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Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter gro Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA's Deputy Director, Vice Admiral James Greer—as well as his counterpart with the British SIS, Sir Basil Charleston—and when Greer asked him if he wanted to come aboard as a freelance analyst, Jack was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible, and he was sure he could fit it in with the rest of his work.And then Jack forgot all about the rest of his work, because one of his first assignments was to help debrief a high-level Soviet defector, and the defector told an amazing tale: Top Soviet officials, including Yuri Andropov, were planning to assassinate the Pope, John Paul II.Could it be true? As the days and weeks go by, Ryan must battle, first to try to confirm the plot, and then to prevent it, but this is a brave new world, and nothing he has done up to now has prepared him for the lethal game of cat-and-mouse that is the Soviet Union versus the United States. In the end, it will be not just the Pope's life but the stability of the Western world that is at stake. . . and it may already be too late for a novice CIA analyst to do anything about it.


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Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter gro Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA's Deputy Director, Vice Admiral James Greer—as well as his counterpart with the British SIS, Sir Basil Charleston—and when Greer asked him if he wanted to come aboard as a freelance analyst, Jack was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible, and he was sure he could fit it in with the rest of his work.And then Jack forgot all about the rest of his work, because one of his first assignments was to help debrief a high-level Soviet defector, and the defector told an amazing tale: Top Soviet officials, including Yuri Andropov, were planning to assassinate the Pope, John Paul II.Could it be true? As the days and weeks go by, Ryan must battle, first to try to confirm the plot, and then to prevent it, but this is a brave new world, and nothing he has done up to now has prepared him for the lethal game of cat-and-mouse that is the Soviet Union versus the United States. In the end, it will be not just the Pope's life but the stability of the Western world that is at stake. . . and it may already be too late for a novice CIA analyst to do anything about it.

30 review for Red Rabbit

  1. 5 out of 5

    George

    More Dead than Red. It's as if Tom was on sedatives while writing the book. It's hard to exagerate just how dull and repetitive this work really is, but it's a bit like the being hit in the head over and over with a small wooden shovel. It leaves a dull impression on your mind. More Dead than Red. It's as if Tom was on sedatives while writing the book. It's hard to exagerate just how dull and repetitive this work really is, but it's a bit like the being hit in the head over and over with a small wooden shovel. It leaves a dull impression on your mind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Montague

    In college, Clancy lowered my GPA by almost a full point one year. It was the mid-90's, and I started reading him and got so addicted I would skip class, call out sick from work, order pizza, and read all day. I immediately snapped up new releases, like Debt of Honor and Rainbow Six and loved them. I even trudged through some of his non-fiction stuff. I read Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse twice. But somewhere around Bear and Dragon, Clancy turned blah. Red Rabbit is just lame. I literally t In college, Clancy lowered my GPA by almost a full point one year. It was the mid-90's, and I started reading him and got so addicted I would skip class, call out sick from work, order pizza, and read all day. I immediately snapped up new releases, like Debt of Honor and Rainbow Six and loved them. I even trudged through some of his non-fiction stuff. I read Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse twice. But somewhere around Bear and Dragon, Clancy turned blah. Red Rabbit is just lame. I literally threw it in the garbage partway through. I swear he got a ghost writer, and took the lowest bidder at that. I also think over the years Clancy must have both a.) developed a porn addiction, and b.) completely failed in his personal relationships with women, because for as well-researched and realistic his military action stuff is, his depictions of all love interests are horribly juvenile, and over the years they've gotten worse. They all go something like: "I saw her...stared at her anatomy and got aroused...then 5 minutes later we groped each other...now we're in a relationship, and that's how it all developed." Really Clancy? Obviously the man cannot relate to any real, positive-feeling, opposite-sex relationships. His character development got worse, his plots, predictable. Clancy...it was good while it lasted, man.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    This Jack Ryan novel is a real oddity. Set early in the characters timeline, this was one of the last written by Clancy. Set soon after the events of Patriot Games, the Ryan's try to adapt to life in London. Having read both this year it was apparent with how Clancy's style had changed, it didn't quite have to same punch as his earlier works. One aspect I like was the incorporation of the real life assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II into the story, again the reader is firmly placed in 1981. This Jack Ryan novel is a real oddity. Set early in the characters timeline, this was one of the last written by Clancy. Set soon after the events of Patriot Games, the Ryan's try to adapt to life in London. Having read both this year it was apparent with how Clancy's style had changed, it didn't quite have to same punch as his earlier works. One aspect I like was the incorporation of the real life assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II into the story, again the reader is firmly placed in 1981. The main problem with this novel was how over written it was, trying to read this as and when I can ment there was a few occasions where I was like 'Didn't I read these pages in this morning?' What was weird about this novel that whilst the story took an age to get going, it didnt feel like a slog. My favourite aspects were definitely the American Ryan's trying to get accustomed to British culture, especially Cathy who was shocked to see fellow surgeons having a pint at lunch time. The 1980's really were a different time!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary Slowik

