Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Hunt for Red October

Title: The Hunt for Red October
Author: Tom Clancy
List: #81 on Modern Library Readers’ Best 20th Century Novels
Worth reading? Yes.

What do you expect from a thriller? Excitement? Suspense? Intrigue? If so, The Hunt for Red October certainly delivers. And as such, it is a nice change from the more strictly literary works on my list. As I’ve come to expect from thrillers, the quality of the writing isn’t always fantastic, but I don’t think that is what matters for this type of novel. What matters is that you start it and cannot put it down. But the thriller aspect, and its, perhaps, correlated reduced writing quality also explains why it is on the readers’ choice list.

I certainly had no problems with the level of excitement and pace of the novel while I was reading it, but when I watched the movie shortly after finishing the book, I realized there are some slightly slower parts—action-wise—that probably wouldn’t transfer very well to the big screen. And that perhaps explains why there were substantial discrepancies between the book and the movie. But it is definitely a good read and what I would consider an excellent “airplane book.” In other words, read it when you don’t want intense mental stimulation but have a lot of hours to get through!

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