Customer Reviews


42 Reviews
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Clancy at his very very best
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...
Published on 17 Sep 2003 by Darren Simons

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Every time one professional looks to another with understanding of their profession made me grind my teeth
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 that about all his books, because this is not his best piece of work by a long shot.

Tom Clancy is a geek in the greatest of senses, he is an expert in sonar, which is clearly seen in...
Published 20 months ago by Simon Wells


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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 (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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.
At times it's hard to believe that Hollywood hasn't taken this book to the silver screen, Willem Dafoe would have been perfect considering his performance in "Platoon" and having already played Mister Clark in "Clear and Present Danger". Presumably nobody wants to be accused of espousing vigilantism, but the material is just too good to waste. This book fully deserves the Five Stars I can award it; it's one of the best reads you'll ever own.
If you don't already have a copy, get one. The pages will just fly past.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underappreciate more intimate novel from Tom Clancy, 14 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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. This spontaneous act is very much out of character for Kelly and the decision turns out to be both fortuitous and tragic. Kelly finds comfort with Pam, only to see her killed by the drug dealers from whom she was escaping. However, "Without Remorse" is more than a revenge story, because at its heart it is the story of a man finding himself and his purpose in life. The other major plot line has to do with the former SEAL being recruited by Admiral James Greer for a rescue mission of American P.O.W.s held in North Vietnam. This book provides all the pieces to the puzzle that has been John Clark in the Jack Ryan novels.
"Without Remorse" is also unusual because there are strong romantic elements in the story, as Kelly finds not only his purpose in life but the ability to love again. The fusion of these two things is clearly crucial to the development of the character. This is clearly the most intimate of Clancy's books, which is probably even more of a change of pace than having a different main character. Ironically, I find myself rereading the parts where Kelly deals with the pain of losing the women he loves more than the parts where he takes vengeance upon those responsible. The book does contain some of the more brutal scenes by Clancy, made more intense because they are acted out on the streets of America, not on some back alley in Russia or Iran. Kelly is clearly a vigilante in this book and that is certainly a troublesome description for a character we do not see as being in the "Dirty Harry" mold.
Helpful Hint: Do not skim pages or you will miss a brief appearance by Jack Ryan, although his father is indeed a key character in the story. There are also several supporting characters who will reappear older and wiser in the Ryan novels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutly Awesome, 25 April 2009
By 
Mark Kaye (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All time classic Clancy, 10 May 2000
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
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".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE. Can't get much better than this!, 21 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
An amazing view of one man's fight against those that destroyed him emotionally. One rare time Kelly/Snake/Clark/Klerk alows his emotions to affect civillians. No matter how horrifying murder may seem, you find yourself supporting, not condoning his actions due to Clancys endless talent. Can't get much better than this!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It ain't original, but its a damn fine book, 25 Feb 2005
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
Without Remorse is set in 1970, and tells of John Kelly ex-Navy SEAL Vietnam veteran, and soon to be known as CIA agent John Clark. This book tells us of how he came to the CIA. 6 months after his wife dies, he meets a young woman whom he falls in love with who turns out to have been a prostitute working for a drugs ring which consists of some major sickos. One night, she is spotted along with Kelly and after a chase, Kelly is shot and left for dead, while she is taken away to be gang-raped and tortured to death. Kelly recovers and vows revenge. While he's bumping off drug dealers and pimps, the CIA and Pentagon are planning a major rescue operation in North Vietnam, and they need Kelly's help to do this. So now he has two missions to fulfill. When the rescue mission goes tits-up thanks to a slimy Washington aide, he returns to the States only to find that the police are now beginning to suspect what he's been up to on the streets of Baltimore. Kelly is forced to tell his CIA superiors what he's been up to, and amazingly, they agree to help him if he comes to work for them, helping him to stage his own death after he's killed all the bad guys, and become John Clark.
Now this was a real surprise when I read this. Despite obvious inspirations (Death Wish, Rambo) the atmosphere and tension, and a more complicated action hero than Kersey and Rambo, makes it far better than many amateur attempts at revenge-thrillers.
The only real flaws are the length (did it really have to be this long) and one sub-plot too many (like the POW scenes, which, although not boring, seem a little superfluous and unnecessary). However, its far easier to get into and much more pacier than some of Clancy's other books.
I would rank this alongside RSR and CAPD as among the author's best.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Start Clancy from here, 27 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
This is the first clancy novel that I read, and I believe it to be his best. True, the characters are stereotypes, but then, that is what is one of teh charms of the novel. It is a typical Clancy novel, but with more of a human edge than his others - a great read, and one that I will be doing again soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy's best book, 25 Oct 2004
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Without Remorse (Paperback)
A dark-hued story that gives the history of John Clark, a constant character in the Jack Ryan series. Clark, an ex-SEAL, loses a girl friend to drug dealers and, as the title says, without remorse, proceeds to use his Vietnam-acquired talents to murder the entire drug gang. One of these is basically tortured to death in a particularly unpleasant way, so perhaps those of squeamish dispositions should ask someone to stick those pages together for them. Clancy doesn't exult in the deaths of the drug dealers, but brings out the moral ambiguity of Clark's position (which Clark doesn't share - to him, it falls into the same category as exterminating vermin). A mission back to Vietnam and its aftermath allows him to escape the legal consequences of his actions and begin a new life. Pacily and well-written, with Clancy's famous eye for detail, the book is long and (WARNING!) almost impossible to put down once picked up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Without Remorse
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy (Hardcover - 9 Aug 1993)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews