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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read from the master
So, you wanna be President. You could fix all the problems with the county, couldn't you. Yep, if you just had the chance. Well, here it is Mr. Smarty Pants. Well, it is if you are John Patrick Ryan. "Debt of Honor" left us (Clancy fans) in a large lurch. The President, the Supreme Court, most members of the House, Senate and Cabinet are dead. Jack Ryan,...
Published on 4 Jun 1997

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for most of the way, disappointing towards the end.
Executive Orders sees Jack Ryan take office as President of the United States of America. And he gets one crisis after another - those nasty media people, corrupt politicians, scepticism, foreign crises, and eventually a biological warfare attack from Iran, and then WAR!!!
Its hard not to like this book. The political stuff is actually quite good, and for about...
Published on 25 Feb 2005 by rasam23


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read from the master, 4 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Executive Orders (Hardcover)
So, you wanna be President. You could fix all the problems with the county, couldn't you. Yep, if you just had the chance. Well, here it is Mr. Smarty Pants. Well, it is if you are John Patrick Ryan. "Debt of Honor" left us (Clancy fans) in a large lurch. The President, the Supreme Court, most members of the House, Senate and Cabinet are dead. Jack Ryan, new President of the United States (or, POTUS), formerly new Vice President, has it all to do. Appoint a Supreme Court, not just one or two justices, but all of them. Arrange for the election of representatives and Senators. Maintain national defense while facing increasingly hostile international dilemmas, not to mention deadly domestic ones. All this while trying to stave off a despicable attempt to "grab the throne" by the freshly ousted former Vice President of the United States. Clancy provdes a realistic view of being POTUS. And, shows us that strength of character does, indeed, make a difference. While facing the most challenging and dangerous circumstances since the Revolutionary War, just how does the USA fare? How does she weather a storm of weapons of mass destruction? If you like Clancy's earlier works, then I will guarantee that you will enjoy and approve of the "response of the Uinted States of America".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why no film deal?, 21 July 2007
By 
G. REEVES (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
Having seen both "Patriot Games", and "Clear and Present Danger", I found it easy to imagine Harrison Ford, Karen Archer, and Willem Dafoe reprising their previous roles. Given the critical and box office flop that was "The Sum of All Fears", maybe Hollywood should have tried to adapt this book for the cinema instead.

The circumstances of Ryan's elevation to the presidency were remarkably prescient, given 9/11, and the passage describing Saddam's assassination, and the religious motivation for it, was especially well written, if a little dated. Perhaps Clancy's crystal ball let him down on this one. He takes an almost pornographic interest in military hardware, but you cannot accuse him of not doing his research.

Where the book falls down is that, as the book unfolds, you can never be in any doubt that however much crap is thrown at the US of A, truth, justice, and the American way will always triumph in the end. The idea that someone like Darayei might think "Let's take on the world's biggest superpower, they're bound to take it lying down." is, frankly, laughable.

Overall, a gripping read, and I zapped through it whilst on holiday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for most of the way, disappointing towards the end., 25 Feb 2005
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
Executive Orders sees Jack Ryan take office as President of the United States of America. And he gets one crisis after another - those nasty media people, corrupt politicians, scepticism, foreign crises, and eventually a biological warfare attack from Iran, and then WAR!!!
Its hard not to like this book. The political stuff is actually quite good, and for about two-thirds of the book, it manages to keep attention from flagging. The kidnap attempt on Ryan's youngest daughter is tense and shocking. The assassination of Saddam unfortunately has dated the book rather badly, but still it makes for a good read. The biological warfare attack when it happens is quite scary, but its really just a variation on Outbreak (which is refered to about a dozen times).
Where the book begins to fall apart is at the climax when the US goes up against the "United Islamic Republics" Iran and Iraq(controlled by Iran). After awhile, it seems like the author is just going through the motions. At times it reads more like a textbook than a thriller, with very little emotional involvement. The war is won far too easily. The final bit, when Clark and Chavez guide bombs dropped by F-117s into the Ayatollah's house is pretty good, but its been done before in Clear and Present Danger.
It makes interesting reading, and is surely recommended for Clancy fans. But he should have spent more time on the thriller part of the book (the bit the fans most want to read) rather than the political aspects which dominate much of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars turgid, 19 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
I liked Clancy's early stuff, but this, like Debt of Honor is a mind numbing slog to get through. There is a good story in there (even more so given recent (09/2001) events), it's a pity Clancy feels the need at times to turn it into US Politics and International Relations 101! Also it's nice to have a twist to get you to read the story; the story of Aref Raman is signposted so clearly by the middle of the book why should I bother to read the rest? The other plotlines are basically good but I get the impression that Clancy wrote this book (and a few others) with a ruler nearby - "not 3 inches thick yet need some more prose"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "What I would do if I was president" by Tom Clancy, 3 Aug 2007
By 
Gareth M. Duggan "garethduggan" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
This book had some of Clancy's characteristic plotting strengths so was fun and engaging, but ultimately it boiled down to Clancy coming up with a way of telling us all of the things he would love to do if he was president. Fair enough, and not badly written either, but not up there with his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suprising trail of events, 28 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
Without wanting to spoil this book, the events are suprising and certainly not expected, some aspects are reminicent of 9/11 is Tom Clancy trying to predict the future - he nearly did!!! Read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars President Jack Ryan, 25 Aug 2004
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
"Executive Orders" is Tom Clancy's follow up to his best selling novel "Debt of Honor" and begins moments after the ending of the previous novel. "Debt of Honor" left the Capitol building destroyed, the President killed, most of Congress killed, and all 9 members of the Supreme Court killed. Most other top officials of the government were also killed in a horrible attack reminiscent of September 11, 2001 (even though the novel was written years before that event). While not intending to be, Tom Clancy was very prophetic in writing about the events that led up to "Executive Orders". Because the Vice President had resigned, Jack Ryan was asked to take his place until the next election. As Vice President, Jack Ryan was not in the building when the attacks took place. Being Vice President was only supposed to be a one-year post and then he would retire from public service. Now with the President dead, Jack Ryan is the new President of the United States. Most Presidents have a Cabinet and Congress and other Senior Officials to help make the transition to power run smoothly. Jack Ryan has to rebuild his government almost from the ground up.
Tom Clancy writes large, sprawling novels. This one is actually a bit longer than most other Clancy novels, coming in at nearly 900 pages (hardcover). There is a lot of storyline to cover. Clancy likes to have the main plotline with several sub-plots that eventually tie in to the main story and also augment what is going on. Only one of these sub-plots felt truly superfluous (that being the Mountain Men sub-plot) as it did not actually add anything to the main plotline nor did it even touch the main story. It was set up early as something large and fizzled out near the end, as if Clancy forgot that he had that sub-plot going and then realized that he didn't have anywhere for it to go. Otherwise, all the storylines fit into the larger story and with all the detail that Clancy provides, the novel doesn't feel as weighty as it would appear to be.
The detail that Tom Clancy provides gives the novel a sense of realism, that perhaps these events are not so implausible as we might have once thought. After September 11 and with threats of bio-terrorism, this novel has gone from being military/political fiction to a grim vision of what may very well occur in our near future. We see the potential for evil in the world and dishonest men in the United States (and abroad). We see the potential for good men and women to step up in government service and to attempt to do the right thing. Clancy shows both sides of the coin, and if Jack Ryan is an overly honest and morally upright character....we must remember that he is the "hero" of the series. He is exactly the kind of man we want this series of books to revolve around.
The bottom line for this novel is that it is well written, and while it may be long winded at times, it was a quick reading novel despite being around 900 pages. The story is compelling and while we know that our hero and our country will come out alright, we don't know what horrific events Clancy will subject Jack Ryan and America to....and that's why we keep reading.
-Joe Sherry
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for the first half - a disappointingly slow end, 9 Aug 2001
By 
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
I loved Dept of Honour and really enjoyed the first half of this book. I have enjoyed all of Clancy's books thus far, and enjoyed the political side in this one.
Tom Clancy does have a habit of having too many sub-plots at times, but I guess I'm used to it and quite like it, particularly as it keeps me interested and thinking.
I have to say I really did not enjoy the book for the last 200 pages or so. I found it very slow, and it took me a week to read the last 150 pages (I would normally expect to do all of that in one night, as he normally weaves together the themes brilliantly in the end)
