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The Hunt for Red October

(Jack Ryan #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  314,169 ratings  ·  2,737 reviews
Here is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career. A military thriller so gripping in its action and so convincing in its accuracy that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Its theme: the greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: the chase for a top secret Russian missile sub. Lauded by the Washington Post as "bre ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Berkley Trade (first published October 28th 1984)
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Janagan Actually there are technically three that come before it by sequence - Without Remorse (Ryan is not a character in that one, but his dad is), Patriot…moreActually there are technically three that come before it by sequence - Without Remorse (Ryan is not a character in that one, but his dad is), Patriot Games, and Red Rabbit(less)
Haley I just finished The Hunt for Red October and I am about as far away from a military aficionado as you can get. There was definitely a lot of…moreI just finished The Hunt for Red October and I am about as far away from a military aficionado as you can get. There was definitely a lot of information that was a little over my head, and I found myself backing up to re-read sections to make sure I understood exactly what was going on and who was who. But the parts I didn't fully understand didn't take away from the overall story. It was fairly easy to differentiate between what was just additional technical information about the countries' military setups or battleship/submarine specs, and what you actually needed to pay attention to in order to stay up with the plot. I'm sure a few re-reads of the book will yield a deeper understanding of exactly what was going on with some of the secondary characters and plots points, but I still very much enjoyed this book and was able to appreciate some of the twists revealed toward the end.(less)

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4.06  · 
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 ·  314,169 ratings  ·  2,737 reviews

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Henry Avila
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the tail end of the Cold War, Captain Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy decides to defect , incredibly planning to bring the most advanced submarine in the world with him.The Red October has a new drive system that is virtually noiseless.The nuclear vessel would be almost undetectable, a great advantage against the U.S. and its Allies, but the charismatic Ramius is a bitter man.The widower, and half Lithuanian blames the Soviet Union for the botched operation that killed his beloved wife.He has ...more
Peter Meredith
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading Fifty Shades of Girl Smut, I think I need a manly book. The Hunt for Red October seems virile enough. Strong sweaty sea...with not a woman in sight. Wait a sec! What am I getting in to? They better not start singing, "In the Navy" or "Y.M.C.A." And if there's even a single fashion tip, I'm tossing this book!
Wow, what a wonderful book. This is number two on my Clancy book list, right behind Red Storm Rising.
Wow! I didn't expect to like this book, at all. So out of my comfort zone, I can't tell you! But since I'm trying to read books off The Great American Read list I decided to give this book a try. So happy I did! So thrilling and suspenseful, it really kept me on the edge of my seat! I've got to hand it to The Great American Read! They have books on their list for people to read that they normally wouldn't pick up. So thanks for that because I would have missed out on a really good thrilling and ...more
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was on the USS Eisenhower. It was so popular with the Squids that I think it replaced the BMR. The thing that really impressed everyone on the ship was how accurate Clancy was with both his research and his story-telling. There was never a "that's not how it happens" moment, so common in media of this type. Engaging story, meticulous research combine for a fantastic read. I recommend this one to everyone.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For someone that has enjoyed the first four movie adaptations of the Jack Ryan books, it’s slightly surprising that it’s taken this long to finally read one!
Though it might have been the case that bookstores only seem to be stocking them now because of the Amazon TV series...

I’ve now got a couple of these on my pile, I opted to go for the first published rather than the chronological order.

This book was everything I’d hoped it to be, gripping and tense whilst Clancy’s detailed descriptions reall
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Clancy is not my favourite writer but for mysterious reasons I have always been into reading books on submarine theme so did not miss out on The Hunt for Red October and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Jane Stewart
Writer’s style is not engaging or entertaining for me. He’s probably good for military technical buffs.

