I recently read Tom Clancy’s two most recent novels in his “Jack Ryan” universe, Red Rabbit and The Teeth of the Tiger.
They are, quite simply, horrible. Not horrible in the sense of, “if you don’t like Tom Clancy books you won’t like these either,” but rather, “incredibly bad even to people who liked previous Tom Clancy books, and in fact incredibly bad by any halfway objective measure.”
The plots aretedious and mundane. The climaxes aren’t; the denouements don’t. There are typesetting errors (e.g., repeated words and phrases) scattered throughout the books, as if their editor hadn’t actually bothered to edit. Significant plot elements are introduced and left completely unresolved (e.g., Jack’s wife anguishes over what to do about misconduct she witnesses at the hospital where she’s working; Jack tells her to do the right thing or she won’t be able to live with herself; and we never find out what she actually decides to do). Numerous ideas and even complete sentences are repeated throughout the books, as if Clancy had a list of ideas he wanted to use before he started writing but forgot to check off the ones he’d already worked into the text. What a disappointment.
When I mentioned this to my wife, she commented, “It’s sad when a writer stops enjoying writing but keeps doing it.”
Hey, Tom! It’s time to find something else to keep yourself busy!