Another annoying feature at the end was the overuse of military jargon. I don't mind it, and enjoyed Red Storm Rising. However, I did feel that tom was using far too many TLAs (three letter acronyms), which made for EVEN slower reading (some of them were not even explained - which was frustrating to someone as ignorant of current military terms as I am)
I guess overall the book is definitely worth a read - I would give the first 800 pages 5 stars. I guess the disappointing last 200 just ruined the experience for me - I won't hurry to read it again because of that.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 'epic' story...but why does he repeat himself so?, 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
This is the third Clancy book I've read, and he remains one of my favorite authors. Better than 'Debt of Honour' but not coming remotly close to the incredible 'Red Storm Rising'. The story is at times gripping - complete page turning stuff...but at other times (when he goes on and on repeating the same tired 'I'm Jack Ryan, it's so gosh-darn hard being president' line). Too much soul-searching...and jeez, isn't America SOOOO wonderful (the final battle is such a let-down...America, all-mighty, waltzes thru, saving the day). Unlike 'Red Storm Rising' where a bit of good-guy ass got kicked. That was brilliant. This was good.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jack Ryan has a much to learn as Clancy has to teach, 8 July 2002
By 
Erin O'Brien (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Executive Orders (Paperback)
Tom Clancy's longtime hero, former CIA analyst Jack Ryan, has managed to assume the Presidency, Gerald Ford-style, without ever having been elected on a presidential ticket.
Unlike Ford, however, Ryan had never been elected to any public office at all. Asked by President Durling to serve as Vice President, after the previous Vice President is forced to resign in the wake of a sex scandal, Ryan reluctantly agrees to take on a largely ceremonial office. The catch for the non-politician Ryan, however, is that the Vice-Presidency is only a heartbeat away from the most burdensome job in the world, and one which Ryan shivers at the thought of undertaking.
Then the incredible happens, when a grief-striken Japanese pilot who lost family in a brief Japanese-American shooting war, mans a jumbo jet during Ryan's swearing-in ceremony and crash lands into the Capitol, thereby all but obliterating government. The President, First Lady, the entire Supreme Court, nearly all the Cabinet and most Senators and members of Congress are killed in a few calamitous moments.
This leaves Ryan, who survived by a sheer fluke, to assume an office which he frankly dreads approaching. A complete political outsider, Ryan has an excellent working knowledge of the government, but close to zero political instincts. A populist and technophile of the sort both idolized and unelected by America, Ryan must bumble through his grief and shock at the horror which has befallen his nation and attempt to lead it. His hostility toward any form of ideology that appears other than starkly pragmatic, however, is ultimately disappointing. In the guise of non-partisan vigor, Clancy has Ryan deliver a series of startlingly conservative speeches praising a flat tax and denouncing abortion rights.
If Ryan's syrupy claims to integrity are occassionally enough to set one's teeth on edge, Clancy establishes a magnificent character in "India", the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy. Referring to her only by the name of the country she represents, Clancy cleverly harkens back to the medieval language of kings, who refer to one another by the name of their countries. India is a nearly Picassoan study in minimalism. Only a few lines here and there richly summon up the mental image of the face of Benazir Bhutto masking the mind of Indira Gandhi. India's supernaturally beautiful English conveys all at once the history of her nation, her class origins and educational background, her exquisite mendacity and diplomatic sophistication.
One masterpiece is a conversation between India and Ryan in which he attempt to secure her promise of safe passage of American vessels through the Indian ocean. India effortlessly evades Ryan's direct request a number of ways, each time protesting offense and hurt feelings on behalf of her nation. While India is written as a villain in Clancy's novel, conspiring against America, her delicious sophistication elevates her far above the supposedly well-intentioned lummox that is America. India's protests on behalf of her "sovereign nation", as Ryan attempts to shove her military around, will resonate deeply amongst Clancy's international audience, as he is surely aware.
In the meantime, America's vulnerability is a huge source of inspiration to any number of enemies, both foreign and domestic. Ryan's forte, and Clancy's as well, is in the field of international relations, and an array of hostile nations (India, China, Iran and Iraq) plan intricate attacks on the American homeland and its new President.
Clancy has a speechwriter inform Jack Ryan that his use of language, while correct and to the point, is far from poetic. Clearly, the same can be said of Tom Clancy. But what Clancy lacks in artful turns of phrase, he makes up for in scholarship. None of the attacks dreamed up by foreign powers against America are, in themselves, totally unbelieveable: it is only their sheer number and simulteneity that gives "Executive Orders" a far-fetched quality.
Tom Clancy's immense learning about weapons systems, military manoeuvers, Pentagon and CIA operations, is put to superb use. Even an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Zaire, which is quickly capitalized upon by the new United Islamic Republic (composed of former enemies Iran and Iraq), is described with striking and quite remarkable clinical accuracy. The governmental institutions he describes are entirely real. Clancy's gift is for taking the world of politics as he expertly knows it to be, and rearranging a few pieces on the chessboard to suggest fictional events evolving from familiar institutions.
A large amount of the pleasure derived from a Clancy novel comes from simply being able to follow it. The acronyms are endless, yet largely accurate and non-fictional. Clancy is the ultimate man's man, sharing his war stories in warmly confidential tones, allowing the reader the great vicarious pleasure of merely comprehending: testing each piece of data and finding most to be accurate and real.
While many readers will note a kind of "jump the shark" quality to Ryan's extraordinary assumption of the Presidency---for where else had he to go in Clancy's imaginary career trajectory?---the book has an indisputably educational quality for students of geopolitics. World leaders use subjective impressions gleaned at diplomatic receptions to decide upon military gambits. Everyone in politics and in the military has an agenda, noble or not, and all leaders use a range of discursive strategies to communicate with the public, the international community, their cabinets, and with other leaders. None of these 'voices' is entirely sincere or truthful, and some are not a bit of either.
Clancy will establish in his readers the important instinct toward looking for the ever-present subtext behind every public speech and pronoucement, and for this reason alone, at least one or two of his novels should be attempted by any serious student of politics.
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Executive Orders
Executive Orders by Tom Clancy (Paperback - 6 April 1998)
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