Nimitz Class

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It's as big as the Empire State Building, a massive floating fortress at the throbbing heart of a U.S. Navy Carrier Battle Group.Its supersonic aircraft can level entire cities at a stroke. Its surveillance gear can track every target within thousands of square miles—in the air, on the surface, and under the sea. Its crew of six thousand works night and day to keep this awesome military machine at peak performance. It's a Nimitz-Class nuclear carrier, the most powerful weapons ...

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It's as big as the Empire State Building, a massive floating fortress at the throbbing heart of a U.S. Navy Carrier Battle Group.Its supersonic aircraft can level entire cities at a stroke. Its surveillance gear can track every target within thousands of square miles—in the air, on the surface, and under the sea. Its crew of six thousand works night and day to keep this awesome military machine at peak performance. It's a Nimitz-Class nuclear carrier, the most powerful weapons system on the planet. Nothing can touch it.

So when the first stunned messages say only that the Thomas Jefferson has disappeared, the Navy reacts with disbelief. But as her battered escorts report in, the truth becomes inescapable: a Nimitz-Class carrier has been claimed by nuclear catastrophe—the mightiest military unit on earth, vaporized without warning by an accidental detonation of unimaginable power. No other explanation is possible.

But as Navy maverick Bill Baldridge begins to investigate the disaster that claimed his idolized brother's life, another chilling alternative begins to emerge from the high-tech web of fleeting sonar contacts and elusive radar blips. It points to a rogue submarine commanded by a world-class undersea warrior with the steely nerve and cunning of a master spy. Suddenly it's up to Bill Baldridge to track down this shadowy nuclear terrorist, who has already turned America's ultimate weapon into the biggest sitting duck in history—and who still has another nuclear-tipped torpedo in his tubes. He's already proved he has the icy ruthlessness to incinerate six thousand sailors without a qualm. What will he do for an encore?

Inthese pages the modern military springs to life, form the Pentagon's tense conferences to the screaming flight deck of a giant carrier to the silent conning tower of an attack sub on full alert. But as Bill Baldridge races against time to pursue the nation's most deadly enemy, we are forced to ask ourselves serious real-life questions: Have defense budget cuts jeopardized our national security? Are we prepared to defend ourselves against naval terrorist? How safe are we? Nimitz Class is a world-class techno-thriller with a plot as riveting as Hunt for Red October—and an explosive twist out of tomorrow's headlines.

Today it's a novel. Tomorrow it might be the news.