    Have you run out of Bill O'Reilly books to read? Are you nostalgic for the Cold War? Well then, we here at Drunk Uncle Publishing have got just the book for you! We understand that today's world is complex, and frightening. Sometimes you pine for the simple comfort of having a single, monolithic enemy like the Soviet Union. When it comes to the books you read, you'd prefer not to have your world-view challenged in any way. We get it! Nothing ruins the reading experience like having to think. Do yo Have you run out of Bill O'Reilly books to read? Are you nostalgic for the Cold War? Well then, we here at Drunk Uncle Publishing have got just the book for you! We understand that today's world is complex, and frightening. Sometimes you pine for the simple comfort of having a single, monolithic enemy like the Soviet Union. When it comes to the books you read, you'd prefer not to have your world-view challenged in any way. We get it! Nothing ruins the reading experience like having to think. Do you find yourself watching the same movies over and over again? Nothing wrong with that, chief! The fewer surprises in life, the better. Repetition is a virtue. If you agree, and we know that you do, pick up Red Rabbit today. It's Tom Clancy's masterpiece of telling you, rather than showing you, what you already know. The hero, Jack Ryan, is stationed in England. Through the experiences of his wife, a brilliant eye surgeon, you'll have your notion of socialized medicine as an unmitigated nightmare thoroughly reinforced. A KGB plot to kill the pope causes one of their communications officers to defect, which pleasantly rehashes a plot element of The Hunt for Red October, only with all the unduly alarming suspense removed. "The Catholic Church was not a perfect institution-- nothing with mere people in it was or ever could be. But it was founded on faith in Almighty God, and its policies rarely, if ever, strayed from love and charity." Nailed it! We here at DUP believe a good book should be like a bag of potato chips. Familiar, fatty, and nutrition-free. Do your brain a favor-- let it rest. Pick up your copy of Red Rabbit today. And burn it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Will