This guy is a popular best selling author. But not for me. I assume his fans are those who love to think and talk about military technical stuff - with a story to go along with it. The author is regularly welcomed aboard jets, submarines, and destroyers. Admirals and generals give him access, Pentagon officials debrief him, and many of his books are required reading at military colleges. So I a
Joseph Spuckler
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A Cold War book that aged very well. Still, a bit of great American prosperity and "our enlisted men are more skilled than their officers" theme running through the book. A Soviet sub captain makes plans to defect to the US along with his hand-picked officers. He is in the newest and most advanced Soviet submarine that can run almost silent. It is discovered by Petty Officer Jones (our enlisted guy). It's not a thrilling page-turner but a more political chess game between the superpowers and the ...more
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Everyone always goes on about how meticulous Tom Clancy's background research is, but there was a moment in this book which made me wonder. They're going to run a big program on a military computer, and (being gamblin' military men) they decide to bet on how long it will take to complete. One of them asks how long the program is - number of lines, or punched cards, or whatever. The other one tells him, and then the first guy makes his estimate.

I'm sorry, this no doubt shows what a mean-spirited
P. Lundburg
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this is Clancy's best book, even beyond the Jack Ryan stories. The depth of character coupled with the suspense of an underwater attack submarine chase makes this book so memorable that I read it a second time just to enjoy it again. The plotting is fantastic, but I have to say that it's the way Clancy crawls into the mind of a troubled Soviet sub captain that makes this story so rich for me. We get such a complete picture of the history and psyche of Capt. Ramius that we not only ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of political thrillers
Yes, I may be fashionably late to this party, considering the threat of war between Soviet Russia -- which doesn't exist anymore -- and Imperialist America is a major theme of this novel.

But I figured this should be my first experience with Tom Clancy, and I do not regret my decision at all. This is a near-perfect political thriller, juggling a dozen major characters on two continents as well as a myriad number of ships -- both on and under the Atlantic Ocean. While it was a bit tricky keeping
Michael Finocchiaro
I read this book when I was a kid before or immediately after the film. It was an exciting read and I became addicted to Clancy for a brief period before I realised how propagandistic his writing became for the military-industrial complex. Like the epic thriller with Sean Connery, this book is breathtakingly fast-paced and full of fun characters and the iconic Jack Ryan as a CIA agent. My father actually hunted Russian subs back in the 70s so he could attest to the realism of the scenario to a d ...more
Thomas Strömquist
The very first in a ridiculously successful series of thrillers and not surprising, since it is an incredibly effective suspense story. Or at least I think it is. I haven't read the early Clancy books in many years and frankly, I'm very afraid to. I remember the bloated cheap hardback editions (that still weigh down my bookshelves at home) as almost un-put-downable rollercoaster adventures.

What I'm unsure of is if my taste in reading have shifted fundamentally or if Clancy's books took a horrib
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
4.0 stars. My first Tom Clancy novel and the one that made me an instant fan of his work. Jack Ryan is a terrific character and the plot was very well done. Highly recommended for fans of political thrillers.
Rebecca McNutt
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Action-packed and exciting, this book was rather difficult to follow at times but otherwise was really gripping and intriguing, with vivid descriptions and interesting characters.
Kevin Scott Olson

Thirty years on, this classic still works. The technology has become dated, but the themes are timeless.

A great read.
L.M. Mountford
Could not finish.

This was my second try at reading a Tom Clancy and this was even more disappointing than the first. I suppose if I was an American and this was the height of the cold war, I might think differently but it's not the 80s and I am English, so too bad. This read like a propaganda novel, describing the Soviets as backwards and unreliable, belittling the 'Brits', and always emphasising American superiority. I won't deny it started off well, but then it got dull and i spent a lot of ti
Executive Summary: A pretty fun spy thriller that occasionally gets bogged down by too much military jargon.

Audio book: This is my first time listening to a book read by J. Charles. He's a pretty good reader. I initially felt like he read too fast, but I either got used to it, or he slowed down. He does many accents, although with multiple Russian characters, I'm not sure if he made them all sound the same, or I simply couldn't tell them apart.

