The Bear and the Dragon

Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Length: 42 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,549 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Newly elected, Jack Ryan has found that being President is not easy: domestic pitfalls await him at every turn; there's a revolution in Liberia; the Asian economy is going down the tubes; and now, in Moscow, someone may have tried to assassinate the chairman of the SVR - the former KGB - with a rocket-propelled grenade. Were the potential assassins political enemies, the Russian Mafia, or disaffected former KGB? Or is something far more dangerous at work here? While Ryan dispatches his most trusted eyes and ears, including black ops specialist John Clark, to find out the truth of the matter, forces in China are moving ahead with a plan of truly audacious proportions. If they succeed, the world will never look the same again.

©2009 Tom Clancy (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,133
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Performance

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Story

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  • 2 Stars
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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

Good story - Narrator tries hard to kill it...

Any additional comments?

This is a very good Clancy story. Lots of intriguing inside baseball detail about the inner workings of the CIA. However, the narration made it almost unlistenable. It sounds like every sentence in the book - no, every phrase - was recorded seperately and spliced together. It is so disjointed and emotionless that it took me the entire first part to get used to it. It is comically bad, especially when compared to the Clancy stuff done by Lou Diamond Phillps. I don't regret buying it because it is a good story, but it is painful to listen to...Buyer beware...

30 people found this helpful

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

Good Clancy Book and Enjoyable Audio

Would you consider the audio edition of The Bear and the Dragon to be better than the print version?

No, just more convenient.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, though I feel

What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Since he reads slower than others (an advantage to me !): better focus on the story.

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

There are humorous moments and even a sense of irony !

Any additional comments?

I find Tom Clancy espionage and political stories enjoyable, though I feel more inclined towards Robert Littell, Frederick Forsyth, and John le Carre.
Contrary to several opinions expressed here, I find Michael Pritchard read good. Others, like Scott Brick may read faster and, perhaps, involve themselves more into the story, but I personally am satisfied with Michael's narration. There is enough voice modulation and intonation to provide for an enjoyable listening experience. Pronouncing foreign (non-English) names (different accent !) is not often easy for English readers, but Michael's effort is commendable.

13 people found this helpful

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

Michael Pritchard=Monotone

Michael Pritchard has the wrong voice for audiobooks, looking forward to Lou Diamond Philips in Dead or Alive.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Save your money until they re-do with new narrator

I have been listening to audio books, in one medium or another, since 1990, and I can say that this narrator should retire.

I seen other reviews for other books where people have said the narrator was horrible. But I still got the book because I liked the author. But although the narrator was bad, I was able to muddle through.

But Michael Prichard is 10 times worse. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's like he doesn't even care. He just reads the words so he can get his paycheck.

If you don't believe me or think I'm just being cruel, just look at the reviews for some of the other Clancy books that Prichard does. I'm not the only one that finds Prichard unbearable.

And to the publisher, if you are wondering why repeat sales of the Clancy books are so low, this is why. Please find a new narrator to redo the Clancy books. I love Clancy, but I'm not sitting through another book read by Prichard.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 04-29-11

Ever a Clancy Fan

As is evidenced by my other reviews, I'm hardly a book critic or a literary connoisseur, but I sure do love me some Jack Ryan. The plot arc that starts in Sum of Fears finds ends well in The Bear and the Dragon.

It appears that several of these Jack Ryan books are available in duplicate versions, ones read by Scott Brick and one by Michael Pritchard. I enjoy both authors, but suggest that as much as you can, stick to one narrator or the other; it does greatly help with the flow.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

1/4 of the way and couldn't keep going

I had enjoyed the Jack Ryan series through to this book. Executive orders was a bit on the long end, but with a dramatic premise that was engaging. See good reads for pretty accurate more detailed reviews of the plot .

1/4 of the way through the book and the plot continues at glacial pace due to unneeded narratives. Rather than the characters having their own political and personal views drive the plot and their development, the characters seem to repetitively mouth piece the author's political views with no particular character development/story plot purpose. I enjoy Michael Prichard's other readings, but the combination of repetitive political narratives (and enough 'I hate this job' Jack Ryan jibes that get old over two books), unnecessarily crude language, slow plot, and the narrator's performance made for one of few audio books I was unable to finish.

2 people found this helpful

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

Bored Had To Skip Ahead

What disappointed you about The Bear and the Dragon?

Way too much detail, stories fell into the ditch. Ending was great, no idea what's in the middle and don't care. Very disappointed with Tom or whoever wrote this book. I even speeded the playback up to 1.5 but still boring.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Sure happy the right team won.

What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did good!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Clancy's Worst So Far

I've been reading Clancy's books for many years, and I always look forward to the next John Ryan book in the series. This one was a big disappointment, for a few major reasons:

1.) Weak Plot: most Clancy novels are chess games, with a good portion of the book devoted to maneuvering pieces into place, then pitting them against each other in a big battle at the end (but with lots of technical details and some character work thrown in for good measure). This one felt like a LOT of maneuvering with a relatively boring payoff in the end.

2.) Too Preachy: the author's conservative biases (which have always been a part of his books) came through quite a bit louder in this novel than I've noticed in others. I heard notes of homophobia, pro-life ranting, and racism. In the past, I've chalked these up to the prejudices of each character (which are unavoidable, of course) but this time it felt like the author's own biases coming through... it was honestly uncomfortable enough that I'm not sure if I'll read another of his books.

3.) Mediocre Narration: I wouldn't call him a "bad" narrator, but his voice often enhanced the boring-ness of the plot.

Overall, this one was a slog for me. I'm ready for my next listen to be something both exciting and engaging.

7 people found this helpful

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

This is a great book

This story is about Russia, China, and the USA , human rights and the treatment of citizens...a whole lot of history, and predictions for the future.
The story highlights ... Greed, a country on the fringe of becoming economically stable, and unusuall alliances ... Something here for all readers...lots of emotional flares... And vulnerablity by strong people.
Worth a credit any day
Michael Prichard turns in a great job reading

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The story just went on and on…

If you could sum up The Bear and the Dragon in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, (to a point); technology and government

What did you like best about this story?

Made the Russians look like they were human and made the Chinese look really, really stupid. In other words, we get to deploy our best toys against a completely outmatched army and demonized Chinese.

Describing combat prep and combat Clancy excelled.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

No one could talk that slow.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, WAY too long and obscure. I don't want to sit in a chair for nearly 4 days straight. I couldn't say awake long enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-23-19

Classic Clancy

Some of the language is a little bit dated but excellent story and well told.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clive B
  • 07-03-17

Another intricately detailed thriller from Clancy

Tom Clancy books excel at keeping multiple plot lines racing along while building the overall story to a crescendo.
The Bear and the Dragon is terrifyingly possible and gives us a glimpse of an alternative political reality.
Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Trixie
  • 07-02-13

Repetitive and turgid story

This book was a real disappointment with a mediocre reader. He made no attempt to give accents to the different characters so it was hard to know if it was supposed to be a Chinese or Russian speaking.

It's very repetitive and the dialogue is clunky. Don't bother with this one.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • simon
  • 06-19-13

If its available in abridged form go for that.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Prichard?

Anyone else

Any additional comments?

Tom Clancy books make good films. This was hard going. This one couldn't be classed as fast paced!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 04-13-13

The Bear and the Dragon - Fabulous listening!

The Bear and the Dragon, like many Tom Clancy novels is one that you don’t want to put down or, in this case, turn off. While I normally listen to audiobooks in the car, this was one that got unhooked and taken with me. It’s hard to believe that this is nearly forty three hours of audio, the plot is so gripping it certainly doesn’t feel that long. Most of the storyline is perhaps all too believable in today’s world, with just a few elements stretching the imagination. Then again, if it didn’t stretch the imagination it might not be such an entertaining listen. Michael Prichard’s narration is excellent, well paced and clear. This is a great story and very good value. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DAMON
  • 12-26-11

Awesome

A cracking listen, complicated storyline and well crafted characters (new ones as well as old ones), thoroughly enjoyed the lisen, Id recommend it to anyone. I listen to my audible books whilst working night shift and, for once, didnt want work to end as it meant waiting for the next "installment". Even though you knew the good guys would save the world, it was still a good story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • liz
  • 11-21-11

The Bear and the Dragon

I read this a long time ago, and loved it then. I loved listening to it just as much.
what a lovely way to pass the ironing.