Patriot Games

by Tom Clancy

Hardcover, 1987



Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Don't Miss the Original Series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Starring John Krasinski! Tom Clancy reveals Jack Ryanâ??s origins in this electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling thriller that pits the former Marine turned family man against a vicious group of international terrorists. As an American in London on vacation with his family, Jack Ryan never imagined his quick thinking would prevent an assassination attempt on Britainâ??s royal family and earn him the gratitude of an entire nationâ??and the scorn of an ultra-left-wing faction of the IRA. Irish terrorist Sean Miller and his followers in the Ulster Liberation Army intend to make sure Ryan pays for his interference in blood. But heâ??s not the only one theyâ??re after... With the lives of his pregnant wife and young daughter in mortal danger, Ryan accepts a role as a CIA analyst in order to find Miller and shut down the ULA. Going head to head with a ruthless terrorist is a foolâ??s errand, but Jack Ryan is the kind of man who will do whatever it takes to p… (more)


½ (1530 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ctmskyde
The first I ever heard of Patriots Games was the movie from my brother. Upon seeing the movie, I knew immediatly that I had to read the book. The first few pages of the book yielded multiple reasons to read on. From my previous books, one can infer that I enjoy Action Novels. After the main
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character, Jack Ryan, foils a PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) assassination attempt on the Prince of Wales and his family, PIRA finds a new target, the man who ruined their best assassination attempt on the prince.

Tom Clancy has outdone himself this time. Patriot Games is a fast-paced book, keeping the dialogueand suspense incredibly smooth the whole time. Some pages give you easy insight so as not to frustrate the reader, while others combine the perfect amount of excitement and wonder, leaving the answer just out of reach. When everything comes together in the end, it's breathtaking, watching the action that has been building throughout the whole book finally unfold. However, there are some big gaps in the action that are necessary for explanatory purposes, but slow down the pace completely. All things accounted for, Patriot Games has been one of the more pleasurable books I've ever read, Shooting four and-a-half stars out of five.
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LibraryThing member Whicker
Yet another page turner from Clancy. This fast moving tale follows Jack Ryan as he tries to protect his family from the IRA. Exciting but not Clancy's best work. Worth the read.
LibraryThing member Sturgeon
The bottom of my Clancy list. An interesting story but thank goodness we got back to the usual bad guys :)
LibraryThing member
I liked military related stuff when I was younger, so Tom Clancy was my favourite author for a while. Mostly the same as any other Tom Clancy novel, albeit a bit more down-to-earth and with less military mania.
LibraryThing member medievalmama
This is my absolute favorite of Clancy's politial fiction -- perhaps because of the locations -- London, the house outside Boston, the glance into the midshipmen's lives at the naval academy, the hospital scenes; or it could be the action, the characters, the plot resolution; or maybe even that no
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one has tried to use this one to damage the US. Some of the others come a little too close to truth.
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
A fast moving thriller, hard to put down. I like the IRA complication in this. Having read it long ago, I can be no more specific at this time.
LibraryThing member ianw
I'll do the same review for all Clancy's novels because they're all pretty much the same. Very long, very detailed, and after a while, very repetitive. If you stop after just a few of his books you'd probably give them 4 or 5 stars, but beyond that they start to grate. Especially where Jack Ryan is
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involved. I mean, Clancy spends hundreds of pages getting his details just right, the settings perfect etc., then he has Ryan dodging more bullets than James Bond! I finally threw my hands up and surrendered when Ryan becomes President. I can't remember what piece of crap that was in.

