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Book Note: Tom Clancy, The Sum of All Fears

I read this book about 21-Apr-2002. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1991. This note was last modified Saturday, 03-May-2014 08:21:22 PDT.

This is book 5 of the "Jack Ryan" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


My second-favorite and most-reread Tom Clancy (_The Hunt for Red October_ is a better book). How can I not like a book that actually lets the terrorists blow up a nuclear bomb at the superbowl?

This was science fiction when it was written. The copyright is 1991, and on page 171 of the hardcover it says "What Nixon and Kissinger had failed to do, what had defied the valiant efforts of Carter, the halfhearted attempts of Reagan, and the well-meaning gambits of Bush and his own predecessor, what all had failed to do, Bob Fowler would accomplish." Bush served 1989-1993 (elected in 1988), so Fowler was elected in 1996. And this book takes place in the runup to the midterm election, so that would be 1998. Near-future SF with no technological changes, of course. (The "predecessor" could have served two terms, moving things 4 more years; I suspect if I'd been paying attention to the other books I'd know that more precisely.)

I suspect we haven't heard the end of all those nukes we and they have sitting around, even if it doesn't come in the form this book postulates. More likely they'll decay in bunkers and start to leak, or something.

Parts of this book actually feel even-handed to me; Clancy seems to pick on many of the different sides, and point out their shorcomings.

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David Dyer-Bennet