The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Book Review: Red Rabbit 

Well... I knocked another book off my stack last night. I finished reading Tom Clancy's Red Rabbit. The hard cover was on a clearance shelf at Barnes & Noble for $6.00 (minus my Member discount), so I really couldn't pass it up. I do enjoy a lot of Clancy's books. However, there was a good reason that this particular hard cover was dirt cheap.

This book is supposed to be a prequel to the Jack Ryan series of stories (Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger). So it takes place in the 1980's, during the Cold War, where the U.S.S.R still existed, and was still our main enemy. The idea is that a Russian communications officer wants to defect, and he contacts someone in the U.S. embassy in Moscow to get out. Moreover, he has important information about an assassination attempt that is being planned. You read that and probably think, there is a lot of possibility for intrigue and suspense. You're right, there is that possibility. Unfortunately, throughout the entire 600+ pages of this book, it never materializes. It ends up being rather long, drawn out, and kind of boring, not to mention predictable.

Maybe because the assassination attempt in the book actually happened, it takes some of the wind out of the story, because you know how that turned out. But the problem is that even the events leading up to it in the book, like getting the rabbit out of Russia are done in a very mundane, boring way. I suppose that could be very realistic, and how most CIA operations occurred during the Cold War. Unfortunately it doesn't make very good reading.

If you want to learn how to smuggle people out of a reclusive, controlling country, without them suspecting anything, this is a great "How To" manual. If you're looking for a suspenseful summer read that will keep you guessing, this is not it.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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