Clancy, Tom: Clear and Present Danger
(researched by Meredith Bosler)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Tom Clancy. Clear and Present Danger. New York, NY: G.P. Putnamís Sons, 1989. Copyrighted by Jack Ryan Enterprises Limited. Published simultaneously in Canada.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First published in cloth format.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
[13] 14-21 [22] 23-43 [44] 45-55 [56] 57-71 [72] 73-82 [83] 84-96 [97] 98-112 [113] 114-131 [132] 133-155 [156] 157-177 [178] 179-201 [202] 203-223 [224] 225-247 [248] 249-280 [281] 282-306 [307] 308-318 [319] 320-341 [342] 343-363 [364] 365-386 [387] 389-411 [412] 413-432 [433] 434-457 [458] 459-476 [477] 478-501 [502] 503-528 [529] 530-550 [551] 552-573 [574] 575-593 [594] 595-618 [619] 620-645 [646] 647-656.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
This book is neither edited nor introduced. It begins with a prologue.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations in this book.
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 pages measure 5 æ inches wide and 9 inches tall and the approximate text size is 86R. A relatively modern book, the typeface is readable-evenly spaced and evenly placed within the average page margins. The book is in overall good condition. The cover and binding, as well as the dust jacket, are simply attractive and clearly presented.
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 is relatively thick, seemingly durable, and in very good condition. The edition is only 11 years old so there is not noticeable discoloration of the pages. The paper has an off white coloring overall though.
11 Description of binding(s)
The book is bound in dark black cloth. The authorís name and the title of the book appear largely in gold lettering along the spine. The name of the publisher appears small at the bottom, in gold letters also. The front and back covers of the book are a deep grey color. The authorís signature is imprinted in gold an inch from the bottom of the front cover. There are no illustrations on the original binding or covers. The front and back endpapers are matching dark grey as the covers.
12 Transcription of title page
Title page recto: CLEAR|AND PRESENT|DANGER|Tom Clancy|G.P. PUTNAMíS SONS|NEW YORK Title page verso: [This is a work of fiction. The events|described here are imaginary; the settings|and characters are fictitious and not|intended to represent specific|places or living persons.]|G.P.Putnamís Sons|[Publishers Since 1838]|200 Madison Avenue|New York, NY 10016|Copyright 1989 by Jack Ryan Enterprises Ltd.|All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof,| may not be reproduced in any form without permission.|Published simultaneously in Canada|Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data|Clancy, Tom, date.|Clear and present danger.|I. Title.|PS3553.L245C5 1989 813í.54 89-10287|ISBN 0-399-13440-9|[Designed by MaryJane DiMassi]|[Printed in the United States of America]|1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The first edition has a dust jacket. Seeing as how it is 11 years old, it is only in moderately worn, but mostly well kept, condition: there are a few minor tears along the top and bottom edges. It is a silvery gray, slick material. Tom| Clancy| Clear and| Present| Danger is the large, black, slightly raised text on the front cover. In between the authorís name and the title is a small silver illustration of a helicopter. The spine of the dust jacket has the identical information, written also in black but in smaller type size. The back of the dust jacket is simply a list of nine various quotations of praise for Clancyís The Cardinal of the Kremlin book. The inside flaps traditionally present a brief synopsis of the book and a picture of Tom Clancy. Among the unnumbered pages in the front of the book are acknowledgements on page 7; a simple dedication page to the memory of John Ball on page 9; and quotes on page 11: Law, without force, is impotent.[Pascal], and a longer quote about police force by General Sir John Hackett.
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
After searching Bibliofind, WorldCat, and Publisher's Weekly, proof of other editions from the original publisher was not found.
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?