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Editorial Reviews

Clive Cussler
Action follows action with menace piled on mystery on top of intrigue. Nimitz Class is a stunner that irresistibly hurtles the reader through explosions and deceptions from the first page to the exciting climax on the last.
Jack Higgins
An absolutely marvelous thriller, one of the best things of its kind I have read in years. I don't need to urge people to read it, because they will do so by the millions.
San Francisco Examiner
The best military thriller since The Hunt for Red October...Robinson has crafted a fast-paced, chilling, yet believable tale, peppered with unforgettable characters.
William J. Crowe
"Nimitz Class is that rare combination of military thriller and tactical treatise. While capturing the excitement of naval operations, it also raises critical issues about the future of naval forces, terrorism, and the implications of the spread of weapons of mass destruction. I strongly suggest that all military professionals read this book, not only for the issues it confronts, but for the sheer enjoyment of a great book.
Dallas Morning News
A perfect nautical thriller: suspenseful, exciting, technically accurate, and plausible enough to be unnerving. For sailors and non-sailors alike it is the can't-put-down geomilitary yarn for this summer's reading.
Sunday Denver Post
Clever. . . . Rivals The Hunt For Red October in thrills.
New London Day
Thriller fiction at its best—a tale based on a premise too horrible to contemplate but too plausible to ignore. . . . riveting.
Library Journal
Deep beneath the waves, someone is commanding a mysterious submarine that has already wiped out one Nimitz Class aircraft carrier. With film rights optioned by Universal, this may turn out to be the technothriller of the year, as it is billed.
School Library Journal
YA--Three seemingly unrelated happenings set the stage for drama. First, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a young fisherman discovers the body of a drowned sailor. Second, underneath the surface of the Bosporus, a Russian diesel submarine secretly makes its way toward the Middle East to carry out a plan masterminded by Benjamin Adnam, an Israeli citizen. Third, the USS Thomas Jefferson, a powerful aircraft carrier manned by a complement of 6000 crew members, patrols the waters of the Indian Ocean. Suddenly, her blip vanishes from the radar screens of the other warships in her battle group. The ensuing investigation of her disappearance uncovers a sinister plot of brilliance and intrepid execution. The characters are lifelike and convincing, especially Lt. Commander Bill Baldridge, the Pentagon's primary sleuth looking into the mystery. He works closely with Admiral Sir Iain MacLean, a retired submarine flag officer of the Royal Navy. MacLean's family plays a secondary role in the story and his daughter provides the romantic element. Perhaps the most interesting person is Adnam, the villain whose machinations are the heart of the narrative. This suspense tale is written in a clear and compelling style and succeeds at creating and sustaining an aura of tension, surprise, and disbelief. The plot is reminiscent of Tom Clancy's popular thrillers; but, since it is less technical, it should appeal to an even wider audience.--Peggy Mooney, Pohick Public Library, Burke, VA
Kirkus Reviews
When one of America's prized Nimitz Class carriers is lost with all hands and planes while on station in the Arabian Sea, Washington publicly accepts the catastrophe as a tragic mishap and secretly organizes an all-out hunt to bring those responsible to justice.

In mid-2002, the USS Thomas Jefferson suddenly vanishes from the radar screens of the warships escorting it on a routine but dangerous patrol near the Persian Gulf. Aftershocks and radioactivity indicate that a nuclear blast has occurred. Appalled at the apparent vulnerability of the nation's most formidable weapon, the White House lets it be known that the giant vessel succumbed to an accidental detonation. Behind the scenes, however, the military/political complex mobilizes its intelligence-gathering resources to ascertain what really happened. Heading the probe is Lt. Cdr. Billy Baldridge, a world-class physicist whose brother was among the 6,000 to go down with the Jefferson. Proceeding from the premise that an inadvertent explosion was impossible, he soon determines that the carrier was atomized by a nuclear-tipped torpedo fired from a submarine. Although virtually all the world's undersea flotilla can be accounted for, the US President orders a clandestine assault on the three Kilo Class subs in drydock at Bandar Abbas, which Iran has acquired from the former USSR. In the meantime, Baldridge's to-the-ends-of-the-earth inquiries suggest the guilty party may be a matchless Israeli naval officer named Benjamin Adnam, now at the helm of a Russian sub once presumed lost in the Aegean. Adnam, it turns out, was an Iraqi plant on a doomsday mission on behalf of Saddam Hussein. While the West's operatives solve the basic puzzle, they must still deal with the intrepid Adnam and his crew, who remain at large with nuclear ordnance that threatens the mammoth flattops on which America and the world rely to keep the peace.

A hell-and-high-water technothriller, and an impressive debut from British journalist Robinson.

From Barnes & Noble
With its supersonic fighter-bombers capable of leveling an entire city, the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier is the most powerful military machine on the planet. When the Thomas Jefferson vaporizes into a mushroom cloud, a stunned Navy calls it a nuclear accident. But Navy maverick Bill Balbridge uncovers evidence that points to a renegade submarine commander with a hidden agenda. The rogue warrior has already killed 6,000 sailors. What will he do for an encore?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780099225621
  • Publisher: Arrow/Children's (a Division of Random House
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998

Meet the Author

Patrick Robinson is the author of seven international bestselling suspense thrillers, including Nimitz Class and Hunter Killer, as well as several nonfiction bestsellers. He divides his time between Ireland and Cape Cod.

