Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “SSN: A Strategy Guide to Submarine Warfare” as Want to Read:
SSN: A Strategy Guide to Submarine Warfare
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

SSN: A Strategy Guide to Submarine Warfare

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  2,216 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The "forgotten Clancy novel," SSN is a complete submarine warfare novel with maps, photos, and a special interview with Tom Clancy and former submarine commander Doug Littlejohns
Paperback, 347 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Berkley (first published December 28th 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about SSN, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about SSN

The Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyRed Storm Rising by Tom ClancyThe Last Israelis by Noah BeckSea of Shadows by Jeff EdwardsOperation Ivy Bells by Robert G. Williscroft
Best Submarine Thrillers
17th out of 94 books — 29 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Truth About Forever by Sarah DessenThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldJust Listen by Sarah Dessen
Best Books Without Sequels
225th out of 490 books — 340 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Graeme Shimmin
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.
James Atkinson

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
Mohamed Ali
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.
Jeff Brateman
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.
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
Liquid Frost
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.
If you liked the Hint For Red October's sub captain, Bart Mancuso, you'll love SSN's portayal of submarine daring.
Jan 02, 2013 Dean rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Only naval war geeks
Recommended to Dean by: Like many books the author has written
Shelves: once-only, war
May be an accurate description of life in a US nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN), but it is truly boring.
David Church
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
If Clancy repeated himself any more he would be Jack Torrance from the Shining.
Joe White
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
Sam Lum
“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
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
Hilmi Isa
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
Drew Kossy
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
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
Jill Black
I admit defeat. I couldn't do it. The only character development is the submarine itself. Might as well look into reading an instruction manual for some light reading. I knew Tom had moved onto books based on video games, but this truly was awful.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian Rodwell
Surprisingly I found this book pretty good and enjoyed the read. Nowhere near as bad as the dire Red Rabbit and not as long as the Bear and the Dragon!!!
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
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
Chantal Crevier
tom clancy the way i love
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.
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.
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.
Jan 02, 2008 Michael added it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is not a true accounting of life on an submarine. Tom Clancy has always been limtind to his access secence the barn burnner that rocked the United States Nave in 1988 with the Hunt for the Red October. And his mention of spider switches in the Sum of all fears also sent shock wavest thru DOD.
For a Tom Clancy book, the plot was way too predictable. The good guys did everything correctly, perfectly, every time, and the bad guys did exactly the opposite. There was never a change to this from beginning to end. Very dissapointing.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Games of State (Tom Clancy's Op-Center, #3)
  • Shadow Watch (Tom Clancy's Power Plays, #3)
  • Hidden Agendas (Tom Clancy's Net Force, #2)
  • EndWar (Tom Clancy's Endwar, #1)
  • Gameprey (Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorers, #11)
  • The Great Race (Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorers, #7)
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)

Share This Book

“slowly turned to survey the entire control room.” 0 likes
More quotes…