Sadly, Clancy is still up on his soapbox. He tells a good, if tired, catch the terrorists style thriller. If someone could edit him down to just that story, it'd be a solid read.
Unfortunately, he's too popular to edit now and it really shows here. I don't mind authors who insert their opinions into their work -- lead characters have opinions after all, it's part of being a fully fleshed out character -- but this was ridiculous.
If you're reading "just a fun spy thriller" then it's fine to ignore the unrealistic lawbreaking by the good guys and purely evil bad guys. Since Clancy insists on making his politics the driving factor in his books, you can't do that.
Basically, Clancy's world has four kinds of people:
Type 1: Average citizen - a sheep, and unimportant to the story.
Type 2: Evil Terrorist - 100% pure bad guy. No redeeming value. No humanity. They almost always lose out because their pure evil nature makes them ignore large holes in their planing.
Type 3: Good, Conservative, American Men. Yep, almost always men. There's one strong female "good guy" and she's not really very helpful here or any any of his other books. To be a good guy in Clancy's world, you are always a Conservative politically.
Type 4: Weaselly liberal politicians interested only in their own gain and willing to sacrifice everything at the slightest threat to personal safety. No liberal politician is allowed to have the best interests of the country at heart in a Clancy book. If you have a character with any sympathy or dealing at all with the liberals, you have a character who will at some point betray the good guys. * In this one, whole paragraphs are written specifically to argue against the policies of the current liberal administration (which very obviously are the policies of the current Obama presidency).
We must ignore, of course, that the Good Guys (type 3) actually operate an unconstitutional, unlawful, secret spy organization and black-ops special forces unit based on American soil which routinely spies on (and frequently kills) people both in America and in other countries (including allies). These good-guys have no bones about forging passports, eluding law enforcement, and breaking national security laws. It's all ok, however, because they're "Good Conservative American Men" doing things all for the good of us all (even if we don't agree with it).
Again, all this silliness could be easily ignored if it was just the context of a good story, but when the author insists on making political points all along, the reader is drawn out of the story over and over again and the insanity of what's going on becomes apparent.
What a waste of good writing talent.
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
Let's face it, Tom's always seated himself pretty far toward the right end of the political bar. Not really a problem for me - I'm a democrat - because he always seemed to treat his more liberal characters with a degree of decorum so long as they really had the best interests of the nation at heart. He always seemed to take an "Agree to Disagree" stand with them, and allowed them to be patriotic Americans too.
Not so with this and the last novel he did with Mark Greaney (Dead or Alive). Now he's made it official – progressives are the ENEMY. Have an interest in the environment? ENEMY. Want to see justice win over fear? ENEMY. Want to see America live up to her ideals and hold those that disregard them accountable? ENEMY.
I've read all of Clancy's novels, but since teaming up with Greaney, he's just become such a right wing curmudgeon with an ax to grind that I can't seem to get back to what he's always done so well - tell us great, complex story about espionage, military technology, and international intrigue.
Well Tom, after reading every single one of your books, I just can't take the far-right soap opera anymore. Yup. I'm a progressive. A doggone Democrat, and proud of it. But you know what, Tom? I'm also a veteran. I'm also a patriot. I'm also interested in American interests. You see, it is actually possible to loyal and not a right-winger. I think you've lost site of that.
I didn't finish Locked On, and I won't be bothering myself to waste anymore time with your books in the future.
I'm really sorry to see it end like this.
No. Too partisan.
Tom Clancy has a great page turner style. If your political views are anyting other than far right, some of the passages may make your neck hairs bristle.
No I would not.
Haven't, but his good.
I would cut out the rightwing wackadoodle screeds included in the book. This Mark Greaney doesn't build characters but caricatures built on his political ideologies. As with Vince Flynn what started as good characters and story lines just becomes ponderous prose and not good reading, unless your some rightwing reactionary.
Isnt it about time these OLD authors just give it up rather than farming out the franchise to wannabe's.