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Read an Excerpt


Deep in the Mediterranean Sea, halfway between the Greek mainland and the long western headland of Crete, lies the rough and rugged island of Kithira. It is a coarse rock, twenty miles long at most, set in the middle of a shining and bejeweled sea.

Along the eastern end of the Mediterranean there is a pure, transparent light which seems to flood the depths of the water. This is a paradise for visiting scuba divers, but for local fishermen, the azure ocean which surrounds them is a harsh and unforgiving place. There are not enough fish anymore. And life is as hard as it has ever been.

It was 5 a.m. on a hot morning early in July. The sun was just rising, and the fishing boat was sailing close to the rocky shore on the south side. Up on the portside of the bow, his feet trailing over the side, sat sixteen-year-old Dimitrios Morakis. He was in deep trouble.

On the previous afternoon he had managed to lose the only good net his family owned, and now his father Stephanos sat, unshaven and grumpy, on the tiller. The man was secretly proud of his golden-skinned son. And he stared at the boy's Etruscan nose, a mirror image of his own, and the large hands, too powerful for the slender, youthful body; the boy's genetic bounty from a long line of Kithiran fishermen.

Nonetheless, Stephanos was still peevish. "We'd better find it," he said, unnecessarily. And in a light morning breeze, they slapped along, against the wavelets, while out to the east, for a few translucent moments, the earth seemed to rise up through veils of scarlet and violet.

The net showed up more or less where Stephanos thought it would be, driven into a curved outcrop of rock bythe unvarying Aegean currents. Lost nets had been washing up against those particular rocks for centuries.

The problem was, it was jammed. Working in the water for almost half an hour, Dimitrios was unable to free it. "It's caught up way below the surface," he yelled to his father. "I'll get back on the boat and then dive deep with a fishing knife."

Three minutes later the boy split the water, headfirst, kicking his way downward. In the crystal clear depths, he found the bottom of the net, entwined and stuck in a crevasse between two rocks. There was no option but to cut it.

He stuck out his left hand to give himself purchase, and slashed the knife sideways. The net came free, and as it did so, Dimitrios tugged the twisted cord from the V-shaped gap in the rocks. He had been underwater for twenty-four seconds now, and he needed to surface.

But he was kicking against a weight on his shoulders. He twisted left and saw, still resting on his arm, two large black boots. Dimitrios pushed away and even in the water the weight was considerable, because these boots contained one full-sized, very drowned, human body, trapped by one arm in the ancient rocks of Kithira.

The other arm flapped free, skeletal. It had been eaten by fish and was swaying in the morning tide. Dimitrios stared at the white, bloated head, the eye sockets empty, the flesh on one side stripped from the skull, the teeth still there, the half-mouth grinning grotesquely in the clear water. It was a phantasm, straight from the imagination of the devil himself.

Choking with disgust, Dimitrios stared at the grisly cadaver as it continued performing its hideous slow-motion ballet just beneath the surface, the one arm and both legs rising and falling in the gentle swell, the body spot-lit by the finely focused underwater rays of the clear Aegean sun.

Then he turned and kicked with the frenzy of the truly terrified, desperate for air, driven by the ludicrous thought that somehow the specter would find a way to pursue him. He glanced down as he went, and as he did so, he noticed the sun creating a bright light on the dark blue jersey which covered the hideous white balloon of the waterlogged body—the light glistened upward, reflecting thinly, from a tiny, two-inch-long silver submarine badge, inlaid with a five-pointed red star.

Chapter One

April 22, 2002.The Indian Ocean. On board the United States Aircraft Carrier Thomas Jefferson . 9S, 92E. Speed 30.

They had waved him off twice now. And each time Lieutenant William R. Howell had eased open the throttle of his big F-14 interceptor/attack Tomcat and climbed away to starboard, watching the speed needle slide smoothly from 150 knots to 280 knots. The acceleration was almost imperceptible, but in seconds the lieutenant saw the six-story island of the carrier turn into a half-inch-high black thimble against the blue sky.

