Clancy, Tom: The Hunt for Red October
(researched by Michael Tierney)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Tom Clancy. The Hunt for Red October. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute, 1984
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
This first edition, second printing is a trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
196 leaves, pp. [8] 1-387 [5]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The author gives a dedication on the fifth un-numbered page stating: For Ralph Chatham, a sub driver who spoke the truth, and for all the men who wear dolphins The author gives the following acknowledgement on the front of the second to last leaf of the book: "For technical information and advice I am especially indebted to Michael Shelton, former naval aviator; Larry Bond, whose naval wargame, 'Har- poon,' was adopted for the training of NROTC cadets; Drs. Gerry Sterner and Craig Jeschke; and Lieutenant Commander Gregory Young, USN."
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
No 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 pages are 8 13/16" tall, and 5 13/16" wide. There is also a 5/8" margin on the top of the page, a 15/16" margin on the outside edge, and there is 7/8" between the bottom of the page, and the number on the outside corner of each page (1/4" between the number and the text. The size of the type is 80R, and has serifs. The pages are easily readable, with the text area placed roughly in the center of the page.
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 more off-white than white, which could be due to discoloration, but the book is in top condition elsewhere, so this might be the original color of the paper. The paper is smooth and has straight edges on the top/bottom and outside edge. The paper is also relatively thin, and you can see the text on the opposite side of the leaf. The paper is also a bit granulated, as you can see individual waves of grainage.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is Calico-texture cloth, not embossed and is medium red. On the cover there is a hammer and sickle with submarine in blind. The spine has bright, shiny siver embossed lettering, with the author's last name at top, title in middle and Naval Institute Press at bottom. On the back, in the bottom right corner is "ISBN 0-87021-285-0" also in silver lettering. There are also endpapers, 1 leaf at front, 1 at the back, as well as attatched to inside of cover, and inside of back cover. These endpapers are a sort of greyish brown color. The book has a dust jacket (see 15).
12 Transcription of title page
Front TOM CLANCY | [rule 110mm] | The Hunt for | RED OCTOBER | Naval Institute Press | Annapolis, Maryland Back Copyright 1984 by the United States Naval Institute Annapolis Maryland Second Printing, 1984 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Clancy, Tom, 1947- The Hunt for Red October. I. Title. PS3553.L245H8 1984 813'.54 84-16569 ISBN 0-87021-285-0 Printed in the United States of America All the characters in this book, with the exception of Sergey Gorshkov, Yuri Padorin, Oleg Penkovskiy, Valery Sablin, Hans Tofte, and Greville Wynne, are fictious, and any resemblence to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The names, incidents, dialogue, and opinions expressed are products of the author's imaginiation and are not to be construed as real. Nothing is intended or should be interpreted as expressing or representing the views of the U.S. Navy or any other department or agency of any goverenmental body.
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
A bookseller is advertising "Author's First Book. Unrevised And Uncorrected Proofs; Paperback Unrevised And Uncorrected Proofs; Paperback." This item sells for $3950, and may be some form of a manuscript.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The front of the DJ has the authors name (gray) in the upper right corner and the title, The Hunt for (black) RED OCTOBER (red), aligned to the right side of the page. In the bottom right corner are the words "A NOVEL" in gray. To the right of the title is an image of a submarine (black) superimposed over a traditional Russian hammer and sickle (red). The Spine has the author's last name at top, "The Hunt for" in black "RED OCTOBER" in red in the middle, and the publisher on the bottom. The back of the DJ contains 8 quotes regarding the book from the following sources: Jack Higgins, author of The Eagle Has Landed and Exocet; Joseph Wambaugh, author of The Blue Knight and Lines and Shadows; Edward L. Beach, Captain, USN (Ret.), and author of Run Silent, Run Deep; John Moore, Captain RN (Ret.), and editor of Jane's Fighting Ships; Stansfield Turner, Admiral, USN (Ret.), and Former CIA Director; Clive Cussler, The Denver Post; John R. Alden, The Wall Street Journal; and finally Reid Beddow, The Washington Post. The ISBN number is also on the the bottom right corner of DJ. The inside front of the DJ has "T.H.F.R.O" and "$14.95" in the top right corner. The title, same color scheme and again aligned left, is at the top of the page. It is followed by an excerpt from the book (some sort of radio or telegram communication). That is followed by a description of the story, which continues onto the inside of the back DJ cover. The description of the story is interrupted by a black and white photograph presumably of the author reading a book, although no description or credits is given. After the summary of the novel, the address of the publisher is given at the very bottom. The DJ is in good condition, with a little bit of shelf-wear evident on the bottom. NOTE: On the back inside of the cover, not the DJ, a slip of paper has been attatched to the bottom left corner that is typed as follows: PURCHASED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA FOR THE CLIFTON WALLER BARRETT LIBRARY Handwritten below that, still on the slip of paper is the book's call number: *PS3553 .L245H8 1984 Also on the backside of the rear endpaper, in the top left corner is handwritten the following: New Dominion 12 Dec. '84
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
Naval Institute Press issued a Large Print Edition featuring the same cover art. It was printed in 1984 as well, and was printed in two volumes.
