Friday, December 31, 2010

A book review (and then maybe we'll head back to France)

Dead or AliveDead or Alive by Tom Clancy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I was in college, I read a book called The Hunt for Red October, and I loved it! Then came Red Storm Rising, another terrific book. In fact, I'm getting ready to read that one again. More great Tom Clancy books followed.

For years, Tom Clancy turned out great, thrilling, tightly written books. Then he started to slide. I gave up on him a number of years ago. His writing style had suffered, and he couldn't keep his political views from making blatant, ham-handed appearances in his books. Sharing the writing with others hasn't helped.

I saw halfway-decent reviews of Dead or Alive, so I thought I'd give him another try. Sadly, things aren't any better. The writing is plodding and in need of a good editor, and his political views aren't at all subtle. I might be able to live with him espousing his political views (even though this is supposed to be fictional entertainment, not a political work), if the rest of Dead or Alive were a taught, entertaining read. It's not.

For my money, I'll stick with newer authors like Alex Berenson and Vince Flynn. They're far better!

View all my reviews


Scott Barnes said...

I believe I read once that Tom Clancy writes at a 4th grade level. Maybe it's not even true but for that reason alone, I've never read him.

Jess said...

At this point, that might well be true. His early books were very entertaining, but this new stuff is crap. It rambles, doesn't flow well and isn't chock full of interesting language by any means!

As far as actual "level," most major newspapers are written at "4th grade level." Not that most of the newspapers are paragons of literacy, but I question what is meant by such ratings/levels. I don't need to everything to send me scrambling for the dictionary! :)