Wednesday, October 2, 2013

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The great Tom Clancy, the great writer of thrillers - perhaps the GREATEST writer of thriller novels - has left us at 66. Too young to be taken.

Tom Clancy's many incredible novels punctuated the decades of my service in the Great American Military Machine, during the dramatic height of the Cold War thru the perilous years following the fall of the Berlin War: The Hunt for Red October (1984); Patriot Games (1987); The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988); Clear and Present Danger (1989); The Sum of All Fears (1991).

Red October burst onto the scene and immediately captivated everyone's imagination. The incredibly detailed descriptions of Cold War intelligence operations and the technical aspects of modern warfare of Clancy's first novel had intelligence organizations scrambling - how did he do it? Where did he learn the information depicted his stories? The fact of the matter is that Tom Clancy was an insurance salesman who simply did his homework - the details are all out there for anyone to see if only you put the pieces together - and he had the discipline and energy to get up and be writing every morning at 0400.

The essence of a good novel is Irony, and perhaps the greatest irony of Tom Clancy is that he died on the first full day of Obamacare - America's bold move to embrace the concept of socialized medicine. That is to say, the irony of the entire premise his first great novel The Hunt for Red October. The Hero/Anti-Hero of Red October, Lithuanian submarine commander of the Soviet navy, Marko Alexandrovich Ramius, defected to the West WITH his boat the highly advanced Red October AND his entire crew. The irony is WHY Ramius defected; he was disgruntled with the entire Communist system due to the failed socialized medical system that resulted in the untimely death of his wife. Its a great story, one that Hollywood didn't mess up, incredibly enough.

As he embarks upon an adventure greater than any even he ever imagined, we wish Tom Clancy Godspeed . . .



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