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Patriot Games (Jack Ryan #1)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  104,672 ratings  ·  691 reviews
The bestselling author of Red Storm Rising and The Sum of All Fears brings Jack Ryan back in his to fight his deadliest battle yet.

From England to Ireland to America, an explosive wave of violence sweeps a CIA analyst and his family into the deadliest game of our time: international terrorism. An ultra-left-wing faction of the IRA has targeted the CIA man for his act of sa
Paperback, 503 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Berkley (first published 1987)
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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
12th out of 742 books — 1,198 voters
The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
32nd out of 2,165 books — 2,806 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I'll do the same review for all Clancy's novels because they're all pretty much the same. Very long, very detailed, and after a while, very repetitive. If you stop after just a few of his books you'd probably give them 4 or 5 stars, but beyond that they start to grate. Especially where Jack Ryan is involved. I mean, Clancy spends hundreds of pages getting his details just right, the settings perfect etc., then he has Ryan dodging more bullets than James Bond! I finally threw my hands up and surr ...more
Executive Summary: After enjoying The Hunt for Red October, I had high hopes for this book, and found myself a bit disappointed.

Audio book: I've listened to one or two books read by Scott Brick. He's a decent reader, but nothing special. He does a passable English and Irish accent here, but not in anyway to make the characters of similar accents distinguishable from one another. He does a better job of that with his American voices, but still not great.

I'd happily listen to another book read by
3.5 to 4.0 stars. Third Jack Ryan book published but first in terms of internal chronology as the events take place before those in The Hunt for Red October. While I enjoyed some of the later Ryan novels more (especially those in which John Clark and his crew played a major part), this is still a quality thriller and certainly worth a read. A pretty good Clancy novel is still much better than a lot of the junk that is out there.
Louis Scuderi
Somehow, people like this book. Other people complain about the slow plot, or the level of detail, or the lack of action. I was perfectly fine with all of this, and in fact, I quite liked the idea that injuries were taken seriously and meant that people were out of action for a long time. The thing that makes this book truly bad is the lack of development of any of the characters, particularly Jack Ryan. He is possibly the worst Mary-Sue character I've read in such a widely published book.

He is
Tammy Isaacs
Sep 06, 2007 Tammy Isaacs rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Although an old novel, but this is a classic novel about Jack Ryan, a former US marines who was on a work/vacation to the UK. A day after his arrival, he finds himself in a gun battle with 3 terrorists attacking the prince of Wales, his wife and few months old baby.

They survived the attack, thanks to Jack who sustains an injury but got the Knighthood for his bravery.

After that comes trouble from... Hey! go read it yourself to find out what happened in the end.

I really like the plot. It's a clas
Aug 25, 2009 JC rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: my-firsttime, 2009
This book started and ended with a bang but lost me in the middle. After the quick start with lots of action, the next 150 to 200 pages felt like filler pages. A lot of them could have been taken out or condensed down and the book would have been better. The last part of the book really picked up though and made for a good ending.

If you are looking for a deep intellectualy book then Patriot Games probably isn't for you. The book focuses on terrorism and is a complete work of fiction. Ryan Jack i

This was quite a dull read in all honesty. I’m pretty sure I’m going to leave Tom Clancy alone for now or at least until I’ve read all of Vince Flynn’s books. I know Mitch Rapp came afterwards but I prefer him by a country mile!

The plot overview seemed interesting enough but I knew after 50 pages when the first terrorist attempt had taken place that there was still 550+ pages to go and not much was going to happen in the run up to the climax. I think Tom Clancy likes to waffle; perhaps he’
Louis Dohanich
Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games
4.5 stars

Tom Clancy is known around the world for his fast paced action books. (Several of his books have been made into movies, and one has even been made into a video game series!) This is one of his earlier books, and I anticipated a book just like those who have made him famous with his writing style, such as Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, and others. I wasn’t disappointed. This book, Patriot Games, is a great book, as most of his others were.
The Theme of
Dude books. I call them "palette cleansers" because sometimes I just get tired of reading about FEELINGS and EMOTIONS and THOUGHTS.

This book didn't have any of those other things.

It had intrigue, machismo, swearing, guns, and violence. Pretty much pg-13 level, nothing too too much.

But it also had bravery, mystery, and for reals: the main guy likes his wife and kid. And he doesn't cheat on her. Two thumbs up.

