Clancy, Tom: Without Remorse
(researched by Peyton Gresham)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1993 200 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 Copyright 1993 Jack Ryan Limited Partnership
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition was published in trade cloth.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
There are 320 leaves. Pages 1-10 (unnumbered), 11-639 (numbered), and page 640 (unnumbered). Pages that are numbered are numbered at t
he top of each page above an 11 centimeter line exactly 2.5 centimeters outside of the center. On a right page, the numbering is exactly 2.5 centimeters right of center while on a left page the numbering is 2.5 centimeters left of the center.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
Not edite
d or introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The book does not have any illustrations.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The book seems to have been printed well. The print is relatively small but still very readable. The chapter titles are in big bold print below an 11 centimeter horizontal line near the top
of the page. Above the line are the chapter numbers, similarly in big bold print. The pages have 2 centimeter margins on all sides. In comparison, the pages run 22.5 centimeters high and 14.5 centimeters wide. Printed on the spine are the author and the
title in large gold print. At the bottom in smaller print is the publisher's name. On the cloth cover, there is a signature that appears to be that of the author.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper seems to holding up well. It is an off white color and thick. There are not
any pages that have come loose from the binding. In general, the paper seems to be of good quality.
11 Description of binding(s)
The book lacks a dust jacket. It is covered by a light black cloth while the spine is also covered by a navy blue piece of cloth. It appears that glue,
not stitching, primarily holds the pages together. The binding seems to be doing a good job of holding the book in place; however, this binding has collected quite a few folds from its 6 years of use.
12 Transcription of title page
Tom/Clancy/Without/Remorse/G.P. Putnam's Sons/ New
York/
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
No manuscripts are available.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Between the title page and the beginning of the novel, there are three pages with an assortment of quotes, a dedication, and acknowledgements of thanks. On the first of these 3 pages, there are two acknowledgeme
nts of thanks and one quote by W.B. Yeats. On the second page, there is an unattributed poem (possibly Clancy's) and a dedication following it. On the third page, there is a quote by Publius Vergilius Maro and a quote by John Dryden.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
The original publisher, The Putnam Publishing Group, also published a limited edition made of trade cloth. It was published at the same time as the regular
first edition. Its retail price is $150.00 while the regular first edition sold for $24.95.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Not Available.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Thorndike Press, Thorndike, Me. Year: 1993. Format: 997 p. (large print); 23 cm.
Without Remorse. TomClancy. Publisher: HarperCollins, London. Year: 1993. Format: 639 p.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Berkeley Books, New York. Year: 1994. Format: 750 p.; 18 cm.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: HarperCollins, London. Year: 1994. Format: 768 p.; 18 cm.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference. Year: Nov. 1993. Format: 1180 p.; large type, hardcover.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference. Year: Jan. 1995. Format: 1180 p.; large type, paperback.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group. Year. Aug. 1994. Format: 768 p.; mass market paperback. Edition: reprint.
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Demco Media. Year: Jan. 1994. Format: Hardcover
Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Reader's Digest condensed books: volume 2, 1994. Publisher: Reader's Digest Association, Pleasantville, NY. Year: 1994. Edition: 1st ed. Format: 574 p.; ill. (some color); 20 cm.
6 Last date in print?
Without Remorse is currently still in print as of March 1999.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Not Available
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
Not Available
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Not Available
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
There were multiple book reviews on Without Remorse including the following:
Book Review Without Remorse: Tom Clancy. New York Times Book Review, Aug. 22, 1993. Reviewer: G. Gordon Liddy. Physical Description: p. 13, 1700 words.
Book Review Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. The Christian Science Monitor (Eastern Edition), Sept. 2, 1993. Physical Description: p. 14.
Book Review Booklist v. 89 (June 1-15 '93) Reviewer: Denise Perry Donavin. Physical description: p. 1734.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Savoy Pictures began producing a movie, but the project was canceled when Savoy Pictures folded. Random House Audiobooks did an abridged recording of Without Remorse. Also, a full recording of the book was produced in Newp
ort Beach, California.
