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Red Rabbit (Jack Ryan #2)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  15,756 ratings  ·  344 reviews
Long before he was President or head of the CIA, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was an historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter gro ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published August 26th 2002 by Putnam Adult
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The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe 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
Best Spy Novels
74th out of 737 books — 1,081 voters
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
110th out of 541 books — 608 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 22, 2008 George rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my worst enemies
More Dead than Red. It's as if Tom was on sedatives while writing the book. It's hard to exagerate just how dull and repetitive this work really is, but it's a bit like the being hit in the head over and over with a small wooden shovel. It leaves a dull impression on your mind.
Tyler Montague
In college, Clancy lowered my GPA by almost a full point one year. It was the mid-90's, and I started reading him and got so addicted I would skip class, call out sick from work, order pizza, and read all day. I immediately snapped up new releases, like Debt of Honor and Rainbow Six and loved them. I even trudged through some of his non-fiction stuff. I read Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse twice.

But somewhere around Bear and Dragon, Clancy turned blah. Red Rabbit is just lame. I literally t
Not really a mystery and definitely not an action-packed thriller. Around the end of 400 pages a few things finally begin to happen. There is no real ACTION until 518. Lots of things are repeated 3 and 4 times. Jack Ryan has been involved in previous adventures. One of those adventures involved a helicopter. He does not like flying. Eye surgery, which his wife does, turns his stomach. His wife is a better judge of character and unspoken meaning. Jack thinks his father-in-law is a greedy, soulles ...more
It must be hard being Tom Clancy. Think about it, your best character, Jack Ryan is already a President at the peak of his power sitting on a country at the peak of its power. He got there over a series of books so thrilling that your audience has huge expectations for every work you pump out, and your name has become a franchise. So where do you go from here?

We could read about Ryan's next American triumph, like we did in the cartoon-like Bear and Dragon. The trouble is that Ryan is such a wel
Nov 13, 2014 Will rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dedicated action/adventure junkies

I was a bit surprised to see the average Goodreads rating at four stars for this magnificent novel. Perhaps it was a bit weighty for some, and at 340,000 words is even epic by my own long-winded standards as an author. But if you commit to Clancy, you gotta stick with him all the way. And let me tell ya, he don't let you down with Red Rabbit. Tying this novel into the actual assassination attempt on Pope Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, was such an excellent insertio
Dave Wetzler
This book is based on the true experiences of a CIA agent named James Olson who was teaching in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University in 2004. I heard him speak at a State of the State conference here in Austin. Nobody in the CIA seemed to know where Tom Clancy was getting this information and he (Clancy) refused to divulge anything to the CIA. Per Mr. Olson, Clancy is, indeed, an asshole.

Mr. Olson had plans to publish his memoirs but I have yet to see them listed anywhere.
Jack Ryan is a new analyst working for the CIA, and has been sent over to Britain to work with the SIS for a time. Ed and Mary Pat Foley have just taken up their new posting in Moscow as the CIA� s Chief of Station in the Soviet Capital. Meanwhile the chairman of the KGB wants to kill the pope. Oleg Zaitsev, an officer in the KGB� s central communications department isn� t happy about this, and wants to defect to America as an act of conscience.[return][return]This book is Tom Clancy� s latest n ...more
Jul 23, 2010 John rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
I am exceedingly glad I only paid $1 for this book at a library book sale. It may be worth that much, but no more. Red Rabbit reads as though Tom Clancy needed to write 618 pages in a hurry because he needed the money. It's full of cliches and boringly repetitious with the characters' introspection. Clancy tells us many times how the food is different in England than it is in America, how it's different in Italy than in America, how it's different in Bulgaria than in America...boring after a whi ...more
Chad Sayban
Red Rabbit was by far the weakest of all of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. Part of it was that even though it was a prequel, it really didn’t sound like Jack Ryan at all. Mostly it was the plot. Clancy thrillers always have a certain over-the-top quality to them. That’s what makes them fun. But they are always grounded in a certain level of realism. Unfortunately, Red Rabbit’s plot felt so contrived and disjointed that I had a difficult time believe that Clancy actually wrote it. Maybe it was an ...more
Let me preface my review by saying this. I just started reading Tom Clancy books earlier this year, so I really can't compare this book to Clancy's other books quite yet.