According to Publisher's Weekly on September 8, 1989, the book had been out since August 18th and there were 1.4 million copies in print of the first edition.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
1989 Putnam - Limited Edition, $75. 1989 Harper Collins, London. Again in 1993. 1989 Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers 1990 Berkley Publishing Group 1990 Thorndike Press (Large print edition) 1990 Fontana (London, paperback version) 1990 Magna Print Books (London, large print version) 1991 Macmillan Library Reference (Large type edition) 1990 Fontana-Imprint of Harper Collins; Special overseas edition printed in Glasgow, Scotland. 1990 Guild Publishing London, by arrangement with William Collins Sons and Co. Ltd. for UK/AUS/NZ, hardcover.
6 Last date in print?
February 2000
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Information not ascertained from Publisher's Weekly or any internet searches.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
Information also not obtained after extensive searching on internet, in Bowker's and in Publisher's Weekly.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Review from Publisher's Weekly : When a U.S. president decides that drug smuggling has become a ``clear and present danger'' to national security, the response is a complex and covert military campaign against the ``Colombian Cartel.'' ``The dean of techno-thrillers demonstrates once again his mastery of the genre,'' stated PW . (Aug.) -Publisher's Weekly
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
Other promotional materials were not located, other than versions of the book cover that were made when the Harrison Ford movie version came out.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Play: Clear and Present Danger: a screenplay. Donald E. Stewart; 1993. Audio: 1989, Clear and Present Danger, Tom Clancy; Books on Tape, Newport Beach, CA. (19 cassettes) 1989, Clear and Present Danger, Tom Clancy; Simon & Schuster Audioworks, New York, NY. (2 digital sound cassettes) 1990, Clear and Present Danger, Tom Clancy; Brilliance Corporation, Grand Haven, MI; (16 cassettes) 1994, Clear and Present Danger: music from the original motion picture soundtrack; BMG Music. (1 sound cassette) 1994, Clear and Present Danger, Tom Clancy; Simon & Schuster Audio, New York, NY; (2 analog sound cassettes) Video:1994, Clear and Present Danger, based on novel by Tom Clancy; Paramount Pictures, Hollywood, CA;(DVD format) 1994, Clear and Present Danger, based on novel by Tom Clancy; Paramount Pictures, Hollywood, CA; (VHS, hi-fi stereo/Dolby) 1994, 1995, Clear and Present Danger, based on novel by Tom Clancy; Paramount Pictures/ DVS Home Video, Hollywood, CA and Boston, MA; (VHS format, audio enhanced edition for visually impaired). 1995, Widescreen edition, Paramount Home Video. DVD format. 1996 Widescreen edition. Paramount Pictures.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
[Spanish] Clancy, Tom. Peligro Inminente. EmecÈ Editores: Buenos Aires; 1990, 1994. Clancy, Tom. Peligro Inminente. Plaza & JanÈs Editores: Barcelona, Spain; 1992(1st ed.), 1995 (4th ed.), 1997(5th ed.), 1999 (6th ed.). [Polish] Clancy, Tom. Stan zagrozenia. Wydawnictwo Adamski I Bielinski: Warszawa, Poland; 1993, 1998. [Japanese] Clancy, Tom. Ima soko ni aru kiki. Bungei Shunju: Tokyo, Japan, 1992. [Chinese] Clancy, Tom. Jan mei chui chi. Po I ch'u pan chi t'uan yu hsien kung ssu: Hsaing-kang, China, 1994. [Ukraine] Clancy, Tom. JasnÈ nebezpecÌ. Mustang: Plzen 1996. [Russian] Clancy, Tom. Real?naia ugroza. "Mir": Moskva, 1997. [German] Clancy, Tom. Der Schattenkrieg: Roman. Scherz: Bern, Germany. 1990. [Italian] Clancy, Tom. Pericolo Imminente. Milano: Rizzoli, 1990.