The deep Utah drawl of the Landing Signal Officer standing on the carrier stern was still calm: "Tomcat two-zero-one, we still have a fouled deck—gotta wave you off one more time—just an oil leak—this is not an emergency, repeat not an emergency."

Lieutenant Howell spoke quietly and slowly: "Tomcat two-zero-one. Roger that. I'm taking a turn around. Will approach again from twelve miles." He eased the fighter plane's nose up, just a fraction, and he felt his stomach tighten. It was never more than a fleeting feeling, but it always brought home the truth, that landing any aircraft at sea on the narrow, angled, 750-foot-long, pitching landing area remained a life-or-death test of skill and nerve for any pilot. It took most rookies a couple of months to stop their knees shaking after each landing. Pilots short of skill, or nerve, were normally found working on the ground, driving freight planes, or dead. He knew that there were around twenty plane-wrecking crashes on U.S. carriers each year.

From the rear seat, the radar-intercept officer (RIO), Lieutenant Freddie Larsen, muttered, "Shit. There's about a hundred of 'em down there, been clearing up an oil spill for a half hour—what the hell's going on?" Neither aviator was a day over twenty-eight years old, but already they had perfected the Navy flier's nonchalance in the face of instant death at supersonic speed. Especially Howell.

"Dunno," he said, gunning the Tomcat like a bullet through the scattered low clouds whipping past this monster twin-tailed warplane, now moving at almost five miles every minute. "Did y'ever see a big fighter jet hit an oil pool on a carrier deck?"


"It ain't pretty. If she slews out off a true line you gotta real good chance of killing a lot of guys. 'Specially if she hits something and burns, which she's damn near certain to do."

"Try to avoid that, will ya?"

Freddie felt the Tomcat throttle down as Howell banked away to the left. He felt the familiar pull of the slowing engines, worked his shoulders against the yaw of the aircraft, like the motorcycle rider he once had been.

The F-14 is not much more than a motorbike with a sixty-four-foot wingspan anyway. Unexpectedly sensitive to the wind at low speed, two rock-hard seats, no comfort, and an engine with the power to turn her into a mach-2 rocketship—1,400 knots, no sweat, out there on the edge of the U.S. fighter pilot's personal survival envelope.

Still holding the speed down to around 280 knots, Howell now took a long turn, the Tomcat heeled over at an angle of almost ninety degrees, the engines screaming behind him, as if the sound was trying to catch and swallow him. Up ahead he could no longer see the carrier because of the intermittent white clouds obscuring his vision and casting dark shadows on the blue water. Below the two fliers was one of the loneliest seaways on earth, the 3,500-mile stretch of the central Indian Ocean between the African island of Madagascar and the rock-strewn western coast of Sumatra.

The U.S. carrier and its escorts, forming a complete twelve-ship Battle Group including two nuclear-powered submarines, were steaming toward the American Naval base on Diego Garcia, the tiny atoll five hundred miles south of the equator, which represents the only safe Anglo-American haven in the entire area.

This was a real U.S. Battle Group seascape, a place where the most beady-eyed admirals and their staff "worked up" new missile systems, new warships, and endlessly catapulted their ace Naval aviators off the flight deck—zero to 168 knots in 2.1 seconds. This was not a spot for the faint-hearted. This was a simulated theater of war, designed strictly for the very best the nation could produce . . . men who possessed what Tom Wolfe immortally labeled "the right stuff." Everyone served out here for six interminable months at a time.

Lieutenant Howell, losing height down to 1,200 feet, spoke again to the carrier's flight controllers. "Tower, this is Tomcat two-zero-one at eight miles. Coming in again." His words were few, and again the jet fighter began to ease down, losing height, the engines throttling marginally off the piercing high-C shriek which would splinter a shelf of wineglasses. Howell, insulated behind his goggles and earphones, searched the horizon for the hundred-thousand-ton aircraft carrier.

His intercom crackled. "Roger, Tomcat two-zero-one. Your deck is cleared for landing now—gotcha visual . . . come on in, watch your altitude, and check your lineup. Wind's gusting at thirty knots out of the southwest. We're still right into it. You're all set."