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?
The first print run was of 14,000 and as of 10-16-2002, the book was currently on its 37th printing.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
UK Version: 1985, Collins Paperback: 1985, Berkley Books Paperback UK Version: 1986, Fontana Large Print UK Version: 1986, Charnwood Paperback US: 1988, Berkley Books Paperback US: 1990, Berkley Books Paperback US (w/Patriot Games): 1992, Diamond UK Version Hardcover: 1993, HarperCollins UK Version Paperback: 1994, HarperCollins US Trade Paperback: 1999, Berkely
6 Last date in print?
In print as of October 15th, 2002.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
The hardcover edition sold 365,000 copies according to an October 11th, 1987 article in the Washington Post Book World AND this figure was also given in an October 6th, 1996 article in the New York Times Book Review. This figure was given in a "100 Years of Book Publishing" timeline. In an email from an Editorial Assistant from the Naval Institute Press, she stated that as of 10-16-2002, the book had sold over 485,000 copies. The figure for total sales is a little more vague: 1) A May 16th, 1990 article in the Jerusalem Post states that "the book sold 6 million copies 7 years ago," but the book was published in 1984. 2) A May 14th, 1989 article in the Washington Post Book World states that there are 5 million copies in print. 3) A Feb. 25th, 1990 article in the Newsday NY states that 6 million copies have been sold. 4) A Feb 27th, 1990 article in the St. Pete Times, gives the figure of 5.5 million copies. In addition to these figures, a July 15th, 1988 article from United Press International states that 1 million copies were sold in Japan.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
Jan 29th, 1985: 45,000 (Washington Post, Style) March 22nd, 1985: 70,000 after 6 printings (Publishers' Weekly) April 5th, 1985: 155,000 after 7 printings (Publishers' Weekly) May 24th, 1985: 202,000 after 9 printings (Publishers' Weekly) June 16th, 1985: 235,000 copies in print (Washington Post Book World) October 11th, 1985: 1.7 million PAPERBACK copies after 4th printing (Publishers' Weekly) 1985: According to Bowker Annual the book sold $295,000 worth of copies. March 29th, 1987: 3.05 million PAPERBACK copies in print (Washington Post Book Report) October 11th, 1987: 365,000 hardcover editions sold...hardcover no longer in print (Washington Post Book World) May 14th, 1989: 5 million copies in print (Washington Post Book World) Feb 29th, 1990: 6 million copies sold (Newsday NY) Tom Clancy said in 1988 that he had made $1.3 million dollars from paperback and hardcover sales. (New York Times, May 1st)
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
I could not find any advertisements.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
Much of the success of the book was due to the fact that President Ronald Regean said he was reading it and that it was very good. (Washington Post Book World: Sept. 28th, 1986)
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Motion Picture: Debuted on March 2nd, 1990. Paramount Pictures. Produced by Mace Neufield. Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. Video Game: Post 1990 (features movie cover art); Nintendo Video game, Super Nintendo Video game, and Gameboy Video game. Soundtrack to the motion picture: Released June 12, 1990. Composed by Basil Poledouris. Audiobook: The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation. December 1985. Read by Richard Crenna. Audiobook: Books on Tape, Inc. Read by John MacDonald. October 1985 Audiobook: Brilliance Audio. August 1992. Audiobook: Audio Partners Publishing Corporation. July 1993. Read by Frank Muller. Audiobook: Brilliance Audio. July 2001. Read by J. Charles. Audiobook: Abridged edition by Countertop Audio, March 1, 2000. The book is one of five in this audiobook abridged collection.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Portuguese: A caÁa ao Outubro Vermelho. Mem Martins, Portugal : PublicaÁıes Europa-AmÈrica. 1986 Chinese: Hongseshiyue sou xun ji : qian ting tou ben zi you ji. Taibei Shi : Xing guang chu ban she. 1985, 1991 Japanese: Reddo Okutoba o oe. Tokyo : Bungei Shunju. 1985 French: Octobre Rouge. Paris : A. Michel. 1986 Italian: La grande fuga dell' Ottobre Rosso : romanzo. Milano : Rizzoli. 1986 German: Jagd auf Roter Oktober. Bern : Scherz. 1986 Spanish: La caza del submarino ruso. Buenos Aires : EmecÈ. 1986, 1992 Russian: Okhota za "Krasnym oktiabrem". New York, N.Y. : Liberty Pub. House. 1986, 1992 Spanish: La caza del submarino ruso. Espluges de Llobregat, Barcelona : Plaza & JaneÈs. 1987, 1991, 1993 Spanish: La caza del submarino ruso. Bogat· : Printer Columbiana. 1987, 1991 Hebrew: ha-Mirdaf ahar Oktober ha-Adom. Tel Aviv : Mo'adon kor'e Ma'ariv,; Israel; Tel Aviv. 1987 French: A la poursuite d'Octobre rouge : roman. Paris : Albin Michel. 1990 Italian: La grande fuga dell' Ottobre Rosso : romanzo. Milano : Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli. 1990 Polish: Polowanie na "Czerwony Pazdziernik". Warszawa : Wydawn. Adamski i Bielinski, DWWLA. 1992 Korean: Pulgun 10-worho. Soul-si : Ip'sae. 1992.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
