Tarjei Vågstøl's Reviews > Red Storm Rising

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
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really liked it
bookshelves: thriller, fiction

This is my favorite Clancy novel. I'm currently re-reading it for the fourth time.

Published in 1986, at the heigth of reaganism, it probably read as a near-future techno-thriller. Now (2012), it reads as an alternative history thriller: What if the USSR chose to risk a limited war with Nato in order to gain a geopolitical advantage in the Middle East?

Don't let me mislead you: The political set-up is dull and at the point of naïve. The main point of this part is to lay down the premises for the military confrontation: A limited, non-nuclear confrontation in Western Europe with a lot of action in the North Atlantic. What follows is a portrayal of the war, as seen from multiple perspectives (mostly american soldiers and soviet generals and politicians).

The "special forces", often the focal point of modern military fiction, is rather absent from the story. This is a war fought with conventional armies and large machines of war: planes, battleships, tanks and missiles.

Why is this my favorite Clancy novel, or, indeed one of my favorite thrillers? I don't know. It's possible to list a lot of negative aspects: The writing style is bland, the characters are not very interesting and the political plot reads like a piece republican propaganda. However, I grew up in the 1980s, when a major war between USA and USSR still was considered a possibility.

RSR is a survey of (then) current military technology and tactics, it's fast paced and quite exciting.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 29, 2012 – Shelved
February 29, 2012 – Shelved as: thriller
February 29, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction

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