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The Bear and The Dragon

by Tom Clancy

The Bear and The Dragon by Tom Clancy X
The Bear and The Dragon by Tom Clancy
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 752 pages

    Aug 2001, 752 pages


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There are currently 49 reader reviews for The Bear and The Dragon
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This book is monumental because it is where Tom Clancy has "jumped the shark." It takes three hundred pages to get into the action, then another couple of hundred to get to more action. In between, you have characters needless bickering and one asian CIA agent's uneventful (and unsuspenseful) sexual recruitment of an intelligence source.

This is not the novel that I expected with the tension build up with the Chinese that has been present in the previous, much better, Clancy novels.

I bought it, but regretted it. Good thing that I bought it at Sam's.

Book rambles. Promising plot about Russian murder investigation is obscured by nonsensical Chinese plot driven by unrealistic and one dimensional characters. Tons of extraneous scenes that are badly written. The only question in my mind as I read this is “where were the editors?”
Ryan Tumbler

Getting worse...
As I indicated in my last review, Clancy went bad in "Rainbow Six." In this book, he gets worse.

The plot; very unlikely. Very contrived. Very predictable for anyone who's read TC before - "Red Storm Rising" was the same basic story told with much greater skill.

The style; again, predictable, and redundant. The same words and messages are used from beginning to end, both by the narrator and his characters; the reading gets tiresome very quickly.

The relevance to international affairs, which made Clancy so famous in the eighties; zilch. Pigs will fly before Russia joins NATO or China invades Russia.

The characters; even more cardboard than usual, and all clones of one another. The same language, attitudes and personalities are grafted onto Ryan, Clark, Chavez, Robby, Nomuri, Adler and all the heroes - though some characters are allowed to become even more extreme so as to make Ryan appear "moderate."

The rhetoric; predictable right-wing diatribe, but this time tainted with a very ugly anti-Asian racism. Chinese culture, history, geography, society, economics and politics are all grossly misrepresented by the author, in sharp contrast to the respect he displayed for Russian or Middle-Eastern culture in earlier books.

Bottom line; don't buy it. Check it out at the local library if you're really curious. I promise you'll be as disappointed as I was.
C-3PO, human-cyborg relations

Baaaaaaaaaaad stuff...
Oh my God!
How do you even begin to describe this book? One of the most god-awful pieces of propaganda ever written, and the fact that almost all of Clancy's previous books were so well-written and thought out only makes this one that much worse.
The plot; is it even worth discussing? China (an complete communist dictatorship which somehow never made it out of the fifties) is made nearly bankrupt overnight by a trade embargo imposed by the U.S. and its allies, following a Tienanmen-style shootout. The Chinese therefore decide to invade Russia and steal all the oil, mineral and natural gas resources in Siberia for their own use. America stops them through high technology, plot over.
As I said, it's really not worth mentioning, because the war itself only starts happening about eight or nine hundred pages into the book. The first 1000 or so pages are dedicated to describing China-US relations and addressing every single issue on the Republican agenda.
The anti-Chinese sentiment in this book is probably the most offensive part of it, and don't start telling me it's only directed at the government. Dear China, how do I hate thee? let me count the ways. Every Chinese citizen in the book is a complete moron, brainwashed by Communism to be an inhuman machine, the one exception being, of course, CHRISTIANS!!! didn't see that one coming, did you? The average Chinese Joe out on the street still calls everyone "comrade" and dresses in Mao jackets, unisex dresses and generally fifties attire; no sense of style whatsoever. EVERY single Chinese person is an utter and complete moron, from the leaders who refuse to believe in any form of American power to the General who gets shot by a ninety-year old sniper to the office secretary who gets seduced by a pair of Western panties, the likes of which she has never seen even though most of them are, in fact, made in China. Oh! very important! China is STILL a completely communist country, like North Korea, never mind that their leaders are doing everything in their power right now to strengthen and invite capitalism; and of course, Chinese leaders have no idea how the world works, even though they're the ones who right now have the entire world eating out of their hands, including owning half of America's debt.
And of course, Chinese culture is thoroughly evil, only Christianity can save it. The phrase, "Marxism is inhuman, and Chinese culture doesn't value human life; put the two together, and you get the worst country in the world..." is used over and over and over again in the book until I was going, GET TO THE POINT! Are you telling a story or slandering 1.6 billion people.
So all in all, "disappointing" is probably the best word I could use for this book. Clancy's writing used to be a lot less fanatic. In old books, he showed respect for the people and cultures of enemy countries like Russia, Japan or Iran, and usually managed to create sympathetic characters on both sides of the fence; he also stated his principles in a more muted and respectable way. This book is nine hundred pages of non-stop rhetoric, a short bathroom break for the little war, and final pages in which all is set right, America all-powerful again, Russia too (though capitalist now, of course), and China relegated to its rightful place with a more pro-Western leader (though of course, China will now remain in the dark because, as Clancy in his wisdom says, "it is a country of great momentum rather than great thought").
Four words; Do not read this.

This so called "thriller" is boring and poorly paced at best, and blatently vulgar and racist at worst. The villains are completely one-dimensional and incredibly stupid, while Jack Ryan seems to completely toss away any and all likable qualities he may have had in previous novels. Don't bother wasting your money.

This is one of the most god awful books I have ever read. He is off on many parts of his much vaunted techno-wizardry and proficiency, he mislabels the Chinese tanks as T-85's and T-90's which are Russian terms for them, He mislabels the terms the Chinese use for their ICBM's as well as their Submarines, he unrealistically has the U.S. once again save "the world" as the evangelistical right-wing extremist bigots enjoy terming it. The U.S. manages to do this as well with casualties that do not reach the triple digits but manage to wipe out six Chinese ARMIES with little more than three or four bombing runs and then tank led drive by shootings. As somewhat of a defense expert myself I know that is entirely unfeasable. As well as the possibility that you could lose contact with an entire army in a few minutes time. When studied from any sort of an informed or scholarly perspective Tom Clancy's "realistic fiction" are nothing more than out and out fiction. It also shows very little class, tact, or panache to be so overtly political and overbearing with one's views in a book meant for entertainment value, NOT as a work of propaganda which this most undoubtably is. BookBrowse denies me more than 300 words so I will leave you all with this. This book is sexist, chauvinistic, imperialistic, arrogant, propagandist to the extreme, bigoted, racist, unrealistic, bloated in length, entirely unfeasible, and glaringly under-researched. Tom Clancy deserves a spanking for dishing out such a ridiculously and unnecessarily verbose novel that does not even satisfy by the end.
Chairman Bush

Racist and petty drival...

Tom Clancy's The Bear & The Dragon is a worthwhile follow up to his last
Jack Ryan novel, Executive Orders. As usual, Mr.Clancy's talents as the
Dean of Techno-thrillers comes through in this latest work.
Once again, Clancy's familiar characters-from Robby Jackson to Bart
Mancuso are on hand to deal with Red China , which has finally emerged in
the forefront of the action after manipulating Japan & Iran in Clancy's
Debt Of Honor & Exec Orders. And again, he gives a tour de force of
military action balanced with great characters & characterizations. If
The Bear & The Dragon has any flaws, it's that it simply stops when it
could & should 've run afew more chapters-detailing the US naval forces
that struck the Chinese fleet, a more complete scene with statements to
the American nation prior to the war & after the attempted nuclear strike
would've made for a more complete read. But nonetheless, The Bear & the
Dragon remains one of Tom Clancy's best works. I, for one, hopes he
produces a follow up to this novel real soon.

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