None.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
The Jack Ryan novels were published in the following order. 1.) The Hunt for Red October. Naval Institute Press. 1984 2.) Patriot Games. Putnam. 1987. 3.) The Cardinal of the Kremlin. Putnam. 1988 4.) Clear and Present Danger. Putnam. 1989 5.) The Sum of All Fears. Putnam. 1991 6.) Without Remorse. Putnam. 1993 7.) Debt of Honor. Putnam. 1994 8.) Executive Orders. Putnam. 1996 9.) Rainbow Six. Putnam. 1998. 10.) Red Rabbit. Penguin USA. 2002 Chronologically, the action in the books occur in the following order: 1.) Without Remorse 2.) Patriot Games 3.) Red Rabbit 4.) The Hunt for Red October 5.) The Cardinal of the Kremlin 6.) Clear and Present Danger 7.) The Sum of All Fears 8.) Debt of Honor 9.) Executive Orders 10.) Rainbow Six In Without Remorse, Jack Ryan only appears in the first two pages, as a child whose father is killed. He never appears in Rainbow Six, but the characters overlap with the other novels.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October was his first piece of fiction writing, and the novel that launched his ever-growing fame. Prior to his publishing of Hunt, Clancy only had pieces of work published. One was a letter to the editor, and the second was a very brief article on the MX missile. He was working as an insurance salesman, a business owned by his wife's family. In spite of the fact that The Hunt for Red October is densely packed with details of submarine warfare and military technology, Clancy never served in the armed forces. Due to poor eyesight, the military rejected him, which Clancy refers to as one of the most disappointing events in his life. Despite this early setback, Clancy continued to be interested in the military and military technology. Much of the success of his techno-thrillers relies heavily on the research he put in on whatever subject he is writing about. This strategy for writing emerged during the process for The Hunt for Red October. He consulted public naval records, interviewed crewmembers that were stationed on submarines, and then extrapolated ideas that he thought were feasible, given his research. The result was a novel that was so accurate in its descriptions of military equipment and tactics that former Navy Secretary John Lehman stated in a Time magazine article that if Clancy had ever served in the Navy, that he would have been court-martialed for revealing too much top-secret information. All this without ever setting foot on a submarine. Despite this attention to detail, Clancy found some difficulty in getting the novel published. After shopping the manuscript around to over two-dozen publishing companies, he submitted the manuscript to the Naval Institute Press. The Naval Institute Press had been a publisher of exclusively non-fiction material until Clancy's The Hunt for Red October. They ended up paying Clancy $5,000 for the manuscript, and producing a first edition print run of 14,000 copies. They sold the rights to the paperback edition for $50,000. It took awhile for the book to become a bestseller, but with an endorsement from President Reagan the book ended up on the New York Times bestsellers list. This jump into stardom was a big adjustment for Clancy, who in a 1986 interview stated "that sometimes obscurity looks good." But he was able to get used to stardom and said that the best part about his new fame was "meeting the people?including the Washington big shots." In the year or two after the success of Hunt, before his subsequent successes, Clancy did not want to completely abandon his insurance business, stating that "it's a family business; there are 1,100 clients ? a lot of them friends ? and I'm not going to desert them." Nevertheless, he admitted that the switch from insurance salesman to writer was like "being cured of leprosy ? before, when you told them who you were and what you did, people avoided you like the plague." After The Hunt for Red October vaulted Clancy into the limelight he spent the next few years adjusting to his fame - a fame that would increase with every subsequent publication.