Why did I read it?
After finishing The Hunt for Red October, I decided to begin a Tom Clancy odyssey starting with his next book Red Storm Rising.
What's it all about?
Islamic terrorists destroy a major Soviet oil production facility. Soviet oil production rates are severely damaged and anticipating that the US may take the opportunity to apply pressure with the Soviet military under supplied, the Soviets plan to invade the Persian Gulf to seize oil. First, the KGB frames Germany for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin to permit an invasion of West Germany and war with NATO. The story of what in reality becomes the Third World War is told from both sides across Europe and the North Atlantic.
Should you read it?
Reading Red Storm Rising is like reading an account of a 20th century game of Risk taking place across Europe on land, in the air and on the seas. Tank divisions meet in West Germany, Iceland is fought over for control of the Atlantic as US convoys try to cross it to support the NATO cause. Unfortunately, once Clancy has narrated the war's outset, beginning with the Soviet KGB operation and culminating with US intelligence realising a Soviet offensive is coming, the story becomes less of a thriller and more of detailed story of modern day warfare seriously lacking in intrigue. Over 800 pages long in some editions, to be honest it became a bit of a chore towards the end. Only at the end does the story really return from the battlefield and become more interesting, even if I did find the ending slightly unfulfilling.