Quite frankly, this book was rather dull. It built itself up on information obtained from the Rabbit, and then fizzled out at the end. The moment it built itself up to took maybe five minutes to read, was rather uneventful, and then the book ended. It is my understanding, even though this is book two in the Jack Ryan series, thi
Typical Tom Clancy fare, I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy political intrigue and suspense. For those who aren't already Clancy fans, be advised that his writing is usually very technical, and those that don't find such details interesting will most likely lose interest in his novels.

That having been said, I am an avid reader of Clancy novels and Red Rabbit was as good as they come. A little more predictable, and a bit less thrilling, than some of his other novels such a
Mike Smith
This was another entertaining story from Tom Clancy. He's still a little repetitive with his side comments, but nothing felt too grating. The relationship between Jack and Cathy is described nicely though by no means in depth. It was a little weird to read a story centered around an attack on the pope at the same time as all the attention focused on the vatican for the voting of a new pope.
Benjamin Stahl
I remember being intrigued by nothing more than the name - "Tom Clancy" - as far back as my earlier years of High School (I guess it was because I associated his name with such videogames as Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six). I picked up one of his books once and read a few pages ... before deciding it was too boring. But that was years ago, and I've still never quite gotten the desire to read him out of my system.
Well, I finally decided to do it. And the only book I had on my shelf was Red Rabbit
Greg Stoll
I thought the book was pretty good, although in retrospect it was kind of repetitive. Some other things I didn't like:

- The book was written in 2002 but set in 1982 (a sort of prequel), and it gets way too clever about "predicting the future": Jack Ryan thinks that Japan is going to go into recession! He invests in Starbucks! He has a good feeling about Cal Ripken, Jr! (and all of these get mentioned multiple times) I understand the temptation to do this, but do it more than once and it just get
When I review books I use two general criteria as a starting point: 1) How does the book compare to the author's previous works, and 2) How does the work compare to other authors' work within the same genre. I am a fan of Tom Clancy; however, I found "Red Rabbit" (c 2002) dull, slow and terribly disappointing. If one is interested in how those in the spy business in America and Russia thought back in the 1990s and went about solving problems, then you might find this book interesting. If you exp ...more
This is a book I found on the shelf at a friend's house while I was trapped for a boring day or so. Once started I felt I had to steal it to read at home (sorry about that). Well, that's a good sign of a book, isn't it?
It wasn't what I was expecting even though I had no idea what it was I was expecting, if you know what I mean. The title of this book should be "How To Spy" because it provides a guide to the banalities of the life of the spy: in other words it is high on how and low on why. I lik
I kept waiting for some action to kick-in but, after about 350 pages, I surrender.

I would say "move along people, nothing to see here!"
Ravi Rao
I gave 4 stars mainly for the middle portion where there was no action and just lots of dry descriptions
I had decided not to read any more of the Jack Ryan saga after Executive Orders. From the high standard that was set in The Hunt for Red October, a thoroughly researched and well-constructed thriller, the series degenerated into a predictable and long drawn out right wing rant. Oh well, there is a market for that sort of thing and Mr Clancy no doubt grew very rich on it.
However, finding myself facing a ten hour flight and a paucity of choice in the airport book stand I decided to give this one a
Ray Ziemer
I was struck with the mood for some Tom Clancy spy stuff, and wanting to fill in the gap in my Jack Ryan fictional history. Red Rabbit has been on my shelf for a number of years, and I've been on a bit of a Russia kick all year anyway.

