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The Bear and the Dragon

(John Clark #3)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  26,544 ratings  ·  531 reviews
Time and again, Tom Clancy's novels have been praised not only for their big-scale drama and propulsive narrative drive but for their cutting-edge prescience in predicting future events.

In The Bear and the Dragon, the future is very near at hand indeed.

Newly elected in his own right, Jack Ryan has found that being President has gotten no easier: domestic pitfalls aw

Paperback, 1137 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Berkley Books (first published August 21st 2000)
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Janagan Well, I am the quite the liberal when it comes to politics, yet I was not offended by his portrayals of Democrats. I mean sure, we are not rapists, bu…moreWell, I am the quite the liberal when it comes to politics, yet I was not offended by his portrayals of Democrats. I mean sure, we are not rapists, but someone needed to be the bad guy, and in this case it just happened to be a Democrat. Gerry Hendley, who starts the Campus in the next novel as a major good guy, is a former Democratic senator. As for the portrayals of the Chinese, I feel it is borderline racist, but he only portrayed the government officials as such; he made heroes out of the ordinary civilians.(less)
Jonathan Nearly all the characters are recycled from previous books. He tries to cram 25 different featured characters together with virtually no character dev…moreNearly all the characters are recycled from previous books. He tries to cram 25 different featured characters together with virtually no character development. If you read it first you'll get the impression that Clancy is just a shallow writer who leans on lazy stereotypes and political tropes.

I'd definitely recommend "Hunt for Red October" as a first read, or "Red Storm Rising" if you prefer the large-scale war story. If you read Clancy's good books first then at least you'll have a more nuanced view of him as a writer before you get to the poorly written stuff.(less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Oct 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
“The Bear and the Dragon” is 1137 pages long. It could have been less than 600 if Clancy had left out the political propaganda.

The book’s focus is anti-China rhetoric. President Jack Ryan’s trusted SecTreas calls them “little slant-eyed fucks” and “Chink bastards”. SecState uses “our little yellow brothers” followed by “conscienceless motherfuckers” (“motherfuckers”, “cocksuckers”, and “barbarians” are primary descriptors of the Chinese). A Treasury hero calls them “little chinks”, “backwards c
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ok, so I've read probably half a dozen Clancy novels over the course of time, most recently this and Executive Orders.

What's interesting is that today, in 2013, how wrong Clancy has been about practically everything, from both foreign and domestic policy. Clancy has made a career of using an encyclopedic knowledge of weapons systems to create spy and military dramas, with no small amount of flag-waving.

But eventually, it grows tiresome. In the case of The Bear and the Dragon, it becomes flat out
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, thriller
I have read many of Tom Clancy's books, and liked them a lot. This one, however, is so disappointing. First, it is much too long. There are a number of sub-plots, and it is hard to see how they really affect the conclusion to the story. So much of the book seems to be filler; the 1137 pages could be cut down to 300 pages without disturbing the story. In addition, much of the dialog is trite, even banal. Finally, in a good novel, at least one of the main characters needs to undergo a significant ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst book I have ever read. what a waste of time. I lost alot of respect for Tom Clancy after this book.
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, books-i-own
This is something of a mash of previous Clancy plots with 600 extra pages thrown in for good measure. China, who is facing a major economic problem ( Red Storm Rising ), decides to start a war with Russia. The Chinese are lead by a cadre of arrogant, out of touch oligarchs ( Debt of Honor ) who are unable to see that they are in over their heads. This culminates in the US coming to Russia's aid, where they wreck all comers (Just about every Clancy book ever), and the Chinese attempting to nu ...more
SUCCESS!!! I've read the second biggest, longest book by Tom Clancy, probably his longest, next to Executive Orders! Reading this book was quite a challenge, for 2 reasons, #1 the length of the book, #2, I had read many horrible reviews on this book so I was really hesitant to read it, but I gave it a shot and I'm glad I did, was it Clancy's best work, no, but not his worst either.

