The Bear and the Dragon

The Bear and the Dragon

<div>Time and again, Tom Clancy‘s novels have been praised not only for their big-scale drama and propulsive narrative drive but for their cutting-edge prescience in predicting future events.

In The Bear and the Dragon, the future is very near at hand indeed.

Newly elected in his own right, Jack Ryan has found that being President has gotten no easier: domestic pitfalls await him at every turn; there’s a revolution in Liberia; the Asian economy is going down the tubes; and now, in Moscow, someone may have tried to take out the chairman of the SVR–the former KGB–with a rocket-propelled grenade. Things are unstable enough in Russia without high-level assassination, but even more disturbing may be the identities of the potential assassins. Were they political enemies, the Russian Mafia, or disaffected former KGB? Or, Ryan wonders, is something far more dangerous at work here?

Ryan is right. For even while he dispatches his most trusted eyes and ears, including black ops specialist John Clark, to find out the truth of the matter, forces in China are moving ahead with a plan of truly audacious proportions. If they succeed, the world as we know it will never look the same. If they fail…the consequences will be unspeakable.

Blending the exceptional realism and authenticity that are his hallmarks with intricate plotting, razor-sharp suspense, and a remarkable cast of characters, this is Clancy at his best–and there is none better.



  • Hardcover: 1028 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam; 1st edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039914563X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399145636
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,372 customer reviews)
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  1. As an avid Clancy fan, who’s read all of his books and owns most of them in hard cover, I found this book to be a bit of a dissapointment that doesn’t even approach Clancy’s normal high standards. Its a definite “must read” for Clancy fans, but for everyone else I’d highly recommend skipping this one at least until reading most of Clancy’s other books.
    The plot of the book, as the title implies, focuses on Russia and China, but mostly the latter. In a nutshell, a diplomatic incident plus some trade negotiations with the U.S. gone badly awry lead China to seek to take advantage of some new found economic luck by their neighbors to the north. There are a lot of parallels between US / Japanese relations leading up to WW2. along the way, there are assasination attempts and spycraft, but at a high level that sums up Clancy’s latest effort.
    First, the book’s bad points:
    1. Obviously Clancy now considers himself above editors – cause its obvious this book was not edited at all. There are at least 7 or 8 occasions where characters thoughts are repeated, verbatim, 2 or 3 times over the course of the book (for example, Ryan’s belief that ‘Daughters are god’s punishment to fathers for being men’ … Ryan ‘thinks’ this about 4 different times during the book) and there are a fair amount of spelling/typo type errors that detract from the enjoyment of the book.
    2.Read more ›

  2. Five minutes ago, I told my wife and sons that this book was a HUGE disappointment. Being a big fan of Clancy, I could not wait for this book to come out. Usually it takes me at most, 3 days to read one of his books, but I am STILL working my way through this one after 6 days. So when my wife asked me why, I told her that this was a 400 page book stretched out forEVER. The first thing it reminded me of was when Ludlum started taking himself too seriously and writing huge boring books.
    So I told my wife that I was going to go online and check out the Amazon review’s to see if my comments were indicative of others who read the book. And sure enough, the second review I read by I think the name was Lane Shelton, could have been written by me as the comments were ALL the same as mine.
    How many times do we have to hear this character ruminate that he didn’t want the job, and doesn’t know how to do it, but for the sake of the country he will do it. SHUT UP already, we got the point in the last few books but banging us over the head again and again and again is just ridiculous. And Clancy seems to be spending the entire book pontificating his moral authority and political beliefs thru this white knight who can do no wrong. I could not believe how repetitive he was in this book and I am only at page 500. It seems that he says the same sentance at least 3 different times, and he seems to be doing that on more than one sentance. In addition, Clancy repeats his political views, for example on abortion, over and over as if he hadn’t told us yet. Tom, how many times do we have to hear about the ‘previous’ presidents preoccupation with sex.Read more ›

  3. I have long been an admirer of TC as a plotter and writer, despite his occasional lapses. [But never an admirer of his “as told to, but written but someone else” Op-Center products.]
    With Bear-Dragon, TC has fully descended into Clavell’s Disease – that syndrome which causes formerly creative and exciting writers to ACT like they’re being paid by the word, which one should not do, even if one IS paid that way. Too many words (a fair-to-good 500-pager fluffed to 1 kilopage), too many subplots, too many characters, too many moral lessons.
    And the editing! Are TC’s editors now afraid to point out to him that he’s used the same phrase, metaphor, simile, or analogy several times before – a few hundred pages ago? It’s distracting and it’s unprofessional. Sure people will buy the book anyhow, because of TC’s name, but those loyal readers are owed a better book – I suggest we are owed a better book with each outing. Bear-Dragon isn’t it, Tom.

  4. I was interested in seeing where Mr. Clancy would take Jack Ryan after the last installment of his adventures. While they were always highly improbable, they did have the whiff of realism and were highly entertaining. “The Bear and the Dragon” fails on multiple levels, the most damning of which is it’s stultifying pace and the bigoted opinions of the author. It is essentially a vanity piece where Mr. Clancy allows his ego to recreate a world where everything is as it should be… according to his sophomoric intellect. All the cabinet officers have been to Jesuit colleges, except for “the Jew”. All are adamantly antiabortion (he discourses at some length on this) and it is a testament to his laziness or lack of ability that all the characters keep using the same phrases and obscenities. The impression I got was that the novel generating software Mr. Clancy uses is not the latest upgrade.
    In comparison, while “The Hunt for Red October” was a taut lean thriller that was enjoyable and informative, “The Bear and the Dragon” was a bloated, lethargic and even offensive in its lack of regard for the readers intelligence and its author’s indulgence of his own pathetic fantasies.

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