Special Library Audiobook Edition Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Books on Tape, Newport Beach, California. Year: 1993. Read by Michael Prichard. Format: 20 sound cassettes (ca. 30 hrs.) : analog, 1 7/8 ips.
Audiobook Without Remorse. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Random house Audiobooks, New York, NY. Year: 1993. Format: 4 sound cassettes (6 hrs.) : Dolby processed.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
FRENCH TRANSLATION Sans aucun remords: roman. Tom Clancy Publisher: Edicions Albin Michel S.A.: Paris Year: 1994 Format: 2 v.; 24 cm
SPANISH TRANSLATION Sin remordimientos. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Plaza & Janes: Barcelona. Year: 1993. Format: 781 p.; 22 cm. Edition: 1a ed.
SPANISH TRANSLATION Sin remordimientos. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Plaza & Janes, Barcelona. Year: 1994. Format: 781 p.; 22 cm. Edition: 2a ed.
SPANISH TRANSLATION Sin remordimientos. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Plaza & Janes, Barcelona. Year: 1995. Format: 781 p.; 18 cm. Edition: 3. ed. en esta coleccion Series: Los Jet de Plaza & Janes; 150/7 Biblioteca de Tom Clancy
PORTUGUESE TRANSLATION Sem remorso: Tom Clancy. Publisher: Ediotora Record; [distributed by] Luso-Brazilian Books; Brasil: Brooklyn, N.Y. Year: 1993. Format: 700 p. 21 cm.
PORTUGUESE TRANSLATION Sem remorso. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Editora Record; Rio de Janeiro. Year: 1996. Format: 700 p.; 21 cm. Edition: 3. ed.
CHINESE TRANSLATION Leng hsueh han chiang. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Hsing kuang ch'u pan she; T'ai-pei shih. Year: 1994. Format: 2 v. : ill. (some col.); 21 cm. Series: Chun shih ts'ung shu; 25. Edition: Ti 1 pan;
JAPANESE TTRANSLATION Yoshanaku. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Shinchosha, Tokyo. Year: 1996. Format: 2v; 15 cm. Series: Shincho bunko.
KOREAN TRANSLATION Poksu. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Koryowon, Soul. Year: 1993. Format: 3 v.; 23 cm. Edition: Ch'op'an
POLISH TRANSLATION Bez skrupulow. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Adamski i Bielinski, Warszawa. Year: 1993. Format: 674, ix p. ; 21 cm.
RUSSIAN TRANSLATION Bez zhalosti. Tom Clancy. Publisher: "Mir", Moskva. Year: 1995. Format: 639 p.; 22 cm; Series: Zarubezhnyi triller
DUTCH TRANSLATION De meedogenlozen. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Uitgevers B.V., Utrecht. Year: 1994. Format: 583 p.
GERMAN TRANSLATION Gnadenlos. Tom Clancy. Publisher: Heyne. Year: 1995. Format: unknown.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
This is the order this set of novels was published in. The second listing of the books is the order of the plot's timeline.
