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2.0 out of 5 stars112
2.0 out of 5 stars
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on 27 October 2002
I just finished this book last night and was severely disappointed. When I read the initial reviews on this site, all I could think was "Couldn't be!".
I was wrong.
Many have stated that the constant references to the differences between the English and the Americans was overly done. I am in total agreement. I am an American, and I make these jokes as well with my English colleagues. However, that lasts all of about 5 minutes in the local pub, once in a while. To have these comparisons made every third page was immensely annoying.
The plot had a huge buildup but absolutely NO delivery. I own all of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan books and have enjoyed each immensely. I have read these books again and again. I am happy that I bought this book, purely so that it is part of the collection, but will never read it again.
This is not a book for anybody to read if they have never read a Tom Clancy novel before. Start out on Patriot Games or The Hunt For Red October instead.
The plot was interesting, however it went nowhere. If any reader really wants to read the book, just read the back cover of the book. You will know everything that there is to know about the book, and you will save yourself some money.
I was shocked when I found that I was 20 pages from the end of the book, and still nothing had happened yet. There was an immense buildup and it seemed as if Tom Clancy just decided to say "OK, that's enough. I'll stop here."
What happened to all of the characters? The climax of the book happened, and the book ended a half a page later. What would have been more interesting would have been to see what the repercussions of the books climax was.
Every author has one bad book in them, so hopefully this was his. I am an avid Stephen King reader and have only liked a handful of his endings, but I still go back.
I will keep reading Tom Clancy, but I will not be salivating for the next installment, as I have been doing in the past.
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And I was so looking forward to this....
This was a major let down. I have enjoyed all the Clancey books to date and he sits on the top rung of these types of thriller writers.

So what was wrong. Well it was dull and totally lacked tension. Set back in the 80's with a young Ryan, you knew where it was going and it took you nowhere unexpected.
I never thought I would say this about a Tom Clancey novel, but....Avoid
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on 2 August 2005
Like other readers I wish I'd read their reviews and I wouldn't have bothered ploughing through the 900+ pages of this book. Call me picky but if you are going to write a book largely set in the UK use a British editor. I ended up truly fed up with the Brit inaccuracies by the end. E.G. York is NOT the biggest city in Northern England. The 'saying in economics' about 'bad money' is actually Greshams Law.
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on 7 October 2002
I must concur with most of the reviews sofar. Having read all his books before, I actually threw this one across the room as the lack of empathy, understanding, character development, plot development and on and on was simply amazing. He is patronising to the English, the Italians and everyone else but Americans, simplifies the whole soviet communist culture and drivers and gives a boring litany of his pretty archaic views and standpoints.
Simply not worth the paper it is written on and definitely not the time it takes to read all that drivel.
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on 26 October 2002
Other reviewers have mentioned the rididculous errors made about the UK in this book, and like them I was put off an irritated by them, but it wasn't my main gripe with "Red Rabbit".
In Clancy's earlier books - "Red Storm Rising" or "The Hunt For Red October", the book obvious disliked the USSR, and pointed out a number of errors, but accorded the country with a degree of coherance and respect that made a great deal of sense. His utter dismissal of the USSR in every way in the latest book lacks internal logic - if all the characters in the CIA and US politics were thinking the USSR was as hopeless as Clancy tries to make out, there is no explanation for geo-politics in the early 1980s at all.
Clancy's strenghts have always been meticulous research and cracking plots. This novel has neither, and forces the reader to focus on his weaknesses - what appears to be an extreme right-wing, xenophobic agenda, his complete inability to create a believable, deep and interesting character (especially women), and his annoying habit of getting his characters to have internal but shallow philosophical debates. I'd never really focused on these before because I was too busy enjoying the rest - after being so irritated by "Red Rabbit" I went back and re-read "Patriot Games", and unfortunately all I could notice was the faults.
The endless debates the characters, particularly the potential USSR defector and Ryan, have with themselves through the book get tedious beyond belief, and repetitive.
