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Rainbow Six [Hardcover]

Tom Clancy
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,322 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 22 2002
Over the course of nine novels, Tom Clancy’s “genius for big, compelling plots” and his “natural narrative gift” (The New York Times Magazine) have mesmerized hundreds of millions of readers and established him as one of the preeminent storytellers of our time. Rainbow Six, however, goes beyond anything he has done before.

At its heart is John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL of Without Remorse and well-known from several of Clancy’s novels as “the dark side of Jack Ryan,” the man who conducts the secret operational missions Ryan can have no part of. Whether hunting warlords in Japan, druglords in Colombia, or nuclear terrorists in the United States, Clark is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised. And nothing is more demonic than the peril he must face in Rainbow Six: a group of terrorists like none the world has ever encountered before, a band of men and women so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on this earth as we know it. It is Tom Clancy’s most shocking story ever—and closer to reality than any government would care to admit.

As Clancy takes us through the twists and turns of Rainbow Six, he blends the exceptional realism and authenticity that are his hallmarks with intricate plotting, knife-edge suspense, and a remarkable cast of characters. This is Clancy at his best—and there is none better.

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From Amazon

For many readers, Jack Ryan embodies the essence of the modern American hero. Morally centered, disciplined, humble yet powerful, Ryan (and his onscreen incarnations in Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford) has made Tom Clancy one of the most popular writers in the world. But as Clancy has constructed the Ryan mythology, he has quietly established Ryan's shadow double, John Clark. Appearing in The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, and Without Remorse, Clark has many of Jack Ryan's most appealing traits, but he is also a darker figure embodying the more paranoid sensibilities of the late '90s. As is made clear from the opening pages of Rainbow Six, ex-Navy SEAL Clark and his colleagues believe violent, deadly force to be the best deterrent for terrorism.

Clark (a.k.a. Rainbow Six) has left the CIA to create an England-based organization code-named "Rainbow." Its mission: deploy an elite squad of American operatives combined with handpicked British, French, and German agents to stop terrorism in its tracks. Rainbow's emergence could not be more timely: in quick succession, the force diffuses three attempted terrorist actions. But Clark becomes suspicious when Russian agents suddenly show interest in Rainbow's work.

Rainbow Six appeals on all the levels that Clancy fans could hope for. The Rainbow operatives, from Navy SEALs to German mountain-leader school graduates, are rendered to inspire with their physical and mental prowess. The book is infatuated with the latest gadgets for scrambling, transmitting, and decoding secrets. And, in a carefully woven narrative that simultaneously traces the Rainbow team, a former KGB agent named Popov, the Australian Olympic security team, and a sinister group of American scientists, Clancy artfully reveals the mystery of "Shiva" at the center of the novel. How does Clark measure up against Jack Ryan? He may be the perfect hero for a world with hidden villains. --Patrick O'Kelley