Prequels
The Hunt for Red October (1984) Patriot Games (1987) The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988) Clear and Present Danger (1989) The Sum of All Fears (1991)
Sequels
Debt of Honor (1994) Executive Orders (1996) Rainbow Six (1998)
According to Timeline Prequels
None
Sequels
Patriot Games (1987) The Hunt for Red October (1984) The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988) Clear and Present Danger (1989) The Sum of All Fears (1991) Debt of Honor (1994) Executive Orders (1996) Rainbow Six (1998)
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Thomas L. Clancy, Jr. was born at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 12, 1947. Given a Jesuit education, he graduated from Loyola High School in Towson, MD, in 1965 and from Loyola College
in Baltimore in 1969 where he majored in English Literature. That August he married Wanda Thomas, an insurance agency manager, and they have four children, Michelle, Christine, Tom, and Kathleen. Raised by loving parents (his father was a mailman and his
mother was a clerk at Montgomery Ward) with a younger brother and an older sister in a working class section of Baltimore, Clancy now resides in Huntingtown, MD, on an estate on the Chesapeake Bay with two of his children. As a child Clancy's interest in
adventure was apparent as he would be the first kid to hail down the local public library bookmobile as it drove down his street so he could check out an adventure book (Bennett 128). His interest, though, would not became his job until 1984 when he sold
his first book, The Hunt for Red October, to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000 at the age of 37. Before becoming a writer, Clancy worked as an insurance agent in Baltimore, Hartford, CT, and Owings, MD until he became the owner of O.F. Bowen Agency (insurance company) in 1980. He also tried the military but was not allowed to because of his poor vis
ion, an experience which he has acknowledged as his "greatest disappointment" (Bennett 128). Now, he is the author of eleven novels and five works of nonfiction which as of July 1998 had sold over 80 million copies. He also recently has designed computer
games through his company Red Storm Entertainment. In 1992 he received $13-14 million for Without Remorse which was the largest sum ever paid for the rights to a single book. His estimated income in 1997 was estimated at $34 million by Forbes magazine. Hi
s military technology filled novels have made him one of the top three best selling authors of the 90's and one of only two authors whose first printings of their hard cover novels reach multimillion level (Zaleski 52). His "unprecedented knowled
ge of military technology" have raised suspicions of whether he has obtained classified information, but he adamantly returns that "nobody ever, ever, ever gives me classified information" that a really energetic researcher could obtain all the informati
on (Zaleski 48). Researching for books, he has interviewed countless military personnel and even a former Politburo defector. He knows so much, in fact, that he has lectured at the CIA and advised international intelligence experts, and he regularly eats
at the White House. And the research is what he really enjoys calling the writing "tedious and miserable work" (Ander's Tom Clancy Page). On average, he works from 8:00 am until noon writing about ten pages without the aid of an outline. He has created the ideas for a number of books that have come out in paperback with the byline "Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik" (These are not included in the eleven novels written by Clancy). Clancy admits he doesn't write these books, and t
he actual author is not public information. Speculation points to Jeff Rovin as the author but because of a confidentiality agreement he has signed, the authorship remains somewhat of a mystery. Three of his novels have become films; however, the novel he
most wants to see made into a film is Without Remorse and he wants Tom Hanks to play the main character John Clark. One of Clancy's interests is sports franchises. He owns 23 % of the Baltimore Orioles and also attempted to become an owner of the Minnesota Vikings but the deal fell through. His agent is currently Putnam, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 who also is his publisher.
Works Cited Ander's Tom Clancy. hem2.passagen.se/clancy. p. 2. Bennett, Ralph Kinney. "Tom Clancy's dream come true. Reader's Digest. v. 134 (Feb. '89 p. 126-131. Floral Park, NY: The Reader's Digest Association, 1989. Zaleski, Jeff. "The Hunt for Tom Clancy". Publisher's Weekly. 1998 v. 245, issue 28, pp. 41.Whitensville, Mass: R.R. Bowker Co., 1998.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Tom Clancy has been called the "king of the techno-thriller" by Patrick Anderson of the New York Times Magazine, and he has been called the "novelist laureate of the military-industrial complex" by Ross Thomas of the Washington Post Book World. While he c
ertainly is praised for his ability to weave the complicated descriptions of military technology with a complicated tale, reviews of his work are not unanimous in their praise and are often critical of his writing. Reviews for his novel Without Remorse fi
t this profile. For instance, the review in Publisher's Weekly saw Without Remorse as being "full of failings of style and moral judgment", but it also acknowledged that it seemed "destined to follow its predecessors to the top of the bestseller lists".