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
Though Clear and Present Danger is not a sequel and there is not one after it, the book's main character is again, Jack Ryan - the consistent/recurring character for the action of many of Tom Clancy's thrillers.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
For more overall biographical overviews, see the entries for Patriot Games, Red Storm Rising, and Without Remorse. Clear and Present Danger is Tom Clancy's fifth novel. Initially, Clancy was operating under contracts with Putnam and Berkeley to complete four novels, but in 1987, they offered him a $4 million additional contract for this fifth book. The plot of Clear and Present Danger continues as the fourth book to follow the career of character, Jack Ryan - ex Marine, history professor, and CIA associate. Squeezed in between The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988) and The Sum of All Fears (1991), there are not many exceptional biographical facts about Tom Clancy's life with regards specifically to the plot of Clear and Present Danger. It is noteworthy to mention, though, how involved with a variety of aspects of the military, politics, and government Clancy had become up to this point, due to the success and recognition of novels. From becoming a regular to the Pentagon, to spending a week on a navy frigate, another week on a submarine, to driving an army tank to talking with a Soviet defector and to befriending numerous highly ranked F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents, as well as other former intelligence officers, Clancy's "Great Chain" of reliable resource contacts was ever expanding (Current Biography, Newsweek) . The acclaim of his previous novels gathered Clancy praise and acknowledgement from important U.S. authorities, such as former President Ronald Reagan and Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, as well as some criticisms, like from former Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, who believed that Clancy could have been court-martialed for revealing classified evidence -that is how close to reality the plots of his work had become. Thus, with all of this continuously developing wealth of military access and knowledge, Clancy went on to test new arenas of political and military conflict with the plot of this 5th novel. It turns from the Soviet versus the U.S. themes that dominate most of the first four novels, to the different topic of anti-drug fighting with Columbia. Former Secretary of State Elliott Abrams even commended the job that Clancy did on the novel to portray so cautiously yet accurately, the issues involving ethical dilemmas which often complicate covert military operations (Contemporary Authors). An article in the Saturday Evening Post cited that Clancy's personal motive for writing Clear and Present Danger as a book against drug trafficking was that he was the parent of growing children and he was "scared to death about them having to live in a world infested by drugs" (Phillips). The events following publication of this novel give further proof to Clancy's rising esteem as a highly intelligent, military analyst/author who's novels were read by millions of civilians and government officials. Dan Quayle had already proved his affinity for Clancy's authentic style of writing, as right before Clear and Present Danger came out, Quayle asked Clancy to be a consultant for the National Space Council, based on his opinions and knowledge showed in Red Storm Rising (The New Republic). Furthermore, it was noted that then-President George Bush not only expressed his true interest and love of Clear and Present Danger shortly after its release but also, weeks later, enacted a real mission to tackle the Colombian drug cartel problem. Irony? Or major political decision spawned from the ideas of a Clancy "techno-thriller"? Either way, Clancy presents well-informed, very realistic, and technologically innovative thrillers that continue to have influential effects on both the civilian reader and the intelligent corps of military and government arenas. Shuger, Scott. "Paperback fighter." Washington Monthly v21 November 1989: 10. "You heard it here first." The New Republic, v201, July 1989, 6. Contemporary Authors, "Thomas L. Clancy, Jr." Phillips, Christopher. "Red October's Tom Clancy: after the hunt." Saturday Evening Post, v263, Sept-Oct.1991, 16. Current Biography Yearbook 1988
