Monday, May 2, 2011


So, a few months ago I noticed that Tom Clancy had released a new novel for the first time in several years.  The title is Dead or Alive, and since I have loved pretty much everything that Clancy had written, I checked it out from the library and read it.

For those of you unfamiliar, Clancy's flagship premise is following a guy named Jack Ryan, who appeared in novels as far back as 20 years ago.  I believe you have seen "The Hunt for Red October", which was about Mr. Ryan convincing a Soviet Sub captain to defect.  In the novels, Jack Ryan progresses through his career, eventually becoming President.

In Dead or Alive, Jack is now retired and writing his memoirs, and the focus shifts over to his son, Jack Jr..  Junior is a CIA operative who is, naturally, working his way up the ladder on his own.

So, here is where it gets kind of wierd...the novel is essentially a fictionalization of the capture of bin Laden.  Of course, the name is changed and the story is altered slightly, but you can tell that Clancy was just taking the history of our country, changing it slightly, and writing a sort of "history porn" of how the capture of the most notorious terrorist of our generation would go.

He got a lot of it right...You have the CIA keying on a courier (that really happened), you have a night-time raid of a compound (that really happened), and even the fact that he was kind of hiding in plain sight (which is smart).

Some of the bigger differences are that the fake bin Laden was in Las Vegas in the book, not Pakistan, as well as a pretty key character dies in the book, which didn't happen in real life.  I think it is pretty interesting how the stories tend to parallel each other pretty closely.

It is a pretty good read, but I wouldn't recommend picking it up if you haven't read any Clancy first.  Start with Red October and work your way through the progression.  The book will make a lot more sense after you have some context of the characters.


Posted via email from Explosive Amnesia

Post a Comment