|| The Teeth Of The Tiger
Summary: The old rules no longer apply - anybody with a spare AK47 or a knowledge of kitchen chemistry can become a player. In a nondescript office building in suburban Maryland, 'The Campus', set up with the knowledge of President John Patrick Ryan identifies and locates terrorist threats - then deals with them, in whatever manner is necessary. It's an organisation always on the lookout for new recruits - men like Jack Ryan Jr, the President's son. Filled with the exceptional realism and cutting-edge authenticity that are his hallmarks, this is Clancy at his best - and there is none better.
|| Literature & Fiction
I finally finished reading Tom Clancy's novel - The Teeth of the Tiger. Talk about a disappointing book. I'm going to include it on my books page as an example of really poor writting. I've noticed a general decline in the quality of Clancy's novels, and this one finalizes my opinion. I'm not going to buy any more Clancy novels. His last few novels have contained horrendous examples of misogynistic stereotyping. The female characters (if there are any - none at all in The Teeth of the Tiger (as far as I can remember)) are often marginalized and subservient. In this novel they're only spoken of in disparaging and sexist terms. The treatment of female characters isn't the only reason I'm disappointed. This novel contained a set of less than interesting characters, their activities were poorly fit to the characters they portrayed, and there were several instances of horrid writting. The writting (in my opinion) was bland, poorly constructed, and barely tolerable. Here are a few excerpts I found especially grievous:
From page 306: "Jack Jr. correctly assumed it would be a casual-dress day, and drove his Hummer 2 into work wearing jeans, a pullover shirt, and sneaks. The security people were fully uniformed of course, and as stone-faced as ever. Tony Wills was just lighting up his computer when Jack came in at 8:14"
From page 316: "And Brian had probably done something in the Marines to get noticed. Brian had been the football type in his high school, while his brother had been the family debater. But Dominic wasn't a pussy. At least one bad guy had found that out the hard way. Maybe some people needed to learn that you didn't mess with a big country that had real men in its employ. Every tiger had teeth and claws... ...and America grew large tigers.
From page 431: " "He'd rather sleep with a Ferrari than with Grace Kelly," Brian snorted. His own priorities were rather more conventional, of course. "You can ride a car longer than a girl, people." Which was one version of efficiency. "Damn, I bet that honey moves pretty fast.""
In Tom Clancy's Teeth of the Tiger, Jack Ryan, Jr. is one of the primary characters. Jack Jr. works for some sort of 'Off Campus' contractor that does intel work outside the standard 'accountability' channels. The other primary characters are a pair of super macho patriots. One is a marine, the other an FBI agent. The two are pulled out of standard circulation in order to work for a 'plausibly deniable' assassination team. Jack and his cousins eventually meet up in Europe in order to liquidate a group of Islamic terrorists responsible for a shopping mall massacre in mid-town U.S.A. The primary characters are unsophisticated stereotypes of brain and brawn. Their adversaries are impotent examples of the stereotypical terrorist. The pacing was slow, the action mediocre, the dialogue ridiculous, the editing non-existent, and the plot so simple that it may have started out as a scribble on someone's coctail napkin. The characters - Supposedly trained intelligence operatives - participate in numerous examples of poor tradecraft (I'm no 'Spook', but I was constantly picking out a large number of 'Dhuh - That's Stupid' moments. These blatantly obvious gaffs were completely ignored by the characters). I'm simply amazed that the bad guys (even if they are fictional characters under the author's complete control) didn't spot these clumsy oafs a mile away. The ending was a truly non-climactic plug for yet another novel. The only bright spot in the novel was the action sequence set in an American shopping mall. In that sequence the writting was fairly tight and well paced. All in all, I was sorely disappointed by the piss-poor writting. The good news? Now I can move onto something better, and I doubt that I'll have any problem finding something that fits that description.
Speaking of 'something better', I'm looking forward to many of the books on my bookshelf. I'm really interested in the 'Personal Effects' novel. It represents something novel in books. It's a 'fiction' meets 'reality' concept. The book comes with numerous 'artifacts' and links to web sites, which involve the reader in a more substantial method of storytelling. I'm also looking forward to all those 'Dune' novels that I've been accumulating over the years. The Dune series is something I can't get enough of. Unfortunately, I've been wasting my time on this crappy book. As I said earlier, I'm done with Clancy. His last three books have all been disappointing, and I for one and ready to write him off. He's had his day; maybe he should take a vacation. Maybe this was actually calculated so that he could take a vacation?