I've given three stars as a compromise between my reactions when reading my first Clancy (brilliant) and last Clancy (doorstop).
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LibraryThing member Othemts
I read The Hunt For Red October when challenged to read something I wouldn't usually read and found it surprisingly good. Patriot Games was my second (and last) try reading a Tom Clancy novel. Woah, was this bad! The characters are cardboard, the scenarios ridiculous -- the IRA invading
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Maryland?!?! Yeah, I couldn't suspend my disbelief for that one.
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LibraryThing member heidijane
This book was fast-paced and places... and slow and ploddy in others. Some aspects were incredibly far fetched, and it is rather larger than life. I haven't seen the film, but I guess the same probably applies. Its an entertaining read for a rainy afternoon, but not really anything
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to get your teeth into.
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LibraryThing member Connor16
A great book in all by one of Americas best war writters Tom Clancy. The book is powerful and strong and really shows the two sides of the England vs IRA and PIRA conflict and how he thinks they operate.
Takes a large attention span too read and coupled with some more adult themes at parts is
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suggested for older more mature readers.
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LibraryThing member Borg-mx5
The continuing adventures of Jack Ryan. I enjoyed this book but began to wonder how Jack could get into so much trouble so often.
LibraryThing member Lynngood
The author of "The Hunt for Red October" has produced another adventure thriller centred upon a scheme by the Ulster Liberation Army to kidnap the Prince of Wales. Jack Ryan with his Marine training foils this attempt but in the process becomes a target of Northern Ireland's most dangerous men.
LibraryThing member xieouyang
I found this novel rather disappointing. Compared to [The Hunt for Red October], the storyline left a lot to be desired. Many parts of the book seemed to drag too long and the dialogue was rather uninteresting.
LibraryThing member mrdoan72
One of the best to clancy books out there. jack ryan stopping terrorist keeps you glued to this book. I would highly recommend this book
LibraryThing member robindejarnett
I read this when it first came out, back when I was in my thriller phase. It's my favorite Clancy book - probably because there's more to the characters than in his previous submarine books.Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst and ex-Marine who unintentionally gets caught in the fight for Northern Ireland.
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His actions foil an attempt by a factional group to kidnap a member of the royal family, and makes him a target of terrorists. Jack's family becomes the one in danger as the war crosses the Atlantic and ends up in his backyard--literally.Written in a time when the IRA was the most feared terrorist organization around, the book is dated. But that doesn't take away from the suspense. Of course, there is the movie version too, which does do a pretty good job of capturing the book.
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LibraryThing member barbgarcia1987
This is one of my favorites of Mr. Clancy's books. I can't tell you how many times I have re-read it. My copy is getting a bit dog-eared.
LibraryThing member nesum
The tension just never really got off the ground in this one. It has an interesting start, but there is no build up from there. The situation is interesting and plot interesting in a very dry sense, but I was just never really that interested in finding out what happens next. THE HUNT FOR RED
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OCTOBER is considerably better.
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LibraryThing member Doondeck
Another good effort by Clancy
LibraryThing member HenriMoreaux
After reading & thoroughly enjoying Without Remorse I was looking forward to another immersive chapter in the Clark/Ryan series. Unfortunately I just couldn't seem to get into this one, the first 350 pages were tedious and just couldn't seem to hold my interest - finally about two thirds of the way
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through the plot lines come together and it picks up a bit, but still when over half the novel is dull it's hard to say it's a good book, or anything more than okay really.

Detailed, well written, good subject knowledge, well researched, unique plot - yes. However it just didn't pull them all together into an enthralling story.
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LibraryThing member aryadeschain
I have started to read this book mainly because after I played a couple of games that take Tom Clancy's name, I became interested to know what sort of stories he told in his books. After doing a bit of research on the main themes, the focus on the Cold War, secret services and military themes
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sounded very promising. I mean, if dozens of games and movies based on Tom Clancy's books were released, one would suppose that they did have something to catch your interest, no?
Unfortunately, I think that I expected too much from his older book and Patriot Games ended up not captivating me very much. Maybe I was expecting something more thrilling and a better elaborated plot, but it really, really, felt like watching cliché action movies with several moments of tedious nothingness. I mean, literally, during more than half of the book, absolutely NOTHING happens. And it really saddened me, because the first, say, 20 pages of the book were absolutely awesome, with a lot of action. It was naive of me to think that this rhythm was going to be kept through the more than 500 pages of the book. Of course, Patriot Games does have its share of frenetic action, but the interval between them is so long that the investigation parts didn't really hold my interest for too long. After a while, I started to think that the good parts of the book were actually the romantic scenes between Jack and Cathy.
There are tons of characters in the book and I find it amazing that pretty much all of them have a military background. Okay, Jack was once a Mariner, it should be kinda obvious that most of his contacts had a common background. But if you look carefully, there is not a single character in the book (besides the women) who doesn't have a military background, and the "coincidences" really bothered me.
The same goes for the multiple-view narrative. Clancy wanted to show both sides of the coin, but in the end, the villains were essentially evil people while all the other characters were support-good guys who praised Jack Ryan for his brave efforts in every single page. It was either this or Jack stating that "no, I'm nothing. You're the one who's awesome".

