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📚🛬 Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood

Not a Book Report

I enjoy reflecting on the movies, TV, books and other media that I consume. I’m notoriously sentimental. This series documents the books that I read. These aren’t reviews or recommendations. Just a list. For me. Mostly so that I can page through what I read, where I was, and when.

Why did I read it?

I picked up a Tom Clancy book in the Stockholm Central train station a couple months ago and it made me remember how fun these can be. So I rewound in the series by about a decade and picked up at Book 10 in the run. I have been spending a lot of time wading through some complex, but interesting, challenges at the office - all good problems, but the kinds of things that leave me beat at the end of the day and ready to jump into a novel about spies and special forces for 30 minutes before I fall asleep.

What is it?

Category Value
Title Dead or Alive
Author Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood
Year Published 2011
Format Kindle
Pages 701
ISBN 0425263533

How did I read it?

Category Value
Date Started July 10, 2023
Date Finished August 11, 2023
Places Read Sintra

Notes - No Spoilers

  • This thing is a real product of the Obama era - and not in the best way. The thinly veiled criticisms of the in-universe President who replaced Jack Ryan Sr, specifically the complaints from the intelligence community, feel forced in an otherwise fun read.
  • By extension, the Sam Driscoll plot line feels ham-fisted.
  • Also, somewhat prescient (sadly) point in the book where the former Chief of Staff has to remind the elder Ryan that the press is not the enemy…
  • Texas gets a shout out! Specifically MD Anderson in Houston as having the best cancer treatment on earth.
  • Even though the book was only written 12 years ago, the impact of technology makes it feel outdaded already - which speaks more to the advances in encrypted communication, smart phones, and satellites/drones than the book itself.
  • Those complaints aside, and I’m spending more time on gripes than usual today, reading Tom Clancy books continues to be silly fun and wildly entertaining.
  • The technical descriptions of encryption were very, very good in a “ELI5” kind of way.
  • This was the first book I read on my new Kindle and the rumors are true - this is a pretty great reading experience. Bonus points that it allows me to leave my phone outside of the bedroom so that I don’t wind up scrolling Reddit for 2 hours instead of falling asleep.

Published Aug 11, 2023

Austinite in Lisbon. VP of Product at Cloudflare.