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The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan Universe #7)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  44,205 Ratings  ·  501 Reviews
A major motion picture starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Alan Bates and Michael Byrne! Peace may finally be at hand in the Middle East-as Deputy Director of the CIA Jack Ryan lays the groundwork for a peace plan that could end centuries of conflict. But ruthless terrorists have a final, desperate card to play: they have their hands on a nuclear weapon a ...more
ebook, 928 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Berkley Books (first published August 14th 1991)
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Adam I don't know if it's too late, but definitely read Clear and Present Danger before this. I almost skipped it because I'm not interested in drug wars,…moreI don't know if it's too late, but definitely read Clear and Present Danger before this. I almost skipped it because I'm not interested in drug wars, but I'm glad I read it. It made so much more of this book clearer.(less)
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Richard Wright
Nov 23, 2010 Richard Wright rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Oh thank God. Thank God it's over. I picked this up en route to Goa a few weeks ago, and I seem to have been reading it forever. As always, Clancy's world is incredibly detailed and credible, in many ways all the more impressive for its sometime parallels to the world we live in today. As ever, the central plot is great. As ever, there's just too bloody much detail for anybody outside of the military to maintain much interest. The characters are for the most part the same seven or eight core peo ...more
Darren Burton
Oct 07, 2012 Darren Burton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been rumored that permission to publish this book had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and ever since then there is a standing court order that the CIA, FBI, and NSA receive advance copies of every Tom Clancy book a month before it goes to the publisher. Why? Well this book tells you step by step, in layman's language, in exacting detail how you build a hydrogen bomb. About the only thing that is left out is the exact amount of plutonium you would need. This did not sit well wi ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Together with The Cardinal of the Kremlin, my favorite Clancy. Sure, the stories stars to be a bit repetitive by now, but if you know what you are in for and look upon this as it's own work, it's brutally effective! The Sum of all Fears, is just that - there are so many things converging that the sum is overwhelming. The suspense and intensity does this story, even if it is a long and not always fast moving one. Forget about the horrible movie adaption, the double mistake of casting Ben Affleck ...more
3.0 to 3.5 stars. I am a big fan of Tom Clancy, especially of his characters Jack Ryan and John Clark, both of whom figure prominently in this Middle East thriller centering on Nuclear proliferation. As good as Clancy is and as compelling as the story can be, this one felt just TOO LONG to rate any higher. With some strategic editing, this one could have been amazing. As it is, it is still very good.
May 23, 2012 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got interested at about 600 pages - no kidding - for about 75 pages.

This was the worst book I've ever read (there've been some other bad ones, but I had the common sense not to finish them). If I could take stars AWAY from a book, I would. At about 700 pages, it got so tedious that I thought I wouldn't finish; why was I wasting my time? (I had this thought a number of times while plowing through it.) After that, I was saying, 'Oh, come on!' because it became so outrageous. A better ti
Lance Howell
I think I now know how to make a nuclear bomb...
This is a Tom Clancy novel where the movie is better than the book (like The Hunt for Red October). The Sum of All Fears is so crammed full of everything Tom Clancy learned about building a two-stage nuclear weapon and about submarines and submarine warfare that it really detracts from the interesting plot, which could have been pulled together in half or one third of the space. And if you haven't read earlier Clancy books you won't get some of the references to hero Jack Ryan's earlier adventur ...more
Chad Sayban
The Sum of All Fears isn’t Tom Clancy’s best written book in the series, but as the title suggests, it is certainly the most frightening – especially when it was written during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the thaw of the Cold War. It is a sobering look at what can happen when dysfunctional Washington leadership is confronted with an unthinkable attack and how things can spiral out of control. Considering it was written ten years before 9/11, it is startling how it foreshadowed the worst ...more
Jul 27, 2016 itchy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ys
now to make a bomb of my own...