Jack Ryan is still getting used to being President of the United States, the last job he ever expected himself to ha
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w

one of the few books i bought and read hot off the press;

okay, let's be honest;
more accurately just the one;
plus it might have been cold as it was a few months later

of course i plan on rereading this sometime;
hopefully soon

first book i've read that's at least a thousand pages long, wooo!
Mary Slowik
Jun 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bill O'Reilly fans, masochists
"You still reading that fascist crap?" --Mr. Brady, my 8th-grade History teacher

This book has been brought to you by Drunk Uncle. Hooooly shit, this was bad. I had pretty low expectations going in but, wow, this is easily one of the worst books I've ever read. It's definitely the longest terrible book I've actually finished since Atlas Shrugged. Broadly racist, broadly sexist, and yes, generally fascist in terms of its politics. Nevermind the wooden, monochromatic prose and the contrived, predic
Aug 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
I wanted to die while reading this book. It is awful. Clancy picks about seven key phrases - "six five and pick 'em", "the Navy makes great coffee", for example - and repeats them every two pages and then calls it writing. Oh, and he repeatedly calls Chinese people "Klingons". I'm not joking.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Neoconservatives
What a disappointing end to the President Ryan trilogy. I liked Debt of Honor and was on the edge of my seat biting my nails throughout Executive Orders. What went wrong?

I think Tom Clancy forgot how to write. He broke the cardinal rule of storytelling: show, don’t tell. In his previous books, battle scenes included vivid imagery and verbs. Now, it’s just dialogue with some military lingo thrown in. His paragraphs read more like Department of Defense briefings than a novel. And the suspense is g
Ross Sidor
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a frustrating book that highlights both the positives and negatives of Tom Clancy's original books. The books is basically Red Storm Rising, but with more focus on the build-up, including extensive diplomatic and economic issues, and less time on the actual conflict.

The negatives: too long, too many repetitive scenes, too many drawn-out subplots, too much of the author's personal politics, too much detail on trade negotiations and global economics, too much of Jack Ryan sitting around t
J.D. Swinn
Jan 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
THis is the book that made me quit Clancy's Ryan series.

**Spoiler alert***

Well, I kind of wish I could spoil this, but it was all so cliche and predictable.

It seems Clancy has found his Novel script, and the only thing that differs is the name of the good and bad guys.

In this one, Russia is the good guy that is being attacked by the bad guy China. RUssian characters are oh-so-noble and the Chinese evil or bland (they're gonna die anyway, so why bother making them human)

It's all just too obviou
Brett C
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
This book was OK. It was too long-winded in my opinion and could have been cut down a lot. I think this is my last Tom Clancy adventure. I've read all the older novels and enjoyed them tremendously. After Rainbow Six (even Executive Orders) I'm noticing a trend in his writing and a downward spiral. It's just changing and I find myself losing interest and dredging through to the end. Like I've said in my other reviews: Patriot Games, Hunt for Red October, and Clear and Present Danger are awesome ...more
Bradley Woods
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fictional conflict between Russia and the People's Republic of China. President Ryan, upon finding intel that the Chinese were planning a hasty invasion of far eastern Siberia, asks NATO to allow Russian entry, so Russia, fragmented after the collapse of the USSR would be under NATO protection. NATO agree's and Russia is allowed entry. The PLA skeptical about the NATO-Russian alliance goes ahead with preset invasion plans. The NATO response is a destroyed PLA Navy by US carrier fighters, the des ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
This will be the last Clancy book I read. His writing has gotten sloppy, and his personal politics have taken over his story lines. I'd like to think he was a better writer than this back in his "Hunt for Red October" and "Cardinal of the Kremlin" days - and that my love for his writing wasn't purely a lack of maturity on my part.

Bear & Dragon has all of the granular over-detailed descriptions of every little working part of every military piece of hardware one would expect, with a completely ob
Aug 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ok, I have liked many of Clancy's books, but this one is one of the biggest, most offensive pieces of sh*t out there. Any likeability of the Jack Ryan character is immediately out the window just a few pages in to this book, as he starts spouting his fascist, racist, sexist views. If the man hates being President so much, why does he quit? The Secret Service has better be on the lookout for him, as I wouldn't be surprised if his wife smothered him in his sleep. This book would probably be a real ...more
Thomas Strömquist
At some point I'm going to revisit the early Clancy's in the hope that they are as suspenseful as I remember them. This, however, I've read for the first and last time. I'm not sure where it all went wrong or why, but this is not good and at a thousand+ pages it's not to be taken lightly either.
Clay Davis
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another good by Clancy.
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Clancy's newest Ryan opus is somewhat of a disappointment in comparison to his past stories. For the record, I am a rabid Clancy fan and always grab his newest book on the first day. I have enjoyed every novel he has written, and still consider him to be my favorite author.

