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The hunt for the English language,
This review is from: The Hunt for Red October (Paperback)
Having committed myself to reading this series in chronological order, my reactions have been somewhat mixed so far. Although I really enjoyed Without Remorse and Patriot Games, I found Red Rabbit to be awful. This fourth entry in the 'Ryan timeline' slots somewhere in-between. I didn't enjoy most of it in truth.
Sadly there's a language barrier to get through in order to enjoy The Hunt For Red October. The entire book is so drenched from head to toe in naval-speak that it's often difficult to figure out precisely what's going on. Realism is nice, but at some point you have to crack on with telling a story. Clancy gets so wrapped up in making his novels ultra realistic that often he forgets he's in the fiction business. A shame.
Also, there are far too many characters! It just so happens I'm an experienced reader who's very used to keeping track of many different characters. In this novel though even I got to a point two thirds of the way through when I was literally screaming at the pages - "No more new characters! Just concentrate on the existing ones!" As a reader, I didn't need to know the perspective of every single ship/submarine in the Atlantic ocean.
There are some strong points, most of them towards the end. The GRU agent aboard Red October makes for an exciting turn of fate. Even better is the submarine battle, which I found to be very exciting. Given all the tedious chapters that had gone before, I was actually shocked to suddenly find myself so glued to the final few pages! The submarine face-off definitely redeemed the book a little bit.
Not the worst I've ever read but I doubt I'll keep it. I'd only recommend it if you're in the armed forces (you'll understand the terminologies better than I did) or you're simply hell-bent on reading all the Clancy novels.