Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that took forever to read. Which isn’t the reason I’ve been away from here for so long, for which I tender my apologies: work has been extra busy recently, and I only read this to keep up with Ingress Book Club. But to the book!
I expected much better, tbh. I remember reading Patriot Games back when I was a teenager and quite enjoying it (tho my recollection might be colored by time, as I apparently gave it a reviewless 3 stars on Goodreads some years ago.) Granted, PG was written two books after this debut, and wow, is The Hunt For Red October very obviously and painfully a debut. Stiff as a board and crammed with painstaking detail, it’s got a lot of twists but the writing suffocates under the weight of all the accuracy. It’s almost as if Tom Clancy wanted to establish his credentials as a researcher first, storyteller far distant second. I appreciate that rigorous attention to the truth, but the lack of storytelling flair makes it all incredibly dull. A worthy read, tho I did have certain moments where I grimaced at the “aw, shucks, God and America!” attitude throughout (or, annoyingly “Gawd” and America. Having sailors talk like Valley Girls was incredibly jarring.) Recommended for submarine/Cold War buffs, but everyone else should probably just watch the movie, which I haven’t yet seen but am planning to now.