The President is dead--and the weight, literally, of the world falls on Jack Ryan's shoulders, in Tom Clancy's newest and most extraordinary novel.
I don't know what to do. Where's the manual, the training course, for this job? Whom do I ask? Where do I go?
Debt of Honor ended with Tom Clancy's most shocking conclusion ever; a joint session of Congress destroyed, the President dead, most of the Cabinet and the Congress dead, the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs likewise. Dazed and confused, the man who only minutes before had been confirmed as the new Vice-President of the United States is told that he is now President.
President John Patrick Ryan.
And that is where Executive Orders begins. Ryan had agreed to accept the vice-presidency only as a caretaker for a year, and now, suddenly an incalculable weight has fallen on his shoulders. How do you run a government without a government? Where do you even begin? With stunning force, Ryan's responsibilities crush on him. He must calm an anxious and grieving nation, allay the skepticism of the world's leaders, conduct a swift investigation of the tragedy, and arrange a massive state funeral--all while attempting to reconstitute a Cabinet and a Congress with the greatest possible speed.
But that is not all. Many eyes are on him now, and many of them are unfriendly. In Beijing, Tehran, and other world capitals, including Washington D.C., there are those eager to take advantage where they may, some of whom bear a deep animus toward the United States--some of whom, from Ryan's past, harbor intense animosity toward the new President himself. Soon they will begin to move on their opportunities; soon they will present Jack Ryan with a crisis so big even he cannot imagine it.
Tom Clancy has written remarkable novels before, but nothing comparable to the timeliness and drama of Executive Orders. Filled with the exceptional realism and intricate plotting that are his hallmarks, it attests to the words of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "This man can tell a story."
"Undoubtedly Clancy's best yet." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Clancy, the longtime top gun of the military thriller, has taken a major step toward becoming something even better: a top-notch novelist for anyone who loves a powerful story...What sets this book apart is that for the first time, Clancy has gotten inside Jack Ryan's head, finally letting us see the real person behind the super-action hero." --Boston Globe
"A wild ride...Clancy's storytelling gifts are unmatched in the political/military thriller genre. Executive Orders has everything the Tom Clancy lover needs: An unholy pantheon of foreign heads of state, bomber militia men, sleeper assassins, kidnapping terrorists, good men gone bad and bad men gone worse." --San Francisco Chronicle
"[Clancy's] in top form. Executive Orders is more complex, more thoughtful, more exciting than anything he's written before." --Detroit News
"There is no doubting the wizardry of his craft...he is the honest-to-God creator of an exciting genre and a consistent producer of books that thunder, absorb, and entertain." --Los Angeles Times
At 896 pages, half a million words and nearly four pounds, Clancy's new novel is a bruiser. It packs a whale of a wallop too, starting with a knock-down premise set up in Debt of Honor, which ended with a jetliner crashing into the Capitol, taking out the president, congress, the cabinet and the Supreme Court justices. As the new novel opens, longtime Clancy hero Jack Ryan, named minutes before the crash to the post of V.P., has just been sworn in as chief of state. What's it like to be thrust into the world's hottest hotseat? Clancy has, in effect, written three novels in one here. The first, running about 200 pages, deals with that question in brilliant detail the crushing of Ryan's personal life as he's sucked into the vortex of presidential duty and scrutiny; the tentative acceptance of ultimate power and responsibility as he realizes he is The Man. Within this scenario, Clancy seeds his other major story lines. Domestic opposition to Ryan and to his grassroots American values is stirred up by venal politicos, fat cats and corrupt media types as Ryan tries to rebuild the government along conservative lines. Foreign trouble arises in Iran, meanwhile, which subsumes Iraq and unleashes biological warfare on the U.S., allowing Clancy to toss in a medical thriller-within-a-thriller that holds its own with Cook and Palmer. Like a savvy crooner saving his hit songs for the encore, Clancy waits until his final 150 pages to give readers the stuff that put him on the map: here, strutted in a fury of air, sea and land battles between Yanks and "rag-heads." As usual, Clancy offers no moral middle ground, only white hats and black; he also soapboxes mercilessly for a radically right agenda. He's a war-gamer without peer, though, and his plotting here is masterful, as is his strumming of patriotic heartstrings. This is heavyweight entertainment, and come pub date it's going to be the world champion of the bestseller lists.
Showing 1-3 of the 3 most recent reviews
1 . Governing is different from getting elected
Posted July 08, 2010 by Doc Finance , HoustonThis book shows how someone with no desire to get elected and no need to gain power can run the country and inspire greatness. Of course it's hypothetical, but many of the situations we see here are still unfolding daily. Most of all, Clancy shows us how the office of President can be a tremendous burden on an honest man, and the pressures that go with the job. Still relevant even years after its debut.
2 . Another good one
Posted November 20, 2009 by Ian , HoustonIf you like the theme and the Jack Ryan series this is another one just as good as the others.
Good holiday reading
3 . Can anyone say "Stephen King"
Posted August 23, 2009 by JP , Las VegasBecause Tom Clancy is the SK of "espionage/military "thrillers". And I use "" because this material (and the main character) are not in the least "thrilling". They are as old and tired as Indiana Jones in "Lost Skull" Just repeat repeat and repeat again the old formula and I guess bored text hounds like me will continue to waste money on this pap.
July 31, 1997
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