Rainbow Six

Rainbow Six

by Tom Clancy

Narrated by Michael Prichard

Unabridged — 35 hours, 55 minutes

Rainbow Six

Rainbow Six

by Tom Clancy

Narrated by Michael Prichard

Unabridged — 35 hours, 55 minutes

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Over the course of nine novels,*Tom Clancy's genius for big, compelling plots and his natural narrative gift*have mesmerized hundreds of millions of readers and established him as one of the preeminent storytellers of our time.*Rainbow Six, however, goes beyond anything he has done before.

At its heart is John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL of Without Remorse, a master of secret operational missions, and newly named the head of an international task force dedicated to combating terrorism. Clark is looking forward to sinking his teeth into a new mission, but the opportunities start coming faster than anyone could have expected; an incident at a Swiss bank, the kidnapping of an international trader in Germany, a**terrible raid on an amusement park in Spain.

Each episode seems separate, yet the timing disturbs Clark.**Is there a connection?**He tries to figure out where all this activity is heading, but there is no way to predict the real threat: a group of terrorists like none the world has ever encountered, a group so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on this earth as we know it.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Tom Clancy has scored a big hit with his new blockbuster, Rainbow Six. Clancy is known for his epic techno-thrillers, often about a larger-than-life hero against a larger-than-life threat to humanity or, at the very least, the American way. The Hunt for Red October established him as one of the best-selling writers of the century and soon made his major hero, Jack Ryan, a household name among Clancy enthusiasts. But also appearing in some of the Ryan books is John Clark. John is a more ambiguous hero of Clancy's, a haunted man who delves into an even darker side of humanity than Jack Ryan does.

Clark is at the center of Rainbow Six, a complex, multi-layered story of an elite team of international antiterrorists. Clark and his buddies do not shy away from using violence as a means of resolving issues with terrorists, and this gives Six something of a dark edge to it. Clancy handles all this superbly, and crosses over into the horror-thriller area with his various subplots. There are a ton of subplots, but by the end of this novel, they're all interwoven like lost strands of some grand tapestry.

The story opens with a terrorist hijacking. Clark is an ex-Navy SEAL, a man who is quick to make decisions and to take the toughest but quickest road to success. He and a couple of his men are onboard the jet as the terrorists redirect the plane to an area of Spain. The terrorists want the Spanish ambassador, who was supposed to be on board, but it turns out that only his wife is there. They are doomed from the start, as they are far too amateurish forJohnClark and the men of Rainbow Six. In short order, Clark and his men have the jet back in the hands of its rightful pilot and are heading for their next destination, the Rainbow Six headquarters in England. Rainbow Six is a top-secret group that works internationally and consists of highly skilled men in excellent physical and mental shape who are up to the task of being superheroes of sorts. Clark's son-in-law, Ding Chavez, is also part of the crew.

Meanwhile, someone is taking in homeless drunks and giving them a comfortable setting in which to live, as well as all the expensive liquor they could desire. But something is in the booze, something that might just be a key to unveiling a terrifying experiment. A Russian assassin is also on the loose, overseeing presumed terrorist operations that seem to involve huge superpowers. When the next international incident occurs, Clark and his men are ready to go in.

This time, it's a Swiss bank. Several men are holding hostages at the bank, and Rainbow Six gets in despite all obstacles. To protect the lives of the hostages, the good guys kill the robbers. But are they really robbers? Did whoever is behind the scenes of these terrorist activities intend for Rainbow Six to eliminate these men? The questions and complexities grow when we learn of top-secret experiments with drugs that may just break the genetic code.

As Clark and his team get closer to what may be an international terrorist conspiracy, they learn that even the highest-placed officials in the halls of Washington, D.C., and the lowliest of assassins have more in common than at first meets the eye. Good and evil cross over into each other for Clark as he struggles to set right the imbalance of the world of terrorism.

Clancy has penned a thrilling novel, full of paranoia, intrigue, terror, and tension that you can cut with a knife. His millions of fans, as well as newcomers to the genre, will eat this one up, and deservedly so! Highly recommended.

—Douglas Clegg


. . .Clancy . . .clearly knows his stuff. . . .It may be decoder-ring literature, but within the genre, there's no doubt that Clancy is king.
Entertainment Weekly

Mark Athitakis

In some respects, Tom Clancy isn't terribly different from Don DeLillo. Both are deeply concerned with the secret workings of the world -- the covert operations, shadow conspiracies and hidden histories that make things twirl whether we like it or not. In fact, like DeLillo's White Noise, the plot of Clancy's 10th novel, Rainbow Six, revolves around an "airborne toxic event." An international band of eco-terrorists funded by a pharmaceutical company CEO are plotting to unleash a deadly Ebola-like virus upon the entire world.

These evil-doers do a lot of plotting. It's not until about halfway through Clancy's 700-page tome that their nefarious plan finally reveals itself in full: Humans are doing so much damage to the planet that most of the population must be removed to let Mother Earth heal herself. (And of course, it's a plot that stretches all the way to the White House.) DeLillo could probably fill a few hundred intriguing pages sorting through the moral rot that presents itself here, but Clancy is a more literal -- and more hero-minded -- writer. His books aren't so much about evil as they are about the military's unstoppable ingenuity when it comes to preventing major bummers like this man-made plague. Which is probably why Rainbow Six has a video game tie-in, and Underworld doesn't.