This thriller is a kind of prequel (published in 2002), taking readers back to the early 80's, Jack Ryan's early days as a CIA analyst. He is temporarily posted to London, working with their security people on seemingly mundane matters, when he becomes involved in
Nick Davin-isb
This book is a prequel to other Tom Clancy books with the main character Jack Ryan, when he is only a low level intelligence analyst. The book is based off the historical event, which the KGB tried to assassinate the pope. This tells you the end of the story so there is no surprises of what is going to happen. The pope announced an ultimatum to Poland and Russia that he will resign the papacy and return to Poland if the government keeps treating their people unfairly. This results in the KGB cha ...more
This wasn't bad at all.
If the novel is set in 1981 (when the real-life assassination attempt was made), then several historical references made in the novel would be anachronistic:
A plane landing at London Heathrow Terminal 4, while Brezhnev is still head of the USSR. Terminal 4 did not open until 1986, after his death.
A brief mention of Ronald Reagan firing striking air traffic controllers. The attempt to kill John Paul II happened on May 13, 1981. Reagan didn't fire the controllers until Augus
Mark Oppenlander
It's been almost a decade since I read a Tom Clancy novel. In the late 80's and 90's I read his books religiously and really enjoyed his ability to extrapolate current trends to imagine the next great global threat (Asian stock market crach, terrorists on planes, etc.) - and his ability to craft an excellent military thriller from that threat. I also liked the evolution of his most famous creation, Jack Ryan, although by the time Clancy got to "Executive Orders" there wasn't much more that could ...more
Red Rabbit tells the back story of one event in the colourful career of Jack Ryan. The Russians plot the murder of the Pope to prevent his interventions in Poland. A KGB communications officer, the titular Rabbit, learns of this and decides he wants to defect. The CIA Moscow station chief has just started, along with his wife (the Foley's), and this defection drops into their lap. The story explains the nuts and bolts of the defection and the journey into safe territory for the Rabbit and his fa ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Jason rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Just seems like a cash grab...Jack Ryan's pretty much run his course, so they went back and tried shoehorning in a prequel in between a few of the other books in the past.

The book is pretty "meh" overall, and takes a long time to get to anything resembling action. Maybe I missed it but it seemed to take 100 pages for anyone in the book to mention what the Warsaw Letter even said. I had to read the synopsis inside the front cover to find out what the Pope had even threatened (I bought this book
Geert Daelemans
A boring book in many ways

When in the early 80's the brand new Pope, John Paul II, delivers an ultimatum to Warsaw to stop its repression, he does not seem to be aware of the consequences his actions will have on the world of politics. One of the main political players is Yuriy Andropov, chairman of the KGB, and his is far from happy with what the leader of the Catholic Church has decided to do. Therefore he demands immediate action.

At the same time Jack Ryan gets involved into his first field a
What Stephen King is to the horror genre, Tom Clancy brings to the table for tales of espionage.

This book is well thought out, lots of characters are introduced and while it can be initially quite daunting keeping track of them. All are sufficiently developed both in depth of background and motivations.

The plot isn't necessarily a rollercoaster ride and while it can be slow in parts, it's a well told story crafted with but not bogged down in detail, the only a unresolved elements clearly reser
Tj Ingerson
After finishing Red Rabbit and having thought about it for a few hours, I can understand why some people dislike this book. I just started reading Ryanverse, and am reading it it chronological order; I quickly started The Hunt for Red October. So I can't compare it to the greats, yet, and maybe my view will change on this book.

The plot is very slow to develop as Clancy goes on and on, meticulously, to describe every little detail. And I can understand why: what do most of us really know about th
Chris White
Clancy’s Red Rabbit is a spy-procedural, I guess you’d call it, that stars perennial hero Jack Ryan in a retrospective-prequel set in the early 1980’s. Being that I haven’t yet read all of Clancy’s stuff, I got the impression that I was missing some inside jokes as I went along. It was like watching old episodes of Benny Hill, where you get the impression that you’re supposed to laugh but you’re not sure why. So there were a few things I didn’t get; a few details that overflew me as I read.

Nov 06, 2008 Chaz rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those invested in the Ryan series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...
The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3) Patriot Games (Jack Ryan, #1) Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5) Red Storm Rising Without Remorse (John Clark, #1)

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