Customer Reviews for

The Bear and the Dragon

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Good, but....

    It follows the line the I like of Clancy's, has way too much foul language that it is distracting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    2 Pounds of Entertainment in a 10 Pound Book!

    Other than lugging around this 1000+ page monstrosity, Clancy certainly proved that he must be getting paid by the pound, the page, or the word. Easily 40% of this book could have been thrown away. His editor should be fired. And since when did he start using profanity like a gardener uses water?! Completely unnecessary in 90% of the situations. Especially Jack Ryan. The ending with Jack on the boat suggests that his staff would allow him to jump from a helecopter to stick around whilst an ICBM is heading straight for him. Apparently with all that Clancy knows about the workings of the gov't, he's really taking creative writing to a new level of fantasy. Don't read this unless you are willing to speed read through the boring diatribe and foul language to get to what Clancy does best, which is the action of the battles.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    If you like Tom Clancy, skip this one

    The storyline is good, but there has to be at least an extra 300-400 pages of Tom Clancy espousing his personal political views through the persona of Jack Ryan. As the author and creator of the Jack Ryan character, Mr. Clancy can do whatever he wishes. But it did nothing for me. This is the first Jack Ryan story that I didn't finish in a week or less. In fact, I had to put the book down and I still haven't finished it. Sorry, Tom, but you've lost me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001

    Below the belt

    Have all of Clancy's books been this way and I'm only now becoming sensitive to it? Or is it something new? It seems to me that just about every male character in the book thinks and speaks, well, you know, south of the belt line. I just don't understand why I can't go more than one or two pages without at least one sexual/sexually deviant reference or comment. <p>The story itself may be fine, but I just can't seem to get past all of the unnecessary garbage. It's almost as though it's a theme Clancy has decided to use as a background for every event, every twist and turn, in the book. I find myself becoming irritated by it to a fairly high degree.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2001

    Nobody is that stupid!

    Accept of the thickness of this - hopefully final - chapter of Jack Ryan I am truly disappointed with particular the main source of espionage: Nobody is stupid enough to have an online connection on a high security computer in any ministry office in the world - and you could add: even and in particular not the Chinese Government. The single-minded thinking of the Chinese is more than unbelievable and puts the book in the field of science fiction but adds nothing to develop the kind of fictionary plot with multiple stories which was always something I admired Tom Clancy for.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2001

    Boring, Bloated Ballast in the Bilge Until the Final Bit

    The Bear and The Dragon combines five novels -- one about a murder mystery in Moscow, one about espionage in Bejing, one about Chinese-American trade diplomacy, another about economic development in Siberia, and a final one about major power conflicts. Of the five, only the last bears any resemblance to a Tom Clancy novel of the calibre of The Hunt for Red October, but that final novel in the book still manages to fall short of the former standard of this author. The book is incredibly bloated, boring (until the last 256 pages), annoyingly repetitive, predictable, and full of gratuitous sexual and racist references. If you feel you must read this book, begin on page 773. You won't miss anything you need to know before then, if you do. That's the point at which the Clancy-like novel begins with the usual gee-whiz technology and action. That last novel is fair-to-middling for a Clancy effort. As to the bloat in this book, Clancy did not need to write the other four novels to write his usual one (the last one in this book). He simply padded the book to make this more like War and Peace. Well, it's not War and Peace. Clancy doesn't begin to show the skill to work in that direction. The story is simply so improbable on its face that it's hard to imagine anyone finding it interesting. He likes to develop everything around a theme of the evil Chinese leaders. He demonizes Chinese leaders in the PRC more than most people darken Hitler today. As to repetition, you will get references to the sex habits of fictional and former Chinese leaders many dozens of times more than you will care to read them. The word, puke, must appear more than 200 times in this book, as an example. As for bloat, there must be 150 uninteresting pages in this book about Ryan sneaking a cigarette when his wife isn't around and not liking being president. As for predictability, every single person and technology you read about in the book shows up in the later action in one of the two ways you would most have expected. I was very disappointed. I found it hard to imagine that I stuck it out to the end. I suspect that most people will not. If you do decide to read this book and decide you dislike it, like me, ask yourself why you did not pay attention to the hundreds of warnings from people who have read the book. That may help you to understand why you act impulsively against your own best interest. If you do read the book and like it, I suggest you consider why others may not have. Then, you will be better able to use reviews in the future to distinguish the books that you will like in the future that most other people do not. Find a new author to read! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    Clancy's Editor, if there was one, needs to be fired.

