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The Bear and the Dragon Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 2001

2.5 out of 5 stars 1,035 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1st mmpb edition (Aug. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425180964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425180969
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 5.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 1,035 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #258,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Power is delightful, and absolute power should be absolutely delightful--but not when you're the most powerful man on earth and the place is ticking like a time bomb. Jack Ryan, CIA warrior turned U.S. president, is the man in the hot seat, and in this vast thriller he's up to his nostrils in crazed Asian warlords, Russian thugs, nukes that won't stay put, and authentic, up-to-the-nanosecond technology as complex as the characters' motives are simple. Quick, do you know how to reprogram the software in an Aegis missile seekerhead? Well, if you're Jack Ryan, you'd better find someone who does, or an incoming ballistic may rain fallout on your parade. Bad for reelection prospects. "You know, I don't really like this job very much," Ryan complains to his aide Arnie van Damm, who replies, "Ain't supposed to be fun, Jack."

But you bet The Bear and the Dragon is fun--over 1,000 swift pages' worth. In the opening scene, a hand-launched RPG rocket nearly blows up Russia's intelligence chief in his armored Mercedes, and Ryan's clever spooks report that the guy who got the rocket in his face instead was the hoodlum "Rasputin" Avseyenko, who used to run the KGB's "Sparrow School" of female prostitute spies. Soon after, two apparent assassins are found handcuffed together afloat in St. Petersburg's Neva River, their bloated faces resembling Pokémon toys.

The stakes go higher as the mystery deepens: oil and gold are discovered in huge quantities in Siberia, and the evil Chinese Minister Without Portfolio Zhang Han San gazes northward with lust. The laid-off elite of the Soviet Army figure in the brewing troubles, as do the new generation of Tiananmen Square dissidents, Zhang's wily, Danielle Steel-addicted executive secretary Lian Ming, and Chester Nomuri, a hip, Internet-porn-addicted CIA agent posing in China as a Japanese computer salesman. He e-mails his CIA boss, Mary Pat "the Cowgirl" Foley, that he intends to seduce Ming with Dream Angels perfume and scarlet Victoria's Secret lingerie ordered from the catalog--strictly for God and country, of course. Soon Ming is calling him "Master Sausage" instead of "Comrade," but can anybody master Ming?

The plot is over the top, with devastating subplots erupting all over the globe and lurid characters scaring the wits out of each other every few pages, but Clancy finds time to insert hard-boiled little lessons on the vileness of Communism, the infuriating intrusions of the press on presidential power, the sexual perversions of Mao, the poor quality of Russian pistol silencers ("garbage, cans loaded with steel wool that self-destructed after less than ten shots"), the folly of cutting a man's throat with a knife ("they flop around and make noise when you do that"), and similar topics. Naturally, the book bristles like a battlefield with intriguingly intricate military hardware.

