Josh's Reviews > Red Storm Rising

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
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Tom Clancy's writing style leaves a lot to be desired sometimes, even to a fan of this genre. Let me just say off the bat that this book (like most of Clancy's novels) is rife with blatantly false stereotypes of Russian and Soviet characters, and a very poor understanding of the Russian language. Maybe the tense relationship between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. when Clancy wrote these books means he had little practical experience to go on, but given some of the other, more accurate depictions of Soviet life by other Western authors during the same time period, I have to conclude that Clancy either didn't do his homework or was trying to appeal to a specific anti-Soviet worldview popular among some Americans at the time.

That all being said, this is the tenth time at least that I've read this book. For all the technical flaws in his writing style and the factual errors, Clancy does spin a good yarn. The underlying plot is compelling, as are most of the main characters. All the characters remain somewhat two-dimensional, as is typical of Clancy and other writers in this genre. Clearly the focus of the book is on drooling over high-tech weaponry and battle-scenarios. Where Clancy is successful is in making sure the gadgets actually drive the story forward. I've never been in the intelligence business or the armed forces, but maybe those folks derive greater pleasure out of what I assume is his accurate portrayal of those communities.

I rated this book three stars because at the end of the day this is pretty much a run-of-the-mill techno war thriller, and is very typical of that genre. Coupled with Clancy's overly-simplistic or deliberately misleading portrayal of Soviet characters and life in the U.S.S.R. I can't say as this is a book worth raving about. Still, it is an interesting story particularly if you're nostalgic for the Cold War days or interested in vintage intelligence and military trivia. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys the genre, otherwise don't bother.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 1, 1998 – Finished Reading
August 28, 2012 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Montay Gardiner For someone unpaid to do so, this review is uber-critical. And if ur only gonna give it 3 stars why read it TEN TIMES?!?!? Clancy's laughing at u all the way to the bank.

Josh Montay wrote: "For someone unpaid to do so, this review is uber-critical. And if ur only gonna give it 3 stars why read it TEN TIMES?!?!? Clancy's laughing at u all the way to the bank."

You should see the books I rate one star. It was a good book, and I said so in my review even though I did have some criticisms, but could you honestly say this is a five star book on par with legendary epics like "War and Peace", "Adventures of Huck Finn", etc? I don't think even Clancy himself would claim that level of greatness.

Harv Griffin Hey, Josh!

I have been warned to ignore the star-ratings on GoodReads (because readers use the star-system to express different things) and just read the actual REVIEWS. I agree with you that Clancy is over-simplifying the Russian personnel and culture so that he can go full-tilt boogie on the military tech and, in your words: "spin a good yarn." For me, the whole idea of this global war not going nuclear requires considerable suspension of disbelief.

That said, I also have been compelled to re-read this novel several times, although on re-reads I skip over large sections, and usually concentrate on the submarine sections and the story of the weatherman. WAR AND PEACE didn't pull me back in for a re-read. Ditto HUCK FINN.

I don't claim Clancy is the best at techno-military-thriller writing (personally, I prefer James H. Cobb's Amanda Garrett series) but Clancy works for me as entertainment when most of the other techno-military-thriller writers bore me to quit reading in the first fifty pages. That's just me. Cheers! @hg47

Vorthlokkar You haven't been in the military or intelligence?,have you been to Russia? If not. Where did you get the expertise to have a valid opinion on this book?

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