    SUBJECTIVE READER REVIEW FOLLOWS: I was a bit surprised to see the average Goodreads rating at four stars for this magnificent novel. Perhaps it was a bit weighty for some, and at 340,000 words is even epic by my own long-winded standards as an author. But if you commit to Clancy, you gotta stick with him all the way. And let me tell ya, he don't let you down with Red Rabbit. Tying this novel into the actual assassination attempt on Pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, was such an excellent insertio SUBJECTIVE READER REVIEW FOLLOWS: I was a bit surprised to see the average Goodreads rating at four stars for this magnificent novel. Perhaps it was a bit weighty for some, and at 340,000 words is even epic by my own long-winded standards as an author. But if you commit to Clancy, you gotta stick with him all the way. And let me tell ya, he don't let you down with Red Rabbit. Tying this novel into the actual assassination attempt on Pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, was such an excellent insertion of a novella into reality that I've used it myself a few times! Who knew Jack Ryan almost prevented the hit? Not me! Really though, the whole development of the defection by conscience--as opposed to money--was well played by Clancy, and very believable. Will we ever get tired of Cold War KGB-MI6-CIA war stories? Not me, because as long as Putin's the President of Russia, the KGB of old lives on--as do the Oprichniki. I think that if you've got the perseverance to wade through it, you will really, really appreciate the storyline writing genius that Tom Clancy was. Plus it fills in another section of the Jack Ryan chronology. In this one he's stationed in London, actually working at Century House, the old MI6 HQ as a shared analyst. So my advice is to jump on and enjoy the ride! SPOILER PLOT SUMMARY FOLLOWS: Operation Beatrix via Mincemeat. Jack Ryan finds himself posted to London, but works at Century House, MI6 HQ, as a shared analyst. Ed and Mary Pat Foley are assigned to Moscow, where he is the Chief of Station. Early on in his tenure, Ed is stealthily tagged on the Moscow subway by an apparent KGB Communications Center officer who wants to defect. After he and Mary Pat pass Oleg Zaitzev with due diligence they contact Langley to advise they've got a hot rabbit and want immediate extraction for he and his family. Oleg is a Major who handles all cypher traffic during his shift, and is one day struck with a confliction of conscience when a letter written by the new Polish Pope to the people of Poland stirs high level anxiety among the Politburo. The Presidium is stoked by KGB Director Yuri Andropov into believing the Pope's encouragement of common Poles will trigger a revolutionary reaction and must be stopped at all costs. Oleg is first alerted to this via Andropov's message to the Rome Rezident inquiring about the Pope's vulnerability. The Rome Rezident quickly replies that the situation is far too delicate for the Rome rezidentura to be involved, with the clear implication that if the KGB is in anyway implicated, the repercussions in Eastern Bloc countries could be extreme. Torn to pieces, Oleg makes the move to contact the man who is obviously American on the subway, and is torn by his desire to protect the Pope versus treason. Langley quickly agrees to the snatch, but the CIA Budapest CoS is badly burned and tagged PNG. Langley goes to MI6 on bended knee to seek assistance, dangling the carrot that the rabbit knows of spies within Whitehall and can help them clean up. MI6 and the PM jump at the chance, but between Bas Charleston and Ed Foley they come up with a repeat of Operation Mincemeat, where the defectors are presumed dead instead of gone. Operation Beatrix is set in play as dead bodies matching the physical characteristics of Oleg, Irina and Svetlana are collected from house fires in England and Boston and shipped in dry ice in diplomatic boxes to Budapest. With everything set up, Ryan is dispatched to Budapest to escort the rabbits across the border via smuggling arranged by MI6 in Budapest. Oleg the loyal cypher officer is granted long overdue vacation to Budapest where his wife can admire the opera, and the family gets on a train to oblivion. Ryan and the MI6 chaps carefully play them in Budapest, where Oleg gives Irina two hours notice before the snatch begins. After Jack escorts them from the hotel, the MI6 officers carry the three prepared scorched bodies up to the hotel room and carefully set it ablaze. By the time the KGB discovers one of their own has died in Budapest, Ryan and the rabbits are on a plane out of Zagreb, Yugoslavia, to Manchester, UK, where the debriefing begins. It quickly becomes apparent that Oleg is pure gold as a defector, but the seeming impatience of Andropov to take the Pope out is overriding and MI6 finally agrees to cover the upcoming Wednesday People's Audience the Pope always conducts from the Pope Mobile. Ryan heads to Rome to assist the MI6 officers, who know that Bulgarian AVH killer COL Boris Strokov has assumed responsibility for the hit. With pictures galore and an elevated spotter, the MI6 posse spots Strokov in the crowd and Ryan gets the jump on him, sticks a pistol in his back and disarms him just as shots ring out and the Pope is hit. Jack and Tom Sharp grab Strokov and take him to the UK Embassy basement. After Strokov figures out the jig is up and MI6 knows the entire conspiracy, he sings like the bird before succumbing to the sux. Ryan jumps on the next BA bird out, is rerouted to Mildenhall where he escorts the rabbits to DC and straight to Langley, where he is once again the Golden Boy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Five spy-citing stars! This is Cold War miniseries gold. Of all the Ryan books, this is the one I remembered the most. Five spy-citing stars! This is Cold War miniseries gold. Of all the Ryan books, this is the one I remembered the most.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mommalibrarian

    Not really a mystery and definitely not an action-packed thriller. Around the end of 400 pages a few things finally begin to happen. There is no real ACTION until 518. Lots of things are repeated 3 and 4 times. Jack Ryan has been involved in previous adventures. One of those adventures involved a helicopter. He does not like flying. Eye surgery, which his wife does, turns his stomach. His wife is a better judge of character and unspoken meaning. Jack thinks his father-in-law is a greedy, soulles Not really a mystery and definitely not an action-packed thriller. Around the end of 400 pages a few things finally begin to happen. There is no real ACTION until 518. Lots of things are repeated 3 and 4 times. Jack Ryan has been involved in previous adventures. One of those adventures involved a helicopter. He does not like flying. Eye surgery, which his wife does, turns his stomach. His wife is a better judge of character and unspoken meaning. Jack thinks his father-in-law is a greedy, soulless, money-grubber. This repetition feels like dead weight padding or lack of a good editor. The author has definite ideas on history and politics and interjects those in a thoughtful manner. There is a very superficial treatment of the current and historical situation of Russia and it is made obvious that the sitting U.S. President is Reagan. This is my first Tom Clancy, purchased second hand when we ran out of books on vacation. I will not go out of my way to read any more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    This book is based on the true experiences of a CIA agent named James Olson who was teaching in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University in 2004. I heard him speak at a State of the State conference here in Austin. Nobody in the CIA seemed to know where Tom Clancy was getting this information and he (Clancy) refused to divulge anything to the CIA. Per Mr. Olson, Clancy is, indeed, an asshole. Mr. Olson had plans to publish his memoirs but I have yet to see them listed anywhere.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Samyuktha jayaprakash