Gene Lyons of Entertainment Weekly stated that Without Remorse was written with a "turgid style" and was filled with "psychological absurdities" only to proclaim that with this novel "Clancy still knows how to tell a tale, and millions of would-be warrior
s who make up his loyal readership will no doubt find themselves thrilled to their toes." Clancy's plot lines and his ability to weave a story seem to be one factor that brings back his readers. Even his placement of the plot, though, stirs some criticis
m. Much of this criticism is pointed towards the often long development period of the novel. For instance, Max Boot of The Christian Science Monitor stated "As with many other Clancy thrillers, this 639 page monster takes a while to get going. My recommen
dation: Skip the first 100 pages and you'll enjoy the well-crafted plot a lot more." Denise Perry Donavin of Booklist repeated this sentiment saying "Clancy could have jettisoned 400 pages and still have retained his complicated plot and his marked hero
. There is a good deal of extraneous staging..." Donavin also repeats Boot's opinion that while the first pages may drag on a little too long before getting to the heart of the story, "Once he gets the military action rolling, though, Clancy is in top fo
rm." Marie Arana-Ward of Washington Post Book World stated that what Clancy gave his reader among other things was "a vertiginous plot that dutifully tracks dozens of seemingly disparate strands to a pyrotechnic finish." And here is where most, if not al
l, critics agree, that Clancy can write action very well. The review from the Boston Sunday Herald acclaimed that "Clancy's writing is so strong that readers feel they are there, in the middle of the action." A source of commonality among reviews of Wit
hout Remorse concerned the main character John Kelly. Claudia Moore of the School Library Journal said that "Kelly is a well developed, complex character-- ruthless but tender; confident and nervous; calculating and precise, but occasionally careless, too
." The review in the Dallas Morning News described Kelly as a "riveting figure" while the Washington Post Marie Arana-Ward proclaimed him an "avenging angel". While many reviewers found fault with some aspect of Without Remorse, most notably Clancy's wri
ting style or his prose, most agreed that as a popular novel Without Remorse was worth a read. A review from the Wall Street Journal called it "Highly Entertaining" while a review in the Dallas Morning News said "Without Remorse is as quick, compelling an
d exciting as anything Mr. Clancy has ever done." Thus, as a whole this novel was received well. Critics attacked its literary qualities, but as a work of popular fiction, they wholeheartedly accepted it.

Book Reviews
"Tom Clancy's Avenging Angel" Washington Post Aug. 8, 1993 "Tom Clancy's 7th Techno-thriller has a Twisted Touch" Chicago Tribune Aug. 11, 1993 "Clancy Develops a Shadowy Figure and Taut Action" Detroit News & Free Press Aug 8, 1993 "Clancy Looks Back in a Familiar Style" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Aug. 1, 1993 Booklist v. 89 (June 1-15 '93) p. 1734 The Christian Science Monitor (Eastern Edition) Sept. 2, '93 School Library Journal v. 39 (Nov. '93) p. 148 Kirkus Reviews June 1, 1993 Book World Vol. XXIII, Issue 32, Aug. 08, 1993 The New York Times Book Review (Aug. 22, 1993) Publisher's Weekly, June 28, 1993 "Bookshelf: The Clancy Solution to Drug Dealing" Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1993 "Killing Machine Gets His Revenge" Houston Chronicle, Aug, 1993. "Clancy's At His Best and Worst In Uneven Without Remorse", Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 22, 1993 "Without Remorse, Tom Clancy Aims To Kill", Detroit News, August 11, 1993 "Clancy Sends His Agent On a Mission To the Past", New York Times, Aug. 10, 1993
Reviews were also done by these publications:
Dallas Morning News Boston Sunday Herald Entertainment Weekly San Diego Union-Tribune Virginian Pilot & Ledger-Star Greensboro News & Record Tampa Tribune & Times
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Tom Clancy has been called the "king of the techno-thriller" by Patrick Anderson of the New York Times Magazine, and he has been called the "novelist laureate of the military-industrial complex" by Ross Thomas of the Washington Post Book World. While he c
ertainly is praised for his ability to weave the complicated descriptions of military technology with a complicated tale, reviews of his work are not unanimous in their praise and are often critical of his writing. Reviews for his novel Without Remorse fi
t this profile. For instance, the review in Publisher's Weekly saw Without Remorse as being "full of failings of style and moral judgment", but it also acknowledged that it seemed "destined to follow its predecessors to the top of the bestseller lists".