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As mentioned before in this assignment, The Hunt for Red October was the first book by Tom Clancy, and the first fiction novel published by the Naval Institute Press. These two factors heavily influenced the contemporary reception for the novel. To be more specific, there was very little attention payed to The Hunt for Red October. Released in 1994, it did not achieve bestseller status until 1995, and it never reached the number one spot. No one had ever heard of Tom Clancy, so I imagine that when the novel came first came out in 1994 the major newspapers did not pay any attention to it. Evidence for this can found in a search through the Lexis Nexis database. Upon searching general news, as well as book reviews, no major paper did a full review on the book. A review by United Press International on January 15th, 1985 is the first apparent article that focused on the merits of the novel. The very brief article (only 239 words) is only a superficial review that only scratches at the surface of the novel. The first line of the article states that "The Hunt for Red October is a well-written first novel by Tom Clancy. He obviously knows his naval hardware and his writing is clear and precise. The book is interesting to read." But the review goes on to criticize the novel for being too easy on the American forces, essentially saying that they conquor too easily. The reviewer also had good forsight, for he predicted that the book is set up perfectly for a made for TV movie, stating that the final scene in which the hero walks into the distance amid applause from his comrades, is vintage TV. While only slightly off, the review manages to pin down some major points about the novel. It acknowledges Clancy's plethora of knowledge regarding military warfare, an attribute that would later develop into a genre created by Clancy, the "techno-thriller". It also manages to see the appropriateness of a movie version, a reality for most of Clancy's Jack Ryan novels. This review however was the ONLY review I could find. Clancy's second book however, Red Storm Rising naturally was covered more thoroughly, given the success of his first novel.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As mentioned before in this assignment, The Hunt for Red October was the first book by Tom Clancy, and the first fiction novel published by the Naval Institute Press. These two factors heavily influenced the contemporary reception for the novel. To be more specific, there was very little attention payed to The Hunt for Red October. Released in 1994, it did not achieve bestseller status until 1995, and it never reached the number one spot. No one had ever heard of Tom Clancy, so I imagine that when the novel came first came out in 1994 the major newspapers did not pay any attention to it. Evidence for this can found in a search through the Lexis Nexis database. Upon searching general news, as well as book reviews, no major paper did a full review on the book. A review by United Press International on January 15th, 1985 is the first apparent article that focused on the merits of the novel. The very brief article (only 239 words) is only a superficial review that only scratches at the surface of the novel. The first line of the article states that "The Hunt for Red October is a well-written first novel by Tom Clancy. He obviously knows his naval hardware and his writing is clear and precise. The book is interesting to read." But the review goes on to criticize the novel for being too easy on the American forces, essentially saying that they conquor too easily. The reviewer also had good forsight, for he predicted that the book is set up perfectly for a made for TV movie, stating that the final scene in which the hero walks into the distance amid applause from his comrades, is vintage TV. While only slightly off, the review manages to pin down some major points about the novel. It acknowledges Clancy's plethora of knowledge regarding military warfare, an attribute that would later develop into a genre created by Clancy, the "techno-thriller". It also manages to see the appropriateness of a movie version, a reality for most of Clancy's Jack Ryan novels. This review however was the ONLY review I could find. Clancy's second book however, Red Storm Rising naturally was covered more thoroughly, given the success of his first novel.