Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Tom Clancy and The Hunt For Red October. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Blu-ray/DVD Now Available for Purchase!

UPDATE TO BLOG POST, 06-10-14: Today the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is now available for purchase. I am so excited, as I have already purchased my copy and really look forward to watching it on our big screen TV. I hope everyone is having a good day today. My love to you all. Sharon.
UPDATE TO BLOG POST, 05-27-14: This update is just to let you know that for all those interested in purchasing the movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, on Blu-ray/DVD, it is slated for release on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
UPDATE TO BLOG POST, 01-18-14: This update is strictly about the movie. I just got back from seeing the movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. I absolutely LOVED! the movie. Chris Pine and Kevin Costner work wonderfully together to save the U.S. from national economic and terrorist disaster. The major villain, Kenneth Branagh, is delightfully awful as the bad guy, and Keira Knightly is beautiful, but still manages to get in on the action scenes, too. Chris Pine has left his arrogant "Captain Kirk," Star Trek role behind and is very successful in adopting the new persona of a young Jack Ryan. I really loved that the writers enhanced the script to show Jack Ryan's early days, the helicopter crash and major back injury, as well as his painful recovery and then recruitment by Thomas Harper (AKA: Kevin Costner), into the CIA. This all is a wonderful tribute to Tom Clancy. And finally, I give major kudos to Kenneth Branagh, who has done a masterful job as Director of the movie! Go see the movie! It is a very fun watch and it may inspire you to read more of Tom Clancy's novels.

Book Review by Sharon Powers.

The Hunt for Red October,
(Kindle Ed.) by Tom Clancy.
   This book review is a tribute to well-known and loved author, Tom Clancy who died last week (October 1, 2013) at the age of 66. Tom Clancy was known for his many popular novels including The Hunt for Red OctoberPatriot GamesThe Sum of All Fears and Clear and Present Danger.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is
scheduled to open January 17, 2014
(originally scheduled for 12-25-13).
    A number of Clancy's popular books have been made into movies, such as, The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and Patriot Games.  A popular character in the books, Jack Ryan, was played on the big screen by such actor notables as Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. 

The Hunt for Red October 
in blu-ray (image).
    Soon to be released to the big screen is the new movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The movie will star Chris Pine as a young Jack Ryan and, according to Kenneth Branagh (who will also star in the movie as a bad guy), the movie will be "'an original story that allows us to understand how Jack Ryan develops into a CIA analyst, before joining and perhaps even joining, the CIA. It's a very contemporary action thriller set in the here and now. [A]pparently, its launching point is mentioned in Clancy's The Hunt for Red October book and film." According to Branagh, the Hunt for Red October reveals that a terrifying helicopter crash nearly killed Jack Ryan when he was a 23-year-old Marine platoon leader...and, traumatically for Jack, he was the only member to survive the crash. (from: 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Trailer: Chris Pine and Kenneth Branagh Reboot the Spy Franchise.") Please check out the new trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:

Check out the new trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

    So...this book review, about The Hunt for Red October, is prompted not only by Tom Clancy's death, but is also is meant to consider the tie-in to the soon-to-be-released movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Indeed, I selected The Hunt for Red October instead of one of another of Clancy's very popular books because Red October specifically addresses the young Jack Ryan's early beginnings (as posited by Kenneth Branagh, above).

My wonderful husband, Carl
(photo taken at our home, 2011).
    I also have a very personal reason for selecting The Hunt for Red October for the subject matter of this week's post. Wait for it...wait for it.... OK. The reason is that I met my husband-to-be (Carl) very late in 1989 and we went out on our very first movie date in early March 1990. Since he was still in the Naval Reserves then, he thought it would be a good idea if he took me to see The Hunt for Red October. I know. I know. Not your typical date movie, but hey, it worked for us. We held hands for the first time (A Sleepless in Seattle moment), and the movie became for us a very nostalgic and lovely memory redolent with sensuousness and joy. Needless to say, The Hunt for Red October, book and movie, has a very sentimental grip on my heart and mind.

The Hunt for Red October: Escaping torpedoes scene.


The Red October submarine in the
movie, The Hunt for the Red October.
    As the book opens we meet Captain Ramius who is musing about wreaking vengeance on the Soviet Union for the death of his beloved wife, Natalia. Ramius muses that he saw her death as "...a crime committed not by God but the State....a monsterous crime, one that demanded punishment." And so it is that the Captain of the Soviet nuclear submarine, Red October, declares his vengeful intent in a letter and mails it to his superiors just before sailing. Ramius cloncludes..."[t]here was no going back after that." As the Red October set out to sea, in his cabin with the political officer, Putin, Captain Ramius receives his orders to conduct a "four-day acquisition and tracking drill" with the Soviet attack submarine, V.K. Konovalov; the attack submarine is to attempt to track and hunt the Red October in a drill

    Shockingly, as soon as he has his orders, Ramius reaches out, grabs Putin, slams the man's head into the table, breaks his neck, and sets about covering up the murder. We wonder what kind of vengeance this madman is about to wreak upon the Soviet Union. We wonder whether it will involve launching the nuclear missiles at his command and whether or not the U.S., itself, will soon be pulled into Ramius' plans to wreak vengeance through nuclear war.