So, in all, a bit more insight than the movie version, but pretty much the gist of it.
Clancy's second Jack Ryan book is a prequel, which is perhaps why some suggest new readers should read them in the order the events took place rather than in the order they were written. Some of the suspense is muted because you know how the big picture will work out. This story is about Ryan's actions in England when, as an innocent bystander, tries to stop a terrorist (IRA-like group) action and what happens as a result in England and then back home in Annapolis. It also tells of how he gets r ...more
Hari widijanto
Sooo gud.... baik film & bukunya, bro/sis... Alurnya enak sekali diikuti, khas dengan detailnya yg paten ala Tom Clancy... Pokoknya oche gtu lhooo... Oh ya, di squel ini, jack ryan mulai diperankan oleh Harrison Ford... and this is the 2nd Tom Clancy's book that i had read.....
I am currently reading this book and so far the story is very in intriguing. The way that Tom Clancy is able to add so much detail is both fascinating, however is also tiresome. I really enjoy the way Jack is able to react with such precision and accuracy when in a firefight. And also the ability to return with a quick whip is a really good way of using comic relief in a tough situation. One thing I wish that Tom Clancy would do is work more on Jack's background history. I like that he reveals i ...more
Subhodeep Bandopadhyay
The story started like a roller coaster in the middle of London where Jack Ryan, an American tourist, foils the attempted kidnapping of members of the Royal Family.

The book could not keep a steady pace from there and at times became so slow that I literally had to skip pages to get to the action. Tom Clancy's natural descriptive style and obsession to get the facts absolutely right almost spoiled what otherwise could have been a very good espionage book.

What works for the book is the character o
Matthew Esham
First of all, way better than the movie. Harrison Ford is awesome, but there is so much emotion and thought process that can't be laid out as well when it is done on the big screen. Books are better, period. (having said that, I do see Harrison Ford in my mind's eye every time I think of Jack Ryan)

Second - not as good as the first book in the Jack Ryan series. This one really seemed to drag in the middle. Lots of detail and then some action. I must have read this book ten years ago and remember
OMG. So, so, so bad. I love a bit of schlock action (Lee Childs, Dick Francis etc) and thought I'd try a Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan. On the plus side, it IS a rip roaring action read that has our history PhD ex-Marine instinctively saving the heir to the British throne from terrorists - while on holiday. In chapter one.
On the down side, much of my criticism is stylistic. Clancy switches between using first names, surnames and descriptions way too often. Several times I thought there were four people
Dec 27, 2011 SA rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
So I was looking for a book that was going to be easy to read -- a real "page turner." I've never been one to read what I guess could be characterized as popular fiction, save for a Michael Crichton book or two when I was in high school. But, I was lamenting to a friend how I felt that a fair amount of my reading had been relatively heavy recently and he recommended Tom Clancy.

Admittedly, I felt like I was regretting the decision about 50 or 75 pages into the book. the Jack Ryan character/person
Aug 23, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: browsing on dad's bookshelf
I read this one in elementary school, yes. I needed long books that I wouldn't accidentally finish in the middle of the Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) period, because we weren't allowed to leave our desks. Here's my review from that period (and yes the star rating is reflective of this review, not the benefit of hindsight):

"The author is trying to create a lot of suspense and action/adventure. He does this by centring his story on a group of terrorists who try and kill the Prince and Princess w
Sir Laguna
Lo que me encanta de los libros de Tom Clancy es la parafernalia tecnológica, el drama político, las conspiraciones, el fetichismo militar... y nada de eso se encuentra en este, el primer libro de la saga de Jack Ryan :(

Aún así, no fue una mala lectura, pese a sus problemas. Confieso que comencé odíandolo. El planteamiento que lleva a Jack Ryan, un ciudadano común en este momento, a convertirse en heroe de acción, amiguito de la realeza británica y objetivo de un grupo terrorista irlandes es pra
Evan O'neill
Feb 13, 2008 Evan O'neill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are sick of slow paced books.
Tom Clancy's Patriot Games was an excellent book. What happens is that the main character Jack Ryan is living a normal life and taking a vacation to London and as his vacation seems to be going well he is trown in the middle of a attempted kiddnapping of the prince and princess of Wales.In the book he is shot, almost poisoned, and hospitilized. I thought that this book would be good especially with Tom Clancy being the author all of his books have never not interested me. It met all of my expect ...more
Robin DeJarnett
I read this when it first came out, back when I was in my thriller phase. It's my favorite Clancy book - probably because there's more to the characters than in his previous submarine books.

Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst and ex-Marine who unintentionally gets caught in the fight for Northern Ireland. His actions foil an attempt by a factional group to kidnap a member of the royal family, and makes him a target of terrorists. Jack's family becomes the one in danger as the war crosses the Atlantic and
Wow, it is amazing to read an American so accurately describe terrorism even before it struck our shores so profoundly on 9-11.

