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Publisher's Summary

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The CIA's brilliant young analyst, Jack Ryan, thinks he knows the reason for the sudden Red Fleet operation: the Soviets' most valuable ship, the Red October, is attempting to defect to the United States.

The new ballistic-missile submarine's defection is high treason on an unprecedented scale, and nearly the entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet has been ordered to find and destroy her at all costs. If the U.S. fleet can locate her first and get her safely to port, it will be the intelligence coup of all time.

The nerve-wracking hunt goes on for 18 days as the Red October tries to elude her hunters across 4,000 miles of ocean. The rousing climax is one of the most thrilling underwater scenes ever written.

Take another thrill ride with Jack Ryan.
©2004 Tom Clancy (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gripping narrative....Navy buffs and thriller adepts have been mesmerized." ( Time)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,366
  • 4 Stars
    1,290
  • 3 Stars
    332
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    61

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,498
  • 4 Stars
    1,092
  • 3 Stars
    500
  • 2 Stars
    177
  • 1 Stars
    174

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,368
  • 4 Stars
    842
  • 3 Stars
    203
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    18
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Audio quality quite poor

This book had poor audio quality with the words clipping off. If it weren't for that, I think this is a 4 star book. It was good and kept me listening, but they sped up the voice or tried to eliminate space between his words and they clipped quite often. If that kind of stuff doesn't bother you, get it...otherwise go to Amazon and order the actual book and read it, you'll like it better.

49 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Sinclair, WY, United States
  • 01-19-09

Why did they release this production?

I love this book when narrated by Frank Muller, this book is awful, in fact, I cant find a word to encompass what a horrible job J. Charles did reading this. ITS ATROCIOUS!!!!! His accents are awful, almost every accent he does other than russian, which is awful too, comes across as deep south red-neck, including the british, and he often uses them interchangably, starts out southern and ends up british or vice-versa. I have never missed Frank Muller more. This rendition is so awful I will never listen to another book read by this person again. Accents aside, the pronunciations are also just plain terrible, in fact, saying they are terrible is like saying the ocean is a bit on the damp side, I could understand misspronouncing some of the russian, but most of the names, english, american and russian are botched, as well as common words in english. DID NO ONE LISTEN TO THIS BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED !?!?!?!? I cant believe anyone in literature, or Tom Clancy for that matter approved this reading. AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL, I cant stress this enough, it is the worst thing I have ever heard, a little part of me died listening to what this guy did to this great book. Audible, I am ashamed of you for putting this out there, where is the Frank Muller version??????

129 of 136 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bob
  • montgomery, AL, USA
  • 03-15-10

horrible audio

The reader goes so fast I can barely understand him. It sounds like he is an auctioneer. Im going to try and get my money back. Very disappointed.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Book - Bad Reader

I am a great Clancy fan and Hunt is Clancy in the prime. Unfortunately, the reader mispronounces the occasional word and his accents are terrible. All those characters and only three of four accents and some of those incorrect for the character described by the author. The pacing is just a little off. The emphasise was wrong some times. The flaws were just enough to be grating and drop a 5 star listen down to 3.5. I will look for Mr. Charles as narrator and pass the book by, no matter how good a bargain.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible audio

Audio sounds like a computerized voice. Some instances the dialog sounds like the characters are in a fish tank. Loved the book, but stay away from this one.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Too fast, and...

... this reader should NOT "do" voices! The accents are awful! And even at "Slower" on my iPod, he's still in too much of a hurry. The book is a favorite, but I wish I hadn't spent the money on this reading. I agree with the reviewer who's going to avoid other books performed by this reader.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • Logan, Utah
  • 01-16-15

A serious book, but the narrator made me laugh...

Any additional comments?

As everyone has said, this is the fantastic story of a rogue Russian submarine commander attempting to defect his nation's newest and most advanced submarine, the Red October, to the Americans. Top notch book and a great movie, to boot!

But the narrator J. Charles botches his reading about a thousand times during the course of the book. As someone mentioned, he makes every Russian character sound like Count Dracula and every American commander sound like a backwoods hillbilly. It was beyond ridiculous. And I'm not usually very nitpicky about pronunciation, but Charles mispronounces such common words that the narration almost became comical. Simple words like "known" are pronounced "know-when", or FLIR (forward looking infrared - usually pronounced "fleer") was pronounced "fluur" throughout the entire book. The list could go on.

Suffice it to say this is a great book with sub-par narration.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Worst narrator imaginable

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of J. Charles?

Anyone. Anyone at all. Even Kevin Costner could have done better accents. This narrator has a great voice, but his accents are just awful. Sometimes his awful southern accent merges with his equally laughable British accent. The result is unholy. Please, please, please Audible, re-record.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Cringed.

Any additional comments?

Great book, but the delivery was just overpowering. Like Listening to Roseanne Barr's national anthem.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-21-18

The novel that redefined a genre!

The modern espionage thriller genre was defined by Tom Clancy's 1984 release of The Hunt for Red October. It was the first book Tom Clancy released. It was our introduction to CIA agent (and later US president) Jack Ryan. It was about the protagonist who achieved the practically impossible in service to his country and who never, never gave up. The novel became a fabulously successful movie.

There are now 21 novels in the Jack Ryan and Jack Ryan Jr. series. The series continues after Clancy's 2013 death. Mark Greaney writes Jack Ryan novels at least as enjoyable as Clancy's best. Marc Cameron did a great job with Power and Empire. Grant Blackwood has been very disappointing with the Ryan Jr. series.

Two decades before his death Tom Clancy became more a brand than a person with the introduction of his Op-Center and NetForce series written by others

The Hunt for Red October is currently on sale as part of Audible's "The Start a New Adventure Sale".

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Read the Book or Watch the Movie

I loved this movie, and I think I would love this book if I had read it. But the narrator started to get on my nerves. He did all right with much of the book, but when he tried to do an English, Australian or Southern U.S. accent, it just about sent me through the roof. It's ok, not everyone can do those accents justice. So don't try so hard that you sound like a cartoon. I think this is a very good story, but I wasn't as engaged with it as i would have liked to be. I was looking forward to it being "over with." That is not a good way to leave a book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful