Summary and book reviews of Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy

Rainbow Six

by Tom Clancy

Rainbow Six
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  • First Published:
    Aug 1998, 752 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 1999, 255 pages

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Book Summary

A group of terrorists like none the world has ever encountered before - so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on this earth as we know it.

Over the course of nine novels, Tom Clancy's "genius for big, compelling plots" and his "natural narrative gift" (The New York Times Magazine) have mesmerized hundreds of millions of readers and established him as one of the preeminent storytellers of our time. Rainbow Six, however, goes beyond anything he has done before.

At its heart is John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL of Without Remorse and well-known from several of Clancy's novels as "the dark side of Jack Ryan," the man who conducts the secret operational missions Ryan can have no part of. Whether hunting warlords in Japan, druglords in Colombia, or nuclear terrorists in the United States, Clark is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised. And nothing is more demonic than the peril he must face in Rainbow Six: a group of terrorists like none the world has ever encountered before, a band of men and women so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on this earth as we know it. It is Tom Clancy's most shocking story ever---and closer to reality than any government would care to admit.

As Clancy takes us through the twists and turns of Rainbow Six, he blends the exceptional realism and authenticity that are his hallmarks with intricate plotting, knife-edge suspense, and a remarkable cast of characters. This is Clancy at his best---and there is none better.

Prologue: Setting Up

JOHN CLARK HAD MORE TIME IN AIRPLANES THAN most licensed pilots, and he knew the statistics as well as any of them, but he still didn't like the idea of crossing the ocean on a twin-engine airliner. Four was the right number of engines, he thought, because losing one meant losing only 25 percent of the aircraft's available power, whereas on this United 777, it meant losing half. Maybe the presence of his wife, one daughter, and a son-in-law made him a little itchier than usual. No, that wasn't right. He wasn't itchy at all, not about flying anyway. It was just a lingering . . . what? he asked himself. Next to him, in the window seat Sandy was immersed in the mystery she'd started the day before, while he was trying to concentrate on the current issue of The Economist, and wondering what was putting the cold-air feeling on the back of his neck. He started to look around the cabin for a sign of danger but abruptly stopped himself. There wasn't anything wrong that ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Charles Salzberg

...meticulously researched and carefully plotted--even though the conspiracy he writes of seems farfetched.

People Magazine

Clancy's characters are stiff as a starched uniform and no deeper than a foxhole, and their dialogue comes straight from the can marked 'John Wayne.' But we know that already. The reason to read Clancy is his elaborate descriptions of the latest high-tech gadgetry and his bolt-action mayhem. There's enough of both to keep readers turning Rainbow's 740 pages right up until its jolting denouement.

Booklist - Roland Green

Those who have not made their peace with Clancy's political agenda and fondness for technical detail (e.g., what happens to a human head struck by a sniper round) can again steer clear in good conscience. Those who recognize Clancy as inventor of a genre of which he remains grand master will again stampede to read his latest effort, doubtless in equally good conscience.

Kirkus Reviews

... the charged clouds of good and evil build toward a typically foreshadowed and explosive Clancy finish. Namely, a supremely powerful biotech company is led by a bonkers (yet well-spoken) environmentalist with the vision for a Project even more luminously insane than any frothy megaloid plot hatched by James Bond's archenemy SPECTRE: a murderous ecoproject that may get underway during the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, and involve the destruction of almost all human life, merely to insure the survival and greater safety of Nature itself. No disappointments here, but an unusually sumptuous cut of steak can't hide the familiarity of the menu.

Publishers Weekly

Two years ago, Executive Orders, which thrust Jack Ryan into the Oval Office, raised the bar for its immensely popular author. This first Clancy hardcover since then, though a ripping read, matches its predecessor neither in complexity nor intensity nor even, at 752 pages, length, despite a strong premise and some world-class action sequences.

Reader Reviews

Mike Stokes

A great read for fans of action, military or Clancy novels in general.
Of the Clancy novels that I have read I have to say that this is my favorite. Although the characters can seem a little shallow and the plot is very far fetched, this is simply a terrific book. I am sure that critics believe this to be one of Clancy'...   Read More

Brad

The best of the best
Clancy has become one of the world's best government/war authors ever and this book just confirms that. Rainbow Six has so many twists, gut-wrenching chapters, and so much detail in everything. READ THIS BOOK!!!

harry longstick

this book was excellent!

Paul

An Amazing Book, for a 8th grader not too hard.


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