The narrator has a tendency to make the Americans in the book sound like variations of southerners or Texans with a handful of exceptions. The Russians (and the Lithuanian-hint) all virtually sound the same.
The story itself is a classic; the genesis of the "military techno-thriller" it represented a pop cultural shift in how the military, the intelligence community and thier members were portrayed. Clancy focused on how thier actions and the technology they used were central to national security and international politics.
This reader was painful to listen to. Half the American accents he used sounded like Slim Pickens. Most of the Soviet accents sounded like Chekov or Dracula. The expressive dialogue and emotion sounded like a over-acted Japanese voice over. Do yourself a favor and find a version of this book read by someone other than J. Charles.
It ruined a great book.
A great Clancy novel, but unfortunately the narration is terrible. Russian accent sounds like Sesame Street's The Count. English Accents are butchered similarly. Even many American characters are made to sound like mentally slow buffoons. Silly, unnecessary effects are applied when dialog is supposed to be over a telephone or radio.
Why bother with this, Audible - time for a re-record of this one with someone who will do it justice. Listening to J.Charles is simply infuriating.
The audio quality isn't what you'd expect and the audio editing sometimes appears to run sentences together which can be frustrating. Great story though. Didn't disappoint!
And joyed audio book greatly. Both the story and the story teller were very good. Have read the audio portion was Poor, I disagree. They story teller did a very good job and the audio portions for radio and telephone conversations were also very well done. Well worth the time
Great story. Cartoonish accents weaken overall narrative. I cringed at every attempt at Russian or "General"
Read this in print - loved it. Just as entertaining in audio format BUT some really annoying aspects. At first I thought the run on sentences and failure to pause before each new section (the narrator treats the chapter title like just another sentence - reminds you of the cadence the computer voices use on National Weather Service alerts) was the fault of the narrator but after reading some of the other reviews, they may indeed be correct it that it was a technical problem with the recording. Does it ruin the whole experience? I guess not, but it is really, really annoying. If you truly have a desire to listen to "Red October" don't let that stop you. If you are just looking fora good Clancy book, there are a lot of others to choose from.
No, it's not better than the print version, but it IS pretty good. I was worried from the sample and from other reviews that J. Charles would be an annoying narrator. But overall, I ended up liking him. He does a good job with the action scenes. Where he's atrocious is with accents--especially British ones, and there are a fair amount of British characters in this book. He's also not great with Texan or Southern accents. I'm not qualified to judge the accuracy of his Russian accents, but as a listener they didn't get on my nerves, which is good since nearly half the book is about Russian characters. Again, overall, he is actually quite good. Don't let the sample put you off of listening to this audiobook.
Absolutely! I first read this book in high school in the 90s, and of course I've seen the movie plenty of times over the years, but Clancy is a master of suspense and I was STILL on the edge of my seat listening! He moves between so many different characters and locations, giving you little pieces of the puzzle along the way, that you can't wait to learn how they all come together as a whole.
Can't do Brits.
Of course there is an excellent film of this book already. It's rare that an adaptation is so good. Even though I'd read the book before, I've seen the movie more, and at the end I found myself surprised that there were still a couple of hours left after the events that form the climax of the film. I actually think that the filmmakers improved on Clancy's narrative by streamlining the ending. The book has two separate climaxes; the film mashes them together intensely into one.
Clancy knocked it out of the park with his first book. There's never been anybody who did what he did quite as well, weaving a complex tale of many characters and lots of hardware, of espionage and military action into such a tense, compelling read. He was at the top of his game in the 80s, at the end of the Cold War, and his first four Jack Ryan novels are outstanding.