Critical Linking: Tom Clancy Edition


Tom Clancy died last Tuesday at the age of 66, so Critical Linking today is a all Tom Clancy-related.


Red October makes the pigboat of the motion picture “Das Boot” look like a Model T.

From The Washington Post’s original review of The Hunt for Red October.


Swanson, who now works at The Day, thinks that they sold about 75 copies of Clancy’s debut hardcover that day. The author was quite happy, especially since people had warned him not to expect a crowd and to be pleased if he sold a few books. “He was absolutely thrilled, and he rewarded that dedication by coming back for every book,” Swanson said.

Clancy did a signing for all of his books at the first bookstore to give him a shot. Great story.


Just tell the damned story.

Tom Clancy’s advice to writers.


Indeed, Clancy’s world, especially in the early books, was one of doers. One of the things that distinguishes his thrillers from those by Robert Ludlum, Vince Flynn or Lee Child is the constant juxtaposition of senior-level policy decisions — at the National Security Council or the CIA — with the highly trained, skillful and more realistic individuals implementing them. As a kid you might have trouble imagining yourself as the national security adviser — seriously, what does that guy do? But you could see how you might enlist in the Navy to drive a submarine or join the CIA to become an intelligence analyst.

I always liked this element of Clancy’s novels. The telescoping from the macro to the micro and back again was always a central pleasure.


It happened this week . . . the passing of a Cold Warrior who fought his battles on the printed page.

CBS Sunday Morning’s video remembrance of Mr. Clancy.



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