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March, 2014 Book Club: The Hunt for Red October

by Dom Testa posted Mar 2 2014 4:39PM

The Hunt for Red October
By Tom Clancy

Reviewed by Dom

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen the hit movie starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, but this is definitely one of those occasions where the book far outshines the cinematic version.

The Hunt for Red October was Tom Clancy’s debut novel. Up until that point he was an insurance salesman; he wrote novels - including Red October - in his spare time.

Apparently the practice paid off, because this adventure/thriller is terrific.

The story centers on a Soviet (yes, the book is set in the 1980s, when the USSR was still a superpower) submarine commander, Marko Ramius. Ramius is bent on revenge against the Soviet regime that he feels contributed to the death of his wife. Plus, he's fed up after watching a lifetime of injustice, including the activities of his father, a dedicated communist.

Ramius commands his nation’s first super sub - the Red October - when it is launched. The submarine is fitted with a new, stealthy form of propulsion (a “caterpillar” drive) that renders it practically invisible to enemy detection; it conceivably could cruise right up to New York City without America’s defense network knowing anything at all.

But instead of running through the usual tests and scripted war games, Ramius plans to defect, and to turn this new, deadly war machine over to the United States. Before doing so, however, he sends a letter to the head of the Soviet navy, outlining what he has in mind.

The result is a wild chase through the Atlantic. The Russian military wants to destroy Ramius and the ship before he can turn it over, and the Americans want to find the Red October to keep it for themselves.

Clancy introduces us to CIA analyst Jack Ryan, who would become a continuing character in other books. In The Hunt for Red October, Ryan is the man who must convince the White House that Ramius isn’t trying to launch nuclear weapons; he’s trying to hand over the greatest military prize ever.

A riveting adventure tale with non-stop action, Clancy’s first book set the bar high. It’s a terrific read, and one that you can enjoy for 20% off during March, 2014 at all three locations of The Tattered Cover Book Store. Have fun!
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Filed Under :
Location : New York City
03/02/2014 4:47PM
March, 2014 Book Club: The Hunt for Red October
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