    Excellent procedural novel on espionage. It is so believably written! Characters and their lives fleshed out well. No over the top gimmicks here. Simple stunt is complex enough. It is not your fast food kind of book more like a barbeque on slow grill. Very delicious. Nice way to start the year with the bunny zaichik p.s - a bit too much hatred towards the soviet union maybe?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Finally finished. It took me so long to get through this book. Partly because I just didn't want to go on. The story was lame, really, the ending or lets call it show down then was so fast over and so unspectacular that it's not even worth mentioning, the characters brought up no suprise - just chliches. Jack Ryan is already know throught the books before and I started disliking the way Tom Clancy stereotyped his characters already in the other books, but here it really annoyed me. The way it is Finally finished. It took me so long to get through this book. Partly because I just didn't want to go on. The story was lame, really, the ending or lets call it show down then was so fast over and so unspectacular that it's not even worth mentioning, the characters brought up no suprise - just chliches. Jack Ryan is already know throught the books before and I started disliking the way Tom Clancy stereotyped his characters already in the other books, but here it really annoyed me. The way it is talked about women couldn't be any more stupid, sure this was written in a "diferrent" time, but come on...! Do you really have to emphasize repeatedly that Cathy Ryan (the successful doctor) gets angry at her man if he would cook once because the kitchen is her sanctuary and so he doesn't even make himself a sandwich when she's not there?! Also some things are always repeated, like yes we know Jack used to trade stocks, it doesn't have anything to do with the story, so please don't mention it 10 times, nobody cares. I'm sorry, this review is not dispassionate, not at all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna Sundre

    This was a real pleasure to read, I do enjoy Tom Clancy, but I think this is one of his finer efforts. I loved all of the characters and the view into Russia in the 70's was especially interesting. There were also strong mentions and anecdotes concerning Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to appreciate. Getting a brave defector (and his wife and 4 year old child) out of the Soviet Union was not an easy thing to do during those times. It was accomplished with panache. Some other major events wer This was a real pleasure to read, I do enjoy Tom Clancy, but I think this is one of his finer efforts. I loved all of the characters and the view into Russia in the 70's was especially interesting. There were also strong mentions and anecdotes concerning Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to appreciate. Getting a brave defector (and his wife and 4 year old child) out of the Soviet Union was not an easy thing to do during those times. It was accomplished with panache. Some other major events were also included in the story, but I will leave that to the next readers. This was suspenseful and fun.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    Many panned this book, but I really enjoyed it – almost as much as Patriot Games. Due to his background in the military, finance, academia and espionage, Jack Ryan's perspective is always interesting. Actually, the author could remind us of these various parts of his main character a little less, and his CONSTANT mentions of Ryan's promise gets somewhat repetitive. Also repetitive is his overuse of dramatic irony. The story is set in Cal Ripken's rookie year, and he must mention at least five ti Many panned this book, but I really enjoyed it – almost as much as Patriot Games. Due to his background in the military, finance, academia and espionage, Jack Ryan's perspective is always interesting. Actually, the author could remind us of these various parts of his main character a little less, and his CONSTANT mentions of Ryan's promise gets somewhat repetitive. Also repetitive is his overuse of dramatic irony. The story is set in Cal Ripken's rookie year, and he must mention at least five times through his characters that Ripken has promised.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Wilson

    I enjoyed this. It has an almost fetishistic amount of details on pre-digital communications in the intelligence world. His female characters are mostly poorly written, and every couple chapters it kinda jumps off the page.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Soo

