Red Phoenix

Narrated by: J. Charles
Series: Red Phoenix, Book 1
Length: 23 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (736 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    409
  • 4 Stars
    219
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    332
  • 4 Stars
    175
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    23

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    372
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 Because of the inherent limitations of the genre, the story quickly became outdated, notice that it was copyrighted in 1990, meaning that it came out the same year Iraq invaded Kuwait, making it something of a time capsule of military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

10 people found this helpful

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

Realistic and gripping character portraits

The array of characters from both sides and matter of fact delivery makes this book a modern Game of Thrones, with twists, turns, intrigue and of course, combat, all thrilling in their own manner. Very technical and deep, the realism achieved in the political and military spheres is astonishing. However, the recording is detracted by its poor digitization from what is likely a tape. There are some skips and Mr. Charles' otherwise solid delivery is marred by a strangely varying tempo and tone which sounds of a voice synthesizer at times. The performance, save the technical issues, is largely good, but the accents of the Koreans is unnecessary and somewhat poor. Accents are always hard to achieve and often border on tasteless or comical, to which these are verging.

1 person found this helpful

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

Sped up

Story and performance is great. The only issue I have is that the default playback speed was increased for some reason. It got very irritating to listen to and at first I thought it was the narrator himself. however, once I reduced the playback speed to 0.85 - 0.95, it was ok.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great story, horrible narration!

The plot of this book is very exciting if you like political and military thrillers. If you like Tom Clancy's Red Storm rising, you will enjoy this book.
The one negative about this book, and it is a huge one in my opinion because you are listening to it, is the narrator. The way he does the accents of some of the characters is like listening to nails on a chalkboard!! Several characters in the book have a southern accent and J. Charles absolutely butchers it! Being from the south myself, nothing is more annoying than a obnoxious fake southern accents. He makes one of the fighter pilots in the story sound more like Roscoe P Coletrain from the dukes of hazard than a Air Force officer. His fake Korean accent is just as bad, and when he impersonates some of the politicians in the story he talks in a exaggerated cartoon 1920's gangster voice. All in all if you can put up with the narrator's obnoxious accents and voices the story is pretty good, but looking back I had rather have just bought and read the book myself instead of listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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

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 person found this helpful

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

Realistic political and military fiction

This is the first Larry Bond book I've read with the exception of Red Storm Rising. I love political and military fiction that is very detailed and completely plausible. I really felt like this was such a great plot because it felt like something that could transpire tomorrow. The plausibility isn't just limited to the military aspects of the book. The political scheming that led to the conflict felt so real. I also enjoy the Clancy-esque style of having multiple character viewpoints, plots, and locations all taking place simultaneously and jumping back and forth between them. When I first started the book, the narrator was slightly annoying to me, especially having just finished a 40 hour book with a fantastic narrator, but as I listened, the storyline was so captivating that I started to not mind the reader. His accents (Russian, Korean, Southern US, etc) and pronunciation of foreign places and names were very inaccurate to the point of being comical, but over time I really didn't mind. This is too good of a story to get hung up on the narrator...and his performance wasn't bad, just not the best. I highly recommend this book and I'm starting another Larry Bond book next.

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

Although it dates back 30 years, it has held up

well. The story is well written, the characters engaging. The narrator differentiates the voices nicely. A very good listen.

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

Great story, Narration lacked

The story overall was very good, especially once it got going. The first bit was a bit disjointed and never made a great connection to the rest of the book. However, the narration quality swung wildly in quality. The real issue is that the narrator tried to force accents on characters, both Korean, Chinese, and Southern US. These forced accents came out almost as slap stick quality, turning into a bit of a distraction and almost a joke. If it was not for the forced accents (which were no where close to accurate, just very stupid, then the narration would have received a passing mark.

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

Narration sounds like the disclaimer for a car com

Listening actually made me tired! It sounded like the disclaimer for a car commercial.

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

Good story but a problematic recording

Red Phoenix is a good novel but this production is let down by an inconsistent recording that contains so many jumps in quality that the story gets disrupted.