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America: A Jake Grafton Novel (Jake Grafton Series) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Length: 463 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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From Amazon

Rear Admiral Jake Grafton, who has appeared in eight previous Coonts novels (most recently Cuba and Hong Kong), returns for another techno-thriller from one of the genre's top practitioners. The first couple of pages recount the disappearance of SuperAegis, a satellite that's the cornerstone of a new American-European-Russian antimissile defense system, on its first, much heralded trial. But Jake Grafton is only on that case for a few paragraphs before the stealth submarine U.S.S. America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub quickly lives up to her reputation as the sneakiest undersea vessel in the world by seeming to vanish into the Atlantic. It takes a little while for Grafton to connect the dots between the two military blunders, by which time missiles fired from the America have devastated Washington, frying every electronic circuit in the city, and even burning the White House to the ground. Between looking for the rogue sub, searching for the satellite, and trying to get some answers about the team the CIA trained to steal a Russian sub (and then beached when the mission was canceled), Grafton's got his hands full.

Stephen Coonts describes the submarine at the center of the action so lavishly and lovingly that the U.S.S. America is much more real--and even more human--than any of his flesh-and-blood characters, including Grafton himself. The mysterious German financier who's at the bottom of it all doesn't get more than a walk-on; he's a cardboard villain, just like the brilliant female computer expert who sets up his crimes. But none of that matters if you like this kind of tale, which combines excitement and action with loads of information about computers, sonar, weapons systems, and stealth technology. America will surface quickly and take a commanding position on the summer bestseller lists. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