    I've read all of the Jack Ryan novels at least twice, but Bear and the Dragon might just stay on the shelf, for a couple of reasons: As others have correctly pointed out, this one doesn't really get cooking until 3/4 through-- but even then, what happens is pretty predictable. In typical Clancy style, he gives little foreshadowing glimpses of characters and plot lines which will be important later. I mean, an Ageis Cruiser is harbored in DC with some brand new missile software, and on the other side of the world the Chinese start mentioning their nukes. Gee whiz, I wonder what's going to happen? 1000+ pages is also too long to wade through when in the first 50 pages you KNOW the war is going to happen. The other MAJOR letdown for this reader is Clancy's inclusion of some pretty graphic and pretty much tasteless sexual stuff. I know that for some people it's not a big deal, but for me, one of the cool things about Clancy is that he's pretty clean-- that is, until now. He's sold a zillion books thus far without 10+ page narratives of sexual smut-- why is he starting now? I bought the book based on Clancy's reputation, and liked even his recent stuff even though some of the plot lines are a little far-fetched, and the first thing I wanted to do after reading this book (besides ask for a refund) was re-read Patriot Games.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2001

    Not his best by far...

    I was rather disappointed in Clancy's latest effort, though I loved most of his other books (Without Remorse being the other notable exception). I read the whole book (all 1028 pages) in two days, and kept waiting for it to take that typical Clancy turn and really get going. That didn't even begin until page 615 or so. As usual, Clancy does a great job of tying in American technical prowess, and he seems to have a real understanding of the Russian mind, which is necessary for well developed characters. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his characterization of the Chinese. Clancy absolutely fails to provide any insight into the Chinese mind, and as such, the 'bad guys' in this book are completely two dimensional. Indeed the Klingons, to which Clancy makes several references, have far more personality and depth (as any Star Trek fan can attest) than do the villains in this 1000 page novel. Finally, the 'climactic final battle' is anything but. It is over before it begins thanks to the wiz-bang gagetry that Clancy is famous for. In order to have a chance, the 'Klingons' in this book would literally need to uncloak a Bird of Prey. Though I'm sure Clancy would have the Enterprise appear out of nowhere to save the day. The plot is predictable and not very well written; there are none of the sudden plot twists or complex (and unexpected) subplot interactions that have made his other books so great. Indeed, the only reason I gave this book 2 stars instead of 1 is because Clancy, in this book like all his others, never fails to give homage to his Jesuit education, and his best written characters are probably priests (and in this case also a minister). A.M.D.G.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2001

    Dissapointed

    I have read every one of Clancy's fiction works and enjoyed most of them. I would say this book was a dissapointment, but frankly my expectations have not been high since Executive Orders. Clancy spends too much time putting in his views on political issues (some of which I agree with) that do little to advance the plot while doing little to create new, well developed characters. E.g., why do we need the discussion of Social Security Reform? At least none of the discussions are as long as the defense of the flat tax in Executive Orders. The book also seems poorly editted. There were numerous times when it appeared as if the wrong word was used. In addition, the same analogies were repeated in ways that made it seem as if Clancy simply copied and pasted text while forgetting to cut it out of its original location. It seems that the Clancy name has made his publisher nervous to say, 'this doesn't belong here, cut it.' As a teacher, I wanted to take out my red pen and cut much of the fluff. I was also disappointed in his treatment of the Chinese. Much like his work on Japan in Debt of Honor, he presents an entirely two dimensional image of the adversary. He could have done much more with internal Chinese politics, far beyond the disagreements between Politburo members. The internal debate within China's government goes back to Mao and Peng in the early '50s. In addition, many of his American characters come across as blatantly racist. It is interesting that other reviews discuss his knowledge of geopolitics when much of the early part of the book deals with China's quest for MFN (which it has had for years, though it was up for annual review until recently) and membership into the WTO. The debate and vote on China's permanent trade status had to have occurred while Clancy was writing. In addition, China has shown an amazing ability to put on appearances for the West, why else did they release political prisoners every time Washington debated trade with China? This gets back to his two-dimensional characterization of the Chinese. The culture is different, the country is repressive, but many of the decisions made by Clancy's Politburo strain credibility. Nonetheless, the book does get rolling a little when Clancy stops all the philosophical asides and political diatribes. The action is fast, if predictable and not entirely believable. Much of the plot/action seems to be cobbled together from his past work -- especially Red Storm Rising. The book could have been written in 500-600 pages and been much better.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    Suddenly, he's not half the author he used to be...

