is left for dead, with a horrifying shotgun wound to the back. But Kelly is not an easy man to kill, and upon recovery he immediately sets about a new mission - a mission for vengeance...
With his lethal commando training, patience and guile, Kelly begins to exact a terrible price for his loss, but not without problems. The police are slowly catching on to him, the dealers have connections, and they still hold several other women in captivity. And the Pentagon has not finished with Kelly quite yet, sending him back to Vietnam to carry out a daring rescue mission - for twenty men who are already dead...
This is without a doubt Clancy's best book. Most of his other works are fictional techno/military/espionage epics weighing in at a good six hundred pages or so, but this story takes things back to basics and reads more like a old-style thriller that would do Alistair Maclean proud.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutly Awesome 25 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has to be the greatest Tom Clancy book I have yet read. It Has it all, edge of seat reading, not being able to put the book down stuff. The prologe sets the stage, and the book is off on its long and gripping ride. 5 stars isn't enough to give this book. A must read for any one, not just Clancy fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 19 Oct 1999
By A Customer
A departure from the Jack Ryan books this is my favourite Clancy book. John Kelly (later Clark) is a more complex, dangerous character than Ryan and his story, although less twisting and confused in terms of plot stands, is deeper and at times much darker. Starting out as a tale of violence and revenge after a series of personal tragedies, it explains the character's change of identity after a heroic, suicidal, rescue mission in worn-torn Vietnam. If you have only read the Jack Ryan novels, this provides an interesting insight into the character of the shadowy John Clark, but it also stands alone as a great read and compulsive page turner.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic Clancy 10 May 2000
This is logically the first and best novel by Tom Clancy. In this novel the myth of my greatest fictional hero, John Kelly, is created. There is no other writer in the world able to tell a story like Tom Clancy does in "Without Remorse". This book is about three stars better than some of his later novels, which I still rate as first class. If you only ever read one Clancy (I have read all his books), read "Without Remorse".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I fully admit it took me a while to get over my initial shock that Tom Clancy had written a book that focused not on Jack Ryan but on John Clark. While I did not enjoy this book as much the two Jack Ryan books that came before or after it, "Without Remorse" is still a worthwhile effort and I consider it superior to Clancy's most recent novel, "The Bear and the Dragon." This is not a story driven by technology but by the intense desire of a man to have the world make sense. It is a more intimate story that we are used to from Clancy.
Actually, "Without Remorse" represents a logical extension of one of Tom Clancy's strengths, which is the depth of background he provides his characters. Think of how he first presents "Red" Wegner and Ding Chavez in "Clear and Present Danger." Wegner appears (so far) only in that one book while Chavez has become a major supporting character in the Clancy oeuvre. Yet Clancy basically uses an entire chapter to give the background on each character. In "Without Remorse" Clancy lays out the entire back story of John Kelly, the man who would become better known to us as John Clark. Clancy has done this before with "Patriot Games," where we find out what the oblique "Sir John" references in "The Hunt for Red October" were all about. Now he does the same for Clark, who has really replaced Robbie as the character carrying the main subplot in the Ryan books.
"Beware the fury of a patient man." The quote appearing in the frontpiece of the novel is from John Dryden (yes, the nasty little boy in "Shakespeare in Love" in one of that movies best in-jokes), and it concisely sums up the moral of this particular story. Six months after the accidental death of his pregnant wife, John Kelly pulls over and picks up a young girl standing by the side of the road.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It is the best Tom Clancy book
Had a copy of this book some years ago, but during moves lost it.
It was brilliant to get a copy , because it is a book you can read and read again. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MrPV Whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is one of the best books I've read. It has lots of action. Its thrilling, compelling; John Kelly is one of my favorite characters!
Published 2 months ago by carmen fernanda guevara dìaz
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Picked 4 stars because it was always a great read
Would have given it 5 But! this was an abridged version. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Geoffrey G. Tanner
5.0 out of 5 stars As New For One Penny I could build quite a Libary
The book on arrival was quite a surprise. It was just like NEW.
I will certainly look for more of these Giveaways

Published 9 months ago by Patrick Hyde
2.0 out of 5 stars Every time one professional looks to another with understanding of...
A lot of people have said that this is Clancy's best work, and they are either living in a world where he has only written this one book, or bless them they are being paid to say... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Simon Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars How Clark Kent Became Superman
This story is set in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. By the chronology of that series it is the first book, but should NOT be read first. Read more
Published 22 months ago by John M. Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars How John Clark joined the CIA
Contrary to popular belief this is the first book you should read in Tom Clancys epic "Jack Ryan" series. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by BookWorm1
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Clancy - Without Remorse (Once read, you certainly won't be full...
I could probably write a blog solely on Tom Clancy, a fact that some (or most) may find sad.

While getting to grips with blogging about all sorts of different books, I... Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars A varied and absorbing read
This was my first Clancy novel as I deliberately decided to go in order of the series' chronological timeline (as opposed to release date). Read more
Published on 30 April 2011 by Mr James Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Clancy Novel By Far
The story of John Clarks ascention into the CIA via a shadowy world of prostitution, drugs, murder and war. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by PanspermianMan
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