The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy

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.

Permanent link to this article:


  1. Tom Clancy did write an actual book about modern submarines, so you’re right, it’s a subject he has definitely researched. Red Storm Rising has been sitting on my shelf unread for years; after your review I’m inclined to let it sit a while longer.

  2. I mean, he gets better, if my memory of Patriot Games is correct. But I wouldn’t put any of his writing at the top of my To-Read pile any time soon either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.