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The fifth best seller since 1984, Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger received both high praise and high doubts, as did several of his other books. Written under a tight summer deadline for a $4 million Putnam contract, Clancy was reportedly unpleasant, rushed, and even had to eliminate the review of the galleys by the media's book reviewers before production. However, none of the haste or skimping caused the book to be any less of a success than its four predecessors once published and presented to the public worldwide. The primary dichotomy in reviews of this novel that were expressed by many displeased critics is that this 5th Clancy novel again is full of high technology "gadgets" and the accompanying technological and military jargon, yet the public still applauds it even if they don't necessarily understand it. Patrick O'Kelley, a reviewer on Amazon.com, supported the novel saying, "Along with the usual stunning array of military hardware and latest techno-gadgets, Clear and Present Danger further develops the relationship and characters that Clancy fans have grown to love?This is Clancy at his best." Also from Amazon, Simon and Schuster point out that the plot is "as up-to-the minute as today's headlines and as frightening as the truth that lies behind them." A review in the Christian Science Monitor also noted how many of the questions in current headlines are presented throughout this book, and that though Clancy does not provide the answers, he certainly examines all the complexities and possible underpinnings of how the government should or would handle the international drug trade. Reviewer Evan Thomas similarly noted that Clancy's novel is warily cautious of its governmental boundaries and "appreciates the essential truth about covert operations in an age of congressional oversight" (Newsweek, 1989). However, Thomas also criticizes the novel for illuminating Clancy's biases again, saying that too often his "heroes tend to be Irish Catholic cops and soldiers; villians are patrician WASPS and devious foreigners" (Newsweek, 1989). Likewise, the New York Times Book Review was suspicious of how militarily and governmental-wise technical the book was, specifically to how closely it seemed to refer to the recent Iran-Contra scandals. It further noted that his technical yet somewhat dull dialogue was again employed, as well as his extensive mentioning of military gadgets and destructive scenes. This review concluded by saying it took a tediously long time to get through this new novel, though the last few chapters seemed to go fast and somehow the action made the book worth it. Wise finally purports that the book's contradiction is that it is a "ponderous thriller," an oxymoron maybe, yet one obviously thrilling enough that loyal Clancy readers would still enjoy it overall. A more extensive article done by Walter Shapiro in Time magazine at the time that the book was first published confirms that it was Clancy's frustration with what the Iran-Contra scandals exposed about Government decisions that prompted the subject matter for Clear and Present Danger, though there are clearly no direct references to it. Shapiro still claimed though that this new novel "is Clancy's most politically sophisticated and philosophically complex." In comparing Clancy's work to other "beach reads" and bestsellers, Shapiro also praises Clancy for the his underlying morality to all his fiction and the way that he "believes passionately in professionalism, preserving order, patriotism, and playing by the rules. In an interesting conclusion to the article, the reviewer asserts that Clancy's books are not merely just adventurous, technological thrillers, but that the surprising authenticity and realism regarding the workings of the military and government are cleverly turned into civilian concepts as Clancy attempts to narrow the gap between average Americans and the military/government created in Viet Nam (Time, 68).
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The fifth best seller since 1984, Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger received both high praise and high doubts, as did several of his other books. Written under a tight summer deadline for a $4 million Putnam contract, Clancy was reportedly unpleasant, rushed, and even had to eliminate the review of the galleys by the media's book reviewers before production. However, none of the haste or skimping caused the book to be any less of a success than its four predecessors once published and presented to the public worldwide. The primary dichotomy in reviews of this novel that were expressed by many displeased critics is that this 5th Clancy novel again is full of high technology "gadgets" and the accompanying technological and military jargon, yet the public still applauds it even if they don't necessarily understand it. Patrick O'Kelley, a reviewer on Amazon.com, supported the novel saying, "Along with the usual stunning array of military hardware and latest techno-gadgets, Clear and Present Danger further develops the relationship and characters that Clancy fans have grown to love?This is Clancy at his best." Also from Amazon, Simon and Schuster point out that the plot is "as up-to-the minute as today's headlines and as frightening as the truth that lies behind them." A review in the Christian Science Monitor also noted how many of the questions in current headlines are presented throughout this book, and that though Clancy does not provide the answers, he certainly examines all the complexities and possible underpinnings of how the government should or would handle the international drug trade. Reviewer Evan Thomas similarly noted that Clancy's novel is warily cautious of its governmental boundaries and "appreciates the essential truth about covert operations in an age of congressional oversight" (Newsweek, 1989). However, Thomas