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Dead or Alive (Jack Ryan, Jr. #2)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  10,035 ratings  ·  874 reviews
Jack Ryan, the former president of the United States, is out of office, but not out of the loop about his brainchild, the “Campus” — a highly effective, counter-terrorism organization that operates outside the Washington hierarchy. But what Ryan doesn’t know is that his son, Jack Ryan, Jr., has joined his cousins, Brian and Dominic Caruso, at the shadowy Campus. While a hi ...more
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Published December 7th 2010 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2010)
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Rachel C.
Plowed through this book in one day. I went in eager to approve, but didn't like it as much as I'd hoped. This is the first time Clancy has shared a byline on a Jack Ryan book and I'm a bit scared that the floodgates are now open for a ton of Patterson-esque cheap knockoffs.

I guess it was easier to enjoy the Cold War Clancys since there was historical, and therefore psychic, distance. I found it much harder to turn my head off and become immersed in this Middle East / terrorism story. I kept com
...more
Wayne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peri Kinder
"Dead or Alive” was boring. There wasn’t that hanging-on-the-edge-of-my-seat suspense that Clancy writes so well. I thought the writing was choppy, the story was bland and the characters were flat–except for the women, who always seem to have large chests. I trudged through 900 pages hoping it would get better–but it never did.

Give me “Hunt for Red October” or “Clear and Present Danger” and I’ll be in espionage heaven. But this one didn’t work. Too bad. But I’m not giving up on Clancy yet, maybe
...more
Alain Burrese
It had been a long time since reading about the exploits of Jack Ryan, John Clark, "Ding" Chavez, and the Caruso brothers, Brian and Dominic. I've always enjoyed Tom Clancy, and have to admit, "Without Remorse" and "Rainbow Six" were probably my favorites because I really like the character John Clark. So, when "Dead Or Alive" came out, I was excited to read the newest story about Clark that also featured all of the other main characters from Clancy's novels. For whatever reason, the book got se ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This is another book the drives me to mention that we REALLY need a 10 star or a half star system. I switched back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one so often I almost needed Dramamine.

Of course the problem there would have been that when the book lost that 4th star it was because it slooooowed wwwwaaaayyyyy dddooowwwnnn... Since Dramamine makes you drowsy you can see the problem.

The book is well plotted as has been Clancy's record. We're following the characters of Jack Ryan, Jack Ry
...more
Daniel
Most people think Tom Clancy lost his nut on 9/11. And it's true, he's bugfuck insane. But it actually happened earlier than that. His fiction was predicated on the cold war, and the cold war ended, so Clancy flailed around looking for some bad guys to fictionally blow up. He tried the Japanese (Debt of Honor, 1994) and environmentalists (Rainbow Six, 1998). 2001 was actually a good setup for him, because he had a new generational conflict to fictionalize.

The thing is, the brain-eater got him. "
...more
Paul Pessolano
Those of us who read Tom Clancy had to wait almost a decade for this book, and it is co-written.

"Dead or Alive" brings back the men of Rainbow Six, Jack Ryan, and Mary Pat Foley. It seems that Ding and John Clark are being mustered out of the service but find themselves employed by "The Campus". The Campus is a secret agency posing as a financial institute that runs covert operations but has no direct connection to the American Government. The Campus was set up by Jack Ryan before he left the Pr
...more
William Breakstone
BOOK REVIEW

“Dead or Alive” by Tom Clancy

Reviewed by Bill Breakstone, January 12, 2011

Tom Clancy’s latest novel, “Dead or Alive,” is a 950-page monster, his 14th in a series that began with his classic “Hunt for Red October,” published way back in 1984. I’ve read 13 of these books, all but “Teeth of the Tiger,” and enjoyed them all. My last Clancy read was in 2000, thus it was a pleasure to return to most of the old characters, with a few new ones tossed in.

Dead or Alive is a complicated, many-l
...more
Miles
Weighing in at well over 700 pages, Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy and aided by Grant Blackwood is a monumental publication. Although in no rush to finish the book, it took me three days to finish and, my overall reaction to reading my first Tom Clancy thriller was one of efficaciousness.

It’s not very often that a book can afford to spend in excess of 200 pages creating a thorough and enviable foundation but Dead or Alive successfully achieves this, all the while creating countless scenarios and on
...more
Dodol Surodol
A long read, Dead or Alive is. I don't know if it's the "with" authorship or Clancy having changed -- lost his edge, if you will -- since '90s, but I find myself longing for the days of Patriot Games and The Cardinal of the Kremlin.

