Red Rabbit Mass Market Paperback – 28 Aug 2003
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Red Rabbit is an innovative and intriguing entry in the Tom Clancy canon, satisfyingly sketching in details of his hero Jack Ryan's early life. The author can still be counted on to deliver the expected Clancy trademarks: this one is full of intriguing, well-researched detail, and studded with the adroitly staged action set-pieces we have come to expect.
Working on the bottom rungs of the CIA's analysis departments, Jack Ryan is given the unenviable mission of debriefing a key Soviet defector. He discovers a dark secret: there is a plot afoot to murder Pope John Paul. Of course, this is only one aspect of a massively complex skein of skulduggery, and as Jack penetrates to the heart of the mystery (with less assurance than usual--he is younger, after all), Clancy admirers will definitely feel all the right areas are being massaged. Not, perhaps, vintage Clancy, but still a stylish and economical piece of work that grips from the first page. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Smart and likable, Jack Ryan has become one of the best-known characters in contemporary American fiction." The Washington Post"
-Smart and likable, Jack Ryan has become one of the best-known characters in contemporary American fiction.---The Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Well, perhaps Tom Clancy has had an off-day or is toying with the idea of writing children's books.. either way this book is rubbish (and I'm trying to be as polite as possible), and I've never said that of any book I've reviewed on Amazon.
The story itself is a combination of fact (the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II), a conspiracy theory (that it was orchestrated by the KGB) and fiction (enter Jack Ryan... who I always think of as Harrison Ford due to his film roles). For those familiar with Ryan from other books, Red Rabbit is set in the early 80s, Ryan has an honourary knighthood (for saving the royal family in Patriot Games) but is not yet President (Executive Orders and thereafter).
So what do I dislike about this book so much:
- Weak storyline - as Clancy books go, there really isn't much to get excited about in this one. Once I got about a third of the way through I was convinced there would be another thread of the storyline to grip the reader but no, there was nothing.
- Where's the weapons and action? - A Clancy book without detailed description of weaponry, warfare and operational tactics just isn't a Tom Clancy book.
- Terrible writing style - I'm not sure why I've picked up on this but the style Clancy has adopted for this book is a bit like "Jack went up the hill. It was raining. Tomorrow would be an important day. "Hello, I'm Jack - do you want to be my friend?" etc. I know the writing style isn't the strongest aspect of Clancy's books but this is truly dire.
- Brit bashing - now, I don't normally take offence at this but there's a bit too much of it in this book... there's one point (and this takes nothing away from the storyline) where Clancy spends pages explaining how in British hospitals surgeons will pause halfway through an operation and pop out to the pub for a couple of pints before returning and completing the op. Obviously this would not be allowed in America, and Ryan and his wife are rightly outraged. Oh for god's sake... next he'll say us Brits don't clean out teeth, all have Mad Cow Disease and can't spell properly.
No, this book fails on all counts, it really is truly terrible. Oddly I will probably read the next Clancy book that comes out on the hope that this is the only lemon he produces, but you never know. I also think he should give up on the Jack Ryan character, as the John Clark one is far stronger, but that's just my opinion.
But this book was disappointing. It was strongly nationalistic, sickeningly pro-american (to be expected but this was too much - possibly done in response to recent american developments?), anti-communist, patronising, and in parts racist, whilst not providing much in the way of redeeming features such as excitement or suspense.
On the upside, it was interesting to read a theoretical "how this could have happened" story, but this was constructed more like a biased documentary than a spy thriller; the lack of real action or plot twists ensured that my most common thought was "So what?"
If you're not a Jack Ryan fan, don't bother. If you are a fan, you'll probably want to read it simply so you don't miss anything, but don't expect too much.
Personally, I'm going to use this book to prop up my broken sofa.
In addition, annoyingly Jack is portrayed as some sort of prophet. The collapse of communism, the collapse of the Japanese economy, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, how his wife would be a laser surgery pioneer, are all predicted by Jack in the space of a few days. Indeed it is apparently thanks to a letter from Jack that London is littered with Starbucks.
In addition this book is written in a patronising tone. It also seems far less balanced than previous books. There is a huge amount of America is great - nothing compares in this book. Perhaps this is what was required when Clancy wrote it?
Overall though I would not recommend this.
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