I bought The Hunt for Red October when it was first issued, and loved it. I bought a couple of extra copies for friends, and watched the movie a number of times. I hesitated before I bought the Audible version, but it surpassed my expectations. I find that hearing the book read, as opposed to reading it, is a more exciting experience than I could originally have expected. There is no question that the book itself is a classic of its kind, and one of the best that Tom Clancy has ever written. Hearing it read by J. Charles is an entirely new experience. I find I can let myself go into the drama, and just go with the flow of the book in a far more intimate way than just reading the book involves. What more can I say. A classic read for a classic book.
Hunt for Red October is a classic Tom Clancy. It's a great start to his Jack Ryan character and a must read as you read the sequel novels.
I absolutely love military novels, so liking this is no exception. However, the narration has left a lot to be desired, but it does not remove from the excellent story being told. I am not sure how tolerant other listeners are, but should you not pay much attention to the acted accents you would enjoy this book for its rich content(at least I've found it that way.).
It's Tom Clancy, and if it seems dated that's fine, just take it as a cultural artifact. There's a fair amount of heavy-handed exposition detailing how the USSR is bound to fail, because Soviets are all selfish, corrupt, shortsighted, and drunk. The only exceptions, of course, are the few brave and honorable Russkies who wish to defect, and they are soon agog at large breakfasts, personal computers, and the very nature of freedom.
So if it seems like a relic, don't judge it harshly; reflect instead on how much the world has changed since 1984. And literature, too -- there are only two women in this story, a counter-espionage agent, and Skiing Barbie. Skiing Barbie gets more ink.
So the text is fine, but the audiobook is just awful, both in narration and production values. J. Charles just isn't up to it. The book has Americans, Russians, and Brits, so accents are important. For the Americans, it's as though every character is assigned a unique regional accent, like Bahhstin, or Deeyup Souyuth, and they're awful and amateurish. The Russians sound like phlegmatic Draculas, and the Brits sound like Australians. Or not Australians. They sound like somebody whose only exposure to 'strain accents was Crocodile Dundee twenty years ago, and who is now trying to voice a drunk koala in a low-budget cartoon. You know how bad Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent is in Mary Poppins? It's on a par with that. And all the Brits sound like that in this audiobook: you can't tell them apart.
Pronunciations are bad. I mean, I'm pretty sure a Russian would how to pronounce "Moscow" properly. Plus, the pacing is bizarre. At places, he reads it in a rush. At one point, I actually looked at my iPod to see if it was playing at 2x. Of course, it's not like I wish this audiobook lasted longer!
Last, there are a couple hours of recording with background noise, like a conversation happening in another room. It's maddening. Maddening!
Literally anybody else. It is difficult to imagine a worse reader.
Totally. I think they should cast Sean Connery in the role of the Russian sub captain. He'd be perfect.
This is pre-bloat Clancy--there's some technobabble, but it's an exciting and detailed story. I cannot under any circumstances recommend this reading. Letting your Kindle do a computerized reading would be less distracting than this reader's almost unbelievably bad "voices," and his literally laughable accents. Do not waste your credit.
Classic story of cold war naval action. I usually read the book about once every few years. However, the narration was awful. It seems that all the british characters were cockney layabouts. The harrier pilot, in particular, gave me headache! I would be reluctant to purchase another audiobook narrated by this guy.
The majority of the book is pretty slow moving. There's a ton of detail on submarines & their systems but character development is somewhat weak. Basically, I got to know he machines better than the people so by the time the action started to heat up I didn't really buy in to the urgency of the situation.
I hesitated to get the book because of so many bad reviews regarding the audio quality but at no point did I hear anything in the way of recording defects. Volume was constant & clear. The narrator did an adequate job given the material he was reading.
It hardly ever happens that a movie tells a story better than a book but this is one of those times.
I listen to approximately 25 hours per week and have downloaded over 400 books on Audible. Mostly I like mysteries, fantasy and scifi.
I love the Jack Ryan series. I've read this book, seen the movie (obviously) and now have listened to it on audio. This book is so good. If you like it, you must then get Patriot Games because it is even better!
Getting rid of the narrator, and finding someone who could actually read the story without screwing up the accents so much would be a good start to making this recording decent.
Jack Ryan was of course my favorite character, because he seemed like the reluctant hero.
He spoke. That man should never pick up a book again.
My reaction was sadness that I paid good money for this recording to listen to someone butcher the southern, British, and Russian accents.
This was too horrible to even continue listening to. I should have read the feedback before ordering it. I couldn't finish it, because it hurt too much.
I liked learning more about the submariners' world, but I became bored with Clancy's writing. Too little character development, even in this book which I believe was the first Jack Ryan book.
No. His American regional dialects were contrived and silly and his English accents downright bloody awful.
The movie with Alec Baldwin and James Earl Jones is one of my favorites - the only reason I listened to this book. The movie is much more enjoyable!