The Bear and the Dragon

by Tom Clancy

Hardcover, 2000



Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. Newly elected, Jack Ryan has found that being President is not easy: 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 assassinate the chairman of the SVR - the former KGB - with a rocket-propelled grenade. Were the potential assassins political enemies, the Russian Mafia, or disaffected former KGB? Or is something far more dangerous at work here? While Ryan 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 will never look the same again.… (more)


(753 ratings; 3.5)

User reviews

LibraryThing member OscarWilde87
The Bear and the Dragon is the last novel in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. To my mind, you do not have to have read the whole series up to this point to be able to enjoy this novel. However, you will most likely miss out on some references to events that were related in earlier novels. As this is
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only the third Jack Ryan novel that I have read - and my third Clancy, for that matter - I have to say that I enjoyed it even without knowing the full background.

Now, what is this novel about? As the title suggests it is about a conflict between Russia, or the 'Bear', and China, the 'Dragon'. The novel starts with two seemingly unrelated events. There is the attempt to murder a high-ranking Russian politician and there is the find of a gold mine and huge oil resources in Siberia. As Chinese trade with the US comes to a halt, China's economy is on the brink of collapse and its government needs to find a source of money. As a consequence the Chinese Politburo eventually starts plotting an offensive on Russia to seize their gold mine and their oil resources. Having inside information into the content of the meetings of the Chinese Politburo, the CIA informs President Jack Ryan. Together they try to prevent a war between Russia and China by inviting Russia into NATO. This plan, however, fails, war begins and a nuclear strike on major American cities by the Chinese cannot be ruled out.

Tom Clancy is one of those authors who do not need an introduction and probably do not need their writing reviewed anymore. Still, after having read The Bear and the Dragon I feel compelled to say something about Clancy's writing. This is the third Clancy novel I have read and I think that Clancy puts a lot of research and information into his works. On the one hand this makes some things - especially military or intelligence-related issues - easier to understand. On the other hand this makes for a lot of padding. This is especially true for the beginning of The Bear and the Dragon where I still felt like being introduced to the setting of the novel after a hundred pages or so. All those lengthy introductions to a huge set of characters, who are not only referred to by their names but also by their military ranks, positions or code names, made me almost put down the book. But once the story started to unfold I was actually quite drawn in by Clancy's writing and the novel became a very interesting page-turner. 3.5 stars.
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LibraryThing member wheresmynoose
Tom Clancy must really hate China. Anyway, it's hardly a spoiler to say that America wins, and by the end of the book Clancy's fulfilled his dream of having America conquer the world. Only for Clancy fans.
LibraryThing member liehtzu
Better than the stuff he's been churning out lately it's still very dated and one imagines that Tom is wistful for the good old days of the old war. These Islamic terrorists must have him totality befuddled. Nonetheless a rattling good yarn for the airport or the beach.
LibraryThing member jpsnow
It seems very current but isn't the best of his works -- becoming too formula-driven. Also, he seems to be in the recent habit of repeating certain phrases and concepts. Repeated use diminished the effect and the reader's impression of the art.
LibraryThing member santhony
This book really marks the point where Clancy begins to lose steam. He has pretty much run out of things to say (who can blame him, by this time he has pumped out about 7,000 action packed pages), but they're going to keep paying him to keep talking.
LibraryThing member Zare
Facing economic disaster China invades Russia in a attempt to take over oil fields of the Russia's north. Concentrated attack from air and land pushes Russians until rescue comes in form of US Cavalry outfit.

Although action scenes are great what annoys me the most is "US-to-the-rescue" attitude
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where no-one can survive unless supported by US and its allies. More "real" books [in my opinion] are Dragonstrike and Dragonfire.

Beside that, if you are in high-tech military thrillers try it out - you'll probably like it :)
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LibraryThing member choochtriplem
The 2nd story of the presidency of Jack Ryan and a conflict between Russia and China. For some reason I made the mistake of reading this book over the first book of the series, ‘Executive Orders’. The book talks in length about how Ryan became president, and the world that crafted his foreign
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policy and instances before this story. Before reading this book, I would suggest either reading the first book or searching for the story line of the first.

