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The Sum of All Fears [Mass Market Paperback]

Tom Clancy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 29 2003 Jack Ryan (Book 5)

A major motion picture starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Alan Bates and Michael Byrne!

Peace may finally be at hand in the Middle Eastas Deputy Director of the CIA Jack Ryan lays the groundwork for a peace plan that could end centuries of conflict. But ruthless terrorists have a final, desperate card to play: they have their hands on a nuclear weapon and have placed it on American soil in the midst of an escalation in tension with the Soviet Union. The terrorists hope to rekindle cold war animosity and prevent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. With one terrible act, distrust mounts, forces collide, and the floundering U.S. president seems unable to cope with the crisis. With the world on the verge of nuclear disaster, Ryan must frantically seek a solutionbefore the chiefs of state lose control of themselves and the world.

  • Movie release: May 31, 2002
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Director: Phil Alden Robinson (Sneakers, Field of Dreams)
  • Producer: Mace Neufeld (Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger)

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Once again, Tom Clancy manages to add new twists to the alternate U.S. history he initiated in The Hunt for Red October. In The Sum of All Fears, the center of conflict is the perpetual hot spot the Mideast, where a nuclear weapon falls into the hands of terrorists just as peace seems possible. Clancy realistically paints an almost unthinkable scenario--the bomb is planted on American soil in the midst of an escalation in tension with the Soviet Union; the terrorists hope to rekindle cold war animosity and prevent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Despite such a dramatic story line, Clancy doesn't neglect the individuals who drive his tale. Jack Ryan's problems are as much domestic as they are part of the international crisis that is the ostensible narrative: National Security Director Elizabeth Elliot has the president's ear, and she has convinced him that Ryan's ethics are questionable. She hints at marital infidelity and an insider-trading scandal. Of course, both accusations are false, but her arguments have enough evidence behind them (e.g. some photographs of an innocent embrace with a friend) to cause a strain in the Ryans' marriage and a flurry of media attention. While "Mr. Clark" tracks the terrorists, he also provides some needed intelligence to heal the Ryan family.