What could possibly go wrong if Congress manages to approve the ICBM missile defense shield being pushed by the White House? This master of the techno-thriller spins a bone-chilling worst-case scenario involving international spies, military heroics, conniving politicians, devious agencies, a hijacked nuclear sub, lethal computer hackers, currency speculators, maniac moguls and greedy mercenaries that rivals Clancy for fiction-as-realism and Cussler for spirited action. Rear Adm. Jake Grafton is shocked, as are his fellow Russian and European observers, when a satellite for the SuperAegis missile shield goes out of launch mode and is lost in seconds. Moments later, the state-of-the-art nuclear submarine America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub is armed with Tomahawk missiles with "Flashlight" warheads capable of frying all unprotected electronics within miles of detonation, crippling target cities. Jake suspects Janos Ilin and his Russian bosses, and forms a shaky "alliance" to test Ilin while digging for info. Meanwhile, Tommy Carmellini, a convicted felon with a talent for burglary that got him "recruited" by the CIA, tumbles onto a dastardly agency plot and secretly cues Jake. When American Tomahawks launched on Washington paralyze the city the whole East Coast lapses into chaos, the dollar plunges, and Jake's team, led by streetsmart black marine Gen. "Flap" LeBeau, goes into overdrive. Perennial bestseller Coonts (Hong Kong; Flight of the Intruder) never lets up with heart-racing jet/missile combat, suspenseful submarine maneuvers and doomsday scenarios that feel only too real, providing real food for thought in his dramatization of the missile-shield debate. (Aug. 14)Forecast: This timely tale starring the crowd-pleasing Jake Grafton will hit the lists with a vengeance. A major ad/promo campaign is scheduled, and an excerpt will run in the paperback edition of Hong Kong.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1048 KB
  • Print Length: 463 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sept. 8 2001)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QS9TRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,147 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the first Stephen Coonts book I've read, and I have to say, this guy needs an editor in the worst way. He's a great storyteller. The plot drew me in quickly -- and it was actually rather prescient, having been published before the 9/11 tragedy.
But the writing is just sloppy. The same piece of information is frequently delivered twice in the same scene, as though the author decided to move it and then forgot to delete the original mention. He refers to characters by their full names incongruously and often, sometimes more than once in a paragraph when the characters have already been introduced. (Occasionally they've been introduced more than once, as though the author had forgotten he'd already done it). Mystifying acronyms show up all over and aren't defined until later, but the NSA is for some reason referred to by its full name throughout the book. These seem like minor details, but they're distracting; to me, they disrupt the flow of the narrative.
If you're not a writer, these things probably won't bother you. It really is a good story, and I'd love to see it made into a movie. Coonts, unlike Tom Clancy, describes technology in just enough detail to make it interesting, but not with the sort of excruciating obsession with minutiae that makes Clancy's books too bloated for me to bother with. Coonts' description of the sub <i>America's</i> control room is so vivid I can picture myself there. The characters are surprisingly believable for this sort of book, although some could do with a little more detail.
But as a writer... well, by page 20 I was seriously considering marking the paperback up in red ink and mailing it back to the publisher with my resume and rates.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This time Stephen Coonts really let me down! I was getting ready to give "America" five stars until I hit the third-last chapter, at which point the action moves to a luxury cruise ship, and the good guys take their wives along for the jaunt!
When the going gets tough, the tough guys (and their wives) go for a luxury cruise? No way!
Until the last three chapters I really liked "America". OK, the plot is a bit farfetched, involving hackers meddling with the launch of a super-advanced military satellite and a CIA-trained team of Russians and East Germans stealing a likewise super-advanced US Navy submarine named "America". But if you can swallow the plot the story is very exciting, and the characterizations of the people in the book is fairly good.
The submarine "America" and its advanced equipment and weapons are the real stars of the show. I especially loved the descriptions of the havoc created by the Tomahawk cruise missiles with new EMP (electromagnetic pulse) warheads, the attempts by two F-16 Fighting Falcons to shoot down the cruise missiles, and the underwater battle between "America" and two Los Angeles class submarines. At times like this Stephen Coonts is even better than Tom Clancy.
There is also a whole array of bad guys who you can love to hate. The one who's presented best is the Russian captain Vladimir Kolnikov, the leader of the team that steals "America" and then inflicts major damage on the USA. Zelda Hudson, the American hacker who finds it only slightly challenging to re-program a satellite launch or to get into any of the Pentagon's weapons systems, is also a cool customer whose services are available to the highest bidder.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A definite improvement over the previous Grafton novel, CUBA. Coonts hooks you in the first couple chapters as a new SDI satellite goes missing before it can achieve orbit. If that weren't bad enough, a group of Russian and German mercenaries hijack the most advanced submarine in the world, the USS America. Some pretty good action scenes. I liked how Coonts brought out the sense of disaster when Tomahawks armed with electro-magnetic warheads are used on major American cities. Good job on the characters. The most memorable had to be Kolnikov, the Russian who hijacks America. A stern skipper who at the same time always levels with his crew. He's super shrewd and often times doesn't seem to care if he lives or dies. Jake Grafton comes off as an everyman with one heck of an important job that at times can feel overwhelming. Still he tackles it full bore. USMC Commendant Flap Le Beau was another guy to get behind. Not a uniformed butt kisser, but a leatherneck through and through who's not afraid to do grunt work. My one complaint is there was not enough of Grafton's right hand man, Toad Tarkington. The guy is great for comic relief.
Good story with good characters. Nice intrigue and countermoves. The climax on the cruise ship and America rocked!
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By A Customer on Feb. 23 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In America: A Jake Grafton Novel by Stephen Coonts used methods of direct and indirect characterization to strengthen the novel. This is shown in the characters of Rear Admiral Jake Grafton and the Russian Janos Ilin; because of the use of this device in America: A Jake Grafton Novel I enjoyed this novel very much
In the case of Rear Admiral Jake Grafton Stephen Coonts does a very good job of direct and indirect characterization. In the case of direct characterization he went straight ahead and described the physical appearance of Rear Admiral Jake Grafton. But in the case of indirect characterization e only gives away slight clues to his personality every so often during the book.
One of the other interesting characters is Janos Ilin the Russian. Throughout the book Coonts gives a little bits of information regarding the character of Janos Ilin. Janos is a somewhat shady character who we get the impression that he works for the Russian Foreign intelligence service.
All in all the literary device of characterization help increase my liking of this book.
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