The presidential debates make it seem that one must be right wing to be a patriotic man of action. It was at though Sarah Palin was the author.
Keep to what has been successful in their past books. Action against and triumph over our common enemies, not right wing rhetoric.
Clear deep voice.
I stopped listening after the presidential debate, wishing that I had not purchased this book.
If Tom Clancy had actually written the story
One of the worst novels I have listened to
Very slow and monotone voice
Latin America was worn out years ago, just bury it for a while.
I have read and listened to many of Clancy's books,but will not be listening to anymore.
Clancy uses this book for an undisguised rant about the politics of the Obama administration. He is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to sell me his opinion as part of a guilty pleasure novel. It should have a warning label.
May, Tom Clancy REALLY does not like liberals. In this book, it is to the point where he actually paints them as communists secretly trying to destroy the US. He actually is fait in the other enemies he portrays, showing that the Pakistani bad guy also has a PAkistani heroic equivalent. But anyone left of the moderate are evil, according to this book.
He gets going on a great story line and then he would go down these political paths. I know politics is a part of what he does, but the extremes in which he discusses his (characters) politics is distracting at best. Sometimes it borders on offensive. The reason I say that is he sticks so close to fact, then seems to veer off to worlds of extremes.
The story is otherwise woven well, but the ending is very predictable and anticlimatic.
However, Lou Diamond Phillips is an amazing narrator. IF you like adventures, Id still give it a whirl, but be ready for some detours.
I would NOT recommend this book to a friend. Rush Limbaugh Fans would love this. The politics of hate are alive and well in the political commentary by the main characters. Gone is the neutrality and honesty of Tom Clancy. In past Jack Ryan Novels, Jack Ryan didn't profess to be partisan, In fact he didn't belong to any political party. Not the case anymore as the main characters indulge themselves in the simplistic Rush Limbaugh view of all things "liberal". A real shame. Tom Clancy used to be a joy to read an listen to. Now not so much. The story line is the usual Tom Clancy evil vs good. Except the characters have lost their depth, the story has become so formula that the ending too predictable. I wish I could have the time back so I could listen to something better written instead of this cheap copy of what Tom Clancy produced in the past.The narrator does a great job. It's a shame the authors weren't as creative as the narrator.
Tell us about yourself! I am a French woman and live in Paris. I love to read - I read almost EVERYTHING! I like also to speak English
This is my very first time reading Tom Clancy book; for this reason I cannot say I am a fan of Mr. Clancy’s books. I took this one because of all the good reviews I read and thought well; maybe I should give it a try!Locked on is basically standard terrorism thriller with a very complex plot. Let me first warn you if you have never read Tom Clancy’s book, please don’t start with this one as most the characters are introduced without background and from what I understood most of them come from Clancy previous books. The book has several plots and subplots, there’s a plot by a rogue Pakistani general to destroy the Pakistani civilian government so he can take control; there's a plot to destroy Moscow with a nuclear weapon; and there's a plot by a weakened Democratic president named Kealty to undermine Jack Sr.'s campaign in the last weeks before the election because of these many plots, the book began a little slowly. It was a bit hard to understand the connection between different characters at the beginning. There's even a romance plotline that portrays Jack Ryan Jr. showing some interest towards a smart, beautiful CIA operative named Melanie. Each plotline contains several pages where various actions, scene are described. All characters are scattered on different mission in different parts of the world. One or two characters are based in Pakistan, some in Russia, some in Germany, some in France. There is so much going on at the same time. For you to enjoy it will really depend on how you come to it: if you are a committed Clancy/Ryan’s fan, you'll probably be keen on reading it but slightly wary given the recent books. If you are new to Clancy, and thinking of starting (and I encourage you to do), this is not the place to start, read them in publications order. If you are interested in a modern techno-thriller, this is OK but there are better in the genre.I have been told that this book is a typical Clancy, multi-layered, densely plotted style. In overall Locked On is well written and structured book. I do recommend it for Clancy’s fans and to those who like complex and action driven books.