Gene Lyons of Entertainment Weekly stated that Without Remorse was written with a "turgid style" and was filled with "psychological absurdities" only to proclaim that with this novel "Clancy still knows how to tell a tale, and millions of would-be warrior
s who make up his loyal readership will no doubt find themselves thrilled to their toes." Clancy's plot lines and his ability to weave a story seem to be one factor that brings back his readers. Even his placement of the plot, though, stirs some criticis
m. Much of this criticism is pointed towards the often long development period of the novel. For instance, Max Boot of The Christian Science Monitor stated "As with many other Clancy thrillers, this 639 page monster takes a while to get going. My recommen
dation: Skip the first 100 pages and you'll enjoy the well-crafted plot a lot more." Denise Perry Donavin of Booklist repeated this sentiment saying "Clancy could have jettisoned 400 pages and still have retained his complicated plot and his marked hero
. There is a good deal of extraneous staging..." Donavin also repeats Boot's opinion that while the first pages may drag on a little too long before getting to the heart of the story, "Once he gets the military action rolling, though, Clancy is in top fo
rm." Marie Arana-Ward of Washington Post Book World stated that what Clancy gave his reader among other things was "a vertiginous plot that dutifully tracks dozens of seemingly disparate strands to a pyrotechnic finish." And here is where most, if not al
l, critics agree, that Clancy can write action very well. The review from the Boston Sunday Herald acclaimed that "Clancy's writing is so strong that readers feel they are there, in the middle of the action." A source of commonality among reviews of Wit
hout Remorse concerned the main character John Kelly. Claudia Moore of the School Library Journal said that "Kelly is a well developed, complex character-- ruthless but tender; confident and nervous; calculating and precise, but occasionally careless, too
." The review in the Dallas Morning News described Kelly as a "riveting figure" while the Washington Post Marie Arana-Ward proclaimed him an "avenging angel". While many reviewers found fault with some aspect of Without Remorse, most notably Clancy's wri
ting style or his prose, most agreed that as a popular novel Without Remorse was worth a read. A review from the Wall Street Journal called it "Highly Entertaining" while a review in the Dallas Morning News said "Without Remorse is as quick, compelling an
d exciting as anything Mr. Clancy has ever done." Thus, as a whole this novel was received well. Critics attacked its literary qualities, but as a work of popular fiction, they wholeheartedly accepted it.

Book Reviews
"Tom Clancy's Avenging Angel" Washington Post Aug. 8, 1993 "Tom Clancy's 7th Techno-thriller has a Twisted Touch" Chicago Tribune Aug. 11, 1993 "Clancy Develops a Shadowy Figure and Taut Action" Detroit News & Free Press Aug 8, 1993 "Clancy Looks Back in a Familiar Style" St. Louis Post-Dispatch Aug. 1, 1993 Booklist v. 89 (June 1-15 '93) p. 1734 The Christian Science Monitor (Eastern Edition) Sept. 2, '93 School Library Journal v. 39 (Nov. '93) p. 148 Kirkus Reviews June 1, 1993 Book World Vol. XXIII, Issue 32, Aug. 08, 1993 The New York Times Book Review (Aug. 22, 1993) Publisher's Weekly, June 28, 1993 "Bookshelf: The Clancy Solution to Drug Dealing" Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1993 "Killing Machine Gets His Revenge" Houston Chronicle, Aug, 1993. "Clancy's At His Best and Worst In Uneven Without Remorse", Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 22, 1993 "Without Remorse, Tom Clancy Aims To Kill", Detroit News, August 11, 1993 "Clancy Sends His Agent On a Mission To the Past", New York Times, Aug. 10, 1993
Reviews were also done by these publications:
Dallas Morning News Boston Sunday Herald Entertainment Weekly San Diego Union-Tribune Virginian Pilot & Ledger-Star Greensboro News & Record Tampa Tribune & Times
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
With Tom Clancy's first hardcover novel, the August 7, 1986 Red Storm Rising, Clancy catapulted his name onto the list of bestselling authors. And he has yet to step down off of his throne as the "king of the tec
hno-thriller" as he was lauded by Patrick Anderson of the New York Times Magazine. Between the arrival of Clancy's first novel, the 1984 softcover The Hunt for Red October, and July 13, 1998, he had sold 80 million books. Furthermore, between 1992 and 19
98, Clancy had all five of his hardcover novels published during the period land on the Publisher's Weekly Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List. Each of the five grabbed the top spot for at least a week. So, when his seventh novel was published in 1993, the
re was a near certainty that it would follow its predecessors to the top of all the bestseller lists. Because of this anticipation of huge sales, Putnam paid a previously unmet sum of between $13-14 million for Without Remorse and then produced a 1.25 mil
lion first printing. Without Remorse would meet all of these expectations. It opened #2 on Publisher's Weekly Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List during the week of August 23, 1993. The next week it took over the top spot and the novel stayed on the list f
or 24 weeks. By the end of its first year in publication, it had sold 1.8 million books and continued the Clancy tradition of bestsellers. Like other Clancy novels, Without Remorse made the bestsellers lists for a number of reasons including its character
s, its plot, and the depth with which it approaches and describes military technology.
