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Clear and Present Danger Paperback – 2 Feb 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (2 Feb. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006177301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425122426
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 4.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

At the end of the prologue to Clear and Present Danger Clancy writes, "And so began something that had not quite begun and would not soon end, with many people in many places moving off in directions and on missions which they all mistakenly thought they understood. That was just as well. The future was too fearful for contemplation, and beyond the expected, illusory finish lines were things fated by the decisions made this morning-- and, once decided, best unseen." In Clear and Present Danger nothing is as clear as it seems.

The president, unsatisfied with the success of his "war on drugs", decides that he wants some immediate success. But after John Clark's covert strike team is deployed to Colombia for Operation Showboat, the drug lords strike back taking several civilian casualties. The chief executive's approval ratings plummet. He orders Ritter to terminate their unofficial plan and leave no traces. Jack Ryan, who has just been named CIA deputy director of intelligence is enraged when he discovers that has been left out of the loop for Colombian operations. Several of America's most highly trained soldiers are stranded in an unfinished mission that, according to all records, never existed. Ryan decides to get the men out.

Ultimately, Clear and Present Danger is about moral conscience, law and politics, with Jack Ryan and CIA agent John Clark as its dual heroes. Ryan relentlessly pursues what he knows is right and legal, even if it means confronting the president of the United States. Clark is the perfect soldier, but a man who ultimately values his men higher than the orders of any careless commander.

Along with the usual, stunning array of military hardware and the latest techno-gadgets, Clear and Present Danger further develops the relationships and characters that Clancy fans have grown to love: Admiral James Greer passes the CIA torch to his pupil, Ryan; Mr Clark and Chavez meet for the first time; and other recurring characters, like Robert Ritter and "the President", add continuity to Clancy's believable, alternate reality. This is Clancy at his best. --Patrick O'Kelley

Review

From the reviews of Clear and Present Danger:

‘A jump ahead of the headlines – moves with the speed of light.’
New York Times

‘Clancy’s most politically sophisticated and philosophically complex thriller.’
Time

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
If you've seen the movie and are thinking of reading the book- DO IT! The plot is much more complex and far superior than that of the film. Don't be daunted by its size it's a great read. You'll want to read the entire set of Clancy's Jack Ryan novels after reading this. The Character build up is superb as are the action scenes. It is thoroughly thought provoking and ethical. Polilically sophisticated - Clancy at his Best
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Tom Clancy does it again. The US President initiates a personal vendetta against the Columbian Medelin Drug Cartel. Saying they constitute a "Clear and Present Danger" to the security of the USA. Using the CIA and military forces the President authorises a covert action against the Drug Barons during an Election Year. Only to find that the operation is compromised and has to be shut down, with devastating circumstances. Enter Jack Ryan, who as acting DDI due to Admiral Greers sickness, and has no knowledge of the operation taking place, has to sort out the mess.

If there is one Tom Cancy novel you must read, it's this one. A lot better than the film version!
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Format: Paperback
Clancy introduces the reader to the moral ambiguity of a pre-Jack Ryan-led US government. On the one hand, the government wants to destroy the flow of illegal drugs into the US. However, the methods adopted to achieve this breach international law and when things go wrong, a scramble ensues amongst senior politicians, including the President, to "hush things up". Ryna's strong moral code kicks in and he sets out to save the lives of the soldiers deserted in Columbia, with little regard for his own career.
The introduction of Ding Chavez takes the strain off Clark being the only 'Superman' at Ryan's disposal in later novels and is a welcome addition to the cast in Clancy's novels.
The unpleasant nature of those at the top in government only serves to make us slighly wary of who really is leading us.
All in all, another excellent novel from Clancy, provoking us to wonder what actually goes on at the top levels of government as much as in the war against drugs.
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By A Customer on 12 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
The only other Clancy book i had read before this was "Rainbow 6" and i thought that no other book would be as exciting, but this book prooved me wrong. The action scenes are very good, they are exciting and graphic, the political scenes are complex and exciting. The storyline in this book really makes you think about if such secret, covert, wars are really being wadged out there, and if so, is this really how it's done. Another stuuning book by Clancy, I recommend to all
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Format: Paperback
The book begins like modern headlines and top stories in the news: a Coast Guard boat discovers several dead bodies on a drifting boat out at sea ... piecing together the scenes ... the Captain and his crew understand the grisly details which became all too clear. Before the discovery, they announce their intention to board the boat, only to find two Columbians who speak little and look guilty as sin. The Captain and crew have the presence of mind to record on film permanently what the encountered. They nearly gag at what they find. Contrary to usual procedure, they create a "justice at sea" bogus trial based on some ancient mariner's manual. It is just the right scenario to create fear in their prisoners which extracts a confession from them that the Coast Guard believes will stand up in court and get them prosecuted.
In Washington, DC clandestine operations are executed for a secret American plan to use the most talented night warriors the US Army has ever produced to fight the drug cartel in Columbia, on their own turf. The select group all have Spanish roots and were salvaged from a life on the streets, where they would surely work against the system, to build a clean life in the Army ... the better alternative.
This book shows how power politics, secret hand-shake decisions, and behind the scenes operations occur which could shake up the core values of a country. Clandestine activities work outside the boundaries of national and international law. If they were made public, there would be a huge outcry from USA citizens and of the world judgement. It is at this time that Jack Ryan becomes Acting Director of the CIA. The CIA Director is in the hospital with a terminal illness ... The current president has not a clue of how the drug war is being fought and won.
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This evaluation is subjective - not about the quality of the story but my reaction to it.

It is too superman-ish for me - all go, power, energy (well, as far as I have read. I just couldn't finish the book as I found it too much like hard work and I want to enjoy what I read). It is definitely film material but I don't like it as a book.
e.g. Early in the story there is an unfinished ship lying abandoned in a bankrupt shipyard. Enter Mr. Superman and overnight he manages to get it out onto open sea without any one noticing.

I can't identify any subtlety of style and the pace seems to be either fast or manic. Many will enjoy this!

The other main difficulty I had is beause I am British and trained in UK English grammar. The boook was written in American and I am not used to normal American phrases, vocabulary and conversation (especially the more casual style of seamen, soldiers and similar among themselves), so I found myself `translating' much of the speech into something that I understood.

Not for me.
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