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America Paperback – 2 May 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (2 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752847929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752847924
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,378,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Rear Admiral Jake Grafton, who has appeared in eight previous Coonts novels (most recently Cuba and Hong Kong), returns in America, another techno-thriller from one of the genre's top practitioners. The first couple of pages recount the disappearance of SuperAegis, a satellite that's the cornerstone of a new American-European-Russian anti-missile defence system, on its first, much heralded trial. But Jake Grafton is only on that case for a few paragraphs before the stealth submarine USS America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub quickly lives up to her reputation as the sneakiest undersea vessel in the world by seeming to vanish into the Atlantic. It takes a little while for Grafton to connect the dots between the two military blunders, by which time missiles fired from the America have devastated Washington, frying every electronic circuit in the city, and even burning the White House to the ground. Between looking for the rogue sub, searching for the satellite, and trying to get some answers about the team the CIA trained to steal a Russian sub (and then beached when the mission was cancelled), Grafton's got his hands full.

Stephen Coonts describes the submarine at the centre of the action so lavishly and lovingly that the USS America is much more real--and even more human--than any of his flesh-and-blood characters, including Grafton himself. The mysterious German financier who's at the bottom of it all doesn't get more than a walk-on; he's a cardboard villain, just like the brilliant female computer expert who sets up his crimes. But none of that matters if you like this kind of tale, which combines excitement and action with loads of information about computers, sonar, weapons systems, and stealth technology. America will surface quickly and take a commanding position on the summer bestseller lists. --Jane Adams, --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


"Coonts never lets up with heart-racing jet/missile combat, suspenseful submarine maneuvers and doomsday scenarios that feel only too real." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"Coonts's action and the techno-talk are as gripping as ever." --"Kirkus Reviews"
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
Stephen Coonts and I sprang from the same roots. Both former Vietnam era vets now writing Navy genre books. Although, he is much more sucessfull at this than I. For this reason I have truely enjoyed every Jake Grafton novel that I have read. His descriptions of our Navy, of its people and of its machines are beyond reproach. In this story spy sub USS America, I thought of the USS Jimmy Carter,the real spy sub, goes missing. Usually when a sub goes missing I think of Sontag's Blind Man's Bluff. The thing blew-up, it sank, people died. Not so. Jake learns that a group of CIA operators "spooks" may have swiped the sub. Their target is the White House. (Good choice. If you're trying to hit the broadside of a barn a huge white house would be an easy target. Dont' you think?)The Tomahawk cruise missle is designed to fly through a one meter window and is about 90% accurate on target. With a range of 1,500 miles, a Tomahawk lauched from Cuba would hit its mark. So the shot on the White House was not all that tough. Coonts is a relentless storyteller. If you liked Cuba or Hong Kong you will love this book as well. As a side note. I read a review that said,"...rivals Clancy for fiction-as-realism and Cussler for spirited action." I disagree. Stephen Coonts' writing and storytelling skills stands alone as one of the modern standards to which all genre writers should strive to achieve. Put this one on your must real list.
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Format: Paperback
After going down the wrong road with his last book "Hong Kong", Coonts is back on track with this book. He returns his hero character Jake Grafton to familiar mainstream military territory with a good yarn about a stolen submarine and a lost satelite.
Coonts has made a good stab at blending together the many different elements of a good techno-thriller. He leans towards standard military hardware and computer wizardry storylines, wisely reducing the amount of James Bond spy antics and bungling politician stuff that ruined previous efforts. Overall he conjures up a good storyline which is both believeable and yet just a few years ahead of current technology.
The first 100 or so pages sets up the main plot quite nicely. A number of new characters as well as returning characters Toad and Carmellini move the story along at a good pace.
However the last 50 or so pages leading up to the conclusion of the book I found to be dissapointing. A number of decisions made by the lead characters defy explanation, the consequences and likely results of these can be seen a mile off. I kind of got the feeling that the author wasn't quite sure how to finish the book and cobbled together a rather rushed and unsatisfying end in as short a time as possible. I think that this the only weakness in coonts writing.
That said, I enjoyed this book, it was a good read, not to taxing. I would reccomend it as a good addition to anybodys techno-thriller library.
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent book, a lot of small plots and stories all coming together to make a fantastic story. I could hardly put it down, I even felt for the 'bad guys' at times. A great ending making you wish there were more books and films like that. If you like submarines, espionage, thrillers and fantasy, then this book is a must.
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Format: Hardcover
This time Stephen Coonts really let me down! I was getting ready to give "America" five stars until I hit the third-last chapter, at which point the action moves to a luxury cruise ship, and the good guys take their wives along for the jaunt!
When the going gets tough, the tough guys (and their wives) go for a luxury cruise? No way!
Until the last three chapters I really liked "America". OK, the plot is a bit farfetched, involving hackers meddling with the launch of a super-advanced military satellite and a CIA-trained team of Russians and East Germans stealing a likewise super-advanced US Navy submarine named "America". But if you can swallow the plot the story is very exciting, and the characterizations of the people in the book is fairly good.
The submarine "America" and its advanced equipment and weapons are the real stars of the show. I especially loved the descriptions of the havoc created by the Tomahawk cruise missiles with new EMP (electromagnetic pulse) warheads, the attempts by two F-16 Fighting Falcons to shoot down the cruise missiles, and the underwater battle between "America" and two Los Angeles class submarines. At times like this Stephen Coonts is even better than Tom Clancy.
There is also a whole array of bad guys who you can love to hate. The one who's presented best is the Russian captain Vladimir Kolnikov, the leader of the team that steals "America" and then inflicts major damage on the USA. Zelda Hudson, the American hacker who finds it only slightly challenging to re-program a satellite launch or to get into any of the Pentagon's weapons systems, is also a cool customer whose services are available to the highest bidder.
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By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 22 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have not read all of this writer's work, however I did begin with his first, "Flight Of The Intruder", and have read the majority that have followed. There is no debate that Mr. Coonts has become better at his craft. This book has been atop the NYT Bestseller List for several weeks, not a place that pretenders achieve or remain at. In, "America", the Author has produced a more complex book with greater success than I have read previously. I enjoyed the book; however there were some tiresome issues.

One of the technologies that are highlighted under the name of Flashlight also happens to be on the cover of a nationally distributed magazine at present. The article was fairly brief, but it did provide more detail about the technology than this book did. The Submarine Warfare aspects of the book were fairly well done, but "Red October" remains the standard. The sonar technology that was a key part of the subject boat was amazing, and was credibly portrayed. The manner by which the same boat became acquired caused me to have a hard time suspending disbelief. I just do not believe that type of incompetence would surround this vessel at launch.

The following complaints are minor; however they do interrupt the flow of reading this tale. A thesaurus would help solve the repetition of words. I lost count of how many times, "it's toast", was used, but it and other words and short phrases needed to be edited. I also have trouble with names that are so bizarre they stop the reader in mid-sentence. Apollo Ice may be a great name for a professional wrestler, but it does not belong with Dr. in front of it.
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