Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Tom Clancy reveals Jack Ryan's origins in this electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling thriller that pits the former Marine turned family man against a vicious group of international terrorists. As an American in London on vacation with his family, Jack Ryan never imagined his quick thinking would prevent an assassination attempt on Britain's royal family and earn him the gratitude of an entire nation--and the scorn of an ultra-left-wing faction of the IRA. Irish terrorist Sean Miller and his followers in the Ulster Liberation Army intend to make sure Ryan pays for his interference in blood. But he's not the only one they're after... With the lives of his pregnant wife and young daughter in mortal danger, Ryan accepts a role as a CIA analyst in order to find Miller and shut down the ULA. Going head to head with a ruthless terrorist is a fool's errand, but Jack Ryan is the kind of man who will do whatever it takes to protect his family.
Last year I randomly decided I was going to read all the Jack Ryan books in chronological order. So far, I've read Without Remorse (which barely even has Ryan in it) and this one, so I'm making excellent progress! Like Without Remorse, and all Clancy books apparently, this book has a good story that suffers from bloated prose. On and on and on it went, finishing up with a big fire fight that seemed like everyone had forgotten the script. Ryan is a good character, though his attitudes date ('womenfolk' is not a term you'd hear nowadays), and the idea of no terrorism on US soil seems hilarious now. Clancy's fictionalised Prince Charles...well another thing that dates. And there's a little too much 'America is so great' for me - an early comment when Ryan notes that the British drive on the left side of the road just comes across as...I don't know...arrogant is not the right word, but it certainly felt like Clancy had written 'the wrong side of the road' and then corrected himself. Maybe its my Aussie sensibilities (we also drive on the left) - I was in the US when I started reading this book and after two weeks of being asked about my English, why my country celebrates Christmas in the Summer, and having my name pronounced incorrectly, I'm a little sensitive. Not necessarily the book's fault!
So, overall, a good, but bloated read. I'll start the next one sometime next year - at this rate, I'll be reading Jack Ryan books for the next 20 years!
31 / 50 books. 62% done!
9880 / 15000 pages. 66% done!
Journey to the West by Cheng-En Wu - 673 pages
Finland: 100 Years of Success edited by Antti Kekola - 235 pages
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich - 305 pages
And coming up:
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - 176 pages