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Publisher's Summary

From the author who collaborated with Tom Clancy on Red Storm Rising, this is the book that dares to show us the military hardware, global upheavals, and raw combat a second Korean War would unleash. How F-16s would blast across the 38th Parallel. How ultra-modern submarines would vie for the seas. And how two armies would turn the snowfields of Asia red with blood. A thundering geopolitical thriller of vast scope, this is Red Phoenix - and a new standard for military/political suspense fiction.
©1990 Larry Bond; (P)2006 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Second Korean War, as Fought in 1989

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 Because of the inherent limitations of the genre, the story quickly became outdated, notice that it was copyrighted in 1990, meaning that it came out the same year Iraq invaded Kuwait, making it something of a time capsule of military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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good action story, average narration.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story and great Narrator!

Same narrator as The Hunt For Red October. could easily be made into a fantastic TV show, mini series or movie especially in late 2017 context of potential conflict with NK

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A solid scenario for military enthusiasts

Red Pheonix follows the actions of political leaders, generals, and grunts as they navigate their way through a Second Korean War, spawned by a rapid deterioration of stability in South Korea. The scenario that unfolds in Korea before and during the conflict is an interesting one that keeps you guessing what's next, and the author makes good use of the time period with a plausible and engaging sequence of events. The battles are tense and touch on most forms of modern war, from the roaring insanity of ground battles to the cat-and-mouse games of ASW to furballing dogfights and tense infiltration missions. Beyond the burning peninsula forces are at work that may end the world as events threaten to spiral out of control into nuclear war, and help illustrate the fragile fog nuclear superpowers wade through during times of crisis.
The first act runs a tad long and the ending leaves some early questions unanswered, but neither of these are deal breakers by any means; this is the kind of book, however, where it is better to go in with at least a base knowledge of miltary terminology and Cold War weaponry. If you can tell your November Kilos from your Oscar Mikes, and your M48s from your T55s you should do just fine, and the author does explain a lot of the layman's-head-scratching concepts in simpler terms. Overall, this is a good read/listen for those looking to find a compelling military adventure.

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If you’re looking for something like Red Storm Rising, this is it.

One of the best I’ve read, it has everything from ASW, to urban combat, to F-16’s doing SAM suppression, and everything is detailed as can be! Would recommend to anyone who enjoys military hardware and warfare.

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Great Story & Terrific Performer

This story of a renewed Korean War in the 1980s is the first and, I think, the best of Larry Bond's books. Although the passage of time has made it a sort of "alternative history" novel, it is thoroughly enjoyable for its characterizations, action, and pacing. Mr. Charles does an outstanding job with accents for the different nationalities in the story. I especially like the way he makes the North Koreans sound like Beldar Conehead. Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

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  • blp
  • San Jose, CA United States
  • 10-18-17

Could Not Finish

Twenty hours to go and I couldn't stand wasting my time. Maybe, after the twenty hours, the story might come together and the characters would be developed but wasn't willing to listen to the narrator for that long.

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good story

I read this book years ago and enjoyed it. the performance side of it was a little cheesy. only a few military language mistakes.

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  • Ed
  • 07-21-17

Good

it was a good story..... Just needed to be more modern. Hard to find modern.

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Great war story, painfully awful romance.

Overall, a compelling and page turning read. I've read it several times. Always enjoy the war and politics, always cringe at the terrible attempt at romance.