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Publisher's Summary

In the early 1980s, long before he was President or head of the CIA, even before a submarine named Red October crossed the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA's Deputy Director, Vice Admiral James Greer - and when Greer asked him to come aboard Jack was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Adam
  • Arnold, MO, USA
  • 12-30-03

First Tom Clancy Book I ever hear, and worth it.

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.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • Elkridge, MD, USA
  • 04-27-04

Enthralling - and detailed!

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Red Rabbit and the USSR

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.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jerret
  • Crockett, VA, USA
  • 08-05-05

Combined review

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.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-08-16

The Jack Ryan Universe - Audible's issues

Since Audible began implementing the wonderful idea of listing books in a series in the order written they have had issues with Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. The issue is understandable because the series has three authors or coauthors (Tom Clancy, Grant Blackwood, and Mark Greaney) and there are three different protagonists in novels in the series (Jack Ryan, John Clark, and Jack Ryan Jr.). Initially Audible had all novels listed in the Jack Ryan series and the order of listing was correct. Their second try was by listing them in the Jack Ryan Jr. series and the order was incorrect and some novels were omitted. Currently the series is named by Audible The Jack Ryan Universe which is a good move. However the first 11 books in the series are listed in the wrong order. The correct order for the first 11 novels is as follows:

Correct Order Title Current Audible Listing
1. The Hunt for Red October 4
2. Patriot Games 2
3. Cardinal in the Kremlin 5
4. Clear and Present Danger 6
5. Sum of All Fears 7
6. Without Remorse 1
7. Debt of Honor 8
8. Executive orders 9
9. Rainbow Six 10
10. The Bear and the Dragon 11
11. Red Rabbit 3

The other books are in correct order. Red Rabbit is a outstanding espionage thriller. Scott Brick narrates brilliantly.

Note that Tom Clancy authored the first 12 novels in the series alone. The 13th novel was coauthored with Grant Blackwood and it is the first mediocre novel in the series. The 14th, 15th, and 16th novels in the series were coauthored with Mark Greaney and they are the three best novels in the series until then. Tom Clancy died 2 months before the release of Command Authority, the 16th novel. Since then Grant Blackwood has written two mediocre novels in the series and Mark Greaney has written three, all great. Full Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney, the 22nd novel in the series, will be released in early December 2016. Audible has not yet listed it as part of the series.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ned
  • 12-13-03

You have to like Tom Clancy

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • 04-07-06

Slow, very slow

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Blah blah blah blah blah!

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.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful

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A great 10 hour book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A great 10 hour book , diluted with 10 hours of blather. Nothing like his other riveting books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • b
  • simi valley, ca, United States
  • 01-06-12

Not much thrill and Intrigue

What did you like best about Red Rabbit? What did you like least?

This book is kind of boring, not a whole lot happening here. My least favorite Tom Clancy book of the 15 I have listened to so far... you can skip this one and you will not miss anything from the series..

What do you think your next listen will be?

Hunt for Red October

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

It was smooth and did not detract from the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful