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The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan Universe #4)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  250,208 Ratings  ·  1,849 Reviews
Here is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career. A military thriller so gripping in its action and so convincing in its accuracy that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Its theme: the greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: the chase for a top secret Russian missile sub. Lauded by the Washington Post as "bre ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Berkley Trade (first published October 28th 1984)
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Adam You should be fine. It's interesting that there are two people/events that are briefly mentioned in this book that end up becoming their own novel…moreYou should be fine. It's interesting that there are two people/events that are briefly mentioned in this book that end up becoming their own novel later.(less)
Haley I just finished The Hunt for Red October and I am about as far away from a military aficionado as you can get. There was definitely a lot of…moreI just finished The Hunt for Red October and I am about as far away from a military aficionado as you can get. There was definitely a lot of information that was a little over my head, and I found myself backing up to re-read sections to make sure I understood exactly what was going on and who was who. But the parts I didn't fully understand didn't take away from the overall story. It was fairly easy to differentiate between what was just additional technical information about the countries' military setups or battleship/submarine specs, and what you actually needed to pay attention to in order to stay up with the plot. I'm sure a few re-reads of the book will yield a deeper understanding of exactly what was going on with some of the secondary characters and plots points, but I still very much enjoyed this book and was able to appreciate some of the twists revealed toward the end.(less)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Peter Meredith
Jun 07, 2012 Peter Meredith rated it it was amazing
After reading Fifty Shades of Girl Smut, I think I need a manly book. The Hunt for Red October seems virile enough. Strong sweaty sea...with not a woman in sight. Wait a sec! What am I getting in to? They better not start singing, "In the Navy" or "Y.M.C.A." And if there's even a single fashion tip, I'm tossing this book!
Wow, what a wonderful book. This is number two on my Clancy book list, right behind Red Storm Rising.
May 22, 2008 Lance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was on the USS Eisenhower. It was so popular with the Squids that I think it replaced the BMR. The thing that really impressed everyone on the ship was how accurate Clancy was with both his research and his story-telling. There was never a "that's not how it happens" moment, so common in media of this type. Engaging story, meticulous research combine for a fantastic read. I recommend this one to everyone.
Henry Avila
Feb 20, 2013 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the tail end of the Cold War, Captain Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy,decides to defect. Incredibly planning to bring the most advanced submarine in the world with him.The Red October has a new drive system that is virtually noiseless.The nuclear vessel would be almost undetectable. A great advantage against the U.S. and its Allies.But the charismatic Ramius is a bitter man.The widower,and half Lithuanian blames the Soviet Union, for the botched operation that killed his beloved wife.He has r ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of political thrillers
Yes, I may be fashionably late to this party, considering the threat of war between Soviet Russia -- which doesn't exist anymore -- and Imperialist America is a major theme of this novel.

But I figured this should be my first experience with Tom Clancy, and I do not regret my decision at all. This is a near-perfect political thriller, juggling a dozen major characters on two continents as well as a myriad number of ships -- both on and under the Atlantic Ocean. While it was a bit tricky keeping
Aug 20, 2008 Stephen rated it really liked it
4.0 stars. My first Tom Clancy novel and the one that made me an instant fan of his work. Jack Ryan is a terrific character and the plot was very well done. Highly recommended for fans of political thrillers.
Executive Summary: A pretty fun spy thriller that occasionally gets bogged down by too much military jargon.

Audio book: This is my first time listening to a book read by J. Charles. He's a pretty good reader. I initially felt like he read too fast, but I either got used to it, or he slowed down. He does many accents, although with multiple Russian characters, I'm not sure if he made them all sound the same, or I simply couldn't tell them apart.

The book also uses sound effects to simulate phone c
Aug 06, 2015 ☼♄Jülie rated it it was amazing

This was a fantastic story, one of my all time favourites. All in the Jack Ryan series are great.
This one was made into a movie which was also very good.
Jane Stewart
Writer’s style is not engaging or entertaining for me. He’s probably good for military technical buffs.

This guy is a popular best selling author. But not for me. I assume his fans are those who love to think and talk about military technical stuff - with a story to go along with it. The author is regularly welcomed aboard jets, submarines, and destroyers. Admirals and generals give him access, Pentagon officials debrief him, and many of his books are required reading at military colleges. So I a
Jun 20, 2011 Manny rated it it was ok
Everyone always goes on about how meticulous Tom Clancy's background research is, but there was a moment in this book which made me wonder. They're going to run a big program on a military computer, and (being gamblin' military men) they decide to bet on how long it will take to complete. One of them asks how long the program is - number of lines, or punched cards, or whatever. The other one tells him, and then the first guy makes his estimate.

I'm sorry, this no doubt shows what a mean-spirited
Dec 12, 2008 Hunter added it
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy explains just how dangerous it must be to work on a submarine. The better half of this story takes place in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere between North America and Europe, in the 1980s. CIA agent, Jack Ryan finds out just how hard it is to find a submarine that appears to fool even the best sonar men.

Jack Ryan is one of the main characters that I liked in this story. He is a persistent human being in that he is unwilling to give up without capturin
Aug 18, 2007 Nathaniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite Tom Clancy novel, and certainly my favorite on submarine warfare, this book introduces Jack Ryan as a young and bright CIA analyst faced with a politically explosive situation. Realistic politics, thrilling submarine chases and battles, and believable characters make this come together well.
John Yelverton
Sep 16, 2011 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
The beginning of the book is so bogged down with details that it's quite painful to read; however all of that is made up by a blockbuster of an ending.
Apr 03, 2011 Kogiopsis rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Damn, Marko Ramius is an awesome character.
Just sayin'.

Real review:
Well, I've finally read a Clancy book. Yay me?
It reminded me a bit of the Honor Harrington series, which I guess makes sense. They're both military, after all; one has spaceships and the other has submarines and other than that the genre conventions seemed about the same. AND THEY BOTH HAVE ONE REALLY ANNOYING HABIT: The 'action action action loooooongwiiiiiinded descriiiiiiption of teeeeechnoooology' format. If I'd been paying a
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ
This is a very good story that is incredibly researched. However, in this instance, I'd have to say the movie is better. The reason is that the movie is simplified. This is a very complex book involving military strategy. Even being a ten year veteran of our armed forces, and familiar with military language and acroynms, I found this book slow to read. The author did extensive research into soviet and allied submarines in particular, but also all naval vessels and even aircraft. He receits speci ...more
Paul Didham
Oct 30, 2012 Paul Didham rated it it was amazing
The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October is a thrill ride you won't want to miss from start to finish the plot keeps you guessing. Why is he doing this? What is his motive? Tom Clancy's unique writing style ties everything together. From engaging characters to an intriguing plot for me it was a must read.

The year is 1984, A russian nuclear submarine is steaming to the united states the Americans what her the russians want her back. Could this mean war or is it trying to defect? The Re
Eric Jonrosh
Dec 03, 2013 Eric Jonrosh rated it liked it
What's more Russian than a Scotsman?

I first discovered “The Hunt for Red October” when the late, great Tom Clancy, informed me that the source material would be converted to film in the summer of ’89. When he explained that none other than Sir Sean Connery would play a crucial part, I immediately grew red in the face and hurled my glass of scotch into the fire quite dramatically. Regretting that impulsive act, I poured myself another glass, much larger than the first. When Tom inquired why I rea
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 26, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
I read all but a couple of Clancy's Ryan/Clark books and find them good in the extreme. I do prefer Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, but they're somewhat different (well their characters are closer to Clark than Ryan). In this one Ryan still hasn't actually started his political career... But he does get drawn into the danger, again.

Jack (an annalist for the CIA)manages to get tagged to fly photos to the UK...from there he ends trying to convince the powers in charge that a Russian sub captain is tryi
Chad Sayban
I was 12 years old, living at the height of the Cold War in 1984 and The Hunt for Red October hit me like a lightning bolt. I hadn’t read anything like it – in fact, nobody had. What can you say about a book and an author who single-handedly invented a genre – the techno-thriller – and became one of the bestselling authors of the 1990s? The Hunt for Red October has it all – fast pacing, great characters, a highly inventive plot that was so realistic it had people wondering if Clancy was privy to ...more
Evan McB
If you ever want to come across really well in an interview with a Navy Officer, be sure to use this book as the answer for "What is the last good book you read?" This will give the interviewing officer a chance to recount the story of how he once met Tom Clancy on a submarine (every Naval Officer has met Tom Clancy on a submarine at least two times). It's not necessary to actually read the book for this, as you can get by with just seeing the movie, UNLESS the officer starts asking you question ...more
May 25, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I've read this a couple times, all when I was significantly younger and more ignorant of Russian history and politics. It was pretty interesting to go back and reread it, both from a hindsight perspective and from the perspective of actually understanding what's going on with the Russian politics.

One thing I have to hand to Clancy right off the bat--while I get a lot of nuances I missed in middle school, there's nothing earth-shattering. He did a good enough job explaining things that I got enou
Mar 23, 2012 Justin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a mega fan of the movie "The Hunt for Red October" I had high hopes for finally getting around to reading the novel.

I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in the slightest. In fact, much the opposite. This book was even better than I thought it would be. It was a can't stop reading kind of book for me. The last half was very different from the last half of the film, but in a very good way. I still love the film even with the differences from the book, but this just made one of my top f
Otis Chandler
Dec 27, 2006 Otis Chandler rated it really liked it
I went through a big Tom Clancy phase when I was younger. I think I read them all. This was one of the best though (the move was even good). I feel like I got a really good grasp of cold war politics by reading all these books... lol.
Kenny Bellew
May 21, 2016 Kenny Bellew rated it really liked it
Rated 3.98/5.0 on GoodReads, Spy Thriller, published 1984, 432 pages. I rated it 4.0/5.0.
Most people are familiar with the title of this book, either from the book or movie. It's the story that rocketed Tom Clancy into fame, most likely. It's about a Russian nuclear sub commander who defects to the USA, taking an entire nuclear sub with him. The sub is called "Red October." This results in the entire Russian naval fleet searching for Red October. Super brain, Jack Ryan, figures out what the Rus
John E. Branch Jr.
Assuming the Wikipedia entry on the novel to be correct in an unattributed assertion, Tom Clancy hadn't submitted the manuscript of this book, his first novel, anywhere else before giving the U.S. Naval Institute Press a look at it. He was probably lucky in that, as was the press, for Clancy's novel was different enough from other military thrillers of the time that he quite likely would've received rejections and may have given up. (J. K. Rowling, among others, faced the same rejections but per ...more
Dec 08, 2011 Normacarpenter rated it really liked it
One of Clancy's earlier books, the good kind that read more richly than the light and profuse fluff of his more recent work.
My favorite aspect of the book is the transitioning, which lends itself to heighten the action for certain situations. I also appreciate the detailed tangents that Clancy can go off in to in order to explain a certain topic to the reader.
I am not going to summarize the book in great detail. The movie does a good job of that, cutting out interesting side commentary that ad
Lynn Hallbrooks
This is the second of Tom Clancy’s books that I have read. However, “The Hunt for Red October” was the first book written. I read “Without Remorse” based on my friend’s statement that it was the first book. As it turns out, “Without Remorse” is sort of a Prequel, based on chronological time lines for each book. On the other hand, each book has entirely different story lines and main characters.

According to the “About the Author” section, Mr. Clancy’s storyline for “The Hunt for Red October” was
May 07, 2012 Jerome rated it it was amazing
Although it was the first of the series to be published, Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October is actually the third novel in the Jack Ryan series. It propelled Clancy, who had been an insurance salesman with only a few letters to the editor under his writing belt, to best-selling superstar. His success with military and espionage-related fiction earned him a title he does not readily accept: father of the techno-thriller.

This novel, if I remember correctly, was the first work of fiction publish
May 29, 2012 Derek rated it it was amazing
The Hunt for Red October begins with some background behind Marko Ramius. He wants to seek revenge on the Reds for making his life miserable, mainly by killing his beloved wife. His revenge is to take over the Soviet's brand new masterpiece, the Red October, which is a state of the art nuclear submarine with a new propulsion system which makes it nearly invisible to radar. Ramius will lead the Russians on a wild goose chase, and the Americans eventually catch the submarine with some very skille ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Silvana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
“Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading West. The Americans want her. The Soviet want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on….”

Ah, one of my favorite authors of all time. The incredible Mr. Clancy. I loveee political-military-espionage-techno-thrillers! And Clancy is definitely the man for it. I’ve fallen in love with his works since years ago, been collecting them, until now he sells more books to me co
Jul 05, 2009 Karla rated it it was amazing
My husband was a submariner and this book rang true from start to finish. We both read this book many years ago, even prior to the movie, and were amazed at the knowledge Clancy had of the US Navy sub force. It is well researched and given the time frame in which it is set, entirely plausible. After living life with the military in a time when you only knew what the Navy thought you had a "need to know", it was relatively easy to imagine that the premise this story is built on could actually hav ...more
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  • Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Center, #5)
  • Flight of the Old Dog (Patrick McLanahan, #1)
  • Final Flight (Jake Grafton Universe, #3)
  • The Colonels (Brotherhood of War, #4)
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
  • The Eagle Has Landed (Liam Devlin, #1)
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  • Nimitz Class (Admiral Arnold Morgan, #1)
Tom Clancy was an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College. As a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history, his dream of writing a novel came true with his first effort, The Hunt for Red October (1984).

He since wrote more than a dozen novels, which have a blend of realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. Ten of the novels, including The Teeth of
More about Tom Clancy...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Ryan Universe (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Without Remorse (Jack Ryan Universe, #1)
  • Patriot Games (Jack Ryan Universe, #2)
  • Red Rabbit (Jack Ryan Universe, #3)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan Universe, #5)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan Universe, #6)
  • The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan Universe, #7)
  • Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan Universe, #8)
  • Executive Orders (Jack Ryan Universe, #9)
  • Rainbow Six (Jack Ryan Universe, #10)
  • The Bear and the Dragon (Jack Ryan Universe, #11)

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“Being a victim is more palatable than having to recognize the intrinsic contradictions of one's own governing philosophy.” 29 likes
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