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The Cardinal Of The Kremlin Mass Market Paperback – Jul 4 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (July 4 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425116840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425116845
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.2 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #370,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Two men possess vital data on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is CARDINAL--America's highest agent in the Kremlin--and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other is the one American who can save CARDINAL and lead the world to the brink of peace--or war.

From Library Journal

In his fourth book, Clancy uses nuclear strategies to probe the ambiguities of fighting the good fightthe Americans vs. the Soviets. By the time familiar hero Jack Ryan steps in to investigate mysterious structures on the Soviet-Afghan border, the Soviets have struck again by zapping a satellite with a free electron laser. The title's cardinal, an elite, well-placed source in the Kremlin, leaks details of this secret activity to the United States. In the backdrop of technological bravura, spiced by artful espionage and all-too-human mistakes, intelligence is transferred back and forth and there are attacks and counterattacks. It is a mark of Clancy's growing maturity as a writer that he can bring these subtleties into highly entertaining form. Literary Guild Main. Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 422 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't overlook this one.... Aug. 17 2000
By hannibalsmith - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kardinal of the Kremlin is one of the best, if most often overlooked, books in the Jack Ryan series.
The plot of Kardinal basically involves three related story lines.
First, both the Russians and the US are attempting to create a ground based laser defense system to shoot down enemy sattelites and nuclear weapons. At its base, the story focuses on both side's efforts to build their respective systems, and to gather intellegence on the other side's progress.
Second, the U.S. has a very high level intellegence source inside the Kremlin itself. A lot of the story focuses on the U.S.'s attempts to maintain his cover, and its actions to save him after he is discovered.
Finally, a backdrop to the story is ongoing strategic arms talks in Moscow, which is eventually used as a cover by the US to arrange the defection of another high ranking Russian official.
Kardinal gives the reader a true insite into the workings of the US government, particularly the CIA, as only Tom Clancy can. The story is very immersive and suspenseful. My one warning to people who have read other Clancy books is that there aren't really any large scale battles or all out wars as in some of his other books. Here, Clancy focuses more on the fine art of playing spy :)
Asside from being a great book on its own, Kardinal does a great job tying in events and characters from earlier books in the Jack Ryan timeline, specifically from The Hunt For Red October and Patriot games.
Just as importantly to all Clancy fans, events related in Kardinal (perhaps more so than any of his other books) are referred to in the novels that Clancy wrote later on.
57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cardinal of the Kremlin - An exceptional novel! Sept. 13 2003
By K. Wyatt - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of all of Tom Clancy's novels that I've either read or reread, I would think it would be difficult to sit back and say, this novel or that one is the best of them, but if forced to choose, I'd say that "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" is the best one. Contained within the pages of this novel is some of the most fluid writing that one can find in a novel from this genre. From taut political intrigue to suspenseful military action this novel scores in every area.
The particularly great thing that one can anticipate and not be disappointed in when contemplating a Clancy novel, is that he covers all of the bases and leave nothing out. The scope and detail that Clancy worked into this novel is mind boggling as he sets up so many variables and then works you through to the conclusion of every one of those variables.
"The Cardinal of the Kremlin" is author Tom Clancy's fourth novel overall and more importantly, the third in his "Ryanverse." One of the more important things about reading a Clancy novel is the fact that he seems to have set things up for himself rather nicely because you will find "possible" hints at where he's going with either his next book or one down the road. You will find references to the Cardinal, throughout his previous books as well as other references in his earlier novels that are leading to his later novels.
Taut political intriguing + suspenseful military action + in depth characterizations + a plot of epic proportion = "The Cardinal of the Kremlin."
The premise:
"The Cardinal of the Kremlin" is so large in its scope and detail that it may be difficult to summarize the plot here, in so few words available.
What drives this novel, first and foremost, is Dr. Jack Ryan who is by the release of this novel the well known lead character from "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games." As the novel begins, we find that Dr. Ryan is still working as an analyst for the CIA's DDI, Deputy Director of Intelligence. He's presently trying to work up a paper based the current negotiations between the United States and the USSR on ICBM's.
We're then taken to the "Archer" who is an Afghanistan resistance fighter and part of the mudjaheddin. Due to what the Soviets have done to him and his family, he has no love lost for them, they even captured his son and taken him to the Soviet Union for "reeducation," hence his intense desire to fight and kill as many Soviets as he can.
From there we're introduced to the "Cardinal" of the Kremlin, Misha Filitov who is a Colonel in the Soviet Army and a three time Hero of the Soviet Union from his days as a tank commander in the Great War. Hinted at in previous Clancy novels, this Colonel has been disillusioned by the way of life in the Soviet Union which has caused the death of his wife and his son, hence his having been turned by American agents. In his present position with the Defense Ministry, he has been passing Soviets secrets to the Americans for thirty years.
What follows from there is one of author; Tom Clancy's most intriguing and entertaining novels to date that will have you, the reader, turning the pages voraciously trying to get to the end of it to see how it ends. The scope and detail of this novel is simply incredible.
