Red Rabbit Mass Market Paperback – Jul 29 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
There's not a shot fired until page 602 in Clancy's lumbering new thriller, and readers up on their history will know the outcome of that shot on page 17. What comes in between is a slow-moving but, given Clancy's astonishing flair for fly-on-the-wall writing, steadily absorbing imagining of the back story behind Mehmet Ali Agca's (real-life) failed attempt on the life of Pope John II in 1981. By going back 21 years, Clancy provides a fresh adventure for a young Jack Ryan, but Ryan fans (and presumably Ben Affleck) may be surprised to learn that Ryan is, until the final scenes, only a supporting player here. The book's main heroes are the husband-and-wife team of Ed Foley, CIA station chief in Moscow, and his agent-wife, Mary Pat, and Oleg Zaitzev (code-named Rabbit), the mid-level employee in the KGB communications department who for conscience's sake decides to defect to America when he's asked to encrypt messages that reveal a plot, under the auspices of then-KGB chief Yuri Andropov, to kill the pope in response to the pontiff's secret letter threatening to resign the papacy and to return to Poland to resist Soviet domination. In real life, the pope wrote such a letter, and analysts have long speculated that the Soviets, via Bulgarian controllers, dispatched Agca to kill him. It's utterly fascinating to read Clancy's playing out of that likely scenario is there a writer in the world who brings so much verisimilitude to scenes both high (Politburo meetings) and low (details of spy craft and everyday Soviet life)? But while Clancy delivers a believable and encyclopedic version of real-life events, the suspense is minimal a disappointment when other writers (Forsyth in Day of the Jackal, for one) have shown that there can be enough tension in a fated-to-fail assassination plot to give a stroke to a yoga master.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Clancy returns to Jack Ryan's first days in the CIA, when the fate of the free world hung in the balance as Ryan discovered a heinous plot to assassinate the Pope. Clancy is so big that this new novel merits a special limited edition (ISBN 0-399-14914-7. $150).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
a. They have not read the book, or
b. They are plants from the publisher.
Clancy has written some fine books. Hunt for Red October is a classic and Red Storm Rising shows the great work you can accomplish with hard work and decent research. This book is a sad joke when it comes to research. Tom can't keep the timeline straight. He interjects future events (a certain world series, the rise of starbucks and the Falklands war) all into the WRONG YEAR. Characters are wildly inconsistent in rank and spelling. His politics are well known, but raging on about the NHS and accussing British doctors of being uncaring negligent drunks is beyond the pale. Also, Tom, we know Caroline is an eye surgeon and that she doesn't drink before surgery "ever". We know. We know. QUIT TELLING US 50 FREAKING THOUSAND TIMES. Although to get to the 100,000 level you have to cite Tom's references to Ryan being in the Marines, jesuit upbringing, etc. If the character he is is a product of the marines, then it's no wonder recruitment is falling. Who would want to be a simpering wuss like Ryan?
The unbelivable dialogue is another factor in ensuring the utter garbage status of this pile. Tom, no one says "pal" and "guy" at the end of every sentence. That is unless they live on Brokeback Mountain. Also, no one talks about their breakfast every day with people they work with unless they really have socialization problems.Read more ›
The plot is boring and without action. What happened to the military genius that Clancy displayed so many times in his past books? He built a book around a story about a guy who wants to get out of the Soviet Union, and the resolution of that story was anticlimactic.
There were so many things that irritated me about this book. Chiefly the fact that Clancy went out of his way so many times to remind the reader that we were in the 80s. So many references to the events of "Patriot Games". So many references to "I don't like to be called Sir John." So many references to his wife, the eye surgeon, cutting open eyeballs. (If Ryan was 31, Cathy would at most have been a recent graduate of an opthalmology residency/fellowship. Surely not experienced enough to be considered a top notch doctor with all these connections.)
This book was irritating, and I was relieved when I finally finished it.
Red Rabbit focuses on the spy game that was apparently so prevalent during the Cold War 80's between the Soviets and the British and Americans. Attempting to relieve political pressure from the Pope and remind Poland who's boss, the Soviets decide to assassinate the Pope. Having read previous Clancy books I assumed that this was the catalyst and that the plot would promptly fill in around it. That was my first mistake (and possibly Clancy's too). Instead of moving on with the details of the assassination and the West's attempt to prevent it, the story completely switches gears, now attempting to highlight an unremarkable character in KGB agent Oleg Zaitzev that has an attack of conscience and decides to defect with his family and some very sensitive information.
My second mistake was assuming that the story would right itself and get back on track with what seemed to be more interesting, the prevention of the assassination. Instead the pace of the books slows considerably while the focus has shifted to the defector. Plans are made by the CIA and SIS to help him defect and then the plan is executed. What's the problem, you ask? We appear to be missing an antagonist, it seems.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you want to read the Ryan books in order, you have to get this one to read after Patriot Games. I foolishly purchased the set 1-6. This one was not included. Read morePublished 3 months ago by bonnie
More than half the book consists of characters "inner monologs" most of which run around the same little circle over and over and over. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Edward
I wouldn't buy them if I didn't want them. Always good. Especially these authors. I need to add more words so. There.Published 20 months ago by Paul Mayall
Good book, but kind of draggy in spots....seems to have lots of filler.
Not in the league of Patriot Games or Red October. Read more
I really enjoyed reading this. People read Tom Clancy for the entertaining / captivating plot. This book definitely has it. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2010 by Paul
I recently finished Red Rabbit and was mildly disappointed. A great concept and idea for a story line. The time period is interesting and I enjoyed that portion of the story. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2004 by Christopher
I've read all of Clancy's books, while most I find it takes a while to get into the story but generally once it has picked up it was a very good read. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2004 by Randall Duhamel
This book takes places as a young Jack Ryan and really explains more on Jack Ryan's wife Cathy. I really liked how clancy put the suspense in this book, but certain parts of this... Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by russell guerra