Sunday, November 21, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 98

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

Without Remorse
by Tom Clancy

WITHOUT REMORSEMost of Tom Clancy's military thriller novels tend to be told on a big scale. There's often some major threat to the United States, a threat which is dealt with a small group of people often lead by Clancy's Jack Ryan character. Not all of Clancy's novels fit this basic mold, but I'd say nine out of 10 of them do.

Not Without Remorse.

This is a personal tale, though it does span across decades and the world.

Enter Navy Seal John Kelly during the time of the Vietnam war. Six months after the death of his pregnant wife in an automobile accident, Kelly saves a prostitute from drug dealers. Only the drug dealers eventually find their vengeance, severely wounding Kelly with shotgun blasts and torturing and murdering the prostitute.

Eventually, Kelly heals, and helps himself to heal further through rigorous physical therapy. Then his own private war begins against the drug dealers.

But in all this mess, Kelly is called upon to return to Vietnam to recover several POWs.

The tale is more complex than that, but you get the gist of it. This is one of the more personal, though not autobiographical, tales from Tom Clancy and my favorite novel from him.

Clancy, who can write an action scene, is in top form in this book. His writing is tight, filled with action, though sometimes a little too righteous (though admittedly, this is a novel of personal vengeance, and you can't get much more righteous than that ... and Clancy's themes tend to be pretty righteous and self-righteous anyway).

Up next: Wizard's First Rule

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

My favorite book by him was Red Storm Rising, but it was very long. I've not read much of his stuff since.