    I agree that it seems as if Clancy is being paid by the page. Early on, I was wondering why it took three pages to describe a Russian policeman interviewing a prostitute. Detail is a good thing when it lends itself to plot or character development, but when it does nothing but occupy more paper, it's a flaw. Clancy's preaching and Ryan's whining gets old. It was important to show that Ryan was not an eager recipient of the presidency and Washington politicking, but I got tired of hearing him (Ryan) stating this in almost every conversation he had with his adviser. The dialogue (especially that involving Ryan) was also quite phony at times. I realized this when I stopped and asked myself if the dialogue would sound natural if spoken aloud. Most of the time it would not. Often, it was too preachy. Also, it was irritating reading explanations of why certain things happened when I read these same explanations several times before. Give the readers some credit. Omit the useless detail (keep the useful and interesting detail), tone down on the whining and racial put-downs, and get back to the great reads of old ... please!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2000

    Wait for the paperback

    I should begin by stating that I am a die - hard Clancy fan. That said, I was disappointed with his latest offering. Half - way through the book, with the plot STILL developing, I found myself laboring to finish this book. I was quite disappointed with Clancy's portrayal of the Chinese Parliament. While it is believable that internal turmoil does exist within China's government, the decisions and action's that Clancy's Chinese government chooses are hard to believe. The air battles as Clancy depicts them where also rather disappointing. Given the amount of firepower that China brings to bear in the air, the losses experienced by the Americans and the Russians where unrealistic. Recently I viewed an interview given by Clancy to a popular morning show where he openly admitted that he wrote The Bear and the Dragon for the money. He stated that he knows if his name is on it, people will buy it. I own a copy of every novel Clancy has written, all in hardback. I will most certainly wait for his next novel to be released in paperback before purchasing, if I purchase it at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2000

    About 500 pages too long

    Since the Hunt for Red October, I've read every one of Clancy's books. Although not completely dissapointing, the latest work shows how a famous author can pretty much call his own shots once he's hit it big. I would think that if this book was submitted by an unknown, the average editor would say it was WAY too long and way too technical. Then again, long-time Clancy readers might welcome the detailed explanations of the weapons used in modern warfare. I found myself going cross-eyed reading the descriptions of P-175 XDR-14 SAM missiles...not to mention the endless acronyms such as POTUS, FLOTUS, CIC-PF, etc. and the countless references to characters by their Secret Service code names. The book never really takes off until the last hundred pages or so, and then ironically it seems to move too fast. As much as I've enjoyed the continuing Jack Ryan saga, I think it's time Clancy focused on someone else...like he did with John Clark in Without Remorse. Waiting this long for a new Clancy book, perhaps my expectations were too high. Unfortunately, this book, like many others, will sell big based solely on the author's name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000

    Like running through deep, wet cement

    I have been a huge fan of Tom Clancy since high school. Red October was the first 'non-required' novel I read. I have come to appreciate the detail he works into his plots, but this was rediculous. The first 500 pages were not only slow, but boring. I got tired of hearing how Jack Ryan hated being President, how much Nomuri enjoyed having sex, and how much money everybody could be making if they did not work for the Government. Slow, redundant, painful. Keep this one in the bathroom and work through it over the next year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2000

    rambling narrative dilutes an interesting plot

    Where were the editors? The books starts off well but the next 300+ pages are bogged down with so much narrative that 19th century novels are paragons of concision by comparison. Do we REALLY need to spend page after page on why Ryan hates being President or Noumori's thoughts on seducing a PRC secretary? And I think 'f**k' is Clancey's 'word of the week' since he uses it at every opportunity. Bottom line: don't waste your money. It should be on the clearance table by Christmas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2000

    Did Clancy write 'The Bear and the Dragon'?

