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Patriot Games

(Jack Ryan #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  195,700 ratings  ·  1,500 reviews
Tom Clancy's Patriot Games is filled with the exceptional realism and authenticity that distinguished the author's two previous bestsellers, Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising. Patriot Games puts us on the cutting edge of another type of war — the international battle of terrorism.
It is fall. Years before the defection of a Soviet submarine will send him hurtlin
Mass Market Paperback, 503 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Berkley (first published August 4th 1987)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  195,700 ratings  ·  1,500 reviews

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Dec 22, 2008 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
Louis Scuderi
Jun 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Somehow, people like this book. Other people complain about the slow plot, or the level of detail, or the lack of action. I was perfectly fine with all of this, and in fact, I quite liked the idea that injuries were taken seriously and meant that people were out of action for a long time. The thing that makes this book truly bad is the lack of development of any of the characters, particularly Jack Ryan. He is possibly the worst Mary-Sue character I've read in such a widely published book.

He is
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This early Jack Ryan prequel certainly evokes the 1980’s setting from whence it was written, though in a great way!

Whilst on holiday in London, Jack inadvertently prevents an assassination attempt on members of the royal family by a faction group of the IRA.
The fact that it was the Prince and Princess of Wales alongside their son (who I decided was William) instantly rooted the story to the early part of the decade.

Jacks heroics soon makes him a target for the group and they’re desperate for him
Dec 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Dude books. I call them "palette cleansers" because sometimes I just get tired of reading about FEELINGS and EMOTIONS and THOUGHTS.

This book didn't have any of those other things.

It had intrigue, machismo, swearing, guns, and violence. Pretty much pg-13 level, nothing too too much.

But it also had bravery, mystery, and for reals: the main guy likes his wife and kid. And he doesn't cheat on her. Two thumbs up.

So, in all, a bit more insight than the movie version, but pretty much the gist of it.
L.M. Mountford
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I heard that Tom Clancy hated the movie this book inspired. Having read it, i can understand why. Nobody likes it when someone takes your idea and makes it enjoyable.

This is another one of Tom Clancy's political statements disguised as a novel, with the IRA representing communism. The Pacing is dull, the story unbelievable and at times hilarious.

I suppose though my biggest problem is with Clancy's notion that Ryan is somehow able or even capable of doing half of what he undergos, just because
Mike (the Paladin)
Jack and his family are in England, can things be expected to go smoothly? Well, not if we want a novel.

I read this years ago. Have you seen the movie? Try the book. For one thing while it is a fantastic read and the proverbial thrill ride, it is undoubtedly dated. The "victims" Jack saves are Prince Charles and Princess Diana, still happily married.

Still, failed fantasies aside, the story is exciting, well written, and a good base for the novels that follow.
Asghar Abbas
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Irish bashing aside, a solid thriller. Can't deny I had a good time with the sun, not in the sun. Too much fun. Not that you need to know any of that. Details are all mine.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-re-read, spy-stuff
3.5 to 4.0 stars. Third Jack Ryan book published but first in terms of internal chronology as the events take place before those in The Hunt for Red October. While I enjoyed some of the later Ryan novels more (especially those in which John Clark and his crew played a major part), this is still a quality thriller and certainly worth a read. A pretty good Clancy novel is still much better than a lot of the junk that is out there. ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cia-spies, audio
If there’s anything better than classic Clancy I have yet to find it. Damn but this was good, a perfect balance of action, intrigue, and investigation. Listed as the first Jack Ryan adventure, the old girl holds up well.
Executive Summary: After enjoying The Hunt for Red October, I had high hopes for this book, and found myself a bit disappointed.

Audio book: I've listened to one or two books read by Scott Brick. He's a decent reader, but nothing special. He does a passable English and Irish accent here, but not in anyway to make the characters of similar accents distinguishable from one another. He does a better job of that with his American voices, but still not great.

I'd happily listen to another book read by
Tammy Isaacs
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Although an old novel, but this is a classic novel about Jack Ryan, a former US marines who was on a work/vacation to the UK. A day after his arrival, he finds himself in a gun battle with 3 terrorists attacking the prince of Wales, his wife and few months old baby.

They survived the attack, thanks to Jack who sustains an injury but got the Knighthood for his bravery.

After that comes trouble from... Hey! go read it yourself to find out what happened in the end.

I really like the plot. It's a clas
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3/30/2020 Notes: Rating Raised from 3 Stars to 5 Stars

