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As read by Ronald Reagan

David Rieff, 3 September 1987

Red Storm Rising 
by Tom Clancy.
Collins Harvill, 652 pp., £10.95, January 1987, 9780002230780
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... part of three million copies in cloth and paperback. It is, in fact, the second huge success for Tom Clancy Jr, a 46-year-old former insurance broker from the Eastern Shore of Maryland whose only published work, prior to these successes, had been, as his publishers rather proudly insist, ‘a letter to the editor and a three-page article on the MX ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Ryanverse, 11 July 2002

... Tom Clancy, as his fans already know, has a new novel coming out in August. When he first revealed its gestation, at the beginning of 2001, he said its working title (or ‘codename’, as prefers) was ‘The Red Rabbit’, but this was likely to change as it was ‘too stylised’ – and perhaps too Updiked, though Clancy didn’t mention that ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘Extraordinary Rendition’, 5 January 2006

... The official euphemism for it sounds like the title of a Tom Clancy thriller, or a straight-to-video 1980s action movie starring Chuck Norris. The practice itself sounds like something that might go on, or be rumoured to go on, through the course of a novel by Don DeLillo. But there is no doubt that it does happen, despite the cagey denials and qualifications of the British and American governments ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Quiet American, 14 November 2002

... Vietnam, and its miscalculations’. Noyce – an Australian, whose Hollywood movies include the Tom Clancy adaptations Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger – wanted to make the film because, he says, rereading the novel a few years ago after meeting US Military Intelligence officers who’d been in Vietnam in 1945, he thought: ‘Wow, this ...

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Daniel Soar: Underground Bunkers, 6 November 2008

... Cold War time-warp. There’s a dorm-room poster of F-16s in flight in the ‘changing room’; a Tom Clancy novel decorates the duty officer’s quarters. The wire coathangers are standard-issue but the gas masks lying on the bedside table in the principal bedroom are clothed in tartan fabric. Come the apocalypse, or the global financial meltdown, this ...

Short Cuts

Deborah Friedell: Jury Duty, 23 May 2019

... that shows respect for the law. If he’s carrying a book, it should be a thriller – preferably Tom Clancy. You want ‘realistic, plain simple ordinary people’, ‘not the town idiot’, but not smart: ‘smart people will analyse the hell out of your case’; ‘they hold you up to a higher standard … they take those words “reasonable ...

Short Cuts

Colin Smith: Carlos the Jackal, 26 January 2012

... of almost as many films as Billy the Kid and inspired nearly as many books. Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy have both written novels about him; my biography of him appeared in 1976. I was asked by Coutant-Peyre to give him a signed copy. I’d brought an old paperback with me and wrote in it: ‘For Carlos. So many questions I would like to ask ...


Theo Tait: Tom Wolfe’s Bloody Awful Novel, 6 January 2005

I am Charlotte Simmons 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 676 pp., £20, November 2004, 0 224 07486 5
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... Tom Wolfe is, in many ways, an outrageous figure – with his white suit and cane, his glib social analyses, and his delusions of grandeur. For three decades he has been saying that his minutely researched books herald ‘a revolution’ in literature, which is bound to ‘sweep the arts in America, making many prestigious artists … appear effete and irrelevant ...

We do not deserve these people

Anatol Lieven: America and its Army, 20 October 2005

The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War 
by Andrew Bacevich.
Oxford, 270 pp., £16.99, August 2005, 0 19 517338 4
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... culture are suffused with the language of militarism. Take Bacevich on the popular novelist Tom Clancy: In any Clancy novel, the international order is a dangerous and threatening place, awash with heavily armed and implacably determined enemies who threaten the United States. That Americans have managed to ...

Immortally Cute

Rebecca Mead: Alice Sebold, 17 October 2002

The Lovely Bones 
by Alice Sebold.
Picador, 328 pp., £12.99, September 2002, 0 330 48537 7
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... at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, a place usually reserved for Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy. The book’s success is a categorial surprise, since literary novels hardly ever reach a mass audience in America; but its subject-matter is so perfectly resonant with the tenor of the times that its appeal is transparent. The book concerns a ...

Long live the codex

John Sutherland: The future of books, 5 July 2001

Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future 
by Jason Epstein.
Norton, 188 pp., £16.95, March 2001, 0 393 04984 1
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... services of even these jackals on the grounds that they are insufficiently predatory. Last summer, Tom Clancy fired the agent who had represented him for 15 years and hired a ‘business manager’, Michael Ovitz, who, he hoped, would market his technothrillers more lucratively in Hollywood. Most of what has happened to the book business since 1960 ...

Hopeless Warriors

Michael Gorra: Sherman Alexie’s novels, 5 March 1998

The Lone Ranger and Tonto in Fistfight Heaven 
by Sherman Alexie.
Vintage, 223 pp., £6.99, September 1997, 9780749386696
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Reservation Blues 
by Sherman Alexie.
Minerva, 306 pp., £6.99, September 1996, 0 7493 9513 3
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Indian Killer 
by Sherman Alexie.
Secker, 420 pp., £9.99, September 1997, 0 436 20433 9
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... enough to care about the missed notes. So it bothers me that a character is described as enjoying Tom Clancy novels during a scene set a dozen years or more before the publication of The Hunt for Red October. It bothers me, too, that the reverb from his characters’ thoughts often screeches through Alexie’s omniscient narration, in a way that can make ...

Make it more like a murder mystery

Eleanor Birne: The life and death of Stuart Shorter, 19 May 2005

Stuart: A Life Backwards 
by Alexander Masters.
Fourth Estate, 295 pp., £12.99, April 2005, 0 00 720036 6
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... a striped Tesco carrier bag. He calls it ‘bollocks boring’ and demands something ‘like what Tom Clancy writes’, something ‘what people will read’. He is scornful of the barrage of academic quotations, footnotes and background research. What is reproduced here of his criticism sounds right to me and in the one or two places where Masters ...

X marks the self

Thomas Jones, 16 November 2017

Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World 
by Greg Milner.
Granta, 336 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 84708 709 6
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... way for a surprise stealth bombing raid on Baghdad. Milner tells this story with all the skill of Tom Clancy, and quotes with apparent approval the officers who have sung the technology’s praises. General Chuck Horner, who ran the air campaign in the Gulf, was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He said in his memoir (written with ...

Hormone Wars

A. Craig Copetas, 23 April 1992

Crazy Cock 
by Henry Miller.
HarperCollins, 202 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 00 223943 4
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The Happiest Man Alive 
by Mary Dearborn.
HarperCollins, 368 pp., £18.50, July 1991, 0 00 215172 3
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... worker recently calculated the voter mileage in awarding the mesmerising techno-thriller author Tom Clancy a grant from the National Endowment in this election year. The White House conception of the ideal American writer to advertise at home and abroad would certainly not be Miller. Irony and sex don’t sell in politics, which is why Miller is banned ...

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