Clancy, Tom The Bear and the Dragon

ISBN 13: 9780141803395

The Bear and the Dragon

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9780141803395: The Bear and the Dragon

Being President, Jack Ryan discovers, doesn't get any easier, particularly not when domestic pitfalls await him at every turn and in Moscow someone may have tried to take out the chairman of the SVR (formerly the KGB) with a rocket-propelled grenade. Who were the potential assassins - were they Russian mafia, disaffected former KGB or something far more dangerous? Even while Ryan dispatches his most trusted eyes and ears to find out the truth, forces in China are moving ahead with a plan of audacious proportions. If they succeed, the world will never look the same. If they fail...the consequences will be unspeakable.

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Review:

Power is delightful, and absolute power should be absolutely delightful--but not when you're the most powerful man on earth and the place is ticking like a time bomb. Jack Ryan, CIA warrior turned US president, is the man in the hot seat, and in this vast thriller he's up to his nostrils in crazed Asian warlords, Russian thugs, nukes that won't stay put, and authentic, up-to-the-nanosecond technology as complex as the characters' motives are simple. Quick, do you know how to reprogramme the software in an Aegis missile seekerhead? Well, if you're Jack Ryan, you'd better find someone who does, or an incoming ballistic may rain fallout on your parade. Bad for re-election prospects. "You know, I don't really like this job very much," Ryan complains to his aide Arnie van Damm, who replies, "Ain't supposed to be fun, Jack."

But you bet The Bear and the Dragon is fun--over 1,000 swift pages' worth. In the opening scene, a hand-launched RPG rocket nearly blows up Russia's intelligence chief in his armoured Mercedes, and Ryan's clever spooks report that the guy who got the rocket in his face instead was the hoodlum "Rasputin" Avseyenko, who used to run the KGB's "Sparrow School" of female prostitute spies. Soon after, two apparent assassins are found handcuffed together afloat in St. Petersburg's Neva River, their bloated faces resembling Pokémon toys.

The stakes go higher as the mystery deepens: oil and gold are discovered in huge quantities in Siberia, and the evil Chinese Minister Without Portfolio Zhang Han San gazes northward with lust. The laid-off elite of the Soviet Army figure in the brewing troubles, as do the new generation of Tiananmen Square dissidents, Zhang's wily, Danielle Steel-addicted executive secretary Lian Ming, and Chester Nomuri, a hip, Internet-porn-addicted CIA agent posing in China as a Japanese computer salesman. He e-mails his CIA boss, Mary Pat "the Cowgirl" Foley, that he intends to seduce Ming with Dream Angels perfume and scarlet Victoria's Secret lingerie ordered from the catalogue--strictly for God and country, of course. Soon Ming is calling him "Master Sausage" instead of "Comrade," but can anybody master Ming?

The plot is over the top, with devastating subplots erupting all over the globe and lurid characters scaring the wits out of each other every few pages, but Clancy finds time to insert hard-boiled little lessons on the vileness of Communism, the infuriating intrusions of the press on presidential power, the sexual perversions of Mao, the poor quality of Russian pistol silencers ("garbage, cans loaded with steel wool that self-destructed after less than ten shots"), the folly of cutting a man's throat with a knife ("they flop around and make noise when you do that"), and similar topics. Naturally, the book bristles like a battlefield with intriguingly intricate military hardware.

When you've got a Tom Clancy novel in hand, who needs action movies? -- Tim Appelo

Review:

'Clancy ... towers above other novelists in his ability to deliver geo-political, techo-military goods on a global scale ? and here he's at the top of that war-gaming.' (Publishers Weekly)

'Clancy is a natural storyteller.' (USA Today)

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Book Description Penguin, Various, 2001. Audio Cassettes. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Slipcase. 4 x Cassettes Abridged, running Time 6 hours Read by Frank Muller Clean copies (played and checked) in good condition. Slip case with illustated inner covers Penguin Audio Books dated 2001 Book#100467 Size: 24mo - over 5" - 5¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 100467

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