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SSN: A Strategy Guide to Submarine Warfare
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SSN: A Strategy Guide to Submarine Warfare

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  3,344 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
China has invaded the oil-rich Spratly Islands. The American response has been swift - and deadly. And the Third World War has begun... Captain Bartholomew Mackey is the skipper of the U.S.S. Cheyenne, a nuclear submarine dispatched to the Spratlys to protect a carrier group. But in a few moments, the Cheyenne's mission - and the world - have changed, as a tense situation ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 3rd 1997 by HarperCollins (first published December 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Graeme Shimmin
Aug 19, 2014 Graeme Shimmin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-thrillers
This is literally the worst book I've ever read.

It is not really a novel, it is (literally) a half-assed attempt at turning a strategy guide for a video game into a novel.

Normally I would have given up about a quarter of the way through, but I was trapped on a flight with it.

Very, very bad indeed.
Feb 03, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Tom Clancy's writing ever since I first read The Hunt for Red October. However I was horrified when I read about classified information being released in the book and I confess to being confused that it was published by the Naval Institute Press.

In fairness to this book, which covers a mythical war with China which involves mostly submarines, submariners are fond of quipping that there are only two kinds of ships: submarines and targets. They aren't far from being wrong either.
John somers
Not really a novel, instead its 15 scenarios for submarine combat in a war between the US and renegade elements of the chinese military. The submarine cheyenne ends the war with over 60 confirmed kills of chinese combat vessels and if the chinese military was actually that bad their sailors should save themselves the effort of putting to sea and shoot themselves. The captain Mack is 2 dimensional, which gives him at least 1 dimension more than anyone else in the book. The closest we get to a per ...more
Stephen Gallup
I believe the wife picked up the copy we have from a freebie table somewhere. I found myself reading it in the car while she was doing some shopping (sleeping kids in the back). Reading it was preferable to just sitting there, but that’s about the best I can say for it.

The time is the mid-90s. Due to Chinese aggression, the U.S. has gone to war in the Pacific, although it appears that practically the entire war effort is carried by a single nuclear-powered submarine (and the supply ships that pe
James Atkinson
Mar 28, 2013 James Atkinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

If there was ever evidence that video games stories are not worth adapting, this is it.
This was probably ghost written as it is thin and lacks purpose. The interview at the back is interesting, but not worth reading the rest to get to it.
The fact that only 3 or so characters are named shows how little developement there is. Laughable feats are achieved such as the USA sustaining no damage in a navel battle (law or averages indicates that some losses would
Joe White
Jul 17, 2014 Joe White rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boats, fiction, subs
The only really interesting material here is in the interview material at the end of the book. The actual fictionalized action reads like what it is, a continuous action video game, with no depth.

Several of the technical aspects of a nuclear boat and crew operations are presented in a kind of "yep: check that fact got included" manner.

The concept of China invading the Spratley islands despite the Philippines' insistence of ownership is a fact that is currently playing out, so the contextual bas
Mohamed Ali
Mar 30, 2013 Mohamed Ali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That's it, this is like the worst novel i've ever read. it is stupid, one sided. what is the point of writing a novel where one SSN is taking the entire navy of another nation?!!!
I couldn't finish the book, after half of it i felt that continuing the book is much harder than i could take and after all reading is supposed to be a fun thing not a challenge.
Jim Thornton
Excuse my French, but sheer shit. Whilst the political plot had good legs, it was barely explored, and the obsession with 'boy's toys numbers' (Mk48, PL765, ABC 987 etc ad nauseam) left me breathless with despair and reminded me why I hadn't read a Clancy in years. Yawn
Jeff Brateman
Mar 21, 2010 Jeff Brateman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Piss poor excuse for a book. How can a book be based on a game? It is perfectly set up where in between each paragraph you have a battle scene and something exciting happens. Absolutely terrible idea to make a game and then a book based off of each chapter. I would be ashamed if I were Tom Clancy.
Liquid Frost
Jun 19, 2008 Liquid Frost rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was thin. It would have been about two pages long if Clancy left out the command recongnitions. Yes, I get it is the Navy - but come on - give the reader a break. Establish the protocal and move on.
Apr 10, 2009 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you liked the Hint For Red October's sub captain, Bart Mancuso, you'll love SSN's portayal of submarine daring.
Apr 17, 2008 Raj246 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If Clancy repeated himself any more he would be Jack Torrance from the Shining.
Jan 02, 2013 Dean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only naval war geeks
Recommended to Dean by: Like many books the author has written
Shelves: war, once-only
May be an accurate description of life in a US nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN), but it is truly boring.
Sven De Bolster
Jan 25, 2017 Sven De Bolster rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read instruction manuals that have more depth, better developed characters and are more exciting than this book.
Winston Hsu
Submarine warfare has always been the spearhead of navies around the world; the use of a submersible ship with surface-to-surface nuclear and conventional capabilities is always favored. Tom Clancy’s SSN is modeled after the journey of a new Los Angeles Class nuclear attack submarine, the USS Cheyenne. As stated in the forward of the book: "This book is based upon the CD-ROM game Tom Clancy SSN…The book however, is intended to serve as more than a faithful adaption…Both the game and the book sh ...more
Drew Kossy
Oct 01, 2013 Drew Kossy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SSN: An explosive novel
"At Zhanjiang Naval Base in southern China, a massive force of over 60 ships and submarines was being readied. Their mission was simple: Destroy the American aircraft carrier and her entire battle group." This passage from Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg's SSN is truly incredible, and is the same type of action seen through the whole book, and most of Clancy's books. The purpose of this book is to entertain, and does it well. The action is continuous throughout the book, a
Hilmi Isa
Feb 12, 2011 Hilmi Isa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tom-clancy
Penaklukan China ke atas Kepulauan Spratly dan merampas kapal awam Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada 26 Julai 1997 telah mencetuskan perang baru di sekitar perairan Laut China Selatan. AS,yang disokong oleh Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB),mengambil keputusan untuk bertindak balas terhadap tindakan agresif China ini. Oleh itu,sebuah kapal selam nuklear milik Tentera Laut Amerika Syarikat (TLAS) telah ditugaskan untuk beroperasi di kawasan konflik tersebut. Kapal selam ini diberi nama USS Cheyenne ...more
Peter Curd
Aug 23, 2016 Peter Curd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Submarine fans
I can understand why people love or hate this book - it's not like other Clancy books, and unlike most books in general. It's short, focused, devoid of plot, technical, and niche. But I love it. It's been my favourite book for over a decade and I try to never go more than a few years without rereading. Not everything in it is entirely realistic (the SSN suggested by the title, the USS Cheyenne, is indestructible) but that's because it's a video game played out in words. No one is surprised when ...more
Dec 07, 2015 Adrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, thriller
My rating: 3.5 stars
Audiobook narrator (Full Cast) rating: 5 stars

