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“I read this book in 2007.”Paul P. Coddington wrote this review Wednesday, January 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book kept me up most of the night. Absolutely one of his best. Cannot wait to read more of Clancy's novels. ”Irinel F wrote this review Sunday, December 30, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“enjoyed”Bob Laubach wrote this review Tuesday, September 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Tom Clancy is racist, sexist, American in the way George W. Bush is American (read: incomprehensibly, idiotically patriotic), and still writes a damn good page turner. Even if I hate to admit it.
This is the first Clancy book I read, and I got it in preparation for some serious time killing when I'm recovering from surgery. I specifically chose it because of a quote on the back of my favorite Neal Stephenson book, Cryptonomicon, that says something like "as if Tom Clancy and William Gibson gave birth and Bruce Sterling was the midwife." So I thought it might be worth a shot.
The would have served the purpose fairly well, especially as it is so unevenly edited (or perhaps purposefully redundant) that it's easy to keep track of what's going on, since it's repeated several times. Maybe Clancy is like George Lucas in that no one is willing to tell him when something needs to go.
Let's start with the racism: niggardly. Need I say more? This word, which perhaps doesn't have the origin that I am ascribing to it, was used more than five times. Does Mr. Clancy not posses a thesaurus? Is he supremely unaware of where this word came from?
Moving on to the sexism: of the seven women characters in the 600+ page book, excluding the cardboard perfection of every man's secretary, two are murdered (and one of those is repeatedly described as "needing to loose 15 pounds"-what the hell does that even mean?), one is a "femi-nazi"- that apparently means she believes in equal rights for women, a radical notion, one is a terrorist without compassion, and the other two are perfect, blonde, gorgeous, well educated, with no personality other than that of a mother-to-be (naturally, the highest aspiration of a woman), a grand-mother to be (ascribed to grand-maternal instincts), who want nothing more than to Stand By Their American Men. One vaguely shows concern that her husband is a state-sanctioned murderer (she's a physician-oh the irony!), but her worries are assuaged with a "I'm doing it for my country" conversation and a kiss. Because, you know, women always believe that their men are doing the right thing once they are told so.
The Men, obviously the centerpiece in any military book, are concerned with their egos, their role as fathers, their physical fitness, their competitive skills, and for the elder one, aging. Saving the world is rather ancillary to these men, it seems, in their quest for physical fitness and American Manhood.
Oh, there are a few sketches of men from other countries. The frenchman is, predictably, fond of leering (albeit politely), but we learn he is really a Family Man, as are All Good Men. There are two latinos in the mix, which just seems odd, and they are shown to be remarkable examples of their race, it being just amazing that they are well educated AND multi-lingual. To the best of my knowledge, there are no African Americans at all on this "multi-ethnic" team of state approved murderers.
Hmm. Writing this makes me think that I was somewhat upset by this book.
The only somewhat tolerable character is the ex-KGB agent, who is actually written something like a three-dimensional character, with motivations that are almost understandable. But he's Russian, so of course he's greedy and nefarious.
The plot is meandering, involving lots of acronyms for special ops groups, and revolves around a terrorist group of tree-huggers, more or less. The greenies are shown to be completely nuts, giving us a clear picture of Mr. Clancy's politics: Terrorists: bad. Tree-huggers: just as bad.
It is interesting to think of this book compared to Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, that I finished recently. TTSS was a heady tome about shlubby men trying to do the right thing against some difficult odds, all in the name of Mother Country. But they were flawed, human, and while certainly as ego-centric as the next man, they were not operating under the assumption that they were better than the rest of the world. Rainbow Six was just about the polar opposite.
I think that I am done with this author. ”
“The military terminology in this book can be pretty thick at times, but given the fact that it was written almost 15 years ago by the time I read it, I found the storyline to be extremely relevant. The tactics and the way the team operates is very interesting for anyone who has an interest in special operations units. ”H.L. Reasby wrote this review Sunday, May 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wow I loved this book. It really made me want to join the military. it had a good plot and Tom Clancy did a great job of detail. I would definetly recommend this to a friend.”Ben Viestenz wrote this review Wednesday, May 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Best book I have read.”Mike Morris wrote this review Monday, March 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No