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October is unlike any of his other best-selling novels for one simple reason: it was his first novel. Thus the importance of its success cannot be stressed enough. While it is very possible that if Hunt had been a failure, Clancy's subsequent novels could have been highly successful, it is obvious that the success of The Hunt for Red October established Clancy as a popular novelist and propelled him to fame and fortune. So it is important to understand why this novel, a first from the author, the first fiction novel from the Naval Institute Press, and a novel that received very little press upon release, managed to catapult onto the bestsellers list. What was it about The Hunt for Red October that helped to overcome staggering odds of failure? I propose that it was a combination of many factors. First, as is well documented, a public endorsement by President Ronald Reagan sparked interest in the book. Second, the book was published during the Cold War, is about the Cold War in part, and draws on the fears associated with the Cold War. This use of current events/current topics fueled interest in the novel, since people were interested in seeing their fears brought to life. Lastly, it essentially created a genre of popular fiction, the techno-thriller, which is a highly detailed depiction of a catastrophic event. The rest of Clancy's novels share this style of writing, and it has become his signature style. Thus, these factors combined to fuel interest in the novel, and are the reason for its success. While it might seem trivial and insignificant at first, President Reagan's public endorsement of the novel was the reason that it first gained nationwide public attention. As I have said before, the book did not appear on the bestsellers list until well after its initial publication. While some novels are thrust into the limelight because of glowing critical reviews, endorsements by Oprah or other celebrities, this novel gained attention because the President of the United States said it was a great read and that it was "un-putdownable" and "the perfect yarn." The Naval Institute Press took a big risk in publishing Hunt as its first fiction novel, from a first time writer. For this reason it gained very little attention from the press. But after the President gave his endorsement, the book began to sell and gained media attention. In a letter from Tom Clancy to a friend, Clancy writes of the way the President got the book. He writes, "Got a call from a lady named N??? C??? R???. She got a copy from a D.C. reporter, and was asked to deliver same to the US ambassador to Argentina. She read it on the plane, and proceeded to buy 27 copies before Christmas. One of which was under the tree of The President. She said that the President read about 1/3 of it Christmas Day, and very much liked it. She went on to say that she was trying to arrange my presence at lunch at the White House. Dear God." (A) In this letter it is apparent that Clancy understands the magnitude of this information. This letter also reveals that the book had become popular among some high-level government readers in Washington, but it is not until Reagan endorses the book that it becomes a nationwide bestseller. This shows us one way that a book from an unknown author, with no actual experience in the subject he is writing about, from a small publisher (of which it was a first fiction novel) gain becomes a bestseller. Get the book endorsed by the President of the United States. So once the book was given Reagan's endorsement, people were aware of the title. But this does not simply ensure that the novel will gain bestseller status. The rest of the country might not share the President's opinion. So it is important to note other factors that influenced the success of The Hunt for Red October. The 1980's was the heart of the Cold War, and Americans were well informed of the nuclear capabilities of the Soviet Union. The premise of the novel feeds on the fears associated with that information. Clancy presents the action in the novel in a highly detailed fashion, adding to the plausibility of the events. Clancy depicts the world in 1986, with the Soviets developing a nuclear sub that is undetectable by American sonar. The idea is that the submarine could sail undetected and set down off the coast of Washington D.C., and be a first strike weapon. The success of the novel hinges on the wonderment of readers, and their belief that such an event is a distinct possibility. But this premise, that the sub is going to attack America, is just the surface plot that gets the reader interested in the novel. In actuality, the events that take place in the novel are somewhat anti-Cold War. Captain Ramius, the man the Soviets place in charge of this new, hi-tech submarine has other objectives than to destroy the United States. While the submarine, Red October, is designed to be a first strike weapon, Ramius uses it for another purpose. His goal is to use the submarine to avoid detection by the Soviets, and defect to the United States. Thus, the sentiment of the Soviets as evil and dangerous gets turned on its head, and the Americans come to the aide of the Soviet officers wishing to defect. But in the end the Soviets are presented as bumbling and fumbling, and American intelligence and Western ideals are victorious in the end. But