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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (181,390 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Clancy Narrator: J. Charles Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Jack Ryan Series Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781597103855
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It's 1984, and Marko Alexandrovich Ramius finds himself working for a totalitarian government much like the ones portrayed in the book of the same name. A Lithuanian submarine commander for the Soviet Navy, Ramius is captaining the Red October, a Typhoon-class nuclear submarine. He has recently lost his wife Natalia at the hands of an incompetent doctor, and was deprived of justice because that doctor had connections in the government. Natalia's death is the final straw for Ramius, who has been dissatisfied with Soviet rule for quite some time. He decides to pilot the Red October away from the Soviet Union, and defect to the United States, along with his officers.

A plan is hatched, and the political officer on board the ship is executed. Ramius sends a letter to his wife's uncle, informing him of the plan to defect. The letter is intercepted by government officials, who immediately send the Northern fleet to sink the sub, pretending that they are on a search and rescue mission.

Meanwhile in America, Jack Ryan, CIA analyst extraordinaire, has just returned from London with photos of the Red October in tow. His analysis determines too late that the sub is equipped with a stealth drive, which makes it impossible to detect with Sonar. When Ramius engages the stealth drive, Ryan connects the dots and realizes the intent to defect. He immediately sets out to make sure that the Red October and her crew arrive safely in America. And so The Hunt for Red October begins.

Tom Clancy is a celebrated American author of spy novels. His award-winning books, set during and after the Cold War, portray a fascinating culture of intrigue and espionage, as well as cutting-edge military science. In addition to his own books, Clancy has given various ghost writers license to use his name for similar books, movies, and video games. A native of Baltimore, Clancy is a part-owner of the Orioles, and serves as Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs.

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The CIA's brilliant young analyst, Jack Ryan, thinks he knows the reason for the sudden Red Fleet operation: the Soviets' most valuable ship, the Red October, is attempting to defect to the United States.

The new ballistic-missile submarine's defection is high treason on an unprecedented scale and nearly the entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet has been ordered to find and destroy her at all costs. If the U.S. fleet can locate her first and get her safely to port, it will be the intelligence coup of all time.

The nerve-wracking hunt goes on for eighteen days as the Red October tries to elude her hunters across 4000 miles of ocean. The rousing climax is one of the most thrilling underwater scenes ever written.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Remarkable…intricate and nerve tingling.”

    Clive Cussler, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Gripping narrative…Navy buffs and thriller adepts have been mesmerized.”

    Time

  • “Flawless…frighteningly genuine.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “The Hunt for Red October is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy’s phenomenal career. A military thriller so accurate and convincing that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Its theme: the greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: the chase for a runaway top secret Russian missile sub.”

    Amazon.com

  • “This is Tom Clancy’s first book and the one that put him on the map. It’s also our first introduction to Jack Ryan, an analyst for the CIA. A Russian nuclear sub is en route to America and no one knows the intentions of its commander, Marko Ramius. Ryan believes he is trying to defect. The US government doesn’t believe him. What follows is about as intense a story as one will find.”

    Strand Magazine

  • A Strand Magazine Pick for 10 Top CIA Novels
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy | 2/18/2014

    " Really loved this series. The plot was so amazing and intricate but somewhat easy to follow. So worth reading again and again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 matteo | 2/17/2014

    " I branched out of my Grisham/Cussler/Crighton reading material and added Clancy for the first time since reading Rainbow Six freshman year of college. I don't know that I had ever actually read this one. It was good. Not exactly as I remember the movie, but a pretty fascinating read, especially considering it was written nearly 30 years ago. Then it is kind of amazing to think of the empire Clancy spawned in the 90s, from books to movies to video games. Now, on to Patriot Games. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 2/5/2014

    " The original Clancy and a great read. Some of his others are slightly better (Without Remorse) so I gave this one 4 stars but really is 4.5 stars. You can't go wrong if you pick this up and start reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 1/27/2014

    " A TC classic makes the senses focus on the edge reality of war, stresses of death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathanstray Stray | 1/26/2014

    " I like submarines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Kelly | 1/25/2014

    " Waaaaay better than the movie. Standard Clancy: exciting escapist reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 1/24/2014

    " Haven't read much Clancy but this one was worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Martin | 1/22/2014

    " I read this book a long time ago (back in junior high)...at the time, I admit I did not have the technical knowledge of sub capes or understanding of military tactics, but it was a cool read then...now, I am not so sure that I would dig Tom Clancy. The Jack Ryan series, at least the early works, were stronger then the later ones, where Jack Ryan eventually evolves into the President...that starts getting a little beyond belief...Jack Ryan as a CIA analyst...that was a little more plausiable "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ed Holden | 1/18/2014

    " Very disappointing. This turns the "book is better than the movie" rule upside down. So much was changed from the book to make the film, yet it's definitely best to stick with Alec Baldwin for this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave Ballance | 1/14/2014

    " Good book to kill time with. Very long though. The movie did it justice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecelia Tencza | 12/1/2013

    " Fantastic story with incredible detail and twists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M a y a | 11/23/2013

    " Interesting insights into submarine life and cold war maneuverings. Also very ra-ra USA. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reid | 10/26/2013

