Monday, August 25, 2003

Clancy's new book

Last week I read Tom Clancy's latest novel, The Teeth of the Tiger. It's out only a year after Clancy's last novel, Red Rabbit, and is considerably shorter than his last three or four novels, coming in at 431 pages (which is actually around the length of the first novels Clancy wrote).

TTOTT is apparently the first book in the post-Jack Ryan, Sr. era of Clancy novels, moving the focus to the a generation: Jack Ryan, Jr. and two of his cousins. Clancy appears to be laying the groundwork for a series of novels which focus on the war on terrorism, which more often than not occurs behind the scenes and without much (if any) public fanfare. This is, of course, typical Clancy -- take a real life scenario and fictionalize it.

I enjoyed TTOTT. It wasn't Clancy's best novel, but it wasn't his worst, either (it's better than Rainbow Six [I didn't get past forty pages of Red Rabbit, but I'm sure it wasn't any better that RS]). The shorter length was apparent, in that the book actually moved a bit too quickly, IMHO. Yes, too quickly... one of the more standard complaints against Clancy's novels is that they crawl until the last couple of hundred pages (a complaint, BTW, which I do not share). TTOTT definitely cannot be criticized in this manner.

Other than that, though, I thought it was an enjoyable book. It appears that I'm not going to see what I most want to see from Clancy, though: another Red Storm Rising novel, which details a major conflaguration between the US and Whoever. Although many of his subsequent novels saw the employment of a wide range and amount of modern military hardware, Clancy never revisited a WWWIII-type scenario. While such a novel would be difficult to fit into the "Ryanverse," I think he could easily do what he did with RSR: create an "alternative" universe for the purposes of that one novel.

At this point, though, it appears that he has little inclination to go in that direction.


Remember, though -- TTOTT is a good book. If you like Clancy, you'll probably like this one.

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