The Sum of All Fears is the stuff of nightmares but contains enough verisimilitude to terrify sober minds. Ryan has matured into a complex protagonist as Clancy's writing, too, has matured. Ryan is plagued by stress and self-doubts that test even his dauntless moral compass and make him a more interesting subject for readers' attention. Those fascinated by military hardware, from nuclear submarines to atomic weapons, will find almost enough here to start their own army. And Clancy's understanding of international politics seems chillingly correct. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Clancy evolves from storyteller to novelist in his latest techno-thriller, as gadgets take second place to politics and personalities. In the late 1990s the world is cautiously emerging from the Cold War; even the Arab-Israeli conflict is being resolved, thanks to the cleverness of Clancy's hero Jack Ryan. But as confrontation yields to cooperation, what becomes of displaced terrorists? Palestinians without a cause and East Germans without a country seek to rekindle U.S.-U.S.S.R. animosity. A small nuclear device is exploded at the Super Bowl; in Berlin American and Russian troops are tricked into firing on each other; residual suspicions carry the action from there. After the solution of the Middle East crisis serves as an exciting preliminary to the main plot, the novel's middle parts seem a recycling of situations and characters from Red October and Cardinal of the Kremlin. But in the last third of the book Clancy integrates story lines, taking readers on a nonstop roller-coaster ride to a nail-biting finish. Fundamentally, Clancy is writing about a vital and elusive quality: grace under pressure. Whether terrorists or statesmen, Clancy's characters face a common challenge--situations that break down pretensions of rank, power and ideology. Their responses, carefully and empathetically constructed, make this book compelling instead of merely ingenious.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Find out what the movie is missing May 16 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tom Clancy does it again. This is an excellent book for those who love detail and interwoven story lines. I recommend this to anyone who loves techno-thrillers. If you didn't understand how or why things happened the way they did in the movie then you definitely have to read the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Clancy's best July 7 2004
By John
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wish the film had been this good. Clancy hasn't written a book this great for a long, long time. I wish he'd study his work here and duplicate it (not literally!) in his next novel, because evidently the money has gotten to his head and he's lost it. He once told a classroom of students at his old high school that his inspiration to write is the car he drives. He's turned into a hack!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Transitional Ryan Tale April 27 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jack Ryan is on the other side - political forces from the National Security Advisor to the President want him out. Information about his past - such as his connections to the Zimmer family - are hinted at in the press. His wife thinks he's unfaithful, the president thinks he's James Bond, and certain forces are building a hydrogen bomb to provoke a war between the US and the Russians.
From the ashes of his dismay, Jack eventually finds redemption, not in alcohol, but in the form of Mr. Clark, and Domingo Chavez, who give his wife the truth about her husband's gallantry and fidelity. Those forces nudge him back to his job - and his interception in not only preventing a nuclear war, but in his ultimate choice to defy the President in his choices - and willing to sacrifice his job for it.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked the film, and it led me to read the book. Boy, was I surprised! I have to wonder what Clancy thought of the screenplay because about the only thing they have in common is the name and a bomb that goes off...but not as or where it depicts in the film.
The book is really good, but I was continually faced with differences, so it was an interesting journey. The other reviewers have done a good job of explaining the story, so all I'll say is that you owe it to yourself, if you're a Clancy fan, to see what HE wrote instead of what the screenwriter did with it. I can assure you, you'll wonder if the screenwriter even read the book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sum of Clancy's Greast Novel Nov. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite Clancy Book! Some SPOLIERS in Review
It is late 1991 after the Gulf War. The Soviet Union is in its final days and the American victory in the Gulf causes President Fowler to try and push a Iserali Palstienain peace treaty through.
So enter Jack Ryan now acting as the DDI after James Greer death in Clear and Present Danger, Jack comes up with the idea to have Jesurlm split into diffrent sectors, one Mulism one Iserali and then have it guarded by Swiss troops. The US officaly declares it would protect Iseral.
Jack has made enemies though. Elizbeth Elliot becomes the new National Security Advisor and she brngs a hatered of Ryan with her. She is hell bent to destroy him. In elliots quest to destroy Ryan she begins "banging" the President and gets him to dislike Ryan.
All the while a group of Islamic Terrroist, German Red Army Commuinsts and an Indian Convict plan on leading the world to a Nuclear War between the US and the USSR.
All this goes to make a great Novel. One can really hate Elliot after reading about her for a while. Jack quickly learns that having enemies isn't great and it screws up the home life. The climax of the Novel is the best. The Russian and American President slowy and somtimes accidently pushing each other towards war. A must read for Clancy fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Scary Ride Oct. 8 2003
By Eric
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Sum Of All Fears is by far THE BEST CLANCY NOVEL EVER! First it starts off that a Israeli nuclear missle is missing, and it falls in the hands of a Palestinian man who's father owns some land with the missle in his land, so begins the process of a nuclear missle. So with some help from ex-felon Marvin Russell, and the help of a German man who's wife is held in prison for murder, they decide to get a hold of some German nuclear scientist and begin the making of the bomb.
While in the good U.S. of A, things are taking a toll on Jack Ryan, the Fowler Administration dislikes Jack, especially Elizabeth Elliot, Presidential Advisor, and lover on the side of the President Fowler.
Jack is now caught in the fire by the Fowler Administration in which they did a background check without his ok with it, and they find that he is helping Buck Zimmer's wife Carol and her kids with money for all her kids in college. So they take pictures of him talking to Carol by giving her presents for her kids, and along side with him is John Clark.
Now the Fowler Administration see's a advantage to taking care of Jack. At home, tensions with Jack's wife Cathy who wants another child, cannot seem to do it because the job is taking a toll on him real bad.
Now Cathy is depressed because she feels that Jack is cheating on her, then comes John Clark and his partner in crime Domingo Chavez. They tell her the truth, and they set up with the CIA for Jack to take a couple of days off to be with his wife and a romantic dinner and a hotel suite.
Now we turn back to the terrorist, once they get to Denver, they kill Marvin Russell in the hotel room they were staying in, and all the scientist and the German guy too.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy's "Fear-ful" novel is chilling, taut...
In his sixth novel (and fifth entry in the Jack Ryan series), The Sum of All Fears, Tom Clancy once again turned his attention on the specter of global terrorism and meshed it to... Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados
3.0 out of 5 stars More information that I want in a novel
I have never read one of Tom Clancy's books. I have seen most of the movies that were made from them and have enjoyed most of them. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by Jackie M. Bachenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars It all comes together in the end.
It takes a while to get into this book, but when you do its worth it. Its a real page turner (and there's alot of them), its several stories that all come together to one great... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2003 by David Hassall
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy at his best
Wow. This book is, for me, the best Clancy has ever written. It's masterful plot concerns a peace plan for the middle east set into plan by the Americans, and a missing Israili... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by "cleeclee2003uk"
4.0 out of 5 stars another Jack Ryan hit
Clancy continues Jack Ryan's rise in The Sum of All Fears. This book should be read for what it is without relating it to the movie version; there are significant deviations from... Read more
Published on July 9 2003 by mackattack9988
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie almost as good as the book.
After what Hollywood did to Exec Orders, Clancy was involved in making this book into a movie. An older book, the movie was actually made before 911. Read more
Published on July 2 2003 by JediMack
2.0 out of 5 stars Not satisfying!
Jack Ryan is the hero of this book. He's the DDCI Director of Intelligence, and he's got to work and deal with infomation from the Secret Service (CIA). Read more
Published on June 4 2003
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