also criticizes the novel for illuminating Clancy's biases again, saying that too often his "heroes tend to be Irish Catholic cops and soldiers; villians are patrician WASPS and devious foreigners" (Newsweek, 1989). Likewise, the New York Times Book Review was suspicious of how militarily and governmental-wise technical the book was, specifically to how closely it seemed to refer to the recent Iran-Contra scandals. It further noted that his technical yet somewhat dull dialogue was again employed, as well as his extensive mentioning of military gadgets and destructive scenes. This review concluded by saying it took a tediously long time to get through this new novel, though the last few chapters seemed to go fast and somehow the action made the book worth it. Wise finally purports that the book's contradiction is that it is a "ponderous thriller," an oxymoron maybe, yet one obviously thrilling enough that loyal Clancy readers would still enjoy it overall. A more extensive article done by Walter Shapiro in Time magazine at the time that the book was first published confirms that it was Clancy's frustration with what the Iran-Contra scandals exposed about Government decisions that prompted the subject matter for Clear and Present Danger, though there are clearly no direct references to it. Shapiro still claimed though that this new novel "is Clancy's most politically sophisticated and philosophically complex." In comparing Clancy's work to other "beach reads" and bestsellers, Shapiro also praises Clancy for the his underlying morality to all his fiction and the way that he "believes passionately in professionalism, preserving order, patriotism, and playing by the rules. In an interesting conclusion to the article, the reviewer asserts that Clancy's books are not merely just adventurous, technological thrillers, but that the surprising authenticity and realism regarding the workings of the military and government are cleverly turned into civilian concepts as Clancy attempts to narrow the gap between average Americans and the military/government created in Viet Nam (Time, 68).
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Found on the shelves of prestigious governmental officials, in the homes of ex-military men, or on the coffee tables at beach getaways, Tom Clancy novels have shared immense popularity among a variety of readers since the first one was published eleven years ago. Moving beyond the novel, Clancy's name by this decade has further extended onto blockbuster films, a children's book series, a non-fiction series, and even an entertainment corporation over which he presides. All of this acclaim and these spin-offs have followed in the shadow of his novels' constant success. Directly following the number-one best-selling book of 1988, Clancy's The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger was the number one bestseller of 1989. Previously, Clancy's Patriot Games was ranked as second best-selling novel in 1987 and his Red Storm Rising was also second best in 1986. Furthermore, Clancy's The Sum of All Fears was number two in 1991, Without Remorse ranked fourth in 1993, and Debt of Honor ranked second best-selling in 1994. Clearly, something about Clancy's novels has taken flight among readers, and not only nation but world wide. Why is this so? What do Tom Clancy books teach us about the quality, content, birth, or reception of bestsellers? The wide Clancy fan base can be attributed to a variety of literary and social aspects. He has constructed a unique, yet formulaic, style of recognizable components that invites consistent support. These components are based on the factual, militarily-based prose, the recurring series of characters, and the reality-based events that are referred to in his novels. After defining them by style, Clancy books more notably are further identified by their placement into recognizable categories of bestsellers, including the David and Goliath type stories, the military novels, the political and/or social commentary novels, and those novels with celebrity authors. Thus, the overall dominant appeal of a Clancy novel, such as Clear and Present Danger, seems to be the tendency of his books to have seemingly realistic governmental and military slants, in addition to Clancy himself possessing an oddly familiar persona to that of one of his main characters, Jack Ryan. The factual prose of Clancy's style has been praised by some for being so intriguing, as if the readers were actually bypassing all security and were privy to a behind-the-scenes conversation in the CIA or the White House. It is this realism that makes many have a hard time separating what is fiction in Clancy's novels from what could possibly be (or once was) reality. However, here is also where Clancy is criticized though because his work is so close to the truth. Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman once argued that it seems that Clancy could have been court-martialed for revealing classified evidence, that is, if he were actually in the government and were privy to such facts. Indeed, Clancy though prides himself on this authentication throughout his works and constantly insists that every piece of information that he attains is gained only through legitimate, public scrutiny of public documents or viable human resources. Naturally then, over the course of time that he has spent writing military-based novels, Clancy has gathered an extensive array of vocabulary terms, dialects, insider lingo, and other seemingly exclusive pieces of information that it comes to him easily and seems more and more real. Further enhancing his abilities were all of the connections Clancy made with government officials and military officers since the inception of his writing career and public acclaim, including Presidents Reagan and Bush, Vice President Quayle, and former Secretary of State Elliott Abrams and former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. In addition to meeting with and talking to such individuals, Clancy's credibility is backed by his visits to military bases, to The White House, time spent on a submarine, time allowed to drive an Army tank, and frequent tours of the FBI, CIA, and Pentagon. Especially since Clear and Present Danger was written as the fifth novel in just five years, the credibility of Clancy's highly intriguing authentic prose was reaching its point of mastery, drawing upon an ever-growing loyalty base of fans who are fascinated by this type of writing in a novel. Similarly, in addition to the actual technical prose of his novels, the places, events, and situations described are always so relevant to the present day or recent past events in U.S. history that propel readership and bestsellerdom of Clancy novels. The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, and The Cardinal of the Kremlin, for instance, all dealt with Russian versus United States conflicts, while Patriot Games turned to the Irish Republic rebellions and IRA versus United States conflicts. Uniquely then, Clancy turned to a different side of the globe, going south for the conflict in Clear and Present Danger between the Colombian cartels and the United States government. This slant towards a focus on the drug trade was particularly savvy and politically ingenious for Clancy, as the late 1980s were a time of high insurgency and proliferation of the drug trade. As with the political nature of his other books, readers looked to the subject matter and seeming authenticity of this novel for answers to burning questions about the drug trade and what was going to be done to curb it. Clancy himself said that the particularly personal reason for writing this novel in the first place was because he was "scared to death about them [his children] having to live in a world infested by drugs" (Phillips). Furthermore, many reviewers have noted the close following of the production of this novel after the Iran-Contra scandal and have questioned, to no avail, Clancy's motives for such potential commentary on that situation as well. Though nothing was admitted, it is all too familiar that Clear and Present Danger reveals a plot of CIA conspiracy with the foreign cartel, while withholding information about such dealings from the President, the FBI and United States. Just the May before this book was first published, former Marine Oliver North was indicted on conspiracy charges regarding how the National Security Council and CIA kept the President and Congress purposely uninformed on the secret trading of arms for hostages in Iran. Therefore, it is again this reality-based fiction that Clancy uses in his novels to attract a large number of curious readers who seek either a sense of explanation about past events or a sense of exclusive information that non readers would not obviously have the privilege of learning about. Thus, Clancy's novels seem to provide this entertaining yet simultaneous learning experience for his readers, further making them enticing bestsellers. In conjunction with the realism and pseudo-authenticity of Clancy's novels, speculation can be made towards how Clancy might have incorporated some of himself into his character, Jack Ryan. Much as Ian Fleming was speculated to be suspiciously close to the character of James Bond and John le Carre to his protagonist spy character, Clancy's morality based, family and social values seem to correlate to Ryan's character in more ways than one. An old, personal family friend, who works for the FBI and used to be at the Pentagon often, once told my mother that he had been told that some of the main characters in Clancy's novels (the officials and officers, etc.) were partially based on real people whom Clancy had met and was fascinated by, and that if a correlation could be made, the initials of the character and real-life person would match! Aside from the fact that the technical components make Clancy's novels appealing to certain readers, the other interesting side to Clancy's frequent bestseller success is the identifiability of his books into a few of the known best-selling categorical genres. Most notably is the genre of books whose authors' names propel them toward fame. Regardless of the quality of context or literary content sometimes, these books are destined from their conception to be on the bestsellers' lists due to their author's names. Much like