The Sum of All Fears Mass Market Paperback – Feb 6 2002
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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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Middle East terrorists discover nuclear material from an unexploded Israeli bomb and convert it to a thermonuclear device.
The Japanese play fast and loose with trade laws.
The East Germans may have lost some nuclear material when the country's Communist goverment collapsed.
The Russians appear to have a crisis of leadership.
Jack Ryan brings peace to the Middle East on a religious, not political basis, earning the respect of those who know what he did, the contempt of those who know, but want the credit for themselves.
The new National Security Advisor is more than an advisor to the President. She attempts to destroy Ryan through others.
And when a nuclear device fizzles at the Super Bowl, Ryan must discover the perpetrators, or watch as the President launches a full-scale nuclear war.
It is Ryan against all comers in a page-turning thriller.
The first time I read this book, it cost me a night's sleep. The second time wasn't much better...and even after repeated readings, it is a book that compels the reader to keep moving.
The movie is just incredible. The nuclear effects must have been measured, and probably US military advice was used. Think about the World Trade Center hit. Terrible. US assets were used against the US. We think it was done by Islamic groups. Probably physically yes, but there must be a central creator.
Do you remember what the Austrian "government leader told"? Something like: Hitler was an excellent mind, but he had one disadvantage: in that time the world was too big to rule, but now with globalization, Internet and communication the world is small.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on May 16 2010 by N. Nabrotzky
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! Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by John
Jack Ryan is on the other side - political forces from the National Security Advisor to the President want him out. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by Jeffrey Clinard
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... Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by Amazon Customer
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... Read more
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 morePublished on Sept. 25 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados
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 morePublished on Sept. 15 2003 by Jackie M. Bachenberg