Teeth of the Tiger

I just finished Tom Clancy’s not–new-anymore-but still-most-recent book, “Teeth of the Tiger”. I didn’t really like it, not because I disagree with Clancy’s politics or anything like that (although, I do on a lot of issues), but just because the book seemed to be relatively free of anything approaching suspense or conflict. Here’s the plot in a nutshell:

Arab terrorists shoot up some shopping malls, so Jack Ryan, Jr. and the Caruso twins, who have joined this top secret pseudo-governmental terrorist assassination squad, have to figure out who was involved. Jack finds somebody who was involved, pretty easily, then the Carusos kill him pretty easily. The Carusos then kill some other terrorist pretty easily, then a third terrorist, pretty easily. Then Jack, who joins them at the last minute, kills the terrorist mission planner pretty easily.

There’s no conflict, and, unlike his other books, his main characters are never in any danger, and there’s never any sense that they might not succeed. It’s not like The Hunt for Red October, where Jack Ryan has to figure out the Soviet sub is trying to defect and the Soviet captain has to avoid the Soviet fleet, or Cardinal of the Kremlin, where the CIA has to try to get a Russian double agent out of the Soviet Union before the KGB finds him. It’s not even Rainbow Six,which I didn’t like, where Clark and the gang have to figure out a biological warfare plot before its the bad guys can pull it off.

Teeth is a good beginning of a novel. The characters he establishes are likeable enough, I guess, and the setup one that could be dramatic, but there’s just no payoff.

It’s about half the size of his more recent novels, smaller, in fact than any since Red October. Maybe he decided to release the second half next year?

Actually, being smaller and quite a bit less bloated, reading it was a more enjoyable (or at least less painfull) experience than slogging all the way through to the end of Red Rabbit. I wouldn’t call it great, but it had its moments.


The notion that Jack Ryan, Sr. could sign blank pardons before he left office and that they would still be valid when he was no longer president is ludicrious.

Picked up the book just last week, as I’ve read every Clancy novel up to this point (with varying degrees of satisfaction). I’m probably about halfway through, but went ahead and read the spoilers because quite frankly, I don’t care for the book much at all.

A big problem I used to never have with his novels but do now (and I don’t know if it’s just because I’m older or because he’s steadily gotten worse) is how absolutely unbelievable EACH and EVERY character (especially in this book) is. EVERYONE is apparently a genius, and a marksman, and way ahead of his peers career-wise, oh and most everyone is rich. NONE of these characters have any sort of the personal problems or issues normal people have to face day in and day out.

His dialogue varies between being tiresome, to being some macho bullcrap, to being just plain stupid. I don’t know if it’s just me… but really, it’s that bad.

I seriously don’t know if I can finish this book.

Well, having read each and every Clancy book multiple times, all I have to say is “Money Grab!”.

It really wasn’t “bad”, but not good either. Maybe it’s that each time I’ve read it, it took about 6 hours.

I think the stand out so far is Without Remorse, and would buy another Clark/Kelly book without a doubt.

Now I don’t feel too bad for not having read it. It doesn’t sound like I’ve missed anything.

I read all the fiction he did through “Yellow Sausage Rising”(AKA The Bear and the Dragon). That was the end for me. I just got fed up by the constant gratitious sex, the fact it felt like I’d read this story before (and Frankly, I liked it better when it was called “Red Storm Rising”, then “Executive Orders”).

The series, it felt, has been going downhill ever since Sum of All Fears( the last really good novel). Without Remorse and Debt of Honor were good, Excutive Orders wasn’t quite as good and Rainbox six felt like it had been Ghostwritten.

I picked up Red Rabbit very cheaply but I haven’t felt the urge to read it yet.

I had a problem with The Bear and the Dragon as well. I don’t mind a book with sex scenes, but the scenes in this book just seemed to be there, well, for the sake of having sex scenes.

A major point of the book was to have Nomari seduce Minister Fang’s secretary so that he could get her to install a Trojan program on her computer which would transmit everything she typed off to the CIA. Pretty cool technology, and plausible enough as technology.

BUT, why risk everything by seducing Ming (the secretary)? Nomuri was covered as a saleman for the company which sold the Ministry the computer. It would have been a snap for him, as the saleman and tech rep, to give Ming the trojan, claiming it was an upgrade or a diagnostic program. She would then, in all innocence, install the program and forget about it. As it is, she has guilty knowlege which could be accidentally revealed in many ways – or she could have an attack of concience and spill the beans. Why take the risk?

Obviously, to get the sex scenes into the book.