"Roger, Tower . . . six miles."

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Interviews & Essays

On Wednesday, July 2, welcomed Patrick Robinson, author of NIMITZ CLASS. On July 2, 1997, BarnesandNoble@aol welcomed Patrick Robinson, author of the just-published techno-thriller NIMITZ CLASS. The interviewer was Jesse Kornbluth BookpgJK of The Book Report. Our online hosts were MarleneT and BookpgXena.

Bookpg JK: Good evening, Patrick.

Patrick Robinson: Pleased to be here.

Bookpg JK: One of the things that struck me while I was reading NIMITZ CLASS was its connection to the new Tom Clancy/Fred Franks book about the Gulf War. In both books --- one fiction, one military history --- there is a real sense that America did not win this least as fully as we might have. Your book really flows out of the consequences of our refusal --- or inability --- to destroy Saddam. Was that, in fact, what started you thinking about this story?

Patrick Robinson: I did start to think of the book because Saddam's regime is still alive. I also understand why America didn't win the war as fully as it might. A lot of very clever people decided that the consequences of removing Saddam were worse than keeping him. Had we killed him, the rest of his family might have taken over --- and some of them are much more erratic. There would have been a civil war. And had there been a civil war in Iraq, the forces of Iran would have swept around the Gulf to the north and almost certainly have taken Iraq while she bled to death. That would have caused one nation to dominate the majority of the world's oil supply. It was easier to leave Saddam in place. And less dangerous.

Bookpg JK: Though rather more dangerous in 2002, when NIMITZ CLASS takes place! You have written before about sailing. What led you to the claustrophobic confines of submarine terrorism?

Patrick Robinson: I also wrote the biography of Admiral Sandy Woodward, who commanded the Royal Navy in the battle for the Falklands. Conducting that war made him one of the pre-eminent authorities on the placement of aircraft carriers --- in the world. It was a subject we discussed long and often. Should a giant American carrier be placed at the forefront of the world's trouble spot? Is this fortress at sea a sitting duck?

Bookpg JK: And what was his view?

Patrick Robinson: It should NOT be kept forward! And a lot of people in the Pentagon think that too. But the men in the Pentagon who think that the very presence of this giant world policeman in trouble spots keeps the peace have, thus far, been proved right. But no security system is 100% leakproofs. And Admiral Woodward does think that there are a handful of terrorists who, in a diesel electric sub, could get in and conduct an attack.

Bookpg JK: But for the moment....

Patrick Robinson: Those people who could commit such an atrocity are either British or American! No one else is good enough to do it. NIMITZ CLASS deals with the possibility that, in the future, an Islamic Fundamentalist could learn the trade well enough to conduct such an operation. He would be driving the readily available Russian Kilo class submarine.

Bookpg JK: And, as in the novel, this Islamic terrorist would have been taught by the Brits?

Patrick Robinson: They are the only nation who could have taught him. Americans don't teach foreigners.

Bookpg JK: So at the very least, it would be prudent for the Brits to stop teaching foreigners as well.

Patrick Robinson: And after NIMITZ CLASS, my admiral says, there's a very good possibility that the Brits will never teach another foreigner!

Bookpg JK: So, in a sense, your cautionary tale....

Patrick Robinson: Yes, it's a warning. Because once you've exposed such a dastardly scenario, you're well on the way to dealing with it. People will say, "You can't treat an aircraft carrier like a tour ship!"

Bookpg JK: Are you sending inscribed copies to people in high places?

Patrick Robinson: Oh, yes. We are. And in the Admiral's afterword, he suggests this ought to be compulsory reading for all junior officers --- at least those with submarine ambitions. No matter how sophisticated your surveillance, in the end you will always be reliant on people. You're down to a man --- who may be quite young --- who's sitting in front of a screen. And he says, "There's an engine line....within 20 miles." It's about vigilance and determination and absolute alertness. And I am bound to say that the American barrier battle groups have always demonstrated such alertness. NIMITZ CLASS is an example of what might happen when you are dealing with an enemy in a silent submarine who is as clever as you are.