    " This was the first book I read by Clancy several years ago. One of my favorites and the movie with Sean Connery is just riveting. The book kept me on the edge of my chair. I read it in 5 days as I recall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie Carson | 10/19/2013

    " i like all the clancy books. what's most impressive about re-reading this one after having read the others is how many characters and storylines are introduced in this first book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 10/10/2013

    " Read it while I was in high school. Probably the first political thriller I'd ever read. Now the genre is one of my favorites :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pierce Presley | 10/8/2013

    " Probably the best Jack Ryan book, it's a thrill ride and almost Melville-esqe introduction to espionage and the sub fleet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 9/6/2013

    " Re-read. Movie was better, believe it or not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Couch | 6/16/2013

    " Great Cold War book. A lot of action and what I like about any book is to feel you are there...first time on a submarine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 4/23/2013

    " A favorite that was just as good the second time around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Binder | 2/26/2013

    " espionage classic "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 1/22/2013

    " I watched the movie before I read the book and later heard the book was better than the movie. So, since I enjoyed the movie, I went out and got the book. I liked the book better than the movie, but the actors in the movie did a good job of bringing the book to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Young | 12/31/2012

    " My father was the one who turned me onto Tom Clancy's writing and except for the fact that the technical stuff is way over my head .....he's amazing detail keeps you on the edge of your seat! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis | 12/14/2012

    " What an awesome book...So much better than the movie. I do not know what took me so long to read this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon Kreps | 12/12/2012

    " I know this is supposed to be fantastic- but it's a guy thing I think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenbren13 | 4/9/2012

    " This has the potential of being a page turning, but there is WAY to much detail about subs and the mechanics of how they work. it board me, but the plot was good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amed10 | 3/13/2012

    " Great Book .. too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will James | 3/5/2012

    " Definitely Clancy's best. Brilliant Cold War thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Damien Vasseur | 11/8/2011

    " Not my kind of genre, but enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ross Clague | 8/3/2011

    " Clancy at his best! Clancy's early novels were so good to read, though I've lost much interest in his latest novels. It becomes frustrating when authors 'lend' their names to others. You can't do wrong with early Clancy, even my 80yr old mother enjoys 'stealing' my books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kym | 7/22/2011

    " I liked that the book was technical. Being an engineer in the defense industry understood it easily. The reader was the best I've heard. I had some trouble following the story line, but would re-read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 wally | 7/7/2011

    " an entertaining read. subs. toured the u-505 at the museum in chicago, knew folk who served on subs, fast black and they never come back. good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 5/23/2011

    " Exciting. plot evolves quickly, loads of interesting characters, some meorable some not. Engages the reader with a balance of exposition and dialogue with excellent prose. Good narration in third person. Well structured as ever with Tom Clancy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andy | 5/20/2011

    " It was kind of long-winded and lost my interest early the writing was good but the story was boring! Not enough action. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 5/19/2011

    " Classic thriller and one of the best from this author. It started me reading him. Recommended to anyone, even if you don't like the genre, because it's so good you will get drawn into it anyhow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 5/13/2011

    " Entertaining read. I look forward to reading more Clancy. It's definitely something outside of my comfort zone, reading about a military setting etc. However, I learned a few things. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoffrey | 5/13/2011

    " A fabulous book that should be on the shelf of all-time great thrillers. I think this may have been his first; if so it was an amazing debut. The movie was just as good, largely because they stuck faithfully to the book. And who doesn't like Sean Connery in a role like that? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sassy | 5/10/2011

    " Read this book in the far distant past, but I remember it as a real thriller/page turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 5/7/2011

    " This was always a favorite thriller. Re-read it recently and found it lacking in the details because it was overkill by today's standards. And the technology is somewhat outdated by current books. But for it's time it was the best of this genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 4/26/2011

    " I named my dog after Tom Clancy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nneka | 4/20/2011

    " Brilliant. My first Tom Clancy book. Probably the best book I've read this year. Highly recommended "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 BamaGal (Naysa) | 4/16/2011

    " Probably the best book to movie of all time. This was one of the few movies I ever watched after reading the book that was faithful to the book version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicholas | 4/12/2011

    " Of all the Clancy novels, this is far and away my favorite. It has just the right balance of story over detail and expert timing in the shift between all the characters and situations and tactic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 4/5/2011

    " I haven't seen the movie... but I think this book would have been more exciting to read 25 years ago (closer to when it was written). Lots of outdated cultural and technological references. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tomc | 4/2/2011

    " Well, the movie is excellent and this is one of those cases where the book just has a lot more detail than could be fit into the 120minute movie. It's fascinating to read the details of naval protocol and order of battle as well as CIA assets and methods. Read the book the watch the movie. "

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About the Author
Author Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy (1947–2013) was the author of numerous #1 New York Times bestselling novels, including The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Red Rabbit, Teeth of the Tiger, and Red Storm Rising. His nonfiction work includes Into the Storm: A Study in Command, Every Man a Tiger, and Battle Ready. Clancy was the cofounder of Red Storm Entertainment, a video game developing company responsible for the successful Rainbow Six series, Ghost Recon series, Splinter Cell series, and others.

About the Narrator

J. Charles has narrated nearly one hundred audio books throughout his career. His readings include numerous titles by bestselling authors Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, and Jack Du Brul.