This time around however, I'm not satisfied with the novel as a whole. Maybe the quality of his past works has set the bar too high for me to enjoy any subsequent attempts. In any case, here's my take on this book:

1)Roll Call:
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
What a letdown. A fairly ridiculous story that alternates racism, bad prognostication and great men's bathroom habits; this is where Tom Clancy leaves off in the Jack Ryan saga. What do we learn from this book? That Tom Clancy guessed wrong about who the world's next threat would be (betting on China), that this probably stems from a racist attitude towards Asians (which started with his evil Japanese, continuing with his evil Chinese for the third time), and that great men take no action until ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clancy
finished this one this morning, 'bout 4:30 in the a.m. great story, 5-stars, quite the tale.

long. the p.b. version is 1137 pages? don't know for certain, read the kindle version, library copy. 19,973 ratings, 387 reviews, 3.79 average? had to scroll to see a review higher than...what? 3? most of those listed first are one and two-star reviews, liked by enough that that is where it stands. heh! focking politics. that seems to be one major complaint. sheesh, the story is political. as are the revi
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pop-fiction
This is easily the worst Clancy book I've read. The only way this gets two stars is that—like all Clancy books—it's a thrilling ride. I could handle the political propaganda, because books aren't written in an ideological vacuum. And Clancy isn't writing in a real world, either. It's a world where the president gets to unilaterally go to war whenever he wants and one where countries are clearly divided into good and evil. It's an uncomplicated world that's fun for novels and completely irrelevan ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Abandoned this 200 pages in.

I use to read Clancy in high-school and I was curious to know what I thought of his writing many years later. Instead of re-reading one of my old favourites, I thought I’d try the Bear and the Dragon, which I’d had for about 15 years but had never had the chance to read.

With this in mind I was happy to endure what I expected to be some pro-USA/NATO anti-everyone else, but I wasn’t expecting such blatant racism and sexism. Here is a sample regarding the Chinese, (p178)
Nikki Golden
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Here's another complaint about Tom Clancy books--yeah, still not sure why I end up reading them--it takes him 400 pages to get to a plot. For 400 pages, he's meandering among too many potential plot lines, and really, it's a lot of work to keep track of them all. But hey, he still sells books, and I still keep reading them, so that's my fault.

This one--which is hopefully the last of this ridiculously long series--was WAY too heavy on the anti-abortion stance. I think that we could have done away
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of a mess. I love the Jack Ryan character, and Tom Clancy knows how to build slow momentum towards a big climax. However, much of this book was just boring, patently racist, and disturbing in its inability to pull the whole story together with a human dimension in the end. The end is pretty good as an outline of plot. but it lacks all the great dynamics that can come together when tension has been resolved or when a big bad thing has happened. It's only because of the last fo ...more
Feb 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Definately not my favorite Tom Clancy novel. It took a while for the plot to unravel, and even then it was a little bit of a stretch. Took too long to get the real battle, and once there it was over too quickly and too hokey. Clancy is usually rock-solid on this stuff, but missed the mark on this one. Not horrible by any means - still finished it, at least - but definately a couple notches below what i would expect from Tom.
Oct 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
I didn't get very far in this book. I read just a couple chapters- enough to see that swearing was going to be commonplace.
I stopped reading because of that. If I want to hear the F-word, I can just come to school and not tell the kids to knock it off... Too bad- the story was very promising. I was excited for the exciting read.
Ok, that is it. I am done with Clancy and Jack Ryan.
And I’m relieved that I’ve now lost interest in Jack Ryan because it means I won’t feel the slightest compunction to pick up another Clancy novel. I’ve read and enjoyed some and mostly enjoyed the films, but lately I’ve struggled with the Politics of Clancy projected by his Character Jack Ryan. Despite the difficulty I had with major elements of Executive Orders, I found the story interesting enough to want to continue on the Journey with Jack
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tom Clancy’s The Bear and The Dragon was an amazing read. This book is for anyone who wants to read and has the time to take in a thousand page book. It doesn’t fell like a thousand pages once you start the book flies by with relative ease. The book starts off with a Russian head of state being caught up in an attempted murder and narrowly escaping with his life. The first few pages set the tone for the whole book. This book starts off explosive and continues to keep a fast pace and action throu ...more
Jan 26, 2008 rated it liked it I like Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" books. Guilty pleasure I suppose. By this point the Jack Ryan Universe is so far removed from the real world that it may as well be science fiction. Still, the books ARE page-turners, and they make great "vacation/at the beach" books. When you devour books the way I do (usually a couple hundred pages at a sitting), a 600-900 page book that holds your interest is a fun read! Still, this series is getting a little TOO formulaic and this one (more than the re ...more
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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

Other books in the series

John Clark (3 books)
  • Without Remorse (John Clark, #1; Jack Ryan Universe Publication Order #6)
  • Rainbow Six (John Clark, #2; Jack Ryan Universe, #10)

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