authors John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, and Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy novels are renown as soon as the hardbacks hit the book stores merely due to the last name of the author, which is ironically one of the most prominent features of all of these authors' book jackets. It is this loyal fan base of support that sustains each of these authors' success and practically assures their novels to be inherent successes from the start. Their subsequent acclaim and residual reviews or life on the bestseller lists, however, are subject to change according to the specificities of each book, as far as how well people receive it once they have actually read it. Regardless though, it is initially the celebrity status of these authors that enables their books to achieve fast, high-profiled acclaim as bestsellers. Not only does Clancy's name push his books into best-selling leagues, but the fact that some of his characters recur throughout his novels is a big attraction to loyal fans. Even though Clear and Present Danger is not a sequel, it does specifically employ several of the main characters from his earlier Patriot Games, such as Jack Ryan, the Ryan family and Admiral James Greer. The recognition of these characters, though in an entirely different setting and plot, provides comfort and familiarity to readers. For those loyal readers the recurring characters provide a feeling of insight, of being somewhat privy to information about character backgrounds and personas that give heightened fascination to the present novel, as well as giving the loyal fans a sense of being ahead of the knowledge that a first-time Clancy readers experience. Clancy's sometime use of repeated characters further provides impetus for his books to be bestsellers, as an avid reader anticipates the tie-ins in each newly published novel, wanting to hurry and read it to find out who is back or not. For example, even though the plot is not a direct sequel to Clear and Present Danger, Clancy's 1998 hit, Rainbow Six, presents the former characters of John Clark and Ding Chavez again. Almost ten years after they appeared in Clear and Present Danger, it is interesting to see how Clancy develops the recognizable characters now as the older, wiser leaders of the missions. This sly tactic, as does the mere name recognition factor, thus propels an otherwise merely additional book by a certain author to automatic potential status of bestsellerdom. Yet, it should be made clear though, that Clancy does an excellent job of explaining the characters in each of his novels with just enough detail relevant to that particular novel. In such a clever way, Clancy allows a first-time reader to merely encounter another neat character while simultaneously allowing the experienced Clancy reader the satisfaction of being able to know what happened to this character many years ago and what all he has been through to get to this point, making him all the more believable and intriguing. Again, it is more of Clancy's genius at work with the authentic prose and locale references, at making recurring characters so believable that readers feel as if they are following genuine people's lives and sagas. That Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger was made into a movie four years after initially being published is no mere irony. As with at least two others of his novels, the worldwide reception and acclaim for his works indeed propelled his novels from the bookstores to the best-selling lists to Hollywood. Though the movies vary substantially from the original print versions of the stories, the fact that they come from previous best-selling novels spurs on their fame and viewing audience of people enticed by the same things that enticed original novel readers. Whether a loyal Clancy reader since The Hunt for Red October or an ex Navy Seal fascinated by Clancy's realistic capture of emotional toil (as in Rainbow Six) or a C.I.A. official perplexed yet enticed by the authenticity and preciseness of government lingo and security references, Clancy novels possess such a wealth of unique, alluring qualities that make them virtually automatic bestsellers. Especially in the past decade of growing public awareness and concern with truth in government proceedings and the American ideal of honesty, Clancy's novels provide a perfect mix of military, political, and social scenarios and characters to be entertaining as well as subtly informing to a vast array of readers worldwide. Shapiro, Walter. "Of Arms and the Man." Rev. of Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy. Time 21 Aug. 1989:66-68. Streitfeld, David. "Working up a Sweat." The Washington Post 14 May 1989: 14. Thomas, Evan. "Dealing with Druggies." Rev. of Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy. Newsweek 21 Aug. 1989:60. Wise, David. "Just Say Nuke ?Em." Rev. of Clear and Present Danger, by Tom Clancy. The New York Times Book Review 13 Aug. 1989: 9. Www.amazon.com Ask.com/main/metaanswer.asp Tom Clancy Web files http://users.cybercity.dlk Joseph Maloney's essay on Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice
You are not logged in. (Sign in)