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The Bear and the Dragon

Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Series: Jack Ryan, Book 9, Jack Ryan (publication order), Book 8
Length: 42 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (488 ratings)

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Summary

President Jack Ryan faces a world crisis unlike any he has ever known. A high-level assassination attempt in Russia has the newly elected Ryan sending his most trusted eyes and ears - including antiterrorism specialist John Clark - to Moscow, for he fears the worst is yet to come. And he’s right. The attempt has left the already unstable Russia vulnerable to ambitious forces in China eager to fulfill their destiny. If they succeed, the world as we know it will never look the same. If they fail, the consequences may be unspeakable. Blending the exceptional realism and authenticity that are his hallmarks with intricate plotting, razor-sharp suspense and a remarkable cast of characters, this is Clancy at his best.

©2000 Rubicon Inc (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Clancy ... towers above other novelists in his ability to deliver geo-political, techo-military goods on a global scale...and here he's at the top of that war-gaming.' ( Publishers Weekly)
"Clancy is a natural storyteller." ( USA Today)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good tale spoilt by dreadful reading skills.

Prichard spoilt this with the most boring narration and voice that it has ever been my misfortune to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The ending had my heart pounding in my chest!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because it's a brilliantly detailed and twisting scenario that builds from small acts and unlinked conversations and espionage into huge mobilisations of national armies and tank battles and missiles and jet figher battles! A rip-roaring military adventure!

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Observing from different perspectives how perceived slights on one side can be the gravest insult, where as the other side is completely unaware they have done anything wrong, and the fates of nations rests of these mis-interpretations due to cultural differences.

Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I thought he was a very good narrator, I laughed my head off the first time he tried an english accent, very well done!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Thunder is building in the east...

Any additional comments?

Very bloody long! But that's what I got it for! I have an hour's drive each way on my commute every day! This book lasted a month. Thinking back now over all the events, it feels like I've read 3 or 4 different books; there are so many separate story lines going on which all get tied together at the end, exceptionally well done by Clancy.

Favourite character has got to be the old sniper, Pavel Petrovich Gogol

"Before I killed Germans with this rifle, now I will kill Chinese"

"Help me with my wolves boy!"

"I've never shot a General before"

3 people found this helpful

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Engaging to the end

Whilst many many hours this book was very engaging and had a complex story. I found it nicely detailed with rich information allowing me to be absorbed into the story line. Only the last chapter or so did I find rushed, but I suppose the story can't just keep going

Excellent narration

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great stuff

Great story was sorry to hear it end would recommend to anybody
thanks very much

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The book doesn't really start till chapter 43

it took so long for the exciting part to start and it felt like he was tired of writing the previous 50 chapters when the war really starts because within the following 10 chapters so much happed and it was lucky it was an audio book because I don't think I could read as much as 50 chapters till the real sh it the fan. but still a good listen overall

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dull but probably down to the narration.

A book I always wanted to read, and may well do one day, but I couldn’t spend 40+ hours listening to this. The tempo of the narrator fluctuates way too much. There are unnecessarily huge pauses and the inflections just makes it sound boring.
I’m sorry to say but the narrator just sounds like he’s got a mountain to get over in the reading of this and it feels like a chore to listen to.

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Clancy reigns supreme

As usual a slow burn start then strands knit together to make another brilliant book by Tom Clancy. Narration was excellent, very much in keeping with the books subject.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best author ever

Absolutely the best author ever sets up another thrilling story. John Patrick Ryan gets older but never stops thrilling. Just wish the reader could pronounce things better

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Worst Tom Clancy so far

The bare bones of this story is as good as you'd expect from a Jack Ryan novel.
unfortunately a large portion is made up of what seems to be pointless filler made to push what was considered an outdated political agenda when the book came out before the 3rd act, and this is a very long book.

President Ryan's stubborn inability to want to understand international politics and trade leads to causing WWIII, he had spent most of the novel complaining about how hard it is to be President in bad metaphors, with quite a heavy amount of anti Chinese slurs thrown about by the Jewish and black characters, (that fact mentioned often before each utterance, almost as if their ethnicity gives them a pass to being racist) Added to this are some cringe inducing sex scenes which distract from the interesting spy craft in both Russia and China.

Once the actual battle preparations are under way, and the main characters have stopped randomly ranting about women (the strongest female character to date is given the "weakness" of pregnancy for some anti-abortion ranting), "tree huggers" and welfare, this becomes the fast paced detail filled book of the type I have loved so far.

I'd be interested to see what an abridged version of this novel has to offer in future, as I might enjoy it more.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Clancy at his best

A brilliant if somewhat far fetched plot. Tom Clancy's president Ryan showing real life presidents how it should be done.

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  • P. M. Beckman
  • 31-07-17

So different from the others

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I'm quickly becoming a Tom Clancy fan and have been enjoying his stories. This one is an outlier. At first I thought it was just the dreadful narrator that made this book so disappointing, but its racism and sexism got to me too, though I can't speak for more than the first 8 hours when I gave up on it. Even if you are characterising an unpleasant person, there are some places you just don't go. For example, two characters speaking about president Mao's penchant for raping young girls, and one of them guffaws "Well at least it wasn't a boy".

Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Clancy again?

Yes, am already into one of the others.

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Prichard’s performances?

No never again. Flat, un-nuanced, and slow. He should get a job making destination recordings for a train company.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bear and the Dragon?

Other reviews say that the last few chapters are great. I'll have to take their word for it but if that's the case then collapse the first bit into a short into and go straight for the last few chapters!

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 15-06-14

Chinese egomaniac vs Jack Ryan

Would you listen to The Bear and the Dragon again? Why?

Yes I will in the future. Tom Clancy was a great author and listening to his stories as well just improves the reading experience.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nomuri is my favourite character in this novel. He is the reason that America led by Jack Ryan is able to prevent China from fulfilling their misguided destiny, and the sex scenes and flirting with his source are hilarious.