6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great thriller, lots of flaws.,
This review is from: The Hunt for Red October (Paperback)
Tom Clancy's first book already shows his skill at blending realism with suspense and bringing lots of authenticity to what could have been a mediocre Bondish thriller. Contrary to what some critics thought, I think characterisation is pretty good. The book would not be anywhere near as interesting if Marko Ramius and Jack Ryan were a little bland. However, the book has some flaws. As realistic as much of it is, there are a few technical errors which you would not normally see in his later books (F-14s dropping balloons?!!) Being a Brit, I found the portrayal of British characters and comments made about Britain patronising. We don't all eat cucumber sandwiches and say things like "Jolly good old boy." There are a few bits which seemed a bit unnecessary. Surely we could have just been told that the Soviets had found the missile the Red October ejected aswell as the depth gauge, rather than give us a whole section detailing the event. The CARDINAL subplot doesn't really fit in that well with the story. The pace slips a bit because of this. Also, if you think about it, the plot is pretty much a variation on Firefox, which was published in 1975, 9 years before Clancy's debut novel. There are also a number of amazing coincidences and contrivances which also hurt the book's realism. However, the book's good points more than make up for the flaws, and the climax will definitely reward patient reviewers.