    In comparison with 'The Hunt for the Red October' 'The Bear and the Dragon' is very disappointing and a waste of time and money. The plot and Clancy's stature as a first class author is diminished by resorting to superfluous foul language, the repeated use of the Lord's name in vain and sleazy sexually detailed passages. All of which reduces 'The Bear and the Dragon' to be evaluated as an undesirable

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    deeply disappointed

    Clancy was my favorite writer: until this book. The reading level dropped considerably. Did he even write this book, or did he simply lay an outline with 'interesting factoids to include'. Remeber the Star Wars drinking game? Take a drink everytime: 1. The word or root 'eccumen' is used. 2. 'yob tvoyu maht' or 'oral sex with mom' is used. 3. 'Not we're taking about real money' is used. 4. It is mentioned that Chinese food is not so good, but only for the supply of raw ingredients. 5. 'trade' is and 'surplus' is discussed in detail. 6. Clarks' accent is described as St. Petersburg 7. Chairmen Mao likes doing 12-year olds is discussed 8. SimNet is described or mentioned: crumbling German cornfields is discussed 9. TRA is mentioned, and then counter-argued as a catalyst for war 10. Chinese is described with nothing new to add: 'klingon' 11. the phrase 'common sense will break out' is used. 12. Minister's diary is described as CYA document. 13. Recon aircraft's stealth is described.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    Whoops! Try again Tom.

    Usually it takes about 200 pages to get into a Clancy, this time it took 800 pages. Tom spent so much time talking about Russian and Chinese political theory and it was all accurate. But he didn't need to repeat it over and over and over again. Stick with what you're good at. Big disappointment and waste of my time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    Disappointing Effort for Tom Clancy

    I am a loyal Clancy fan and have read his other books, but I felt this book missed the mark. Jack Ryan spent most of the time lamenting about being President and filching cigarettes from his secretary. The book never seemed to get off the ground and all of the action took place in the last 1/5 of the book, and it wasn't even that much action. It made me wonder if Clancy was just trying to respond to the public's desire to read a Jack Ryan novel, but his real interest may lay in all of the other writing projects he's found himself involved in. There were a lot of missed opportunities, subplots, characters, etc that should have been better woven into the story; the Rainbow Team seemed to have been written in as an afterthought, and only was used to blow up a missile site, when they could have been a more integral part of the plot. Overall, I was very disappointed in the book, and after reading 1,028 pages, felt like all Clancy had done was detail the background of how a global conflict between nations occurs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    What's the point?

    I'm an avid Clancy fan, but this time I just don't get it. Perhaps 1000 pages of brain-numbing dialogue, cursing and coarse sex was just too much. Clancy launches numerous themes in this book that just don't work. Nor do they peak to grabbing resolution. We have trade wars, espionage, murder mysteries, political intrigue, counterterrorism and war. . . all of which fall flat. Why? Because any one of these should take an entire book. So, endless pages of 'staging' end with little satisfaction. Worse, many of his climaxes just don't work. Do we really think Marine One could land on a cruiser without the helo saying, 'hey, this is Marine One requesting assistance to land?' Oh, but in the book no one knows the president is aboard the ship. Or, in just one page 100 Chinese tanks conveniently parked side by side get destroyed by a few bombs. Wow, in a small number of pages, the whole PLA is wiped out. Unrealistic. And, as others have said, how much presidential complaining and senseless opining can we take? This book is not worth $30, and it's not worth the time to read it. Tom, perhaps it's time to retire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2000

    The worst of his books

    I read all kinds of books. Mostly, I'm a fiction and literature snob, but I have a weakness for the Clancy novels. They're my fluff reading. They're usually guilty pleasures. Unfortunately, this one just didn't measure up. I kept getting annoyed while reading it. Mostly, I got fed up with Jack Ryan screaming, 'G*d d#%$ it!' all the time. Then I got annoyed because the Russians and Chinese kept saying it as well. It got to the point where there was very little differentiation between the characters, and the ones the Clancy readers know the best (while never really fully developed like a John Irving character, say), came off extremely flat and uninteresting. And then there were the dangling plot lines and the typos. This book does need to have the editor go through it again. I don't know if TC has achieved some kind of 'don't need an editor' status, but there were some glaring problems. All in all, disappointing. It got to the point where I just wanted it to end (can't just stop a book in the middle, after all), but then when it did end, it ended all of a sudden and to little gratification. Oh, and much has been said about TC apparently using Jack Ryan as a mouthpiece for his political views. That can hardly come as a surprise, can it? I mean, quite a lot of his books come off that way. That said, the preaching in this book IS quite startling and annoying, and I tend to lean a little right of center in many ways. It's just that the things Clancy tended to preach on about are the ones I lean a little left of center on. Two stars out of five for effort.

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