The Sum of All Fears Mass Market Paperback – May 7 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 --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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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 ›
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.
READ THIS BOOK!
The book opens with a prologue set during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Egypt, Syria, and even a few Iraqi units attacked Israel in a stunning surprise attack. Faced with possible defeat for the first time in 25 years, Israel alerts its small nuclear deterrent to be placed on standby. In the confusion of increased mission tempo, a single small nuclear bomb is loaded onto an A-4 Skyhawk attack bomber whose pilot has no clue what he is carrying. In an attack on a Syrian SAM battery, this A-4 is shot down and its deadly cargo falls into a Druze farmer's rocky field, where it will lie undisturbed for almost two decades.
Fast forward to Clancy's fictional mid 1990s-era world. The Cold War is ending, and the easing tensions between East and West offer the weary world both hope and fear. With America and the Soviet Union now working together to solve some of the thorniest problems on the planet, expectations are high for a new, peaceful world order.
First and foremost of these problems, of course, is the Middle East, where Israeli-Palestinian relations have once again heated up in a chain of religiously-motivated incidents. This time, though, the Palestinians have taken a cue from the American civil rights movement and started a Martin Luther King, Jr.-style "peaceful confrontation" campaign, which places Israel on the moral defensive.Read more ›
Yes, the movie did change the bad guys from Arab Muslims to some neo-nazi types, but I never understood how detailed these books were. I have decided to stick to the movie versions. I cannot fault Clancy for his writing, it's just more input than I want. I really don't care about the exact sequence of how a nuclear devise explodes. I really don't want to know the manufacturing process of that devise in detail.
I gave the book 3 stars because (at least for me) if I skip the pages and pages of technical detail the book is entertaining. I certainly don't want to try and chase folks away from this book if this type of detail is your cup of tea. But if you're like me, then just wait until they make it into a movie
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
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 morePublished on Aug. 20 2003 by David Hassall
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 morePublished on Aug. 4 2003