    Notes: I'm going to bump the story up to 4 stars because I enjoyed how the story wrapped up. Clancy has a dry sense of humor that I enjoyed. This was more of a subdue book about international espionage and Jack Ryan was only in about 1/4 of the book. Notes: I'm going to bump the story up to 4 stars because I enjoyed how the story wrapped up. Clancy has a dry sense of humor that I enjoyed. This was more of a subdue book about international espionage and Jack Ryan was only in about 1/4 of the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    I had decided not to read any more of the Jack Ryan saga after Executive Orders. From the high standard that was set in The Hunt for Red October, a thoroughly researched and well-constructed thriller, the series degenerated into a predictable and long drawn out right wing rant. Oh well, there is a market for that sort of thing and Mr Clancy no doubt grew very rich on it. However, finding myself facing a ten hour flight and a paucity of choice in the airport book stand I decided to give this one a I had decided not to read any more of the Jack Ryan saga after Executive Orders. From the high standard that was set in The Hunt for Red October, a thoroughly researched and well-constructed thriller, the series degenerated into a predictable and long drawn out right wing rant. Oh well, there is a market for that sort of thing and Mr Clancy no doubt grew very rich on it. However, finding myself facing a ten hour flight and a paucity of choice in the airport book stand I decided to give this one a go. Other reviewers (notably the Washington Post and CNN) have commented on the standard of writing, plot contstruction and characterisation in this doorstep of a book so I won't go over any of that ground here. My concern is more pedantic perhaps but for a writer who is concerned to present a plethora of detail in his writing Mr Clancy seems to know almost nothing about life in the UK, where a large part of this book is set. Consider: Jack Ryan lives in Chatham but considers that he is fortunate to have the US base at Greenham Commons (sic) on his doorstep for the purchase of essential items of the American diet. By my reckoning that's a 100 mile drive each way and in 1981 the M25 wasn't even there to make life easier. Several of the characters manage to fly from the USA to Heathrow Terminal 4 - which didn't open until 1986. A policeman and a spook meet over a pint of bitter in a London pub at four o'clock in the afternoon. In 1981 that would have been just slightly illegal. York is described as the largest city in the North of England. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle etc must be somwhere else then. A fire engine in York numbers paramedics amongst its crew. Ambulances didn't even have paramedics in 1981. A London taxi ride from Victoria Station to Westminster Bridge Road via Hammersmith hospital not only makes sense, but from the hospital to the bridge is "a few blocks". I could go on but you get my drift. Just about every statement about Britain and British life is simply wrong and displays the ignorance of the most carricatured American innocent abroad. How much does this matter though? Surely it's just a story and Americans have been ingnorant about life outside the USA for most of their history. That's true enough, but a lot of the action takes place in Moscow, a city of which I know only what I have read in books. If Mr Clancy's knowledge of that city is is poor as his understanding of the UK then even more of the plot becomes literally incredible. As a writer who made his name with the meticulously-researched Red October he really should have known better - much better - than this.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John

    I am exceedingly glad I only paid $1 for this book at a library book sale. It may be worth that much, but no more. Red Rabbit reads as though Tom Clancy needed to write 618 pages in a hurry because he needed the money. It's full of cliches and boringly repetitious with the characters' introspection. Clancy tells us many times how the food is different in England than it is in America, how it's different in Italy than in America, how it's different in Bulgaria than in America...boring after a whi I am exceedingly glad I only paid $1 for this book at a library book sale. It may be worth that much, but no more. Red Rabbit reads as though Tom Clancy needed to write 618 pages in a hurry because he needed the money. It's full of cliches and boringly repetitious with the characters' introspection. Clancy tells us many times how the food is different in England than it is in America, how it's different in Italy than in America, how it's different in Bulgaria than in America...boring after a while. Clancy has become too comfortable with his writing and, in this book at least, writes like a formalistic hack. There were some interesting tidbits scattered here and there, but not enough to make it better than just OK. If you read and liked Hunt for Red October or Patriot Games or other of his earlier novels, you might want to skip this one if you wish to continue holding Clancy in good repute.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barnabas Piper

    The slowest, most politically droning Clancy book I’ve read. He manages to make Jack Ryan Boring in this one. A disappointment.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

