Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy
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Feb 28, 2012

liked it

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 Ryan Jr., J Clark, Ding Chavez and all the other people from this universe. Jack is no longer president, it's now President Kealty...who's undone as much of what Jack did as he can.

Jack Jr. is now working for the Campus and his parents don't know it. Oh, you don't know what the Campus is???? Well that would be a spoiler so, you know.

The book is on the whole an absorbing interesting read and I like it. The only problem, the only reason it drops from 4 stars to 3.5 is that at times the book just gets so very unnecessarily wordy. Clancy has always been good about giving us what we need to know about whatever is going on. And while I may disagree with some of his viewpoints and opinions (and I do) he's still got a pretty good grasp on geopolitics. Here there are some (as noted) unnecessarily long dialogues and monologues on mmmaaannnyyy things. For example there's a lot of information on dead drops, hand-offs and so on. There's a bit about espionage and it's history...and other stuff. I mentioned this to my daughter and she said it was like Mr. Clancy said "I did this research and you're going to hear about it."

It did seem like that at times.

Anyway the book has a few false starts picking up it's pace and then slowing down. When it does finally pick up it gathers speed and then barrels to the end. Had it been trimmed a bit (maybe the services of a good editor would have helped?) and kept it's pacing a bit better I would have been able to rate it a bit higher.

Still it's a good book. Clancy fans will like it and I think most fans of geopolitical and techno thrillers will also find it a good read. It has a lot of action it's just spread out a bit...as the book climaxes at the end the action does pick up however.

So I can recommend it. 3.5 so, 3.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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MrsJoseph My husband read this on audio recently. Not sure if its the writing or the narrator but he said it was boring. What do you think?

message 2: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Mar 07, 2012 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike (the Paladin) Just getting ready to start it (I move them to the "currently reading" page when I pick them up from the library because I have to read them and get them back). I know the last couple of Clancy's books have been a bit slower. I'll let you know what I think.

message 3: by ElaineY (new) - added it

ElaineY I've never read a Tom Clancy but tried Patriot Games recently. Was fine then it lost me with all the IRA stuff. I'm now thinking of trying JR Jr and worried about the wordiness of Clancy's books - a oft-mentioned complaint. Perhaps I should start with Locked On which you gave 5 stars.

Mike (the Paladin) Well I liked Clancy pretty well but he could get a bit long winded, especially his last few books. I wondered if since all his books were best sellers the editors didn't swing as much influence or something, LOL.

Of the books in the series that have come out since he stopped being the solo author or since he died I think the best are the ones by Mark Mark Greaney. His his Gray Man series is one of the best action adventure series out there (my opinion throughout of course). After this book Greaney took over as co-author and then author.

message 5: by ElaineY (last edited Dec 29, 2015 10:53PM) (new) - added it

ElaineY Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Well I liked Clancy pretty well but he could get a bit long winded, especially his last few books. I wondered if since all his books were best sellers the editors didn't swing as much influence or ..."

I will try the Jack Ryan Jr ones first. I enjoyed the first Gray Man book very much, the second not so much and have yet to start on the 3rd.

On another note, I'm curious about the reviewers' comments about Brad Thor's Full Black. I've read similar reviews of this nature where there appears to be a Liberals vs Conservatives. Am I right? I'm not American, am not interested in politics and I read these books purely for entertainment but I would like to understand where these two groups are coming from. It might even enhance my reading/listening pleasure! I take it Brad Thor's books would be from the Conservative camp?

Mike (the Paladin) You've picked up on a factor. The biggest problem in explaining is that honestly the groups aren't truly monolithic. In other words there are divisions withing the liberal and conservative camps.

I'm a conservative. That said it means for me I'm a believer in small government, strict adherence to the Constitution (as the basic law ot the land) and individual freedom and responsibility.

Anyway a lot of the action oriented writers are more conservative.

Tom Clancy once described conservatives as people who want to build bridges you can actually drive across, LOL. I suppose it would be easier to answer specific questions as my point of view will always be informed by my own opinions and belief system (trying for complete openness here)


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