rest in peace, tom

and oh, one thing i didn't notice when i first read this (this was way back in the '90s): black sunday was referenced three times, though in film form (and not the book) in all instances
Dec 22, 2008 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 10, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clancy
Clancy's gripping depiction of just how fragile the nature of leadership can be in the midst of crisis is shockingly frightening. When emotions run high and the ever-present voice of reason (who else but Jack Ryan) is ignored, Clancy masterfully paints his most intense piece yet.
Aug 27, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read of this. RIP Tom Clancy. You are missed.
Feb 29, 2016 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Clancy's books are like having sex for the first time: It starts out exciting, gets a little awkward in the middle as you have no idea what's going on and are waiting for something to happen; it becomes intense toward the end but it ends too quickly and you feel unsatisfied.

All major conflicts in the book are too well-resolved. Clancy expertly builds suspense when Cathy is convinced Jack is having an affair, only for it to end anticlimactically with Clark explaining it all
May 07, 2012 Jerome rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While this book was not terrible, I found it much worse than other Clancy works. Clancy has always been a bit "long-winded," but I never noticed it quite like in The Sum of All Fears. Clancy's penchant for throwing endless trips to Carol Zimmer's store (and that annoying way he writes her accent), endless football banter between the "SecDef" and others, and other tedious paragraphs (he must have Marvin Russell fantasize about revenge for his brother's death at least 5 times - in nearly the exact ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: q42009
The Sum of All Fears
Tom Clancy

After the discovery of a damaged Israeli nuclear bomb which had gone missing in 1973, Arabs, who got their hands on this weapon of mass destruction, seek the help of a German scientist who helps them replicate the bomb in order for it to be used against the United States, after a treaty which is meant to settle the war against Israel and Arabians displeases them.
As the engineering process of the weapon is complete, the Arabs, plan to use the weapon in a Super
Mar 22, 2011 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of action, from start to finish. It is also an interesting look at how American politics might work. The big takeaway, I think, is that you don't have to be a powerful nation to build a hydrogen bomb, and it wouldn't be that difficult to get such a bomb across our borders.

Although I don't foresee complete disarmament of the worlds nukes any time soon, the idea that these devices should not exist, even in the hands of world leaders, is compelling. How can even the President of t
May 04, 2008 Jhon(Original) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very exciting, just like the film, but more. It starts off with a protest gone wrong in Israeli. Palestinians begin to use peaceful protests but a protestor is killed and therefore, U.S. cannot support Israel. But U.S. manages to resolve the situation and create long lasting peace. However,there is a group of Muslim terrorists who are looking at this lasting peace as a failure in their campain for their anger is toward the U.S. They retaliate by detonating a bomb in a stadium locat ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Like most of his work, Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" starts pretty uneventful. The events have played out pretty much as you would have expected from the end of "Clear and Present Danger" and the new president and his cabinet have settled into their new roles and with Ryan's help are looking towards a more more peaceful future. As you can expect that doesn't go as planned.

The biggest criticism I've seen/heard/read about "The Sum of All Fears" is how long it takes for any real action to takes p
Jul 25, 2011 Justin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Penthouse Letters:

You'll never believe what happened one day when I was sitting in the library, flipping through the latest copy of "Jane's Guide to Military Technology"--let's just say that my passive sonar went active!

Ping-ping-ping went my heart at the thought of sturdily-designed hardware like the Israeli Merkava tank...the shaft of its 120mm MG253 smoothbore gun, capable of firing APDS as well as HEAT rounds looming over me, making me quiver...I couldn't help but imagine the feel of i
Sep 11, 2015 Tyler.Bachman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual Tom Clancy knocks this book out of the park with it detailed content and gripping story. It's a ride of turn off turn from domestic issues to foreign policy with Israel. It posts the Russians as innocent as a group of territory want to star world war three so Israel will no longer have u.s support. This will allow the Palestine's in there eyes to hopefully over take Israel and stop a peace agreement from being made. This also takes on the challenge of if there was a nuclear attack on th ...more
Mark Kaye
Aug 06, 2012 Mark Kaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ryanverse
When I first started to read this book it grabbed my attention straight away. However there is a lot of detail some people have said that regarding this book there is too much detail, but I think with out it, it would be Tom Clancy. He gets slated for this quite often, but as you get towards the back end of this book all the detail begins to fall into place.
It has taken me so long to read this book, I feel I have just completed a marathon, (in a good way though), and I have fully enjoy readin
Jan 18, 2015 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This probably has to be the biggest book by Tom Clancy I've read since Rainbow Six. While getting through the first couple of chapters, it was a little hard to follow, but as I read more, it started to make sense. The book was a lot better than the movie starring Ben Affleck, who played Jack Ryan, the movie was decent but the book was better, and also very different from the movie.

