©1990 Larry Bond; (P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"A big, big book...A superb storyteller...Larry Bond seems to know everything about warfare, from the grunt in a foxhole to the fighter pilots far above the earth...Red Phoenix is wonderfully entertaining and deserves to be the best seller it is." (New York Times Book Review)
"Gripping...masterfully accurate...Mr. Bond is in complete command." (Baltimore Sun)
"Harrowingly real and persuasive." (Newsday)
"A direct hit! The techno-thriller has a new ace, and his name is Larry Bond." (Tom Clancy)
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
One of my favorite books growing up was Red Storm Rising. The silent partner behind that Cold War classic went on to produce this what if exercise of a novel. Because of the inherent limitations of the genre, the story quickly became outdated, notice that it was copyrighted in 1990, meaning that it came out the same year Iraq invaded Kuwait, making it something of a time capsule of military thinking. At the same time, this necessary anachronism does not in and of itself render the book irrelevant. As the critical acclaim quoted above notes, it was considered at the time a thoroughly credible hypothetical scenario for a Second Korean War.
Another reviewer criticized the plausibility of the politics and military technology depicted in the conflict. It is important to remember though that at the time, strategic focus was centered squarely on Europe, meaning political calculations and allocation of modern hardware flowed accordingly. Thus, the stage is set for a sort of worst case scenario, where US and South Korean forces standing alone without the benefit of the 1980s modernization face the best Soviet armor employed with the sufficient numbers and ruthless disregard for losses that made the American military modernization at the end of the Cold War such a priority for so many, or so it seems to an armchair quarterback looking back over two decades.
At any rate, like he did with Clancy, Bond asks a number of interesting questions, and enlists a number of unfortunate characters to act as observers in his thought experiments. This includes anti-submarine warfare officers trying to get convoys into Pusan with North Korean and Russian subs prowling the shallow approaches, navy and air force pilots trying to outmatch MIG-29s while not being drowned by a tide of MIG-21s, carrier crews trying to sustain combat operations against built up air defenses, infantry officers leading what was meant to be a tripwire force asked to hold against an unending stream of heavy armor, and even logisticians trying to manage the flow of needed supplies from the states while trying to avoid being blown up.
So long as one heeds another reviewer's warning to be mindful of the time in which this book originates and is nominally set, there's quite a bit to chew on here. Unfortunately, the narration leaves something to be desired. I actually have a copy of this book in what I believe to be its original form, eight cassettes with a different track on the left and right stereo channels. On that medium, the quality of the production was thoroughly satisfactory, when heard from a digital player and held up against modern offerings produced by Audible and others, it borders on embarrassing at times, possibly downright offensive.
Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile listen to those interested in sussing out what such a war might have been like.
This is a good action story about a late cold war era outbreak of war in Korea. The story is plausible and flows well. The narrator is a little too upbeat in his characterizations. Everybody kind of has a happy sound to their voice. He does a decent job of giving each character their own sound. I enjoy cold war era stories and was not disappointed with this Larry Bond title. If you enjoy Harold Coyle or Tom Clancy you should be happy with Larry Bond's Red Phoenix.
This is a good, standard issue military thriller. It is not exceptionally well written but it does not purport to be more than what its cover art shows. My only objection to the writing is there seem to be some events that were cut from the final draft (this is not abridged) and the author forgot to go back and remove references from later in the book. This could have been a brilliant book with excellent tactical narration, etc but it did not try to be and it wasn't.
The narrator's voice acting is quite good for the Caucasian characters. Unfortunately, he makes Kim Jong Il sound exactly like an angry Kermit the Frog. You will see what I mean when you read it but it is hard to suspend disbelief when you keep thinking that the main antagonist is only angry because it is not easy being green. This nitpicking aside I do recommend the book as satisfying for commutes, etc. it is "high carb" low nutritional value reading.
I've read every Tom Clancy book out there and this is alright. The story can speed through fast action sequences that beg to be lengthened at times. so I had periods where it took me a minute or two to figure out what was going on. Also the performance of the reader could have been better. his Korean voice and normal US soldier voice were a bit annoying. One was the stereotypical "ten dollar too boo koo" voice fit any Asian culture and the other sounded like the worse most Podunk southern accent ever.
The narrator's performance kills a perfectly acceptable but clichéd plot line. He attempts to portray a Korean character by affecting a nasal tone of voice and little else. It actually ends up sounding patronising or if I dare to be politically incorrect, a racist person mimicking an Asian person. It is truly bad.
He also speaks too fast, I have had to slow down the speed on the app to around 85%
From a plot point of view, it's a clichéd the communists have attacked theme. Good on the military aspects, but predictable. Would have made for a good read except for the narrator who kills it.
Narrator did a reaonably good job with individual voices and brought great excitement in the proper passeges.
Lt. Kevin Little was my favorite character. He starts off scared to death , afraid he can't do what he needs to and after a disaterous first outing against the enemy. He ends up pulling himself together and proves to be a fine commander.
His ability to give different and unique voices to different characers.
North Korea attacks!!! Who will win the 2nd Korean War!!!
This book is action-packed and very hard to put down. The characters are wonderful and you really get to know them. It's a very enjoyable book to listen to!!!
The story line won't tax your mental facilities overly much, but I found this a very good listen with enough action together with background information to keep me interested. The narrator is first rate, and I will be looking for other books he has read.
This was much, much better than I had expected. It was well plotted with both a credible plot and characters. The reader did a marvelous job too. Try it, you'll like it!
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