Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rest in Peace, Tom Clancy

I was highly disappointed this morning to hear on St. Louis news radio station KMOX that legendary military/spy drama writer Tom Clancy died yesterday at 66 years old.

He was one of my favorite writers, and his successful career included 17 number 1 bestselling books, which sold over 100 million copies. There was also a spin off video game series, and several hit movies based off of his books.

Despite the fact that his personal views could sometimes leak into the story lines for his books (he was a staunch Republican and a conservative Catholic, I've talked about his personal philosophies here and here), it never quite seemed to get in the way of the storytelling. I loved the way he could successful balance placing in the books intricate details about military ships and aircraft and vehicles, while still building enough suspense in the story to keep you reading for hours (and you can get lost for hours in a single book, his books tended to be around 1,000 pages each).

His recurring characters were also very well developed, and likable, even when you didn't agree with their views and actions sometimes. One of my favorite characters were the historian turned CIA analyst, turned President Jack Ryan. He was a man who was fully dedicated to his family, and wasn't afraid to make what he felt was the right decision for himself, or the country, despite the backlash. He was a man who knew what he believed and stuck to it.

If you aren't familiar with Tom Clancy's writings, the books that I felt were the best of his works were the books, The Hunt for Red October (his first novel, written in 1984), Red Rabbit, his two part series, Debt of Honor and Executive Orders (my tip: it's important to read Debt of Honor first, or you will be very lost), Rainbow Six, which spawned many of his most popular video games, and any books dealing with "The Campus", a secretive spy organization running an investment firm as it's cover.

I sure will miss him as an author, I'm still trying to find any books of his that I haven't read yet. Rest in peace, Tom Clancy, the world will miss you.

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