Question: Have you ever been in a war and does that influence your writing??

Patrick Robinson: Never been in a war. But I've spent so much time with Admiral Woodward, that, it turns out, I'm talking with the only man who's conducted a naval war in 40 years. He lost 7 ships, including all 3 destroyers. But he did destroy the Argentinean air force. He knocked out 80 fighter aircraft. And, of course, sank the great Argentine battle cruiser. So I have been academically close to a great naval commander.

Bookpg JK: "Israeli intelligence" ---- that seems to be almost a redundant phrase in your book. They seem so much further ahead of our CIA or any other intelligence group. Why is that?

Patrick Robinson: They probably are better because they move about the Middle East in a stealthy way. They have a very small fighting force --- only 1200 people. And they have a vast network of friends and sympathizers in the Middle East. And they are absolutely ruthless.

Bookpg JK: I was struck too by how helpful the Russians were, in the end. This is a new development in military thrillers.

Patrick Robinson: They were helpful, but the very steely American intelligence chief had put them very much on the defensive. So it was prudent for them to cooperate.

Question: Are US military assets being stretched too thin with the downsizing and budget cuts?

Patrick Robinson: Possibly. But these cuts haven't really bitten yet. The US is still the most colossal power on earth --- and it will be 30 years before that changes. All politicians should, however, be advised to listen to what the US Navy says. Because they're the guys who are out there.

Question: Who were your major influences in life?

Patrick Robinson: I had a very senior American warship captain. And an Admiral inside the Pentagon. And two recently retired Admirals. Even more obviously, I suppose, I was a great admirer of President Reagan. I still am. My President in the book was unashamedly modeled on what I thought he would do or say.

Question: Who is your favorite author/poet?

Patrick Robinson: I'd like to be able to write like Hemingway --- along with everyone else. But I rather stumbled onto this path. I spent so long dealing with the realities of the Falklands War. There was quite a learning curve. Admiral Woodward lost a destroyer on Day One of the war because someone made a mistake. The lessons there were extraordinary. Everyone had to get sharper. And in the Gulf War, there were 4 major missiles launched at American ships. Every one was spotted --- and the alarm was sounded --- by the Royal Navy. Every one of those men had fought with Woodward. The arrival of an impending missile tends to concentrate the mind. The commodore of the Royal Navy Fleet in the Gulf War was Christopher Craig, captain of H.M.S. Alacrity, which was in the thick of the fighting in the Falklands, fighting off wave after wave of Argentinean bombers. Rather cool, really.

Bookpg JK: Will you follow this with another military thriller?

Patrick Robinson: Absolutely! I have written it already. It's called KILO CLASS and deals with the menace of these silent little Russian subs. Another techno-thriller with a hard core of reality to it.

Bookpg JK: When you write, can you see the movie?

Patrick Robinson: I wasn't thinking of it, but I wasn't shocked when we got an offer --- right off the manuscript --- from Universal Studios. And John McTiernan, who directed HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, will direct it.

Bookpg JK: Well, that IS a bull's eye. Will you be involved?

Patrick Robinson: No, I won't. I sold it. I've read enough of authors getting embroiled. My job is to write books. His is to make films.

Bookpg JK: We are lamentably out of time. But please come back and take us underwater again. For now, down periscope.

Patrick Robinson:

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013


    Great book! Must have for a military sailor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Extremely interesting

    This book is extremely interesting to me, having been the Damage Control Assistant Engineer on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk for 2 years during the 1960's.