    It must be hard being Tom Clancy. Think about it, your best character, Jack Ryan is already a President at the peak of his power sitting on a country at the peak of its power. He got there over a series of books so thrilling that your audience has huge expectations for every work you pump out, and your name has become a franchise. So where do you go from here? We could read about Ryan's next American triumph, like we did in the cartoon-like Bear and Dragon. The trouble is that Ryan is such a wel It must be hard being Tom Clancy. Think about it, your best character, Jack Ryan is already a President at the peak of his power sitting on a country at the peak of its power. He got there over a series of books so thrilling that your audience has huge expectations for every work you pump out, and your name has become a franchise. So where do you go from here? We could read about Ryan's next American triumph, like we did in the cartoon-like Bear and Dragon. The trouble is that Ryan is such a well developed character by now that any new novel can only use Ryan like this cartoon character. So that's a bust. We could read about another character, John Clark and Dingo Chavez, like in the terrific Rainbow Six. The trouble with this approach is that as Jack's contemporaries, Clark and Chavez must ultimately develop on trajectories similar to Ryan, and we would be covering old ground. Or, we could go with the fads (Star Trek Enterprise, Smallville) and do a "prequel". In Red Rabbit, Tom Clancy goes back to Jack Ryan's first CIA case. The idea being to introduce his fans to some of Jack's earliest exploits where he can show off the talent that will one day take him to the White House. With the communist bloc in decline and a Soviet leadership in denial operating from faked production reports, the disturbances in Poland could be the first domino that knocks over the whole system. Out of panic, the Party decides to take out what they see as the source of those disturbances: the recently elected Polish Pope John Paul II. The State turns to a well oiled assassination machine that can accomplish the job without any taint on the USSR. But unlike machines made of metal, the Soviet machine is made of people, and one of these people---a coder---develops a prick of conscience. And a young Jack Ryan must develop a plan to extract this coder and his family from the Soviet machine, without anyone suspecting that the coder has left the country. The plot has promise, but unfortunately, it never really has the suspense of Clancy's better stuff. Worse, the book comes off a little as the recycled cast off materials from the Cardinal of the Kremlin. Because it is a prequel, the ending becomes a foregone conclusion. As a result, the characters---never a Clancy strong point---become the focus of the novel and thus the plot never develops the surprising twists and turns that would make this a true page turner. Clancy's style is still crisp and his description of "tradecraft" could probably make it as reference material at Langley. Still, the plot suffers from lack of tension. It's like reading a book you vaguely remember reading before, and that is what takes the thrill out of the thriller. The audiotape version is abridged, and because it is so much shorter, is better edited and focussed than the printed novel. This makes the plot tighter and the descriptions less tedious. Plus, the reader does a good job using his voice(s) to draw out every ounce of suspense from the limpid plot. This is not one of Mr. Clancy's better books, and worse, in many respects, it is a watered version of one of his better works. Buy this though if you would like to keep abreast of the series, since the audio performance almost makes this book a thriller. Also, if you have never read any Clancy before, this book will be very readable---even if at the end you are left with the question of "So what's the big deal about Clancy?" Returning to the problem of what to do next: Notice that Tom Clancy's next book will go back to introducing new characters, this time, Jack Ryan, Jr. With all new materials to work with, I can't wait to see what he comes up with this summer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    What a disappointment! Tom Clancy's books used to be real nail biters, but this one is just a sleeping pill. This has all of his worst writing habits amplified and without a decent plot to ameliorate the tedium. I don't think he's actually writing anymore. I think he just came up with a two-paragraph synopsis and fed it into a "ClancyBot" computer in his basement, then took the 600 pages it spit out straight to the publisher-- who apparently is afraid to offend its cash cow by actually editing h What a disappointment! Tom Clancy's books used to be real nail biters, but this one is just a sleeping pill. This has all of his worst writing habits amplified and without a decent plot to ameliorate the tedium. I don't think he's actually writing anymore. I think he just came up with a two-paragraph synopsis and fed it into a "ClancyBot" computer in his basement, then took the 600 pages it spit out straight to the publisher-- who apparently is afraid to offend its cash cow by actually editing him. Does Clancy really think we all love Jack Ryan so much that we want to hear what he has for breakfast every day? The most mundane of activities are compulsively related as if they have anything to do with an interesting story. I'm surprised he was able to restrain himself from transcribing the actual one-time pads that were used to encrypt the Russians' coded messages. This is a book where one little thing happens and we then are forced to read ten pages of different characters musing about how the event fits into their personal philosophies before the next little thing happens to inch the plot along. And it's so repetitive. How many times do we have to read about how Ryan's wife Cathy "cuts people's eyeballs" for a living, or how Ryan hates being called "Sir John" because he "doesn't own a horse or a steel shirt"? Annoyingly, Clancy decided that it was cute to spell "pshrink" with a p, and he repeats it like twenty times throughout the book. It's a sad day: the former master of the techno-thriller has managed to barf up a book that has minimal techno and NO thrills.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tien

    This 900+ tome is typical of Clancy really and one of the reason that I didn't read this sooner despite hubby's love for these novels. Funnily enough, even as I paced myself with a chapter per day, I actually quite enjoyed this novel. It was actually quite easy to get into and while I first was lost with who's who, it wasn't long before I got used to it and the story flows quite smoothly. This novel took place some months after the last novel, Patriot Games, and Jack Ryan bit the bullet and now w This 900+ tome is typical of Clancy really and one of the reason that I didn't read this sooner despite hubby's love for these novels. Funnily enough, even as I paced myself with a chapter per day, I actually quite enjoyed this novel. It was actually quite easy to get into and while I first was lost with who's who, it wasn't long before I got used to it and the story flows quite smoothly. This novel took place some months after the last novel, Patriot Games, and Jack Ryan bit the bullet and now worked for the CIA. Only as an analyst, mind you. Just a desk job and no more. As per previous though, events preceded him and he finds himself dragged onto the field. Only as an observer, mind you. Just watching and no more. In the end, though, he did find himself with a gun in his hand and while there's no action like the last book, he still managed to score himself some commendations. Being a multiple POVs, we see many other characters in different locations/countries. There was a pair of spooks that I quite liked and hope to see again; I don't think I will but who knows. The one thing I found really funny is Jack's views on coffee. He raves about American coffee, specifically Starbucks. As he relocated to England, he was not impressed with the lack of good coffee. And when he was in Rome, he complained about Italian coffee. Well, mate, let me tell you that for us, Aussies, Starbucks is only for when you are desperate & it being the only option available... ;p

