"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
As everyone has said, this is the fantastic story of a rogue Russian submarine commander attempting to defect his nation's newest and most advanced submarine, the Red October, to the Americans. Top notch book and a great movie, to boot!
But the narrator J. Charles botches his reading about a thousand times during the course of the book. As someone mentioned, he makes every Russian character sound like Count Dracula and every American commander sound like a backwoods hillbilly. It was beyond ridiculous. And I'm not usually very nitpicky about pronunciation, but Charles mispronounces such common words that the narration almost became comical. Simple words like "known" are pronounced "know-when", or FLIR (forward looking infrared - usually pronounced "fleer") was pronounced "fluur" throughout the entire book. The list could go on.
Suffice it to say this is a great book with sub-par narration.
I loved this movie, and I think I would love this book if I had read it. But the narrator started to get on my nerves. He did all right with much of the book, but when he tried to do an English, Australian or Southern U.S. accent, it just about sent me through the roof. It's ok, not everyone can do those accents justice. So don't try so hard that you sound like a cartoon. I think this is a very good story, but I wasn't as engaged with it as i would have liked to be. I was looking forward to it being "over with." That is not a good way to leave a book.
Ive listened to virtually hundreds of audio books and I must say, never have I heard a worse narration attempt. J. Charles turns this book, a suspense thriller, in to a virtual comedy. Based on the voices, youll hear appearances by beloved characters such as Foghorn Leghorn, Count Chocula, Boris (of Bullwinkle fame), and Fred Flintsone. It was hard to sustain suspension of disbelief due to the fact that I kept laughing out loud, many times in the midst of the most intense parts of the book. Ive never been the biggest Scott Brick fan but, compared to Charles, Brick is on par with Frank Muller. I really wish they'd have stuck with him on this book.
The writing was fine, just overshadowed by the Summer Stock comedy act of J. Charles.
Such a good book, such a bad reading. The accents are absolutely dreadful. A 5 star book is a 3 just because I could barely stand to listen to the reading.
The audio quality of this is very poor. It sounds almost as if it was run through a voice recognition program.
The "reading" of the book does not do justice to the book itself.
Literally almost anyone else, this was terrible
Well, at least now I know what a robot trying to do a Russian accent sounds like
Tom Clancy, yes. J Charles, absolutely NOT
His narration was ridiculous. Accents were flawlessly terrible, reading was over dramatic. A five year old native Martian could have done a better job.
I'm going through the Jack Ryan series. I wasn't thrilled by the writing on this one because I felt that there was too much detail and not enough action.
I won't listen to another J. Charles no matter what the story.
Oh my goodness...the performance was SO bad. It was like J. Charles was so concerned with making each voice different that some of them just sounded distorted, fake, and clownish.
Lou Diamond Phillips rocks!
'The Nature Boy' Andrew Niehaus
Fire this narrator and get someone else.
Jack Ryan has always been my favorite character in these books.
J. Charles is HORRIBLE. His Russians all sound like Count Dracula, his Robbie sounds like a white southern hick, which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that Robbie is A BLACK MAN. He rushes through the story, barely pausing to take a breath. I have listened to other Tom Clancy audiobooks. Heck, I had another copy of this very book, but lost it and decided to replace it with the Audible version. This guy is horrible and I hope that he doesn't narrate any other Clancy books.
Great book, horrible narrator.