Books: The Hunt For Red October

I picked up this book after watching the movie recently. I had read the book a while back and also seen the movie once when it came out decades ago. The books written by Tom Clancy requires a lot more than casual reading. It also requires a lot of efforts in order to adapt it for the screen. If the books are made into a movie like it is written to the screen instead of adapting, it becomes a costly affair which will also turn out to be too difficult to comprehend. Considering this fact, I wanted to find out how the hunt for Red October plays out in the book. In this process, I also discover the joys of second reading. 

Set in the Cold War Era, the story is about a missing Soviet nuclear submarine during the maiden voyage. Commandeered by Captain Ramius, the nuclear submarine goes silent. The new propulsion system which emits lesser sound than a normal submarine complicates the matter as it is almost undetectable.  The disappearance causes Soviets to mobilize their entire fleet close to the US coastal lines making the Americans nervous. The US in turn mobilizes their forces in order to keep an eye on the Russian ones. The chances for war increases as the forces of these two nations come closer. The time is close to Christmas, and the world is on the brink of war. The CIA analyst Jack Ryan takes a routine trip from his base station in London to Washington DC for a debrief that thrusts him into to the middle of action.

Tom Clancy describes in detail on technical aspects of modern weapons and m protocols followed by the navy, army and the air force of both countries. The reader has to be vigilant so as not to lose or confuse oneself in the details. Since it deals with espionage, this is a cat-and-mouse game where pawns are so insignificant that they don't realize the importance of the part they play. Since the action is set on the sea, we get to see what is life is aboard carriers and submarines mainly the claustrophobia. He also highlights on the disparities in life in both countries at that time.

If you haven't read it and you love thrillers, this one is for you. The book tells of a different era. But those times were as dangerous as the times we live at present. In many ways, those times were much simpler too.

Tags: Books,Tom Clancy,Jack Ryan


  1. It's a while since I have picked up Tom Clancy; his books remind me of a time when I was careless and free, even if wasteful. Just for old time's sake, maybe I'll rekindle the Soviet, the KGB et al.

    1. Yes, it does bring nostalgia. As for me, it reminds me of a popular lending library in the city I grew up. That is where most of my friend developed the love for reading.


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