As for the book itself, it was a classic Clancey, with rich character description and plot narration. The starts off slow (very slow in some cases) but the last 500 or so pages fly by. I have the feeling the book could be a few hundred pages shorter, but the back story about how the conflict gets started is needed. As for the ‘Ryan Series’, it’s a good one, but not one of the top.
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LibraryThing member hermit
I enjoyed reading "The Hunt for Red October." I have read all of his single-author books and many of the earlier books for which he is a co-author, but I had to really work to read this book. I must admit that I was not greatly impressed by "Rainbow Six" when I noticed an increased tendency for
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Clancy to include more foul language than he had in earlier works. One thing I miss is his clean concise writing and character action and development. I felt like I could read his books and enjoy their inherent complexities and character development without having to work my way through character after character swearing with and at each other. This book also delves into sexual encounters quite early. I found this book to be very bad read. You may call the dialog in this book reality, but I can do without it while reading a novel.
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LibraryThing member ncpoekert
The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy (2000)
LibraryThing member Lynngood
Being President, Jack Ryan discovers, doesn't get any easier, particularly not when domestic pitfalls await him at every turn and in Moscow someone may have tried to take out the chairman of the SVR (formerly the KGB) with a rocket-propelled grenade. Who were the potential assassins - were they
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Russian mafia, disaffected former KGB or something far more dangerous? Even while Ryan dispatches his most trusted eyes and ears to find out the truth, forces in China are moving ahead with a plan of audacious proportions. If they succeed, the world will never look the same. If they fail... the consequences will be unspeakable.
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LibraryThing member rarache
Another wonderful Tom Clancy book. I have read a lot of Tom Clancy and continue to enjoy his style. Another author that keeps you reading and not wanting to put the book down.
LibraryThing member reading_fox
Really streching things now. Ryan is still president, and russia the new friends against the big bad threat of China. China invades and russia can't cope fortunetly american forces are on hand. yet again, to save the day. Vaguely interesting side plot where Kelly tracks down the chinese nuclear
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missiles but mostly spoilt by the obvious fact that Clancy has never visited china, or if he has, he didn't enjoy it.
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LibraryThing member wwj
Not one of Clancy'[s few good book, but far better than his bad ones. The man was in desperate need of an editor. Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising and Without Remorse are good enough to reread, this got re-read because I didn't know I had it anymore and wasn't going to spend money on it.
LibraryThing member finalcut
While The Bear and The Dragon was a pretty good read there were a few things that I felt were weak. For starters the entire process by which the US Spy infiltrates the Chinese governments computer systems with his "undetectable" trojan. If he is delivering the computer, installing it for them, and
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who knows what else, why didn't he just deliver it with the trojan in place instead of having to screw his way into the office? I just don't get that. Secondly was the presidents reaction at the end of the story when all hell is breaking loose. I don't want to say too much but, "Gimme a Break", he has a responsibility as president and Jack Ryan never seemed like the kind to shirk responsibility - until the end of this book when he suddenly gets a whacked out definition of right-vs-wrong. The only other thing that bothered me about the book was that almost every man in the story was exactly the same; particularly the US soldiers. Gimme a break.
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LibraryThing member leslie.98
For me, this last Jack Ryan book was the best. I have read all of them at least twice & I still find myself devouring this massive (1000 pages) book in one gulp (well maybe two gulps - a girl's gotta sleep!).
LibraryThing member buffalogr
Clancy has made a career writing long books with intimate details of weapons systems to create spy and military dramas, with no small amount of flag-waving. Most reviews will say that this book is looooooonnnnnnng. However, the abridged version is only a six hour listen--about right for a chilling
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action thriller. I find Clancy's strategic thinking pretty good...who's to say that the plot written here couldn't happen? That the Chinese invade Russia and the USA comes to help Russia? Clancy still writes an exciting book, just don't bite off the unabridged version.
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LibraryThing member dbsovereign
I’m not a big Clancy fan - he tends to be a bit too macho and his political views a bit too Right-leaning for me. But this tome (at over 1,000 pages) includes inside dirt on the fascinating stuff that goes on inside the White House as well as a glimpse into post Berlin Wall Moscow and Beijing.
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Plus, it features high and low-tech spy techniques as well. After a high-profile Russian pimp is murdered, we see the ever-widening ripples of fallout from the death and how four governments plot and scheme in its aftermath. And then the war starts.
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LibraryThing member brakketh
I re-read this book as I remembered enjoying this as a teenager. I have no idea what I saw in it the 'hyper-war' was interesting but the sexism, blatant political leaning and 'mary-jane' leading characters.
LibraryThing member gregdehler
As someone who loved Clancy's first novels, I was highly disappointed in this and gave up after about 100 pages or so. All the characters seemed to be the same person, lots of sex, and some of the political statements got in the way of the story.
LibraryThing member Rosenectur
This book was a monster, weighing in at 1137 pages. I slugged through the first 300 pages of the epic sized novel. Reading about all manner of boring political stuffs. For a while I really though the Clancy had finally lost it. I mean we had to read about the President talking about a new farm
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plan. But then the excitement got going for about 100 pages, and I was totally sucked in. The end of the book was “I can’t turn the page fast enough” action. Oh and one of the characters is name Colonel Duke Masterman (you can’t have a manly-er name than that.)
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LibraryThing member DanielSTJ
This was definitely not Clancy at his best. While it is adequately written, it comes across as cheesy and unrealistic. I was not thrilled by the experience. Overall, a disappointing thriller.


Putnam (2000), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 1028 pages

Original publication date





039914563X / 9780399145636


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