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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 listeners say about Red Phoenix

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 Because of the inherent limitations of the genre, the story quickly became outdated, notice that it was copyrighted in 1990, meaning that it came out the same year Iraq invaded Kuwait, making it something of a time capsule of military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

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great book for over 30 years ago

I really enjoyed the story telling and the way they describe every person down to the little details. keep up the awesome work.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Choppy Audio

It sounded like they used a bad algorithm to process the audio. Nearly every sentence read had breaks in the audio. Otherwise the audio would have been excellent.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Could have been great

The writing and performance were excellent. The engineering and production were abysmal. The whole thing seemed to be digitally modified as though being played back at high speed. Words were clipped and concentrated in weird ways. Great story, good reading, poor production.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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It slowly drew me in.

started slow but as the characters developed, it became interesting. Not a fan of the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tremendously detailed, believable and expansive.

Any military history enthusaist will cherish this plausable story, told from every echelon of power. The story leapfrogs compellingly between sides, combat and civilian, general and private. With memorable characters and tasteful accents by Charles, this performance has it all. The only flaw is that the narration was presumably sped up by about 10% (perhaps to save tape space) so the otherwise servicable, but somewhat dated audio does sound a bit choppy. On devices which support a 90% speed option, I would advise trying it, but the default 1x is good enough (for me).

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Derivative story

Take any modern war story and change Korea with any number of other countries and you know this one. If he just read the book it would have been better. The voices he uses are annoying and distracting. Pass on this one.

1 person found this helpful