My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Book Review

Tom Clancy's "The Teeth of the Tiger"

I know this book actually came out about two years ago, but I just got around to it, so. . .

Clancy returns to the Jack Ryan story line--sort of. This time around, it's several years after "The Bear and the Dragon" (which, for the record, I thought was the weakest of the whole series), and Jack has resigned the Presidency, but managed to create a special "private" agency on the way out. This is called The Campus, and it works off if intercepted CIA/NSA chatter, complete with its own analysis wing and an operations piece.

By the way, no, the whole resignation is not very well explained. In fact, there are a lot of gaps in the history of this story, but they don't get in the way too much.

At any rate, the story picks up when, through a plausible run of coincidences, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his two Caruso cousins, Brian and Dominic, come to work at The Campus. The cousins are brought on to be the operations arm of The Campus, while Jack is brought in on the analysis side. The story gets moving when four separate bands of terrorists each shoot up malls in different cities in "middle America." From there, we get to watch the fun of the intelligence gathering and analysis game, as well as the counter-terrorist measures The Campus is capable of. And when I say "counter-terrorist," I might be underselling the process a bit.

As an aside, given Clancy's history of predicting terrorist strikes (at the conclusion of "Debt of Honor" an airliner is flown into the U.S. capitol), I'm disturbed by the terrorist scenario proposed here. My worst fear is not the "big strike" from the terrorists, but the drip, drip, trickle of the small but horrific attacks on malls, weddings, and buses that have plagued Israel. I hope he was wrong about this one.

I rather enjoyed this book. Clancy is returning to the intel/counter-espionage roots that first drew me into the Jack Ryan saga, and this story line is both reasonably plausible and just imaginative enough to keep you interested. As with most good Clancy, it reads pretty quickly, and doesn't bog down in the details at any point.

On the down side, the dialogue between the young stars of the book does not ring at all true. It's as if Clancy only knows youth culture from the drone training scene in "Scooby Doo." Luckily, that dialogue is fairly limited.

All in all, a very good read. Not going to increase your deep thinking or knowledge of history, but will manage to pass the time for you.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?