As the Kirkus Reviews writes Clancy sells to "the millions of midlevel, desk-bound, action-loving bureaucrats whose adventurous wishes Clancy so faithfully fulfills". But many other writers write to these people. Why has Clancy been able to grab such a l
oyal audience out of this group? One reason is his characters. All of his books except for Red Storm Rising tell part of the story of Jack Ryan, a man who Clancy somehow allows us to believe is one of us, a normal person placed in an abnormal job. But in
reality, Ryan is a hero in every sense of the word. He defeats terrorists trying to harm his family, he averts nuclear war, and he becomes the President every person wishes would occupy the oval office. With Ryan, Clancy has given his readers a hero to fo
llow and thus brings them back with each book sharing a little more about the multifaceted Ryan. However, Ryan is not the only reoccurring character. With Without Remorse Clancy tells the story of John Kelly (also known as Clark), the sometimes bodyguard
of Ryan and the CIA agent who does America's dirty work in Clancy's novels. In essence, he has been Ryan's right hand man during some of Ryan's toughest moments. As secretive as his background is kept in other Clancy novels, Without Remorse truly open
s the vault of John Kelly. It is the story of what drives Kelly, where he has been, and what has happened to him to turn him into CIA agent Clark. Surely, just as the lure of a Ryan story brought Clancy loyalists to the bookstores, so an examination of Jo
hn Kelly did the same. As they followed the exploits of Jack Ryan, they also followed the exploits of John Clark. Just as an interest in Ryan brought readers back to Clancy for books such as Executive Orders and The Sum of All Fears, so an interest in Cla
rk brought readers back to Clancy for Without Remorse. In essence, Clancy grabs readers much in the way a sequel to a movie grabs moviegoers who enjoyed the original film. If Clancy can get someone to read one of his novels, he can get him to read more. O
ther bestselling authors have captured readers with the use of characters in more than one book. Patricia Cornwell, for example, has landed consecutive books on the bestsellers lists in the 1990's with her Kay Scarpetta novels. Amother aspect of his novels that bring back readers is the depth with which he goes into to describe military technology and military situations. His descriptions are so accurate on such state of the art technology that he has often been accused of obta
ining classified information. Whether its a description of the interior of a nuclear submarine or a description of a fictional air battle off the coast of Iceland, Clancy accurately describes in amazing detail the players and their toys, and subsequently,
he makes the scene that much more real and the action that much more possible. Marie Arana-Ward of The Washington Post Book World calls Clancy's descriptions "a meticulous chronicle of military hardware." He continues this focus in Without Remorse. For
instance, he describes the silencing of a rifle,
The chief walked the barrel over to a drill press. The proper bit was already in place, and under the watchful eyes of Kelly and two petty officers he drilled a series of holes in the forward six inches of the hollow steel rod.
"Now, you can't silence a supersonic bullet all the way, but what you can do is trap all the gas, and that'll surely help." ....The rifle barrel went onto a lathe, which cut a shallow but lengthy series of threads....The
chief held up a cantype suppressor, fully three inches in diameter and fourteen inches long. It screwed nicely onto the end of the barrel. A gap in the can allowed reattachment of the front sights, which also locked the suppressor fully in place.