The actions are still good, the I.T. stuff believable (which is better than most books), and all-star setup having me excited. The authors are very in-your-face now with their right leaning. Either you're right or you're incompetent. The good guys even deem torture ne
...more
Ryan Mac
I have to agree with several of the other reviewers--this was not a bad book but not up to the classic Clancy standards. The book focuses on The Campus, introduced in an earlier book. Several old characters like John Clark, Ding Chavez, the Foleys and others reappear. It was nice to see them again and nice that Clancy gave Jack Ryan, Jr. some personality. It was sorely lacking in the last book. Better than the average book of this genre lately. Don't be fooled by the size of the book (my copy ha ...more
Josh Glover
Oh, another Islamist terror cell operating in the US with a grand plan to set off a nuke? How surprising!

This is the first Clancy book that is written "with" another author, and it feels to me not much different than the Tom Clancy-branded "Op Center" and "Net Force" series. Those are perfectly OK if you just want a high octane page-turner, but I've come to expect a lot more from Tom Clancy.

Without knowing the details, I suspect that Clancy himself outlined the plot and read the manuscript, but
...more
Russell Brooks
I tried. I really tried to get through this story. But there were too many problems with the way that it was written and put together that I decided that it wasn't worth struggling to like a story that just wasn't moving along. After 509 pages, I'm lost and don't see the point of continuing. I just had to accept that if I'm struggling with the story, then I'm not enjoying it.

To be fair, there were a few good things about it. The detailed military tactical info and a good description of the CIA's
...more
William
Never judge Tom Clancy against the yardstick of literature, but do take his measure by the other books he has written. Reading his stuff should be a guilty pleasure, done for the fun of it. Sadly, reading his latest book “Dead or Alive” was more of a guilty chore.

The book weighs in at a hefty 900+ pages. There is lots of white space around the words. The story's pace never makes it out of second gear. The action jogs along at a sedate pace, not at the red-hot speed of a ripping page-turner. It r
...more
James
This sequel to Teeth of the Tiger resumes the story of Jack Ryan, Jr. and The Campus, an off the books anti-terrorist organization setup by then President Jack Ryan. Going after terrorists by any means necessary, the story starts by integrating two previous Clancy characters last seen in Rainbow Six, John Clark and "Ding" Chavez, into The Campus, with Clark becoming Jack, Jr.'s training officer. The United States is again threatened by the Emir, a shadowy Osama Bin Laden-type terrorist leader wh ...more
Jim
Nobody does intelligence/spy thrillers as well as Tom Clancy. I am not sure why he has a collaborator on this book, but you cannot tell, it reads just like his other Jack Ryan novels. Unlike other spy fiction that focuses solely on the agents in the field, Clancy covers the entire intelligence community, agents, analysts and the political structure of various agencies and how they interact, or fail to interact, with each other.

The scenarios are more realistic, sometimes the intelligence is there
...more
Tim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
My dad informed me there was a new Jack Ryan book and then passed it along to me. I remember a summer, which seems not long ago but was in fact a decade now, where I devoured pretty much every Clancy book that had been written up to that point - up to Rainbow Six, I believe. Even at the time there was something of a guilty pleasure element to it and that's only worse now. Clancy is what he is and isn't what he isn't, and being as the man is from Maryland he always manages to get me with a little ...more
Jay
I'm going to rate this as a guilty pleasure 4 stars

I can't help but compare this to David Weber's "A Mighty Fortress", which I reviewed recently.

* Both books are the latest entry in a series of indeterminate length.
* Both books are ... let's say "plus sized"; Clancy's coming in at over 900 pages.
* Both authors are "Franchises".

Maybe I should explain what I mean by that. Besides writing their own books, both writers have enlisted other writers to write books in their "universe". A great way to ea
...more
Jessica Sallwasser
I don't think I'm a big Tom Clancy fan. The book was just OK. I haven't read the earlier big hits, though, so I can't compare. There were some VERY minor points that really, really irritated me for some reason.

They are:
Jack Ryan's daughter showed up for one scene, apparently just so the other characters could make fun of her for being a vegetarian and trying to care about the environment. Oh, and they really "got her" with: "I bet you don't want to fix the ozone layer, because you like tanning
...more
Chris Hubbs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
steven
My first-ever Tom Clancy novel. I found a terrifying distopia with an unsettling ending, and nary a hero to be found.

Set in a world where an ex-spy was made President of the U.S. for five years, stepped down, and now wants to be reelected. The current administration cuts funding for field agents, but that's OK, because the former President had a plan: set up an ultra-secret spy organization, privately funded and accountable to no one, and trust them with the security of the nation.