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    There are a lot of reviewers who don't think Tom Clancy wrote this book. I don't know if that's true, I don't think it is. But, one thing I do know is that this book is in no way as good as the books he did write. Maybe Clancy wrote it, knew it was crap, and set it aside, after all it wasn't published until 2002, years after its' place in the series. The plot of Ryan as a CIA analyst in London helping shepherd out a high value Russian defector fits nicely in the series, but there just isn't enou There are a lot of reviewers who don't think Tom Clancy wrote this book. I don't know if that's true, I don't think it is. But, one thing I do know is that this book is in no way as good as the books he did write. Maybe Clancy wrote it, knew it was crap, and set it aside, after all it wasn't published until 2002, years after its' place in the series. The plot of Ryan as a CIA analyst in London helping shepherd out a high value Russian defector fits nicely in the series, but there just isn't enough heart pounding action and the excessively long narratives were exhausting. Best part of the book is the Ed and Mary Pat Foley characters as CIA Chief of Station in Moscow. Absolutely loved them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Atkinson

    Well, it wasn't quite as much fun as Patriot Games, or The Hunt for Red October. The story involves a KGB communications officer escaping out of the Soviet Union, and the escape itself (view spoiler)[ goes off fairly smoothly. No one dies, no one gets left behind, zip. (hide spoiler)] . There's also a 1980s plot with the Pope and Solidarity in Poland and so forth that I'm not sure integrates as well with the rest of the Ryanverse. At any rate, it's still an interesting read. Next up in my chrono Well, it wasn't quite as much fun as Patriot Games, or The Hunt for Red October. The story involves a KGB communications officer escaping out of the Soviet Union, and the escape itself (view spoiler)[ goes off fairly smoothly. No one dies, no one gets left behind, zip. (hide spoiler)] . There's also a 1980s plot with the Pope and Solidarity in Poland and so forth that I'm not sure integrates as well with the rest of the Ryanverse. At any rate, it's still an interesting read. Next up in my chronological reread of the Ryanverse: the Hunt for Red October. Now that should be fun.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jack Webb

    Run, Rabbit, run Pretty good early Ryan yarn where he gets stationed in London to further his CIA education. Along the way, he gets involved with a Russian defector (the rabbit), Russian cold war ideology, and even the pope.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elijah

    Definitely not my favorite from clancy, with more politicking and maneuvering than actual action for most if the book, but still a decent book

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Haywood

    Jack Ryan is a new analyst working for the CIA, and has been sent over to Britain to work with the SIS for a time. Ed and Mary Pat Foley have just taken up their new posting in Moscow as the CIA s Chief of Station in the Soviet Capital. Meanwhile the chairman of the KGB wants to kill the pope. Oleg Zaitsev, an officer in the KGB s central communications department isn t happy about this, and wants to defect to America as an act of conscience.[return][return]This book is Tom Clancy s latest novel Jack Ryan is a new analyst working for the CIA, and has been sent over to Britain to work with the SIS for a time. Ed and Mary Pat Foley have just taken up their new posting in Moscow as the CIA s Chief of Station in the Soviet Capital. Meanwhile the chairman of the KGB wants to kill the pope. Oleg Zaitsev, an officer in the KGB s central communications department isn t happy about this, and wants to defect to America as an act of conscience.[return][return]This book is Tom Clancy s latest novel to date, and is set very early in the Jack Ryan timeline, shortly after the events in Patriot Games. Before reading the book I read a number of reviews on Amazon.co.uk, each giving very different opinions, some of which I share. The book was an enjoyable thriller, with a distinct lack of the huge swathes of technical material that always annoyed me about some of Clancy s books. However there were a number of bad points to this book. Although Jack Ryan was ostensibly the main character he wasn t in it a lot of the time. There was no one major character to follow, which isn t neccesarily a bad thing, but in this case it jumped from character to character a little too much. Clancy really did take every opportunity to tell the reader how great America was, and how backward and inferior Britain was, which got a little annoying at times there were even some factual inaccuracies about Britain! Overall an enjoyable enough thriller, but not all that memorable. If you re a Clancy fan then definitely read it, otherwise, try one of his earlier books- they re so much better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    A spy action thriller without thrills or action. My second Clancy novel actually features Jack Ryan and takes place in the Cold War. The basic plot is that the KGB gets it in its head to try to assassinate the new Pope (John Paul II) and a mid level communications analyst learns of the plot and decides, for rather undeveloped reasons of conscience to inform the Americans and defect. (his desire to "jump" making him the titular Red Rabbit) Overall this story isn't bad. I did enjoy the slow build o A spy action thriller without thrills or action. My second Clancy novel actually features Jack Ryan and takes place in the Cold War. The basic plot is that the KGB gets it in its head to try to assassinate the new Pope (John Paul II) and a mid level communications analyst learns of the plot and decides, for rather undeveloped reasons of conscience to inform the Americans and defect. (his desire to "jump" making him the titular Red Rabbit) Overall this story isn't bad. I did enjoy the slow build of developing the defector and his contacts with the American embassy in Moscow. It was nice slow burn spycraft. Unfortunately it's ALL SLOW BURN. There's never a real sense of threat or tension other than the self imposed paranoia the characters lay on themselves. More could have been done with the informat actually getting close to being caught but as it wasn't, the novel dragged for about 200 pages longer than it needed to.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chad Sayban