(520)
Clancy takes special care to be accurate with these descriptions often interviewing top military personnel and doing research through hundreds of military unclassified files. And this accuracy lures readers back to his books by creating a genuineness to h
is novels that are often missing from other war,military, and spy books. In a similar manner, while Clancy readers are drawn to Clancy's descriptions of the military world, so are John Grisham's fans drawn to his descriptions of law situations, somethi
ng he knows well due to his previous job as a lawyer. Also, just as Clancy fans read his books due to the amazing detail with which his research produces, so are James Michener fans drawn to his descriptions of historical places and situations. All three
writers draw readers by becoming experts about a certain field through research or practice and then becoming a journalist and depicting what they have found to their readers.
Perhaps the largest reason for the large number of loyal Clancy readers is his large complicated plots that always conclude in a flurry of action. Arana-Ward describes the plot of Without Remorse as "a vertiginous plot that dutifully tracks dozens of see
mingly disparate strands to a pyrotechnic finish". All of his books include political intrigue, military actions, and international espionage on a global scale. For instance, Red Storm Rising tells the story of World War III. Clear and Present Danger tell
s the story of American efforts to crumble drug trafficking coming in from Colombia. Without Remorse tells the story of one man during the Vietnam War who ultimately is sent in to free American POWs imprisoned in North Vietnam. And these expansive plots c
aptivate his audience.
Furthermore, like many other bestsellers,Clancy tells a realistic story that is always relevent to his readers at the time of its initial publication. For instance, his first two novels, The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising, which deal with U.S.
/ Soviet relations, were published during the last remants of the cold war. The Sum of All Fears, which tells the story of a terrorist bombing of the Super Bowl, preceded the Oklahoma City bombing by only a few years with its publication in 1991. Furtherm
ore, its focus on Middle Eastern terrorists came at a time when the United States had just fought the Persian Gulf War and its interests towards that region had grown dramatically. Soon after the publication of Debt of Honor in 1994, which details an econ
omic war between the United States and Japan, a similar episode occurred between the two superpowers. At the time Japan was perceived as more of economic threat than it ever had before. Executive Orders carried Clancy hero Jack Ryan through the rigors of
politics by becoming the President when in the real world public approval of the political process was diving. Thus, Clancy creates a very real fictional world by using a plot filled with modern imagery and allusions to modern day problems. With Without
Remorse Clancy strays somewhat from this assemblage of plot. Instead of a modern problem, he sets the novel amid the Vietnam War, which, while an occurrence of the past, has always been a hotly debated topic. Without Remorse, though, really focuses on the
drug trade that haunts America's streets. Thus, Clancy again uses a modern day problem and Without Remorse focused on an aspect of the world that many people would want to know more about. If one scans the nonfiction bestsellers, one sees that focusin
g on a current topic often helps a book become a bestseller. In 1992 General Norman Schwarzkopf's autobiography landed at #2 of the bestsellers list not long after he had led the United States to a victory in the Persian Gulf War. During the time of Worl
d War I the bestsellers list added an extra list called the War Books list. The war had so captivated America that its readers were lured to books of that kind. Even on the General non-fiction bestsellers list of 1918, the top two books (Rhymes of a Red
Cross Man by Robert W. Service + Treasury of War Poetry by G.H.Clark) have war subjects. During the second World War a similar pattern erupted with books such Berlin Diary by William Shirer; See Here, Private Hargrove by Marion Hargrove; Under Cover by Jo
hn Roy Carlson; and Brave Men by Ernie Pyle topping the nonfiction bestsellers list. In a similar manner Clancy captures his audience by telling stories about current situations they wish to explore or know about.
Without Remorse became the number one selling hardcover book in the country in its second week of publication. It sold millions of books for the same reasons the rest of Clancy's books sold well. In part, the serialization of a core group of characters
has helped Clancy draw and keep a loyal group of readers. In part his popularity is due to the interladed quality of his plots and their connections to current events. And in part it is due to the journalistic aspect of his writing that focuses on modern
issues and describes military technology so vividly that he appears more reporter than storyeller. If one puts them together, there simply isn't one discernible reason for his success.
You are not logged in. (Sign in)