    Memories. I am now 93 years of age - why still alive? No one knows.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012


    I highly recommend reading this book. Patrick Robinson wrote a riveting, suspenseful, action packed novel, you will not want to put down until the last page. This is my first read from this author, and I am extremely impressed. It is fast paced, characters strong and well defined. There was a heart wrenching and catastropic event that left me stunned and saddened. This writer really put forth a lot of effort in writing this story, in just the reasearch alone, he must have interviewed the whole navy! I found myself totally immersed in reading this book, a sign of a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    Patrick Robinson

    Highly Revommended/ He knoes what he is doing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    vrryyy nice

    this book is awesome

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2007

    Laughable on many levels

    The stereotyped rantings of the supposed conservative leaders in 'Nimitz Class' are so unbelievable as to verge on satire. The Chief of Naval Operations and his fellow senior officers refer to Iranians as 'towel heads' and 'rag heads'. The President, a Bush standin almost as idiotic as the real thing, wishes he could shut down the newspapers, but opines that the liberal courts wouldn't stand for it. The President is depicted as getting 'trigger happy.' The Presential Press Secretary goes on a rant about the press, Congress, liberals, etc etc that sounds like a drunk Birtcher on speed. But the good guys in Nimitz Class are the real joke-- cartoon characters one and all. Robinson seems to want to stuff every virtue into his characters, and every manly manly manly American icon is trotted out. The square-jawed naval officer is a cowboy from Kansas...but wait...he's got a Ph.D. from MIT as well...but wait, he's charming and handsome and his mom far from being a rancher's wife is a sort of Jackie Kennedy of the plains, the Wellesley girl to the core. We're even told she might as well have had a 'W' branded on her forehead. 'ouch!' Oh, and he loves opera and knows his wines. A REAL AMERICAN ARISTOCRAT, see...even the Brits with their infallible nose for class distinctions recognize that. Your more blue collar characters also come in for the Norman Rockwell treatment. The Navy SEAL who is the son of a Maine lobsterman, for instance. Piercing blue eyes? Check. Will of iron? Check. Heart of a lion? Check. Please pass the airsick bag. The author is an Anglophile to the point of absurdity. You will find only WASPs among the Americans, excepting the brief appearance of a black nco on an aircraft carrier whose function is to testify to how much he loves one of the white pilots. In a manly, manly way you understand. The list of characters reads like the membership of a Westchester country club circa 1930. In a way, perhaps that is the point of Robinson's writing. It's a fantasy of a conservative WASP America. The reason to think this book might be intended as a satire is that the right wing stuff is so overdone, and yet the heroic characters are basically screw-ups, while the enemy-- the arch-terrorist-- is hyper competent, multi-dimensional and interesting. The good guys fail to prevent a terrorist enemy attacking us,with the result that many thousands die in response. The President and his inner circle want to attack somewhere, but aren't too picky about where or whether the country they attack is actually responsible. The President himself seems to be a clueless dope. Hmmm...maybe 'Nimitz Class' is more realistic than I thought.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2002

    Really Good!!!!

    I can't believe people think this book was poorly written. I'm twelve and this book captured my attention the whole way through.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2001

    An act of literary terrorism.

    A very disappointing book that had started with some promise of not being just another Clancy clone. That promise ended early and the author indulged in Arab bashing, and western society jingoism. In supporting his agenda, the author presents his hero, the U.S. president, as a warmonger with no qualms about killing innocent Arabs, but who rails against Arabs who act with exactly the same attitude. The author presents his political views with the subtlety of a suicide bomber. He makes no effort to understand the regional and global perspectives of the Middle East. His knowledge and insight are simplified into a Tarzan movie style of dialogue of ¿Me good, you bad¿. A definite pass on any of his other books.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Piece of garbage

    This was by far one of the worst books I've read. There is way too much that is wrong with it to go into. Please save your money and time do not bother with this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    holds your interest always to the end

    very informative story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Proffessor holo

    Sits at her desk quietly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014



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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Poorly edited

    Ro inson writes ok, seems have outstanding knowledge of his subject matter, but cannot seem to grasp how to write a novel!
    For example he spends the vast majority of the first 20% of the text developing chacters and providing some backstory only to wipeout all the charactors and make most of the backstory irrelevant,,,at which point the reader loses trust in the author i speed read the remainder just so i could conclude the book but i didnt enjoy it anymore it ultimately becomes a military operarional whodunnit story,,,but in any good murder mystery you dont want the audience angry over killing the hero the hero supposed to be the detective worse yet- spoiler alert - we learn the villain gets away at the very end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Unfortunate Vision

