Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Hunt for Red October - Review

This was my first Tom Clancy book, and I can see why he is so popular.  Usually action-suspense novels like this one build slowly until about half-way through the book, you can't bear to put it down.  I felt like that from the first page of this book.
In the first chapter, Clancy reveals that the captain of the USSR's latest, greatest nuclear submarine plans to defect to the USA.  Instantly, I was drawn into the social, political, military, scientific, personal drama of the story.  The Hunt for Red October is a compelling story as well as an inside look to international subsurface politics and a social commentary on communism (albeit from the outside). 
The bulk of the book is based on Captain Ramius' attempts to avoid the Russian Navy and make contact with the American Navy so that he and his officers can defect.  The Russians have orders to sink Ramius' sub.  The Americans are more than a little freaked out by all of the Russian naval activity off their east coast.  In between it all, there is a spy game going on as well.
I loved this book.  I'll definitely be reading more of Clancy.  Clancy is like John Grisham mixed with the military.  Also, I want to watch the movie.  Itunes here I come.  As for the Josh rating, Red October barely misses the 5 Js.  It doesn't have overwhelming moral punch, but it was an extremely entertaining read.  (If you're following along with my reviews, you might notice, I'm getting stingier with the 5Js rating.  I'm trying to reserve it for truly exceptional works.)  Overall: JJJJ.
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