What I learned . .

Terrorist are awful, awful people. They are not civilians nor are they military. Therefore when they perform an act of war like bombing a building their status make them impossible to prosecute. If you try them as military (since it is an act of war) the public gets upset and cries that the person's rights are being taken away, the terrorist wins their
Neil Collins
Although the third book Clancy wrote, Patriot Games takes place before the stor in The Hunt For Red October. This is my third time reading it, and I am still amazed at the relavance and insite into international politics and the world of pre-9/11 counter terroism. The action is gripping and made personal, while educating the reader. The technology is dated, but like a true classic, it still stands on its own merit. As with all Clancy novels, the book is nothing like the movie, so read it even if ...more
Josh Kapolka
The story is about Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst, who is lecturing in England when he foils an attempt by the Irish Republican Army to kidnap the Prince and Princess of Wales. Ryan kills one of the gunman and the others flee or are kidnapped. One of the captured plotters, Sean Miller, so happens to be the brother of the dead boy, who sets his sights towards vengeance against Ryan. After help from inside the British Police, Miller escapes and begins his quest to find and kill Ryan and his family with ...more
Lauren B
The Patriot Games was an exceptionally good book. The writing, characters, and plot were above most books I do read. The main issue I had was the amount of characters there is. I found it difficult to follow and remember who was who, who worked for what team, etc. Additionally, the plot can get a little complicated in places. I do plan on reading the book again to really make sure I understand.

The writing was a great quality. I found virtually no grammatical errors, and the word choice was fanta
Kym Andrew Robinson
This was one of the first Clancy novels I managed to read, I read it after I had seen the film and so had the tendency to make comparisons to the film. I did enjoy this novel and like any fiction it is not without its faults.

Clancy really wanted to make Jack Ryan the super hero of the modern novel age and in some ways he managed to do this in his later books. So much so that after a few 'Ryan' books one can not help but to put them down and say 'enough!'. This is the first in the chronological s
Michael Ross
Great book. If you're new to the military/ espionage genre then I suggest you start with this one. International threats, hunting for bad guys, protecting family and nation, these are simple but consistently enjoyable basis to build a not so simple story on. Tom Clancy offers sometimes excruciating detail that can drag at some spots but is worth pushing through. You can even learn some things about our nations security along the way as Clancy has a habit of knowing things about technology and ta ...more
I read this a long time ago, but what I remember most is my husband laughing at me because I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and I was turning the page even as I was reading the last few lines on the current page. I enjoy the detail of Mr. Clancy's books and his feel for possible real life situations that could be played out. Certainly no all of these things could happen to such a small group of people, the Ryans and Clarks, but this is fiction after all. Isn't it???
I stand corrected on my words. "You need balls to read a Tom Clancy book and brains to understand it"

I am not much of a fan of Jack Ryan, the characterization is sort of dull and there's nothing interesting in the character that can make me explore more. The romance is so dull and so much in quantity that you'd want to puke it all over the pages. I wanted to scream in frustration when Clancy wrote pages and pages over Cathy's pregnancy and how Jack loves her more - For the love of God, I get it
Paul Casteel
Enjoyable book with a very sluggish start. Back half is very entertaining and helps to balance it out, averaging to a three star rating.
Evan Leach
The first Jack Ryan novel (chronologically), this is one of my two or three favorite Clancy books. Clancy has a tendency to get bogged down in technical digressions or random excursions involving tertiary characters, making a lot of his books feel like slow burns. Patriot Games is about as close as Clancy comes to a "page-turner." Exciting, suspenseful, and intense. 4 stars, recommended.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Patriot Games by Tom Clancy 1 11 Jan 09, 2015 10:05PM  
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Patriot Games 25 111 Apr 24, 2013 07:42AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Ryan (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Red Rabbit (Jack Ryan, #2)
  • The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan, #4)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5)
  • The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan, #6)
  • Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan, #7)
  • Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8)
  • Command Authority (Jack Ryan, #9)
  • Full Force and Effect (Jack Ryan, #10)
  • Commander-in-Chief (Jack Ryan, #11)
The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3) Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5) Red Storm Rising Without Remorse (John Clark, #1) The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan, #6)

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“To a man, professional soldiers despised terrorists, and each would dream about getting them in an even-up-battle; the idea of the Field of Honor had never died for the real professionals. It was the place where the ultimate decision was made on the basis of courage and skill, on the basis of manhood itself, and it was this concept that marked the professional soldier as a romantic, a person who truly believed in the rules.” 1 likes
“we are enemies. I would as soon kill you as have dinner with you. But even enemies can negotiate, can’t they, now?” 0 likes
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