I highly recommend not only this Clancy novel but all of his novels for he is truly the master of this genre. {ssintrepid}
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not desperately thrilling Aug. 27 2001
By niall o'gaiblain - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Tom Clancy book I've read (the other was Clear and Present Danger) and he is clearly a writer who can sustain several sub-plots and tie them up neatly at the end. This book focuses on arms control negotiations between the US and the soviet Union towards the end of the cold war, and specifically the development of the Strategic Defence Initiative, and the covert side to these that you are sure would have happened, but would never know about. It is all expertly explained and you do detect an effort by the author to avoid over demonising the villains. The main problem seemed to be the author wearing his heart so firmly on his sleeve with regard to right and wrong in the issues explored in the book. I found that this lead to a lack of tension, being able to predict the fates of characters in advance (I don't mean just Jack Ryan - of COURSE he'll come out smelling of roses - no problem there, but when you are equally confident about the outcome for various other minor characters in the book it does result in a serious loss of tension). That said however the book was a reasonably enjoyable read, enough to persuade me to try another in his jack Ryan series in the future.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true Spy Novel June 26 2000
By C. E. Miles - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a Tom Clancy fan. I have read most of his material, and I have always found his books entertaining. "Cardinal of the Kremlin" is no exception. Probably the most true spy novel in the Jack Ryan series, "Cardinal" has all of the elements that make an exciting story; mystery, intrigue, honor and vengeance. Clancy takes the time to develop his characters, explaining why each of them has chosen the path they are on, instead of just throwing an exciting scenario at you and letting you figure it out. I also like the way Clancy incorporates characters from previous books, like Captain Ramius from "The Hunt for Red October". Also if you plan to read more of Tom Clancy's work in the future, take note of the brief appearance of "Mr. Clark" because you see much more of him in the books to come. Many believe that this is Clancy's best work, but I disagree. It is a very good book and I would recommend you read it, but I think Clancy's best book is "Without Remorse."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable classic Cold War spy thriller June 7 2004
By Tim F. Martin - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had been meaning to read "Cardinal of the Kremlin" now for several years. Published in 1988, it is one of the older Jack Ryan technothrillers, one that I had bypassed when I started reading Clancy's works, first "Red Storm Rising" and then beginning the Jack Ryan saga with "Clear and Present Danger." I had - with the exception of "Without Remorse" and the newly published "Red Rabbit"- read all of the other subsequent books, and those books that I did not read I had seen the movie version (namely "The Hunt For Red October" and "Patriot Games"). I had resisted reading this one, or perhaps I should say I hadn't placed a high priority on this one, as they never filmed it, and it was a book very much steeped in Cold War intrigue, much of the novel taking place in the Soviet Union and involving two staples of the last years of the Cold War; "Star Wars" or the Strategic Defense Initiative (or to be more precise, something equivalent to it in the novel, a high-tech antiballistic missile or ABM system) and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. I was worried it would be antiquated, or that it would depict a Soviet Union that didn't really exist, as the collapse of the USSR in the late 1980s/early 1990s showed that how little the West really understood what the reality of the Soviet Union actually was.
I decided to read the book recently, partially to say I had read all of the Jack Ryan novels, partially because I wanted to know more of Ryan's history (events in this novel were referenced several times in Clancy's later works), and partially because I had decided to treat it as a period piece (and I have in the past enjoyed good tales of Cold War intrigue). I figured it would show an interesting, early Ryan, quite a bit different from the powerful and experienced one who eventually becomes President of the United States later on in the "Ryanverse" series.
I must say I enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite of the Ryan series but it certainly held my interest and I found it a fast read. It was actually a rather enlightened novel, as it showed the Russians as real people; some were good, some were bad. The Soviets depicted were for the most part fairly well rounded individuals, who just like Americans simply wanted more or less the same thing out of life; basically success and happiness. Some were not good people but even they weren't depicted as moustache-twirling, cackling Cold War villains, though to be sure there were bad guys in the piece. While it is not surprising that the title character of the book - the Cardinal, Colonel Mikhail Filitov, a highly placed spy in the Soviet military - is shown as a good person, it was somewhat surprising that many of those opposed to his actions were not shown as evil or vile but simply as often good people doing their job. In essence, Clancy showed that while the Soviet regime was bad, its people weren't necessarily so. His view of governments versus people - particularly with regards to the Russians - holds true in his later works as well, showing a good deal of consistency in his writing. Perhaps I didn't give Clancy enough credit in this regard, I don't know. In any event I found myself occasionally rooting for characters in the novel who were actually opposed to Filitov, Ryan, and the other protagonists.
The novel itself was as some have said more of a straightforward spy novel than some of the other volumes in the Jack Ryan series, with many classic espionage scenes taking place in Moscow and involving the KGB. Five major plotlines are followed in the novel, with four of these plotlines tightly interwoven; the Soviet Union is pursuing a largely ground-based ABM system (Bright Star), the United States is also pursuing one named Tea Clipper (these plots also involved those in one program trying to spy on the other nation's efforts), Colonel Filitov is spying for the Americans (and related to that plotline, there are Russians trying to uncover him), and Jack Ryan and others in the American government are conducting arms reduction negotiations in Moscow (ultimately the latter storyline becomes subservient to the others) The fifth plotline revolves around an Afghan mudjaheddin named the "Archer" and his actions in Afghanistan against Soviet forces and doesn't tie in hardly at all at first though it does in the end (more or less I think).
Action-wise the book was middle of the road (if anything fairly light) until the end when several plotlines end in some violence (particularly the Archer plot). The storyline with Filitov ended with some surprise for me, though it was an ending hinted at in the later Ryan books I had read.
I am glad I read the book and have an appetite for more, both from Clancy and from another similar author who I have really grown to respect, James W. Huston (I highly recommend his works). Often overlooked by Clancy fans - it certainly was by me - I think it is a shame more haven't read it.