I have been wanting to listen to a Tom Clancy book for a while but just have not had the patience for some of these really long and detailed books. So I found this book, abridged, at a little over two hours. I was pleasantly surprised at the production of the book and enjoyed it.

This was written (or took place) in the mid-90s and describes tensions between China and the US (some post-Cold War issues with Communism, etc). You could
Manta Rui
Dec 31, 2013 Manta Rui rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
just want to go on record here to say this is a poorly written... "book". The writing is little more than a technical description of What Happens; on and on for endless pages, strung together by thin cliches. there isnt a plot so much as ideas pulled out from the author's hat on a whim. not even halfway through and I already got tired reading the same thing over and over again: sub sees Chinese boat; sub shoots Chinese boat: Chinese boat dies; hurray for 'murica, democracy and freedom.

yes, taki
Oct 28, 2015 DonH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I served on a nuclear attack submarine that played "war games" with aircraft carrier battle groups, and did some sneaking around during the Cold War era. This book accurately depicts how a submarine can hide, seek, evade, destroy, and get destroyed.
I've read some of the other reviews, and, yes, it is quite repetitive. Life in the Navy is very repetitive. During "Battle Stations", both actual and drills, all verbal orders and directions are always repeated back. The procedures for loading and f
David Church
Feb 02, 2014 David Church rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many Tom Clancy novels and this is really different from his other novels in that most of his work has a lot of build up before the action. In SSN though, he goes straight for the action. The prologue is set up and the initial chapter is called "First Blood." The action never really lets up. It is my favorite of his books. I have read it three times. What others say is true about it being a scenarios book, but what a scenario book! If you are looking for the usual action crescendo th ...more
John Boettcher
This Clancy novel is all about submarine warfare and takes place entirely on a sub. The action is great because in many of his other books the action on the submarines were few and far between even though the subs themselves played a big role in the book.

Here, it is almost all action, and the crew is at General Quarters for the majority of the book.

The reason I gave it three stars is that the good sub always wins and the battles seem repetitive and identical, so much so that it is hard to tell
Jun 05, 2009 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished listening to Tom Clancy's audio book SSN. Short and exciting. It appears to have been adapted from a video game. Simply a submarine battle. What makes this unique is that rather than a single reader performing the book, there was a troop of about 10 voices and lots of sound effects. So it was like closing your eyes during a movie battle scene.

Short in that it was only 2 CDs of audio (about 3 hours). A nice change from some of the 20 CD books I've been listening too recently.

I recom
Sam Lum
Sep 02, 2014 Sam Lum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“SSN” by Tom Clancey, is a book that tells a real story about the war over the Spratly Islands between the American and Chinese navies. The book is very good at giving the detail of the ways these submarines really operates during war. The book sometimes doesn’t really go into detail on parts it really needs to. I would recomend this book to a classmate because it is quite an easy read and is very interesting. If this book was part of a series I would most likely read it. It is truelly a really ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Dziban rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading it again, I can confirm that this book is terrible. A US submarine basically wins a regional conflict with China all by itself, sinking dozens of enemy warships with only a few (easily dealt-with) scares of its own. Invincible America defeats bungling baddies. Yawn.

A good portion of the dialogue (and plot, for that matter) could have been copy/pasted from elsewhere in the book: at each attack, Clancy rehashes the chain of vocal commands and replies that lead to the firing of a torp
Feb 11, 2008 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really page-turner that i couldn't put down. From the simple first scenarios in the beginning to the multiple sub battles as the crisis hits its peak, this book was a fascinating war game. Breaking up each chapter as individual battles, it didn't require a long attention span, but it grabbed my attention and i had a hard time putting it down, even the 2nd and 3rd time i read it... at my desk... at work.
Michael Bloom
Apr 04, 2016 Michael Bloom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very technical in terms of submarine and naval warfare, but shows Clancy's dedication to learn and organize all these acronyms and what they do. The back story (the canvas) is interesting but kind of predictable. This book should be a First Read before any of his other submarine books (e.g., Red October).
Dec 09, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a thrilling novel with deep character relationships and plot twists, pass this up. If you're looking for a in depth text book on submarine warfare, this isn't it either. If you are looking for something right down the middle, this is it. SSN uses the story of a fictional war with China to present a very in-depth and technical look at life in a submarine during war.
Jan 01, 2014 Brandon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If this were the first Tom Clancy book I read, I never would have read another. It was so repetitive that I could basically have written the battle sequences word for word by the time the book was over.

Don't waste your time - read his absolutely amazing Jack Ryan novels and the first six or so Op Center novels. This one is a miss.
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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...

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