When you've got a Tom Clancy novel in hand, who needs action movies? --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"Klingons" is how hero Jack Ryan describes the villainsDthe Communist Chinese PolitburoDof Clancy's mammoth new novel; other Yanks refer to Chinese soldiers as "Joe Chinaman." It's not for subtlety of characterization, then, that this behemoth proves so relentlessly engrossing. Nor is it for any modulation in the arc of its action, which moves insistently from standstill to hurtle. Nor is it for the author's (expressed) understanding of life's viscissitudes; in this Clancyverse, no white hat with a name dies, but every black hat gets whupped bad. Partly it's for the sheer bulkDif ever a book should come equipped with wheels, it's this oneDwhich plunges readers into a sea of words so vast that, after hours of paddling happily through brisk prose, the horizon remains hidden from sight. Mostly, though, it's because that sea glitters with undeniable authority. Clancy has demonstrated in earlier books (Rainbow Six, etc.) that he towers above other novelists in his ability to deliver geo-political, techo-military goods on a global scaleDand here he's at the top of that war-gaming. With aplomb, he spins numerous plot strandsDamong them: a Sino-American spy seduces his way into Politburo secrets; enormous oil and gold reserves are discovered in Siberia; the new Papal Nuncio to Beijing is murdered; the Politburo orders a hit on a top Russian officialDthat lead to a Chinese invasion of Russia and a credible war scenario that occupies the novel's last quarter and that culiminates in a nuclear crescendo. Each thread carries a handbook's worth of intoxicating, expertly researchedDseemingly insideDinformation, about advanced weapons of war and espionage, about how various governments work, complemented always with ponderings about the tensions between individual honor and the demands of state. Add to that the excitement for Clancy fans of this being the first novel to feature not just Jack Ryan but also, in significant subordinate roles, Jack Clark and Ding Chavez of Rainbow Six and other tales, and you've got a juggernaut that's going to hit #1 its first week out and stay there for a good while. 2 million first printing; BOMC main selection; author tour.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I just recently finished Clancy's The Bear and the Dragon and I have mixed feelings about it. Let me describe the story a little and then give my opinion.
The Chinese economy is in serious trouble, and the Chinese Politburo members are not making things any better when they are unreasonable in trade negotiations with the US. President Ryan is fed up with their stubborn disregard for fair trade practices. China further makes things worse in their attempt to kill a high ranking Soviet official, not to mention the killing of two unarmed clergy members who attempt to prevent the abortion of a child in a Chinese hospital. Growing discontent from the rest of the world towards the Chinese causes those in the Chinese Politburo to attack Russia, where enormous gold and oil finds have just taken place. In this maneuver, China hopes to better strengthen it's position as a world power and more dominant political force. President Ryan and US armed forces come to Russia's aid and a riveting war takes place.
What I didn't like about this book was that it takes so long to really get the real plot of the novel, which is the war between China and Russia. Clancy spends about half the book building up to this climax with the developments of the subplots concerning the assassination attempt and murder of clergy. These elements are entertaining and important to the story, but it seems like much less time could be devoted to their unfolding. As always, Clancy provides a lot of background detail which considerably adds to this book's bulk. It isn't until you've read over 600 pages that you really get to the war.
What was good about the book is that once you do get to the war which occurs, the action is pretty much non-stop and very entertaing.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Thought it was a bit much to read a novel of over 1000 pages, but I was surprised a bit at the fluidity of the plot. The climax is in grand Clancy fashion, a cataclysmic armageddon where the good guys come out on top and the bad guys wind up dead, or in a fate worse than death - public humiliation (which I guess to many politicians is indeed worse than death).
Now - some criticisms that prevented me from giving him 5 stars: Clancy seems to use the characters' code names (like "swordsman" for Jack Ryan, "surgeon" for his wife, etc.) for whole entire chapters that I think detracts from the readability of the novel. It was to the point where I had to make a list with the characters' names and their corresponding code names so I would know who was doing what and to whom. It was rather tedious on that point.
Another point which I had once thought unworthy of Mr. Clancy is his very thinly veiled racism toward Asians in general and Chinese in particular. While in his other novel, "Debt of Honor" the Japanese were largely portrayed in a fairly neutral light, (except of course, the chief bad guys) his other novel "Without Remorse" referred to the Vietnamese as "barbarians," "arrogant, cruel, and stupid." While that should have hinted at Clancy's racist tinge, he saves his most vituperous descriptions of Asians for this novel - describing the Chinese as "Klingons" and generally giving the reader the impression that the Chinese are something other than human, with other than human motives driving them. In this aspect, I am rather disappointed in Mr. Clancy.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a great book. I have now read it twice, however i am disappointed to find the reports from other people who did not like this book, even people who have read the other books in this series, this book is as good if not better than the rest. Rainbow Six is by far my favorite, with all the detail that he builds into battle sequence and the caracter backround, from what the sniper sees as he looks through his scope to see the damage he has done to his target to where the Rainbow Six team thinks about its objective, etc.

As for Frank Owen from Chicago, IL who wrote a earlier review, he says "Additionally, I am disappointed by the increasingly frequent usage of vulgarity in Clancy's books (especially Rainbow Six) as it does not seem necessary and certainly reduces the number of people to whom I would reccomend the book."
Hey Frank welcome to the real world where real people speak real words, not high educated harvard english. A Special Ops team member might speak more vulgarities than 5 ordinary gangbangers in a day, let alone during a operation
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Jack Ryan books have gone from great to average. Having read "Sum of All Fears", "Debt of Honor", "Executive Orders" and now "Bear and Dragon" pretty much back to back to back, the decline is palpable. All have interesting premises and, of course, the detail in each is stunning. However, the quick-thinking, intellectual, reluctant but ready action-hero Jack Ryan of the first two of these has become the I-don't-wanna-be-President mope who fills up so much of the later two. And between EO and B&D, he has taken a turn for the even more monotonous. Tom, you only have to say once a book that JR doesn't like his current position and then let it go!
B&D also suffers a few other things. A promising plot line concerning the personal life of a spy in China that is detailed in the first half of the book is pretty much left out of the last, oh, 500 pages. A second plot line involving Russian spy trackers gets a little more extended coverage but in the end it, too, is abandoned. The ending has little or no umph, unlike EO where there was at least a few really good stand up and cheer moments to wrap things up. And finally, while the first half of the book builds up a considerable expectation that the good guys might have their backs to the wall, the final half makes you wonder what all the fuss was about.
The best I can say is that the book is a good time filler in the way all Clancy/Jack Ryan novels are. Unfortunately its not much more than that.
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