I still want to give a second chance for other Tom Clancy's books. Maybe it's just the fact that this is one of the first books he ever wrote. I want to believe that his writing skills improved as time went by.
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LibraryThing member AHS-Wolfy
While in London on holiday with his wife and young daughter, Jack Ryan manages to foil a terrorist attack on the Prince of Wales and his family. Killing one of the attackers and subduing another does not endear Jack to the terrorists and he and his family become a potential target. Having dome some
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work previously with the CIA, which was well received, Jack requests to research the group that may be after him. As they are eager to recruit him on a full-time basis the CIA acquiesce to Jack’s wishes to see if he can find anything worthwhile in the scant information that they have accumulated so far.

On the back of watching the recent TV series I remembered that I still had this book on my tbr shelves. I’d also enjoyed the movie adaptation of this story and as it had been some time since I’d read other works in the series I thought I’d dip my toe back in the water. Right from the outset this is a thrilling, action-packed, roller coaster of a story. Of course there are some quiet moments along the way for the reader to catch their breath but the 600+ pages actually flew by. As the world has moved on from when the IRA was the major terrorist concern the book has now become a little dated but it doesn’t detract from the action or story,
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LibraryThing member Michaenite
Very enjoyable novel about family, military culture, terrorism and the 1980s. One obvious plot whole was the way the secret service let the terrorists into the area they were guarding because they believed they were repair men. This would not happen then or now.
LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
I saw the movie years ago, and I suppose that's why it took me so long to get around to reading the book--wanting to be able to take the book as it is, rather than remember the movie too clearly--but I really enjoyed this and wish I'd gotten around to it sooner. Yes, the technology is now a bit
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dated, but if you can pull yourself into the time of the book and enjoy it for what it is, it's a fantastic, character-driven escape filled with great characters and suspense.

I'd certainly recommend it, and I look forward to reading more of the series sooner than later.
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LibraryThing member scoutmomskf
This was a reread of a book I read when it first came out, and several times since then. It starts with a bang as Jack, on a working vacation in London with his family, witnesses a kidnapping attempt on the royal family. His instinctive reaction stopped the attack and put him in the bullseye of
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One of the things I enjoy most every time I read this book is the deft mixture of action, darkness, and humor. The opening attack sucks me into the story immediately, on the edge of my seat as Jack rushes into action. Clancy's descriptions are vivid enough that I can picture the events as they happen. The confusion at the scene felt realistic, and I could feel Jack's worry that he'd end up "stuck like a pig" when the good guys showed up. I always laugh at the scenes in the hospital as Jack deals with the doctors (including his wife) and other medical personnel. The scenes with various law enforcement personnel show Jack what he inadvertently got involved in and reveal his razor-sharp mind as he processes what he learns. The scenes with multiple members of the royal family are good, but my favorite is when he helps the prince work through his feelings about what happened. Though not particularly realistic, it is still a great scene.

As the book continues we get the viewpoints of both the bad guys and the good guys. Jack and his family return home, secure in the knowledge that the bad guy is in jail and terrorists have never attacked on American soil. But the tension ramps up as the bad guy escapes and assorted good guys get a bad feeling about what might happen. Jack is lured into the CIA's sphere as he tries to get a handle on the group behind the attack. Their fears are realized when Jack's wife and daughter are nearly killed in an attack, and only luck prevents Jack from being attacked too. I ached for Jack as he dealt with his feelings of guilt and fear by getting more involved in the case. Jack goes through a lot of self-examination as he tries to reconcile his need for justice with the anger and desire for revenge that he also feels.

The tension continues to build as the book follows the terrorists as they make plans for their next attack. The attention to detail was intriguing and as were the insights into the various players' motivations. At the same time we see the good guys as they try to assemble the pieces of the puzzle in time to stop whatever is planned.

The final confrontation was a nail-biter. It started easy, with the royal visit and some amusing banter between Jack, Robby, and the prince. The chaos of the attack was described so vividly that I felt as though I was there. The escape by boat was exciting, and their arrival at the Academy was tense but also had a few lighter moments. The pursuit of the last of the bad guys had me on the edge of my seat until it was all over. Jack faced a crossroads in his life, and it was interesting to see how he handled it. I loved the ending.

One of my favorite lines is as the Superintendent asks Robby who is aboard the ship: "Chief Znamirowski and the duty boat section, Captain Peters and some Marines, Doctor Ryan, and, uh, Captain Wales, sir, of the Royal Navy" "Is that where he is?..."
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LibraryThing member Karlstar
One of the better Jack Ryan books, though not quite as good as Hunt for Red October.


G. P. Putnam's Sons

Original publication date

1987-08 (G.P. Putnam's Sons Edition)


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