the entire premise of the story rests on the notion that readers will be captivated by a story that pits the United States against the evil empire of the Soviet Union. However, it is able to portray a personal side to some Soviets, those that want defection, and this added depth augments the success of the novel. With the success of Hunt for Red October, Clancy continued to use this Cold War, U.S. vs. the Soviets, in many of his other books. He was able to find something that readers latched onto, and he has stuck with that equation. Present a story where the threat of World War III is eminent, and readers will flock. So with Hunt, Clancy drew on the worries of the time, helping to nullify the adversity of being an unknown author. Lastly, Hunt for Red October helped to establish an entire genre of popular fiction: the techno-thriller. Most of, if not all of Tom Clancy's novels follow the same premise as mentioned before: that there is some sort of international event that threatens the entire world, and in particular the United States. As mentioned before, the threat in Hunt is that a new nuclear submarine, undetectable by sonar, has been developed by the Soviets. This is not based on fact, and it is a product of Clancy's imagination. It is presented in such a way that the events seem plausible, and Clancy's presentation is credible, despite his lack of military credentials. The reason that readers are able to suspend their disbelief is because Clancy packs the novel with so much military detail that the reader has no choice but to accept the information. Clancy also includes no glossary of terms, something that was proposed, but was decided against. In another letter to a friend Clancy writes: "Actually the idea of a glossary for all those impressive words and acronyms (Special Note: If verisimilitude is what you're after, and you're talking about the military, you have to talk wall to wall acronyms--just like docs, uniformed types speak in a special form of shorthand to baffle us dumb civilians) and one I (and others) proposed, but each time the idea was discarded as unnecessary. ASW means "anti-submarine warfare," by the way. A cast-of-characters page was also considered and dropped." (B) Clancy goes onto to explain his attention to detail in a humorous way saying: Don't be too impressed by the technical stuff?if you give the book a close look, there ain't very much-- just enough to make it look like I know something. All of this came out of easy, casual references into some books I own. Really. It's a lot easier to say the right word than to know what it means, y'know? I ain't no submarine driver. (B) But there is no doubt that his details are what make the action in the book credible, and entertaining. There are sections in the novel, quite frequently, that have long descriptive passages full of military speak. An example: Admiral Foster: "At this moment we have E-3A Sentry AWACS-type aircraft circling them along with Dan's Orions, both accompanied by F-15 Eagle fighters out of Iceland. By this time Friday we'll have a squadron of B-52's operating from Loring Air Base in Maine. These will be armed with Harpoon air-to-surface missiles, and they'll be orbiting the Soviets in relays." (C) It is this style of writing that defines the techno-thriller. Advanced technological jargon, of which the reader has only a limited understanding of. But the reader is to assume that this is the actual "language" of military personnel, and it adds to the realism of the novel. With Hunt, Clancy was able to develop his own genre of writing, one that readers showed an affinity towards given its enduring success. I feel that the Hunt for Red October is very unique bestseller. All of America knows who Tom Clancy is, what he writes, and how he writes. But it is interesting to see how his fame came to be. The novel had many obstacles to overcome. It was the first fiction novel by the Naval Institute Press, by an unknown author who had never set a foot on a submarine. I hope to have made it clear that the success of Hunt was a result of a combination of factors. The endorsement by President Reagan gave the book a national spotlight. But the success endured because readers latched onto the depiction of a world where the Cold War has blown up into a real war. And it is also important to note that this novel created its own genre, the techno-thriller, and a style that Clancy would use to continue his success even today. Sources: A) Becoming Tom Clancy. Letters by Tom Clancy. http://www.geocities.com/everwild7/clancy4.html#top B) Becoming Tom Clancy. Letters by Tom Clancy. http://www.geocities.com/everwild7/clancy3.html C) Clancy, Tom. The Hunt for Red October. Berkley Paperback. Pg. 110.
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