On top of *tha
...more
Topher
I have fond memories of clancy books - I seem to remember really enjoying a lot of his books, and given the size of his books, well, let's face it - we get our money's worth.

On the other hand, I just barely remember reading the last few of his books. I remember enjoying Rainbow Six (late 90s), and I think I remember enjoying up through the Bear and the Dragon (early 2000s) - though the idea of a war with Japan and the events that fell out of that seemed ludicrous at the time, and even sillier no
...more
Brian
I had not picked up a Tom Clancy book in almost 10 years. I was a tremendous fan of his books through the late 80's and into the 90's. So let's start with what is good: Tom Clancy, as always, DOES HIS RESEARCH. He is a master at getting into the nitty-gritty technical details that it really makes you believe that he is writing from well inside some super-secret-squirrel compartment dug well inside the catacombs of government. His understanding of the military and tactics is also impressive and c ...more
John
This is a tough book to rate. It was a strange book to read, too. At times, it read like really, really good fanfic. It's been a while since Clancy came out with a Ryan/Clark/Chavez book and maybe that's the reason.

Anyway, I'll keep this spoiler free and just say that the book had a really good ending when the action stopped, but Clancy couldn't stop himself from indulging in a little bit of fantasy/wish fulfillment at the end which was both unnecessary and unfulfilling.

Both Jack Ryans are bac
...more
Levent Mollamustafaoglu
When I see a famous writer co-author their book with a relative unknown, I usually get a negative feeling. Someone like Tom Clancy would do this for one of few reasons: He may have run out of steam and needs a fresh player, or he may be putting his name on a relatively novice writer's book.
I had more or less written Clancy off when I read his Teeth of the Tiger. Telling the story of an attempt to catch a world-known Islamic fundamentalist terrorist, it used Clancy's popular themes and narratives
...more
Steve
Saif Rahman Yasin, better known as the Emir, head of the Umayyad Revolutionary Council is clearly the villain in Clancy and Blackwood’s latest spy thriller. The Emir and his URC are apparently loosely based on Osama bin Laden and the al Qaida.

This is a very long tale. It takes 950 pages to tell. Countless characters come and go. Some are introduced as late as Chapter 85. Many are tortured and/or killed in some unspeakable ways.

A couple of things stand out: Clancy and Blackwood’s enormous attenti
...more
D.w.
I have long been a fan of the Jack Ryan adventures since we first met Sir Jack when he hunted the Red October. Clancy though has lost his way. And ghost writers are probably the reason why. A technique of Dumas after becoming famous was to dictate plots to others to write the stories.

Clancy used to make me believe that our heroes were diligent intelligence officers and operatives plugging away at the evidence they gathered and then deciphering the picture and solving the problem. Now, we need 3
...more
Alex Larragoity
Después de varios años de no leer un libro de Tom Clancy, me decido a leer "Dead or Alive" y no terminé decepcionado.

No es muy común que empiece a leer libros del autor porque se me hacen, por un lado muy entretenidos y buenos, y por otro muy pesados.

Muy entretenidos porque crea un mundo tan real, que pareciera que está describiendo algo que puede pasar en Estados Unidos (o en el mundo) o que ya pasó. Lees que se destruye la ciudad de Los Ángeles y al terminar el libro sientes raro que no se hay
...more
Joseph
Dead or Alive contains an all-star roster from several of Clancy's series and story arcs (Jack Ryan, Rainbow Six, Jack Ryan Jr. and the Caruso Brothers). This alone makes for entertaining reading. The first part of the book, however, is a deluge of minutia and fine grain detail on everything from the wheels of government to the intricacies of special operations. For those familiar with the author and this genre, it is rather repetitive and an explanation of the obvious. After slogging through th ...more
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Can This Be Read as a Stand-Alone? 7 50 Jun 04, 2014 10:41AM  
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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
More about Tom Clancy...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Ryan, Jr. (6 books)
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (Jack Ryan Jr., #1)
  • Locked On (Jack Ryan Jr., #3)
  • Threat Vector (Jack Ryan Jr., #4)
  • Tom Clancy Support and Defend (Jack Ryan Jr., #5)
  • Under Fire (Jack Ryan Jr., #6)
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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“An overnight success is ten years in the making.” 8 likes
“That’s up to you, Jack, but part of doing this kind of work is the willingness to put on blinders. Deal with what’s in front of you. Every terrorist has a mother and father. Maybe kids, maybe people that love him. Hell, six days out of seven he might be a decent citizen, but on that one day he decides to pick up a gun or plant a bomb, he’s a threat. And if you’re the guy standing between him and innocent lives, the threat is all you can afford to worry about. You get what I’m saying?” 1 likes
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