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Clancy's Juvenalia?

January 24, 1988

After having read "The Hunt for Red October" and "Red Storm Rising," we became avid fans of Tom Clancy. Thus, when his "new" book, "Patriot Games" was announced, both of us eagerly awaited its release.

As editors, we both appreciate the attention to detail and the incredible amount of research required to complete books of the order of magnitude of the first two. One of us, a naval officer for eight years, heavily involved in antisubmarine warfare and wartime contingency planning, has been particularly impressed with the ability of Clancy to acquire information not usually available to even the most inquisitive and make it readable to the laymen.

Now, after having read Clancy's latest effort, we can scarcely contain our disappointment. While no author can be expected to produce thriller after thriller of the same magnitude, a degree of consistency should be expected. "Patriot Games" contains none of the drama and fine attention to high technology which characterized the earlier books. The only tangible piece of technological information in the book involved the capability of orbital photography and photointelligence crews. That, quite frankly, is old hat. And wallowing in John Ryan's self pity through the entire book was a significant departure from contending with the strength of the characters of Clancy's preceding novels.

We have both concluded that "Patriot Games" is actually a first effort by Clancy, released to ride on the coattails of his previous successes. We realize that the premise of "Patriot Games" involved character John Ryan prior to his role in "Red October." This, coupled with the considerably weaker research and writing style, is responsible for our contention that the third novel actually predates the first. If, in fact, that is the case, the book should have been released based on informing readers that "Patriot Games" was an earlier writing that was completed after the other two successes.

We anticipate Clancy's fourth book and shall go undaunted to the bookstore to purchase it. But, we would like to be assured that we will not read something of lesser quality than what he is capable of.

WILLIAM E. PAUL

PUBLISHER AND EDITOR

METRO MAGAZINE

REDONDO BEACH, CALIF.

PAUL T. SNAPP

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER AND EDITOR

SHOWCASE USA MAGAZINE

REDONDO BEACH

'LOOKING BACKWARD'

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