One final gripe - the anachronisms. In trying to point out that Ryan's a clever little sod, Clancy has him mention his investment in Starbucks, a tiny coffee chain that might one day make it big. He does this not once, but TWICE and it really grated one me.
I have bought all of Clancy's previous books, and enjoyed them (even "The Bear and the Dragon", although that seemed to be weaker than his previous ones). "Red Rabbit" is, unfortunately, just absolute rubbish.
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on 16 September 2002
Let's be straight from the start: I'm a Clancy fan-got all the books, read most of them several times. This, though, is the book to put me off for life.
The plot, such as it is, meanders wastefully through altogether too many pages before reaching an utterly predictable conclusion. No twists, no turns, nothing unexpected.
Clancy sets part of the book in the UK. Using Cathy Ryan's surgical work as a way of commenting on the NHS he produces a scandalously inaccurate picture of that organization and its staff.
I do not nit-pick, unless I get so bored with a book that I am forced to. Remember, the scenes are set in the UK and I'm a UK citizen. So, we have someone driving off in a "standard Land Rover saloon", every bar in whatever building is a "pub", York is the largest city in northern England, Greenham Commons [sic] is within easy shopping reach of Chatham, everyone opts for roast beef and yorkshire pud when they eat out, a fire crew includes a qualified paramedic [rare now, unheard of in the 80s when the book is set], Manchester is a city in the Midlands etc etc. Added to a captain who becomes a major only to become a captain again a few pages later and, on page 558/9 two major characters swopping names for a brief period. I won't go on.
My confidence in Clancy as a meticulous researcher is shattered: if he gets so much wrong about that which I know, how much else is wrong elesewhere?
But that is beside the point. This is a sloppily written, poorly plotted and, worse sin of all, boring book from an author who can do very much better. It's rabidly anti-communist tone [so overblown as to incite ridicule] might have found it a market amongst cold warriors 20 years ago, but now it just seems laughable.
I bought it for a holiday read: it nearly landed up in an Italian dustbin.
Bill
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on 15 November 2005
Having read Clancy for his ability to generate tension with attention to detail, I like other misled readers bought this off the shelf. My trust, in doing so, has been broken. It seems this book was written as a pre-Ryan-era draft with another hero, then re-written to clumsily insert the now famous Jack. The lack of editing and endless, mind-numbing pros had me gritting through by determination alone. Ryan doesn't feature, in any meaningful way, until 600 pages or so! The political blindness, chauvenism , gender bashing and mis-shaped perspective alone should have this book, and perhaps Clancy, shelved permnanently for decieving readers and selling on brand alone. An American in London.
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on 3 March 2004
I agree with most of the other reviews; this book is truly aweful.
It is possibly not quite as bad as his previous attempt, "The Bear and the Dragon", but certainly on a par. I used to eagerly await the next Clancy, but no more! I have struggled through the first 170 pages hoping for it to come alive, but I'm not going to waste any more time on it. Clancy allows too many of his own jingoistic/nationalistic views to colour his writing, and his characters are just two-dimensional, black and white caricatures. Even the fast-paced action, that he once handled so well, seems to have disappeared.
Fortunately I borrowed this one from the public library so I haven't wasted any money!
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on 21 January 2004
Painful to read, I grew up reading Tom Clancy books, I always wanting my next Jack Ryan fix (red storm rising is my favoured book). Red rabbit was rubbish, if clancy wanted to write about the cold war again he should have made up a new character, the story just wasn't comfortable, I spent to much time reading this book going WHAT? I finished the book because TC books are normally pretty good, but if you are thinking of buying this book then pick something else.
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on 9 June 2004
Wish I'd read the customer reviews before buying this book for my boyfriend, who abandonned it. Thought I'd give it a try myself based on Tom Clancy's reputation and found it is the worst book I have ever read. Long, boring and repetitive, this is lazy writing. Listen to these reviewers and give it a miss.
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