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Publisher's Summary

It's as big as the Empire State Building, a massive floating fortress at the throbbing heart of a US Navy carrier battle group. Its supersonic aircraft can level entire cities at a stroke. Its surveillance gear can track every target within thousands of square miles - in the air, on the surface, and under the sea. Its crew of 6,000 works night and day to keep this awesome military machine at peak performance. It's a Nimitz-class nuclear carrier, the most powerful weapons system on the planet. Nothing can touch it.

So when the first stunned messages say only that the Thomas Jefferson has disappeared, the navy reacts with disbelief. But as her battered escorts report in, the truth becomes inescapable: a Nimitz-class carrier has been claimed by nuclear catastrophe - the mightiest military unit on earth, vaporized without warning by an accidental detonation of unimaginable power. No other explanation is possible.

But as navy maverick Bill Baldridge begins to investigate the disaster that claimed his idolized brother's life, another chilling alternative begins to emerge from the high-tech web of fleeting sonar contacts and elusive radar blips. It points to a rogue submarine commanded by a world-class undersea warrior with the steely nerve and cunning of a master spy. Suddenly it's up to Bill Baldridge to track down this shadowy nuclear terrorist who has already turned America's ultimate weapon into the biggest sitting duck in history - and who still has another nuclear-tipped torpedo in his tubes. He's already proved he has the icy ruthlessness to incinerate 6,000 sailors without a qualm. What will he do for an encore?

In this audio the modern military springs to life, from the Pentagon's tense conferences to the screaming flight deck of a giant carrier to the silent conning tower of an attack sub on full alert. But as Bill Baldridge races against time to pursue the nation's most deadly enemy, we are forced to ask ourselves serious real-life questions: Have defense budget cuts jeopardized our national security? Are we prepared to defend ourselves against naval terrorists? How safe are we?

Nimitz Class is a world-class technothriller with a plot as riveting as The Hunt for Red October - and an explosive twist out of tomorrow's headlines.

Today it's a novel. Tomorrow it might be the news.

©1997 Patrick Robinson (P)1997 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Nimitz Class

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It and I'm Not a Military Book Fan, Usually!

I may as well admit it -- I bought this book because George Guidall is the narrator. (I could listen to him read anything for eternity.) Not only did I get great narration; I got a darned good story too -- and I'm not generally a big fan of military-ish books.

This book is the first of a long series by Robinson (some narrated by Guidall, some by other readers) all featuring various types of subs and warships which are linked for continuity through recurring characters.

Nimitz Class is really a page turner as military experts try to determine what really happened to the United States' biggest, meanest aircraft carrier after it simply disappeared in the seas near Iran and as they do so, restrict information to the press and public so as not to cause panic and alarm.

There was certainly a bit of far-fetched fantasy within this fictional account of the Nimitz Class warship and its crew; but a great deal of fact about the operations and capabilities of the ship and crew too. What I enjoyed most was the way the author wove the lives of the main characters together and gave them depth and dimension.

I will likely purchase other books by Robinson -- as long as George narrates them!

64 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too much political lecturing

I just want a decent, entertaining suspense with some mystery which I’ve seen accomplished by many authors (such as Lee Child). I don’t appreciate right wing or left wing political lecturing in stories; this story is consumed with right wing political rhetorical.

A reader convinced of the notion that the country is going to hell in a hand basket due to unpatriotic liberals, then you will love this book. :-)

122 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting premise but it has problems.

I can suspend the knowledge that this story is now historically outdated, but I have a great deal of difficulty accepting the basic premise that an entire carrier group with today’s equipment and training can't protect a billion-dollar nuclear aircraft carrier from one old diesel-electric submarine, no matter how good the captain and crew. I also found it difficult to accept that an entire submarine and crew could be “bought” so easily to attempt such an impossible mission without anyone else knowing.

There were certain portions of the story that didn’t really add much to its total value such as the lengthy character development of the carrier command team early on and the detailed farm and prairie sections. At times, I thought the whole story was really designed to focus on whether or not a crew could get a submarine through the Bosporus below the surface. Would a president really make his responses to such a tragic terrorist act solely contingent on this? Seems improbable to me.

Also, WAY too much politics for my taste, and the narrator just didn’t feel right for the story.

27 people found this helpful

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So much hope, such a dud

This book had everything I wanted. Navy, subs, interesting story lineup. Starts off exciting, then dies as they story devolved into a political “Search for the cause” story. Don’t want to give too much away. But you’ll be disappointed as is was. Good performance.

19 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

I just stopped caring

Four hours left and I realized that I didn’t care anymore. The idea has some promise - But after the explosion - It was tough to stay interested. The investigation is long and tedious.

P.S. Huge fan base of the US and our military. Mitch Rapp is my favorite terrorist killer - I’m a big fan of his work. But even I was surprised by how many times you can use towel head in a sentence and how dominating the American view was towards other nations.

Anyway - I won’t be finishing this book

34 people found this helpful

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Great writing, even for 15 to 20 years ago.

still an excellent piece of work, even though it is dated and so much has happened in the theater of operations for this plot!

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Silly story. Book editor needed.

Good, but some dialogue and story elements are either unintentionally humorous, improbable , or nonsensical.

A good editor would have worked with the author to provide better structure, point out inconsistencies and suggested a tighter and more credible storyline.

Otherwise, it's an okay listen for driving time or doing chores.

**Spoilers at bottom of review. (Not really spoilers, as book synopsis gives genderal outline.)

**Example of improbable scenario: President's address to nation contains him outlining his personal loss and praises individual military officers. Speech also makes reference to service members knowing they might die while serving -- not in those words, but . . . really? Speech ends with President taking no questions and the nation "in awe" -- should be more like shock and outrage.

**Nonsensical story element: After contact is lost with ship, other ships in fleet don't even look for debris (from aircraft carrier the length of height of Empire State Building!) Nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants on ships don't just explode for no reason. Yes, large destruction, creation of rogue waves, and radiation spread, but while ground zero -- or water zero -- would be vaporized, there would be shock waves and other damaged areas with debris.

USA announces an "accident" within a couple hours of the event, before any investigation. No way that is reasonable.

**Humorous element: The dialogue is stilted. "The table went completely silent," for 20 seconds.

Highly regarded officer having an affair with wife of US senator at the Watergate and no one notices.

Flowery description: "He looked like a younger, thinner Robert Mitchum, with the kind of piercing blue eyes you often find in deep water yachtsmen or plainsmen."

". . . to punch a high weight far beyond his rank."

Dialogue is just too overdone, which is what makes it funny. Piercing blue eyes is enough. The rest of the comparison to boaters and farmers distracts the reader -- or listener -- and diminishes the character.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent and as timely today as twenty years ago

The lessons for America's public regarding use of the Navy are as valid in 2020 as they were at the turn of the century. The big carrier groups are vulnerable and at considerable risk. The world is much more dangerous today than is portrayed in this book from the turn of the century. Still a great story and very interesting.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A real page turner

This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book. Well written, and it gave me a brief glance at what happens on a submarine. Bravo!!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

High on technical info, low on story line.

Most interesting technical info about naval operations and fleets with a story of intrigue that might have been woven into a 1st class story. Without more clandestine work and description, solutions were presented too conveniently. Will read a later story by author, hopefully to see a more in depth story line, including all the military detail
As always, Mr. Guidall is mesmerizing. Will consider anything he reads.

15 people found this helpful