I have read the book twice but the audio version is the best. The story is stories in stories in stories. I love Clancy and "the Bear and the Dragon" is his best. I would recoment this audiobook to any one.
It's in the top half for sure. Tom Clancy is a great writer and his books are very well researched. If anything they may have too much detail. I listened to this book after Rainbow 6 and it does not have the same level action and intrigue. The narration was passable, not great.
With little over 3 hours into the book, it has become obvious that this book is less of an action thriller and more of a discussion of political intrigue . The question that begs to be asked “was this written by Tom Chancy or a group effort with his name attached”. Not one of the better Tom Clancy’s books.
The sharp increase, to the point of overuse, of vulgarity in this book was most surprising. I waded through because I'm a Clancy fan but am now on the look out for another favorite author.
Not unless the language is cleaned up.
pros and cons
Okay, I enjoy Clancy despite the fact that my politics are significantly different from his, but this book is over the top. I have never downloaded a book from Audible full of so much racist claptrap. The above (Ryan's remark on finding out that lots of toys are made in China) is about as mild as it gets in this book. Where the casual racism gets really offensive is the point where Ryan visits Auschwitz and Clancy uses the detour to reflect on America's role to protect the world against racist regimes that might do the same. Given the content of the book, that borders on the unforgivably offensive. Clancy's editor must have been asleep at the wheel. Give this one a pass.
Gold, Oil and Suckers
Typical Prichard. Voice characterizations don't have a lot of range, but if you speed it up, it's pleasant enough.
Unlike many other reviewers, I liked Michael Prichard's narration. Sure, his vocal repertoire is not as wide as those of some other narrators. It is his tone that is a good match for Clancy: strong, authoritative, even grandfatherly. A book about espionage, politics, and war demands such a narrator.
Where this book falls down is in the pacing. I had hoped that The Bear and The Dragon would be a Red Storm Rising redux with a different set of belligerents. It is not. The majority of the book is spent very slowly developing the motives for war. The war itself does not begin in earnest until the fifth and last Audible part of the book, which then rushes to a hasty conclusion. In Red Storm Rising, for contrast, the war is already well underway by the second of four parts, and lasts until the end of the book. The Bear and The Dragon's abbreviated war has relatively few battles, and what battles it has lack in complexity. Save for the actual start of hostilities, there are few setbacks for the good guys; everything they do is a fantastic success. Simply put, the war story isn't as enjoyable as it could have been.
Russia joins NATO, but only the USA comes to Russia's aid.
The depiction of computer programming is laughably unrealistic.
Apparently the DCI uses AOL. "You've got mail!"
Clancy must be a smoker, because everyone in the book loves to smoke.
The book, published in 2000, still thinks "women's lib" is a controversy.
Verdict: It's OK, but not my favorite Clancy.
Someone with no life.
Clancy's early books were magnificent. He has run out of things to say.
I like Michael Prichard and and have listened to him in the past.
The characters were poorly developed and their actions were not consistent with their provided background.
I will start off by pointing out that this is my favorite Tom Clancy novel and I was thrilled to find it in an unabridged format, so I knew I really liked the story before even starting to listen. The reader started out really poorly. It almost felt like it was an electronic voice reading and hard to listen to. However, as the book went on (and there was PLENTY of time for it to "go on") he seemed to settle into the story more and, by the end, was giving a solid performance.