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View Diary: Some Short thougths on Tom Clancy's Passing (63 comments)

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  •  What Killed Tom Clancy for me (31+ / 0-)

    was that his books went from being engrossing and well crafted to the latest money grab to replace the last money grab.

    I had the feeling reading his first few books that he put a great deal of thought into them. The details. Sure, he could memorize the specs of real weapons and devices as a master of the so-called Techno-thriller. But. He wrote people you could imagine in your head. The traumatized by a crash in his past Jack Ryan in 'The Hunt for Red October' who was visibly shaken by having to get on a plane or helicopter. The pre-Batmanization/Wolverine-ization of Mr. Clark Mr. Clark who was a living weapon as a young man heading towards an uncertain future as a scarred and much deeply empty inside aging soldier who had suffered some unimaginably cruel twists in his life in and out of uniform.

    I got upset when James Greer's character died of cancer. I could see him in my mind's eye from the first time his name came up in the books.  

    If anybody else had written 'Clear and Present Danger' it might have been one of the worst things I ever laid eyes on. It could have been a Steven Segal movie in book form. But he had a way.

    And then, the dollars. The time crunch to make the dollars. The sweet siren's song of cashing in that turned Thom Harris from the man who wrote Black Sunday and the Silence of the Lambs into the ching-ching-ching for Hannibal Lechter hack factory.

    If I'd run into Tom Clancy after reading Debt of Honor I might have slugged him in the stomach.

    Anne Rice and Stephen King think his churned out cashing in crank-and-dumps of his mid to late career were shameless.

    He might as well have just signed an endorsement deal with Hasbro to just turn Mr. Clark into Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe when the "hey, Mr. Clark is my Batman!" set in.

    But I always had the first time I picked up 'The Hunt for Red October'. 'Clear and Present Danger'. When Clancy was at his best.

    I never gave a damn about his politics. A mercy, I guess, in this age of Reaganism devolving into suicide bomber wingnuttery.

    I'm sorry he died.


    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 09:33:31 AM PDT

    •  Grandson and I just watched (17+ / 0-)

      'Red October', it ended mere minutes ago so I reloaded to find that Clancy had died. That's sad.

      I read most of Clancy's big tomes, then the forumlaic 'Op-Center' series, always ended up kind of disgusted by the incredible shallow-ness of his characters. Surrounded by fine technical detail (often way too much of it, so you could skip ten or twelve pages to get to the continued action), but absolutely Disney-esque good guys and bad guys. Which of course I always figured matched his political views - simplistic and shallow.

      That's compared to my all-time favorite spy-action thriller author Robert Ludlum, though. Nobody could twist a plot like Ludlum, and every time it twisted you were less sure if the good guys were actual good guys, or bad guys real bad guys...

      RIP, Tom. You left an admirable body of work to be remembered by.

      •  Ludlum was the best (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, RiveroftheWest, Joieau

        ...The Parsifal Mosaic is still one of my favorite summer/airplane books ever.

        The Bourne books did not need to be changed as much as they were for the movies; although I thought the movies were fine, I was very disappointed that the locales had changed so much.  Ludlum was a master at painting a place with his words; 1970's cold war Europe will always sit in my mind as he described it.  Setting The Bourne Supremacy film in Hong Kong where the book was set would have been far better.

        I like lemurs -6.50, -4.82

        by roadbear on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 09:42:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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