    Red Rabbit was by far the weakest of all of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. Part of it was that even though it was a prequel, it really didn’t sound like Jack Ryan at all. Mostly it was the plot. Clancy thrillers always have a certain over-the-top quality to them. That’s what makes them fun. But they are always grounded in a certain level of realism. Unfortunately, Red Rabbit’s plot felt so contrived and disjointed that I had a difficult time believe that Clancy actually wrote it. Maybe it was an Red Rabbit was by far the weakest of all of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. Part of it was that even though it was a prequel, it really didn’t sound like Jack Ryan at all. Mostly it was the plot. Clancy thrillers always have a certain over-the-top quality to them. That’s what makes them fun. But they are always grounded in a certain level of realism. Unfortunately, Red Rabbit’s plot felt so contrived and disjointed that I had a difficult time believe that Clancy actually wrote it. Maybe it was an old draft that someone convinced him to publish anyway. Maybe every writer is destined to write at least one regrettable book in their career. If that’s the case, Red Rabbit is the one. If you have never read Tom Clancy before, whatever you do, don’t start with this one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    William

    audio If your looking for action look elsewhere If your looking for a bit of history as to espionage involving Soviet Union vs UK vs USA, there is a lot here. Clancy discusses many cultural differences and political ideology. one negative: he keeps talking about Ryan's great training and experience with his less than a year as US Marine 2LT. 1- he only had ROTC 2-2nd LT's are at the bottom of the food chain. Not in heierarchy, but not knowing anything about being a leader in their job. I was statio audio If your looking for action look elsewhere If your looking for a bit of history as to espionage involving Soviet Union vs UK vs USA, there is a lot here. Clancy discusses many cultural differences and political ideology. one negative: he keeps talking about Ryan's great training and experience with his less than a year as US Marine 2LT. 1- he only had ROTC 2-2nd LT's are at the bottom of the food chain. Not in heierarchy, but not knowing anything about being a leader in their job. I was stationed for a few months at HQ USAREUR where we had about fifty generals. Lt's were like flies in a barnyard and unless you had specific contact you did not salute them. It seems that Clancy may write like W.E.B. Griffin where only about 3% of the content is action.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rory

    I kept waiting for some action to kick-in but, after about 350 pages, I surrender. I would say "move along people, nothing to see here!" I kept waiting for some action to kick-in but, after about 350 pages, I surrender. I would say "move along people, nothing to see here!"

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This was a fun book. It progresses the Jack Ryan characters and universe. A couple nit-picks... Clancy overuses a few sayings, cliche's even, in all of his books so far. A few of them seem very out of place. "Dead men tell no tales" for example. Awesome phrase in a Pirate book, but so out of place here with the syntax of the characters. And multiple times in a single book!!! Ugh! He also tries way too hard to add some Romance and sex into this book. Seems to come at a very awkward time. Anyway, This was a fun book. It progresses the Jack Ryan characters and universe. A couple nit-picks... Clancy overuses a few sayings, cliche's even, in all of his books so far. A few of them seem very out of place. "Dead men tell no tales" for example. Awesome phrase in a Pirate book, but so out of place here with the syntax of the characters. And multiple times in a single book!!! Ugh! He also tries way too hard to add some Romance and sex into this book. Seems to come at a very awkward time. Anyway, still liked it. It did seem a little like what I remember of the Hunt for Red October, but above ground.

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