The book also uses sound effects to simulate phone c
Aug 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite Tom Clancy novel, and certainly my favorite on submarine warfare, this book introduces Jack Ryan as a young and bright CIA analyst faced with a politically explosive situation. Realistic politics, thrilling submarine chases and battles, and believable characters make this come together well.
☼♄Jülie 
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This was a fantastic story, one of my all time favourites. All in the Jack Ryan series are great.
This one was made into a movie which was also very good.
Paul Didham
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October is a thrill ride you won't want to miss from start to finish the plot keeps you guessing. Why is he doing this? What is his motive? Tom Clancy's unique writing style ties everything together. From engaging characters to an intriguing plot for me it was a must read.

The year is 1984, A russian nuclear submarine is steaming to the united states the Americans what her the russians want her back. Could this mean war or is it trying to defect? The Re
Eric Jonrosh
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
What's more Russian than a Scotsman?

I first discovered “The Hunt for Red October” when the late, great Tom Clancy, informed me that the source material would be converted to film in the summer of ’89. When he explained that none other than Sir Sean Connery would play a crucial part, I immediately grew red in the face and hurled my glass of scotch into the fire quite dramatically. Regretting that impulsive act, I poured myself another glass, much larger than the first. When Tom inquired why I rea
Dec 12, 2008 added it
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy explains just how dangerous it must be to work on a submarine. The better half of this story takes place in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere between North America and Europe, in the 1980s. CIA agent, Jack Ryan finds out just how hard it is to find a submarine that appears to fool even the best sonar men.

Jack Ryan is one of the main characters that I liked in this story. He is a persistent human being in that he is unwilling to give up without capturin
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Damn, Marko Ramius is an awesome character.
Just sayin'.

Real review:
Well, I've finally read a Clancy book. Yay me?
It reminded me a bit of the Honor Harrington series, which I guess makes sense. They're both military, after all; one has spaceships and the other has submarines and other than that the genre conventions seemed about the same. AND THEY BOTH HAVE ONE REALLY ANNOYING HABIT: The 'action action action loooooongwiiiiiinded descriiiiiiption of teeeeechnoooology' format. If I'd been paying a
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ
This is a very good story that is incredibly researched. However, in this instance, I'd have to say the movie is better. The reason is that the movie is simplified. This is a very complex book involving military strategy. Even being a ten year veteran of our armed forces, and familiar with military language and acroynms, I found this book slow to read. The author did extensive research into soviet and allied submarines in particular, but also all naval vessels and even aircraft. He receits speci ...more
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
The beginning of the book is so bogged down with details that it's quite painful to read; however all of that is made up by a blockbuster of an ending.
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read all but a couple of Clancy's Ryan/Clark books and find them good in the extreme. I do prefer Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, but they're somewhat different (well their characters are closer to Clark than Ryan). In this one Ryan still hasn't actually started his political career... But he does get drawn into the danger, again.

Jack (an annalist for the CIA)manages to get tagged to fly photos to the UK...from there he ends trying to convince the powers in charge that a Russian sub captain is tryi
Otis Chandler
Dec 27, 2006 rated it really liked it
I went through a big Tom Clancy phase when I was younger. I think I read them all. This was one of the best though (the move was even good). I feel like I got a really good grasp of cold war politics by reading all these books... lol.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Hunt for Red October is a stellar spy/submarine thriller that highlights the peril of US vs USSR cold war

To say The Hunt for Red October is a near masterpiece in naval spy thriller is an understatement. Likely, Tom Clancy's most famous body of work, The Hunt for Red October offers unparallel action in the face of US/Soviet tension and the real possibility of nuclear hollocaust.


At its core we have an fascinating and fast pace thriller! Its startling premise is that the Red October’s skipper
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
“Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading West. The Americans want her. The Soviet want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on….”

Ah, one of my favorite authors of all time. The incredible Mr. Clancy. I loveee political-military-espionage-techno-thrillers! And Clancy is definitely the man for it. I’ve fallen in love with his works since years ago, been collecting them, until now he sells more books to me co
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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

Jack Ryan (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Patriot Games (Jack Ryan, #1)
  • Red Rabbit (Jack Ryan, #2)
  • 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)
“It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.” 42 likes
“It was one thing to use computers as a tool, quite another to let them do your thinking for you.” 36 likes
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