    I thought I'd try this author as I've fairly run out of the Napoleanic Era naval fiction that I love. But this novel is not only a perspective of 90's naval thinking, it's a fantasy of right wing rationalization and illusion. The premise is intriguing, and the story and pacing isn't awful, though the prose is wooden. Where it tries to be insightful it's mostly illogical (c'mon, any high school student knows a nuclear warhead can't go off by accident, and it's attempt to suggest romance is just silly) but that's consistent with right wing thought. Granted, it was written before 911; before Obama - one wonders how the author has evolved. If he recognizes that the xenophobe attitudes of 1997 are the reason the rest of the world hated us by 2007. Still, I admit I was interested enough to finish. I enjoyed it when the story was purely focused on strategy. I may indeed try something else in the author's catalog, just to see. So, one day, we'll see.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    From dafish: What a dud!

    Pencils are like big trucks; it doesn't take a lot of brains to drive one. It is painfully obvious here. His political bias proves it. Many big holes in his logic; too many to list, however; there are no silent torpedoes--would the Pentagon guys really be so calm about something like this--would one really walk to announce the news to ones superior officer? I have purchased my last book from Robinson

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2009

    It was Ok I guess

    I could not relate to or like the characters. All of the main characters were highly educated blue bloods from aristocratic, wealthy families. They were all charming, refined, ejoyed good wine & liquor, and listened to opera...YUCK!! They were all popular, at the top of their game professionally, and all got along swimmingly with NO conflict between them. I sincelerly believe that the ranks of the modern United States Navy are filled by some of the best people in the world but this novel does a terrible job of actually representing them. The plot wasn't the greatest. It moved along a little slow, started to pick up and things were making sense but then way too many plot elements were introduced into the last hundred pages or so making it a bit confusing. Frankley, I thought the overall premise of the book was a bit far fetched both in what happens to the Carrier Battle Group and what the "response" is. I don't think I would recommend this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2001

    Not the best he's done, but it's pretty good

    As I said,not the best he's done, but it's a good read.Lots of good detail, and he really describes the charecters' personality. And you can also visualize the story quite well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    Fails on many, many levels

    This book is just awful. It reads fairly smoothly, but fails miserably on at least four distinct levels. It ambles into a lot of useless territory for no reason at all. Virtually all of the first few chapters could have been dropped as contributing nothing to the plot. Many characters are introduced in detail, then killed off as a group. We hear about lots of relationships that have little or nothing to do with the story. The second major failing is that I don't believe any of the characters would act they way they did for vast segments of the book. Do you really think the military would rather have you believe a nuclear bomb ACCIDENTALLY went off than that the ship was bombed by a terrorist? Oh, come on! Would any country (including our own) allow an aircraft carrier to dock after such an incident? Do you really think the press will buy a military cover story and not even ask questions? I could list some real extreme examples, but would have to spoil plot elements. There's at least one point in the story when they know who, what, when, why, and how in exquisite detail, but won't accept all of the heaps of evidence because some small part might be (not is, might) be questionable. Suffice it to say that I could not believe intelligent people would make the decisions that were made in this novel. The book has a serious problem that it mostly consists of meetings. We don't participate in the discoveries. We hear about them at meetings. Yes, it's probably reality that goverment does things in meetings, but you write about the action, not about characters telling what happened. One of the most significant elements of the end of the story is simply told to us like an afterthought. Finally, there's a big problem with pacing. This story takes months. Most of that time is spent by the major characters DECIDING if they are going to do anything. We have a potential madman running around with nuclear weapons, but have plenty of time for social gatherings, horse rides, sightseeing, facility tours, etc. I can't believe that such a major incident could go on as long as this story has it going on. It is the author's resposibility to suspend my disbelief. This book only increased my disbelief.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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