Patrick Peterson's Reviews > Red Storm Rising

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
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it was amazing
bookshelves: military, novel, sense-of-life

I read this book within a year or two of it comming out in 1986 and enjoyed it very much then. I went on to read all the Clancy books till he started writing (with a collaborator) the Ops Center series, which I never did read. I liked all I read, but this was my favorite.

For some reason, my son and wife picked this out to read together over these last holidays. I settled right in to listening with avid attention. One night I did the reading out loud to them. The next night Mary was busy and Arthur wanted me to read... so I obliged. But after he went to bed, I could not stop reading to myself. It took me another couple weeks to finish it off... but gosh was it worth it to me. Mary's been asking to read it to Arthur, but he's gotten into more books that are his style since. Mary's now working on Clancy's latest: Dead or Alive - now on the best-seller list.

I'm looking forward to reading that book this summer, but for now, here are some details of why I liked Red Storm Rising so much:
Background: this book is about what would happen (in detail) if the Soviets attacked the west (set in 1980s), because they thought an internal(!) crisis could not be handled any better way.

If you like grand (militory/political) strategy - this book has it.
If you like battle tactics - it's here in spades.
If you like taut, sweat inducing, can't-stop-reading drama - this book is amazing.
If you like good portrayals of how the soviet system actually worked - it's here.
If you admire the importance of geography in military/political affairs, artfully weaved into the plot - don't miss it.
If you like various languages, customs, and stereotypes used appropriately - this is it.
If you don't mind a maddening oversupply of military jargon and acronyms - well that is here in abundance.
If you like competence admired and sloth usually getting it's just deserts - Clancy's the man.
If you're a techno-geek (of 25 year old cutting-edge military & misc. stuff) - this book is divine.
If you're a parent - the values and sympathies and humanity are here.
If you like "What if" scenarios played out based on important questions. This book beats out (by a very wide margin) "World War III" by some generals that I read shortly after reading this book the first time.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get more than the picture I tried to present.

Full disclosure - here's what I did not like:
- German & Icelandic towns discussed that are not in my German Road Atlas of Germany or World Atlas (for Iceland).
- Too many acronyms without explanation.
- The hardcover binding is falling apart. I doubt the book has been read more than 5 or 6 times by various relatives and friends over the 24 years or so. Usually paperbacks can even handle that kind of use.
Not much else.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 20, 2011 – Shelved
January 20, 2011 – Shelved as: military
January 20, 2011 – Shelved as: novel
January 20, 2011 – Shelved as: sense-of-life
January 20, 2011 – Finished Reading

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