From Publishers Weekly

Two years ago, Executive Orders, which thrust Jack Ryan into the Oval Office, raised the bar for its immensely popular author. This first Clancy hardcover since then, though a ripping read, matches its predecessor neither in complexity nor intensity nor even, at 752 pages, length, despite a strong premise and some world-class action sequences. Instead of everyman Ryan, its lead is the more shadowed John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL vigilante of Without Remorse who has appeared in several Ryan adventures. Clark now heads Rainbow Six, an international special-ops anti-terrorist strike force?and, despite the novelty of the conceit, that's a problem, as the profusion of protagonists, though sharply drawn (including, most notably, "Ding" Chavez, Clark's longtime protege), deprives the book of the sort of strong central character that has given Clancy's previous novels such heart. The story opens vigorously if arbitrarily, with an attempted airline hijacking foiled by Clark and Chavez, who happen to be on the plane. After that action sequence, the duo and others train at Rainbow Headquarters outside London, then leap into the fray against terrorists who have seized a bank in Bern, Switzerland. And so the pattern of the narrative is set: action sequence, interlude, action sequence, interlude, etc., giving it the structure and pace of a computer game. A major subplot involving bioterrorism that evolves into an overarching plotline syncopates that pattern, though Clancy's choice of environmentalists as his prime villains will strike some readers as odd. All of Clancy's fans, however, will revel in the writer's continued mastery at action writing; Rainbow's engagements, which occupy the bulk of the novel, are immensely suspenseful, breathtaking combos of expertly detailed combat and primal emotion. While not Clancy's best, then, his 10th hardcover will catapult to the top of bestseller lists?and for good reason. Two million first printing; $1 million ad/promo; simultaneous Random Audio and Red Storm Entertainment computer game; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE VC-208 FLIGHT WAS SOMEWHAT LACKING IN amenities-the food consisted of sandwiches and an undistinguished wine-but the seats were comfortable and the ride smooth enough that everyone slept until the wheels and flaps came down at RAF Northholt, a military airfield just west of London. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ghostwritten poorly April 15 2002
Format:Hardcover
I am a big fan of Tom Clancy's earlier work. But as Jon's review noted: much of this book must have been written by someone else, and written poorly. Tom Clancy is the acknowledged master of military detail. How could he refer to Clark's legendary Vietnam-era unit (SOG) by the wrong name ("Special Operations Group")? Any armchair special ops fan knows the correct name ("Studies and Observations Group"). Likewise, the book wrongly refers to the MH-6/AH-6 helicopter as "the Nightstalker." In fact, "Night Stalkers" is the nickname for the pilots and crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (motto: "Night Stalkers Don't Quit") portrayed so vividly in "Black Hawk Down." The MH-6/AH-6 chopper is known as the "Little Bird." I think Tom Clancy knows these details -- it's too bad he didn't read the book that was published under his name.
The book also was never read by a copy editor. Bits of dialogue between the same characters are repeated verbatim just a few paragraphs apart. Popov states that Sean Grady is "quite ruthless," and Henricksen agrees. On the next page, Henricksen asks Popov if Grady "has a reputation for ruthlessness." Short term memory loss? These simple, silly errors recurred too often to list. Either Clancy's editors are too cowed to correct simple errors in his work, or he really is paid by the word (and refuses to cut obvious repetition in order to pad his word count).
Even if the reader is able to suspend disbelief and swallow the major premise, there are obvious holes in the bad guys' plot. How did a fanatical tree-hugger become the CEO of a major corporation (or a Presidential advisor) without ever revealing at least some of his/her wacko beliefs? Doesn't ring true.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy's finest work in years! July 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
In RAINBOW SIX, we see the return of John Clark as the lead character in a typical heavy, meaningful plot that Clancy has done on a level above any other author for many years. The theme of the book, and the video games that have followed, is a multinational counter-terrorism unit called Rainbow, with John Clark running the show. One reviewer stated that this is the typical "Americans are the best..." plot, but it's really not. Rainbow is formed by members of several countries, including the United States, England, Germany, and Israel. It's not just a United States dominated unit.
From the opening pages on, Clancy paints a brilliant picture of life on Earth in a post-9/11 world...and then you realize that this book was written and published in 1998! The ability that Clancy has shown to be ahead of his time in his plots is just another example of his brilliance. This is reflected again in an earlier Clancy novel, DEBT OF HONOR, from 1996, where in the climax we read through a scene frighteningly similar to the events of 9/11/01. RAINBOW SIX, while thick at 740 pages, is really a fast read. Clancy interweaves multiple storylines and more than a handful of characters into an overall story that truly has you thinking about the world around you by the time you finish. With action sequence after action sequence, the book rarely hits a lull and keeps you enthralled to the point that you're disappointed to set it down. One nice part of it all is that the book shows that there are left-wing extremist crazy people out there too...all the insane ones aren't right-wingers as most in the media will lead you to believe.
Great books make you think. With that in mind, RAINBOW SIX is a great book by one of the greatest authors of our time. Now...let's get that movie into production.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SFReader.com Review - Rainbow Six June 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Although not marketed as such, Rainbow Six is really science fiction. Like a few other very popular authors, Clancy is too big to be marketed with a genre label, especially one like science fiction, which evokes images of four-eyed geeks, Dungeons and Dragons, and adolescent computer nerds (at least among the marketing departments of book publishers). Hell, Clancy is a genre, much like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. But calling a dog a cat doesn't make it a cat, and Clancy's book is science fiction whether or not his publisher wants to admit it and market it as such. It's science fiction because central to the plot is the development of a genetically engineered super-plague intended to wipe out the human population of Earth. The scariest thing is that we almost have the technology right now to attempt what the villains do in this book. In a few years... well, let's hope this book isn't thinly veiled prophecy.
John Clark, an ex-CIA agent, now heads the international anti-terrorist group code named Rainbow Six. Based out of England, Rainbow has a true international reach and is called upon throughout the book to respond to situations in a variety of countries. Made up of dedicated, highly trained experts, they prove more than a match for the terrorists they find themselves pitted against. Popov is an ex-KGB agent hired by the high-powered American executive Brightling to coordinate seemingly random terrorist attacks. Brightling is the head of an international biotech research company, a billionaire, an environmental extremist, and the architect of a plan that could result in the near-extermination of the human race. There are plenty of other bit players here as well: members of the Rainbow team, associates of Brightling, the various terrorists, and more.
Clancy writes long. Loooonnnngggggg....
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic?
You have heard of Tom Clancy, perhaps Rainbow Six. This is the book that some claim to have propelled him into the arena. Read more
Published on June 22 2010 by Chris J. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book rocks
I have read of the many reviews of this book and no matter what the opinion. This book inspired me to enjoy reading books again, it is sometimes hard to find something that truly... Read more
Published on Dec 13 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Better then the games
this book is better then the rainbow six games.
the plot i gripping from the prologue the hijacking of a plane to the ending sequencce where the bad guys suffer a most... Read more
Published on March 10 2005 by Ghosty
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome Book
I thought the book was great, Some of the reviews considered the book too discriptive. I personly like the fact that every detail is explained and history given. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2005 by Mark W Metott Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading!!!
Whether you are new or old to this type of novel it is one to enjoy. Although in the above review on error exists. Mr Clark is known to the rest of the team as Six. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2004 by Austin Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly a page-turner
I very much enjoyed reading this book. After reading "Without Remorse", I picked up this book and rarely put it down. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by A. Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This was a top-notch thriller offered by Clancy as it focused more on the "darker side of Jack Ryan," ex-Navy Seal, John Clark. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by J. Lewis
2.0 out of 5 stars Cliche Plot and not enough imagination.
In reading many of Clancy's other books, he makes several references to things being too "movie-like" and very naive. Well, that is exactly what this story is. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by "nanilignapcram"
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, terrible ending.
True to form, Tom Clancy has cooked up yet another super-tense technothriller. This time the threat is bioterrorism on a global scale, all part of a nefarious plot hatched by a... Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by No one of consequence
5.0 out of 5 stars Rainbow Six = Excellent
This book was basically about an anti-terrorist group in England that were all recruited because they are the best of the best. Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by Kevin Adams
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