I read this book a long time ago and remembered that I enjoyed reading it. Re-reading by audio was great! Scott Brick is one of the best narrators and the story held more details/romance than I remembered. A nice mix of action & relay of connected consequences.
Thomas Strömquist
A 'prequel' to The Hunt for Red October that came a few years before, this takes us back and makes the common mistake of presenting a younger version of a protagonist that really does not seem consistent with the one we met in a later story. As if that wasn't enough, the real-life prince of Wales figures and that whole storyline sinks the entire story. To top it off, Clancy seems to have struggled with his obviously pre-defined volume this time around; very long parts of this book could easily h ...more
Todd Hickman
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have a theory that this is actually the first novel that Tom Clancy wrote, simply because it seems to me to be a wish-fulfillment fantasy. "Wouldn't it be great if I saved the royal family of England and was knighted by the queen." Great daydream and he turned it into a novel.
Anyway, I liked it anyway. Good page-turner. It is probably a 4.5 stars read, but I rounded up.
Barnabas Piper
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It really deserves more like 4.5 stars. I’d forgotten how good Clancy was at pacing and building a plot. His books are pure pretty caesura land can bog down in the details here and there, but in general they’re excellent and pull the reader along in a compelling way. Really enjoyable.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Clancy's second Jack Ryan book is a prequel, which is perhaps why some suggest new readers should read them in the order the events took place rather than in the order they were written. Some of the suspense is muted because you know how the big picture will work out. This story is about Ryan's actions in England when, as an innocent bystander, tries to stop a terrorist (IRA-like group) action and what happens as a result in England and then back home in Annapolis. It also tells of how he gets r ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I still can't understand how, after 787 pages, Tom Clancy was unable to develop even the slightest hint of personality in any of the 30+ characters in this novel. Jack Ryan is one of the most boring, one-dimensional characters I've ever encountered. I'm sure Clancy did plenty of research on the military, procedures, guns, planes, ships, ranks, etc. This would explain the pages and pages and pages of pointless blathering about types of automatic weapons, ammunition, tomcat planes, boats, Concorde ...more
Henry Eyrich
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a rollercoaster of a book. There was amazing parts that made you just want to keep reading page after page and then there would be boring parts for a while that would make you not want to read. but by the end of the book there it was all going great. fast plot, great action, and made you wonder if everybody was going to get out alive. I think this was a great entry point into the jack ryan series and I am excited to keep the next one. although i do not think this book is as good as the ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread of a book I read when it first came out, and several times since then. It starts with a bang as Jack, on a working vacation in London with his family, witnesses a kidnapping attempt on the royal family. His instinctive reaction stopped the attack and put him in the bullseye of revenge.

One of the things I enjoy most every time I read this book is the deft mixture of action, darkness, and humor. The opening attack sucks me into the story immediately, on the edge of my seat as Jac
Louis Dohanich
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games
4.5 stars

Tom Clancy is known around the world for his fast paced action books. (Several of his books have been made into movies, and one has even been made into a video game series!) This is one of his earlier books, and I anticipated a book just like those who have made him famous with his writing style, such as Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, and others. I wasn’t disappointed. This book, Patriot Games, is a great book, as most of his others were.
The Theme of
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: set-aside, 2015, fiction
When I read an old bestseller like this, I always ask myself if I would have recognized its potential. In this case: no way, rejectorama. I couldn't bring myself to read more than a third of it--which, by the way, amounted to 250 pages.

What happened in those pages? There's a great opener where Jack Ryan is almost hit by a bus and barely exhales before he is swept into a kidnapping attempt on the British royal family. That contrast between the near disaster, his relief and reorientation, and then
David Lucero
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The movie follows the book closely, but with far more detail, which is expected in books. I read this after watching The Hunt for Red October and reading that book, too.

Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and unexpectedly thwarts a kidnapping attempt of the British Royal family while on seminar in England. He becomes a hero to the British people and an enemy of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), who put out a death warrant on him.

Ryan returns to Ameri
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, suspense
Jack is on vacation with his family in the UK, when he witnesses an assassination attempt. He takes out the first man, takes his gun and allows the people to speed off but is hit in the process. This is the story of the fight to survive the retaliation against his family and himself.

I really like the detail in this story and how and why Jack starts to work for the CIA.
Jack Webb
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reluctant spook

The genesis of the Jack Ryan character, and his entry into the CIA. And on top of what that entailed, and a look at what it takes (and takes out) to become an analyst, there's also one heck of an adventure story.
Vanessa Menezes
Mixed feelings about this! While it did have a certain amount of action and suspense, which were exciting. There were quite a few parts in the book which were slightly boring.

What is interesting is the inclusion of the viewpoints of both Jack Ryan and his team as well as that of the opposition. We are able to read and be a part of the action from both the sides.

The main highlight of the book is definitely the last chapter, where all the tense action takes place and you are unable to keep the bo
Asheley T.
After losing my Dad recently, I watched the entire Jack Ryan series on Amazon all the way through over about 36 hours. Sleepless nights and such. But it was so good that I ended up watching it again with my husband. Then I went out and grabbed this book. (FYI, the show is not based on any particular book according to the show creators, so I don't feel like I spoiled anything by watching first.)

I love Jack Ryan. I love how he loves his wife and daughter. He has this feral-like need to protect the
May 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was my first Tom Clancy novel. I saw the Harrison Ford movie and the Amazon TV series, season 1. I spend a lot of time reading in this genre so I'm not sure why this book was only "just okay" for me because I liked the movie and the TV series. Plus, this has a great rating here on GR. So I think I was expecting this to grab my attention, but it didn't. So 2 stars. ...more

This was quite a dull read in all honesty. I’m pretty sure I’m going to leave Tom Clancy alone for now or at least until I’ve read all of Vince Flynn’s books. I know Mitch Rapp came afterwards but I prefer him by a country mile!

The plot overview seemed interesting enough but I knew after 50 pages when the first terrorist attempt had taken place that there was still 550+ pages to go and not much was going to happen in the run up to the climax. I think Tom Clancy likes to waffle; perhaps he’
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: 2009, my-firsttime
This book started and ended with a bang but lost me in the middle. After the quick start with lots of action, the next 150 to 200 pages felt like filler pages. A lot of them could have been taken out or condensed down and the book would have been better. The last part of the book really picked up though and made for a good ending.

If you are looking for a deep intellectualy book then Patriot Games probably isn't for you. The book focuses on terrorism and is a complete work of fiction. Ryan Jack i
Brett C
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Good solid story in my opinion. Some elements of the story are dated but nonetheless it was entertaining. Recommended if you like The Hunt for Red October.
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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 13 books)
  • Red Rabbit (Jack Ryan, #2)
  • The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan, #4)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5; Jack Ryan Universe, #6)
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