Then Jack forgot about the rest of his work, because on his first day, an extraordinary document crossed his desk. The new Pope had just delivered a private ultimatum to Warsaw: If the government persisted in its repression, he would feel compelled to resign the papacy and return to Poland.
That was going to have consequences.
In Moscow, another man was contemplating those very same consequences. Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, did not like what this meant for him or for his nation. All it took was one man to cause everything he had worked for to crumble...and all it took was one man to stop him. The Pope was very powerful - but he was also mortal.
And so it begins, an almost unthinkable plot - a plan to bring down not just leaders, but nations. Ryan will find himself in the middle of a chain reaction, a high-stakes game meant to shake the world...and in which a novice CIA analyst might just be out of his depth.
©2002 Rubicon Inc.; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Smart and likable, Jack Ryan has become one of the best-known characters in contemporary American fiction." (Washington Post)
"The daily games [Clancy's] spies play are fascinating." (USA Today)
Ok, it starts out very slow, and I almost gave it up. If you can get past all the open deep political junk the book turns into something you will have a hard time putting down. I loved it, another one of his books is referenced heavy in this one, but you don't have to know it to enjoy this book.
This is one of those lengthy books that Clancy does. It really develops before getting to the "real excitement". But I like his details, so be warned that he often goes down those introspective pathways to provide character insight.
Clancy gives an insiders look at the USSR just before the fall of the Iron Curtain and weaves it around a spy/assasination story. 3/4 of the book seems to be Clancy explaining the workings of the USSR and why it fell, the remainder, is the actual story. Not that this is a bad thing, all that Clancy has to say about the USSR is really quite interesting, especially to those of us who lived through all or most of the Cold War. If you are interested in only the main storyline, get the abridged version. However, if you have an interest in history, the unabridged version is the only way to go.
I've been reading Clancy novels since the early 90s and this one was a refreshing return to Jack's early days. Brought back a flood of memories. Quite a few reviews here on Audible pan Clancy for droning on (and on) about his political views in the first half of this book, and I'm not here to deny that. While the "Rabbit" struggles within his conscience Ed and Mary Pat Foley wonder endlessly about Soviet counter spies in every nook and cranny of their new home. So there's a lot of prattling on about how bad communism is and how wonderful life in the West is. To quote the popular sitcom Seinfeld, Yadda yadda yadda.
So this is news to everyone? Come on. Don't pretend that Clancy hasn't droned on (and on) in the past. Remember all the techno talk in <i>Sum of all Fears</i>? An editor could have cut three hundred pages out of that novel alone. This droning is pure Clancy. You either like it or you don't. I happened to enjoy the novel but <i>can</i> see the need for an abridged version for folks that aren't climatized to Clancy's style of writing.
I'd like to put in a good word for Apple here if I may. This was the first Audible download I've listened to exclusively on an Ipod. What a spectacular gadget! Audible and the Ipod Mini were seemingly "made for each other". Scott Brick's narration is great (as usual) and with the Ipod, you can speed it up without the "chipmunk" effect. Works great. Speeding up the narration could have been a slight factor in why Clancy's prattling on didn't bother me so badly. The Ipod Mini is leaps and bounds ahead of the player I had been using.
Thanks for providing the unabridged version of this novel. Abridged Clancy novels are like beer without bubbles or pizza without cheese.
I've either read or listened to every other Jack Ryan novel...so I thought I should give this one a whirl. Plenty of other reviewers have pointed out the excessive Clancy droning...and I agree. This book is a little light on the action and I don't think represents Clancy's finest work. But if you are a fan of the Ryan series, then it's an important link to the past for good old Jack. Takes place after Patriot Games but before Red October...and has a pretty cool story. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is looking to be introduced to the series, it's not that engaging. But for fans it's a nice continued immersion in the whole CIA game that Clancy has dunked us in for the last decade or so.
It is true that you have to get through 8 hours of characters fretting about the world and what they believe in before you get to some action. Then you think that would wrap up quickly, but that consumes the next 10 hours. The last 6 go more quickly and you are left wishing that John Clark had been more involved. Good book for those who have read the others as you see how the characters got to where they were in the other books.
I have read almost all of Clancy's fiction and some of his non-fiction and have always been a big fan. This book however is very slow and plodding with far too much irrelevant detail. As far as the story goes, not very much happens. If this were a reader's first introduction to the Jack Ryan series they would not likely read a second.
At the very least I would advise someone to read (or listen to) every other book in the series first and try this one only if they can't get enough.
Two things about me: I've been a huge fan of Clancy thrillers, and I stick exclusively to unabridged titles. Two things about the book ? if this were my first Clancy, it is unlikely there would be a second, and if ever there were a case for abridged novels, this is it! Clancy goes on and on and on, agonizing over the wrongs of communism, on and on and on about how wonderful Jack and wife are, on and on and on about mundane topics. The book really doesn?t start to move until half way through the third part of the book ? 20 hours later! Save a credit on this one.
I started listening to "Red Rabbit" right after I finished Robert Littell's "The Company", so I have to admit there was a threshold to trip over before I got into the book. It seemed to start _very_ slowly, and took about 6 hours before you got past setting up the plot, identifying the characters, and moving into the story. It felt longer.
Once the plot got moving, the book was enjoyable, and getting a prequel look into Ryan made for a good story with some interesting references. What I didn't like was how deep Clancy went into the thoughts of the characters, especially at the beginning of the book. Setting a character up is one thing, but following a character's mind-trip as he thinks about 50 different concepts gets real old, real fast. Scott Brick, the narrator, is one of my favorites - but even he couldn't help me wade through that stuff any faster. Maybe this is the kind of junk they skip over in the abridged versions. If so, I understand why.
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