Crazy Ivan: a term used in the book
describing a strategic submarine move
involving a sharp, quick turn.
   It isn't long before a "deadly serious game of hide-and-seek" is being played with both the Soviets who seek to regain or destroy their own misappropriated nuclear sub, the Red October, and the Americans who hunt her for their own rather confused reasons. After receiving secret spy reports, tracking analysis, and switching from ship to ship, Jack Ryan manages to get on board the USS Dallas, an American submarine, hunting for the Red October. Following on the heels of tentative communications with Red October, twists and plot turns abound--the author's own form of Crazy Ivan.

    The Hunt for Red October is rife with intrigue, spying, sabotage, betrayal, murder, "red herrings" (pardon the bad pun), action sequences, dead-pan humor, and sentimental longing. The answer as to whether Ramius will get his revenge on the Soviets--and...whether or not he will come out of it alive--is answered as the book comes to its dramatic climax. This action-packed, yet oddly pensive book, keeps you turning the pages right to the end to discover the outcome.

One ping only.
The Hunt for Red October: 
Captain Ramius asked Vasili
to re-verify the Red October's
range to target:

Ramius: "One ping only."
Vasily: "Captain, I - I - I just..."
Ramius: "Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please."
Vasili: "Aye, Captain."

Of course, the above quote is from the movie. The book does it slightly differently: "Borodin," he said finally, ... A single ping, Comrade. Just one, for range." [p. 269 of 423, 64%]

Personal Note: My husband and I often quote Ramius when we only want one of anything (say, one serving of mashed potatoes at dinner, for example). Carl's getting full at dinner, but wants more mashed potatoes, so points to them and says, "Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please." ...I pass the mashed potatoes and we chuckle. I think it's funnier, though, when he tries to pass the green vegetables without taking any for his plate--I point and say, "One ping only." Then he laughs and says, "Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only...PLEASE!" Then we all laugh that I've turned the tables (so to speak) on him, just like Ramius did to the other sub...and he's torpedoed. I'm glad that Carl has a great sense of humor!

    Well...I'm afraid that I've already tipped my hand as to what I think about the book. I mean, after getting to this point in the book review, and having read all of the above information--peppered, I must admit--with little gems of excitement and praise, how can you not already know how I feel about this book?

  That having been said, I have to tell you that usually, I like to read a book and then see the movie after it has gone to the big screen. With Red October, however, I saw the movie first, and it was only after seeing the movie did I read the book. The Hunt for Red October was my very first Tom Clancy novel. So, the book and the movie are sentimental to me in more ways than one.

    The Hunt for Red October has many typical elements of other stories about submarines. One typical plot element in many submarine stories has the hunter's tables turned on it so that it suddenly becomes the hunted. Also, submarine movies often have conflicts between the crew and commanding officers, threatened mutiny, and problems with equipment or damages to the engines or the nuclear reactor. Here, the Red October becomes the hunted--the movie's title tells us that much up front. Also, an undercurrent of a conflict exists between the Soviet's Political Officer Putin and Ramius (before Ramius kills Putin).
The Hunt for Red October, Cartoon.
    In the prototypical submarine movie, Run Silent, Run Deep (starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster), the American sub tricks the Japanese into thinking that their sub is destroyed; the Americans shoot blankets, bodies, trash and equipment out the torpedo tubes to make it appear as wreckage. In The Hunt for Red October, the cook (a secret spy/saboteur) on the Red October, sabotaged the submarine and shoots Ramius. Then in a twist that is only predictable if you have watched Run Silent, Run Deep, the Red October utilizes a similar trick in convincing the Soviets that the Red October has been sunk--another ship is sunk so that everyone will believe it is the Red October.

    While many elements of Tom Clancy's novel are similar in nature to other submarine novels and movies, in general, his execution of the story is masterfully entertaining. Moreover, the story was timely in the sense that Clancy wrote the story before the demise of the the Soviet Union while everyone was still worried about a potential missile crisis. My recommendation is to read this book. Tom Clancy has nailed the suspense, excitement and drama that piloted his book into best-seller status.

My rating for this book:

Tom Clancy
04/12/47 - 10/01/13

About this book:
Pages: 436
ISBN: 0425172902
Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (February 3, 20009)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Kindle Edition: Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Enabled

Have you ever wondered what, "Red October" means? Here's an audio clip giving you a short definition of Red October.
 I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this weeks posting. Join me again, next week, for a new book review.

Until next time...

...many happy pages of reading.


_________________________________________ - The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy Book Cover, Kindle Edition image; - The Hunt for Red October in books (Kindle Ed.) on Amazon; - Patriot Games in books; - The Sum of All Fears Kindle Ed. on Amazon; - Clear and Present Danger Kindle Ed. on Amazon; - The Hunt for Red October in blu-ray on Amazon; - The Hunt for Red October blu-ray image; - Kenneth Branagh's quote; - YouTube: Trailer for new Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit movie; - Movie poster image; - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit movie release date; - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit release date; - The Hunt for Red October: Escaping torpedoes; - The Hunt for Red October release date; - One ping only (image); - Crazy Ivan image; - Cartoon; - 4.5 stars (red); - Photo of Tom Clancy; - DOD; - definition or Red October/October Revolution; - Definition of Red October; - White Rose.