The Sum of All Fears
A post-Cold War reality and a strife for peace. Terrorists hold a nuclear bomb. The blindness of highly placed political figures is shocking. Jack Ryan, a main character in other Clancy’s novels, too, is the deputy director of the CIA intelligence.
Historical facts and fiction are masterly fused to create suspense and a sense of reality, and those are building components of Tom Clancy’s style. There is a generous volume of story lines; twists and jumps as the author weaves the plot, and a constellation of characters who support the coherence of the story. It is for the first time that there is a strong focus in the series on Jack Ryan’s personal life, and separate pieces of his story fit to the general puzzle of plots. In a slightly different, yet creative manner, in the movie starring Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman, the vulnerabilities of the characters are virtuously integrated in the complex context of the story. In my view, this is another aspect of Clancy’s way of writing about overwhelming world events, fundamental historical facts and the personal touch of the characters they bring as a legacy to the story lines. The political games are also pulled into the limelight of the thriller. The multiple layers of the drama reveal a Middle Eastern style of intrigue; terrorist threats stemming from different regions; corruption eroding the fabric of the society… A thought-provoking novel with a potential to build reflections on the even more complicated and turbulent world of today…
A prison camp in North Vietnam and a rescue mission; drug trafficking and… a drop of love. This is one of the series about Jack Ryan, and some background information about him starts gaining momentum. It is John Kelly (an operative of the government known as Mr. Clark), however, who is the main character of the novel and belongs to the Third Special Operation Group in the Vietnam War.
Why is Mr. Clark trusted by the president with jobs of a very sensitive nature?
When the purpose in life is lost, a new chance comes. It is patience and a focus that may drive one’s ambitions. And this is how the characters perform in this action novel. Clancy’s concentration is on the emotion and character building. Their different perspectives on a given situation provides for insights, psychological twists and realistic perceptions. While reading the novel, I am plunging in a context of intelligence tips and covert maneuvers, or underground activities, and all the characters – fleshed with utmost details – reveal their own personalities and viewpoints. Moral bankruptcy, too, may bring the reader’s attention to a full swing of reflections. The complex nature of Without Remorse drives my sense of gradual advancement – via sub-plots and character development – to a culmination of revenge and a choice. The blending of the action element with the spy thriller and the psychological drama colors the idea of history, fiction and reality; it lightens the interpersonal relationships, and darkens the political arena and motivations.