Book Review: The Hunt for Red October

Title: The Hunt for Red October
Written By: Tom Clancy
Genre: Historical/Military Fiction
Recommended Ages: 21 & up


It is only very rarely that I will read a book like this one. This is the only book I own that has swear words in it. And the main reason I own it is because I can black out the swear words (see picture). I like this book because of the intricacy of the plot within the plot within the plot. It has so many nuances the movie cannot get into unless the movie were at least 6 hours long. However, due to the language and ethical conflicts, I recommend you be at least 18 before reading, if you read it at all.

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Characters: 1/1

From what I have learned of the era, each of the characters seems to be accurate to the time and country they live in. From Admiral White hailing from England to Captain Ramius from Russia to Jack Ryan and Jonesy from America. Each character brings his own flavor to the story. And yes, I used his for a very specific. There are very few women in this book and most of the time they are only mentioned. Which is fine because women in the military and navy was very rare back then. I also found it refreshing to have no women in the book since that meant no romantic entanglements which can get tiresome after a while, even for a woman who likes to read an occasional romance.

Dialogue: .5/1

They use a LOT of swear words. I know that is realistic for sailors, but there is realistic and there is also crossing a line. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if there had been less language. In many places, it would have been simple to simply say, “He showed his knowledge of some of the more colorful parts of the language” or “He swore.” Or something like that. Other than the cursing, the dialogue was good and seemed realistic.

Plot/Storyline: 1/1

I already mentioned the intricacies of the plot, so I won’t belabor that. You can’t get a full view of everything that happened from the movie, so reading the book brings a lot more depth to the story and it is so detailed and interesting. You find yourself sucked in very quickly.

Overall Writing Quality: .75/1

There were times when the descriptions got to be a bit too intensive, especially during some of the action scenes when the descriptions slowed down the action too much. But overall, it was all very well written. I wish I could write with such a close attention to all the details.

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1

It’s a fairly hefty book, so it’s one that needs to be put down a few times. But you often don’t want to because of everything that is going on and how much you need to know what will happen to this person or that one. Or how this event affects what happens in the other places. So yeah, you might want to carve out a couple days when you can read a lot before picking it up.

Conclusion: 4.25/5

This book is for mature readers who can either read over the language or don’t mind it. It’s one I can’t recommend to everyone which is sad because I would like to. However, if you like spy thrillers about the cold war and don’t mind a lot of language, go ahead and read it. If you like spy thrillers about the cold war and do mind a lot of language, but still want to read it consider buying a copy and taking a black pen to all the curse words.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hunt for Red October

  1. Love this book. I read all Tom Clancy Jack Ryan novels and I really like them! They are “can’t put down” types, love the spy and government/military involvement. Definitely a lot of language and while I don’t like it (and personally I don’t swear) it makes the books more realistic in my opinion. Definitely a 10/10 book as are Clancy’s other novels.

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