There were parts in the book that my heart started racing because of the suspense, I literally couldn't put it down.
Bennett Coles
Aug 09, 2012 Bennett Coles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly the best Jack Ryan book, this novel follows the ever-more successful American intelligence guru as he struggles to uncover the plot of a terrorist cell. Clancy’s technical knowledge is impressive as always, but in this book he strikes home with very real and compelling characterizations of Ryan and his political opponents. The terrorist plot is bold, but not as bold as Clancy as he drops perhaps the biggest surprise twist in any of his books as the plot screams to a climax. In the po ...more
Feb 23, 2008 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clancy fans, military buffs.
Shelves: mystery-suspense
You have to like Clancy to like this. It takes a bit to get going and Clancy loves to go overboard in descriptives - "Amal stood on a cliff, formed in the jurassic period by pressure from volcanoes, he was holding an uzi, the metal for the uzi was mined in siberia by people who have low cholesterol b/c they eat a lot of salad...", I get it, Amal has a gun, move on! Despite that, he takes an all too real scenario and gives it legs, puts the thought in the back of your brain, and does a good job w ...more
Matthew Woodrow
Feb 25, 2013 Matthew Woodrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do not read Sum of All Fears if you haven't read at least a few of the preceding novels, or if you are expecting it to be like the movie. These novels do stand-alone somewhat, but not a lot of time is spent rehashing the same characters, so if you jump right in you may be lost to the point of frustration.

Also quite a bit of the novel is technical or political, but Clancy brings the pieces together stunningly and the last 300 pages are too gripping to put down.

The only reason this didn't get fiv
Sep 07, 2011 Badiss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a nuclear war going to break out the protagonist of Ryan and his FBI counterpart Dan try to come up with a solution to stop the war from happening. The try to stop the world leaders from joining the war and they try to save the world.

I liked this book overall, it was interesting and had a good story relating to nuclear warfare. This story talked about FBI work force which made it much more interesting. I really did enjoy reading this book.

If i were to rate this book out of fi
Jun 15, 2012 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: abandoned
I tried so hard. I've been lugging this book around since Arizona and I thought I should read at least one Tom Clancy novel in my lifetime.

I can't. My body/mind refuse. I'll pick it up on the metro, read a page, and decide I'd rather stare into space for the remaining 40 minutes of my commute than read this.

Maybe if the terrorists had cyborgs... or if Jack Ryan was a paladin or something?
I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I liked the plot well enough, and was happy with where the story went in many areas but the technical jargon was in abundance and definitely way over my head. I had thoughts of giving up on this book many times, but the story line kept me reading, despite struggling with what I felt were too many technical details, so that says something for the story, I guess.
Jul 31, 2010 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Our favorite Clancy story -- and one of our top ten favorite novels of all time. In addition to his normal thrills and chills, and suspenseful terrific plot, the story features far more character work with his leading man and his family than usual, making it his most compelling work in our eyes.
Feb 13, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Clancy novel. I picked it up to read before seeing the movie. A great story, that starts slowly, but picks up steam about halfway through. By the last quarter of the book I found myself frequently staying up far too late to read "just one more chapter."
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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 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 Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan Universe, #4)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan Universe, #5)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan Universe, #6)
  • 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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“The noblest of ideas have always been protected by warriors.” 12 likes
“Panic is something that good operations officers plan for.” 4 likes
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