The hero of Clancy's earlier novels, Jack Ryan, is absent here, but Rainbow Six offers another familiar face in Jack Clark, who's called upon to head Rainbow, an ultra-secret international anti-terrorist commando team based in England. (Clark is "Rainbow Six," hence the title.)

Rainbow Six is breezy reading, even by Clancy standards. The long action sequences in the book's early sections are ostensibly there as a way for the eco-terrorists to test Rainbow's mettle, but it feels more like page-padding. You read on, not in suspense, but in the hope that something -- anything -- less contrived will happen. In one sequence, an IRA splinter group discovers Rainbow's home base, where a Rainbow member's wife, who's nine months pregnant, is staying. (Think they'll meet up?) The book is almost certainly Clancy's most mean-spirited work to date. An unapologetic pro-military conservative, Clancy spews pages of invective against tree huggers of the Earth First!/Discovery Channel/Sierra Club ilk. Even the KGB looks better than environmentalists, who kidnap people off the streets to test their "Shiva" virus before unleashing it on the masses.

Except for the introduction of a people-finding device that reads enemies' heartbeats in the field (Clancy claims it exists), there are no new techno-marvels in Rainbow Six. And the author stretches his narrative powers so thin and voices his politics so stridently that the results are flimsy even by his own standards. It's no wonder Clancy has so much contempt for environmentalists: Anti-logging policies mean less paper for his outsize books. But the joke's on Clancy. Rainbow Six is recyclable. -- Salon

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Two years ago, Executive Orders, which thrust Jack Ryan into the Oval Office, raised the bar for its immensely popular author. This first Clancy hardcover since then, though a ripping read, matches its predecessor neither in complexity nor intensity nor even, at 752 pages, length, despite a strong premise and some world-class action sequences.

Instead of everyman Ryan, its lead is the more shadowed John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL vigilante of Without Remorse who has appeared in several Ryan adventures. Clark now heads Rainbow Six, an international special-ops anti-terrorist strike force -- and, despite the novelty of the conceit, that's a problem, as the profusion of protagonists, though sharply drawn (including, most notably, "Ding" Chavez, Clark's longtime protege), deprives the book of the sort of strong central character that has given Clancy's previous novels such heart. The story opens vigorously if arbitrarily, with an attempted airline hijacking foiled by Clark and Chavez, who happen to be on the plane. After that action sequence, the duo and others train at Rainbow Headquarters outside London, then leap into the fray against terrorists who have seized a bank in Bern, Switzerland. And so the pattern of the narrative is set: action sequence, interlude, action sequence, interlude, etc., giving it the structure and pace of a computer game. A major subplot involving bioterrorism that evolves into an overarching plotline syncopates that pattern, though Clancy's choice of environmentalists as his prime villains will strike some readers as odd.

All of Clancy's fans, however, will revel in the writer's continued mastery at action writing; Rainbow's engagements, which occupy the bulk of the novel, are immensely suspenseful, breathtaking combos of expertly detailed combat and primal emotion. While not Clancy's best, then, his 10th hardcover will catapult to the top of bestseller lists -- and for good reason.

Entertainment Weekly

. . .Clancy . . .clearly knows his stuff. . . .It may be decoder-ring literature, but within the genre, there's no doubt that Clancy is king.

Kirkus Reviews

...Clancy's labyrinthine new behemoth of demonic perils arrived too late for a full review. John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL and master of secret operational missions from several earlier Clancy novels, including 1993's Without Remorse, is now "Rainbow Six" and mastering CIA strike teams out to fight terrorists around the world. At first, an incident at a Swiss bank, the kidnaping of an international trader in Germany, and a ghastly raid on an amusement park don't seem related. But the charged clouds of good and evil build toward a typically foreshadowed and explosive Clancy finish. Namely, a supremely powerful biotech company is led by a bonkers (yet well-spoken) environmentalist with the vision for a Project even more luminously insane than any frothy megaloid plot hatched by James Bond's archenemy SPECTRE: a murderous ecoproject that may get underway during the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, and involve the destruction of almost all human life, merely to insure the survival and greater safety of Nature itself. No disappointments here, but an unusually sumptuous cut of steak can't hide the familiarity of the menu. Book-of-the-Month Club main selection

From the Publisher

Praise for Rainbow Six

“Action-packed.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping...bolt-action mayhem.”—People

“A thrill ride.”—USA Today
“Mr. Clancy is in his element...When the door blows open and the shooting starts, nobody does it better.”—The Dallas Morning News

More Praise for Tom Clancy

“He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A brilliant describer of events.”—The Washington Post

“No one can equal his talent for making military electronics and engineering intelligible and exciting...He remains the best!”—Houston Chronicle

Product Details

BN ID: 2940171961664
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 12/07/2010
Series: John Clark Series , #2
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 379,852

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Excerpted from "Rainbow Six"
by .
Copyright © 1999 Tom Clancy.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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