My Thoughts on Tom Clancy’s SSN

As you can probably tell, I’m getting around to reading dusty books, ones that have been sitting on the shelves for years. This one…well, it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. I don’t even know if there was a plot. Okay, there was…there always is.

Anyways, in this book, titled SSN, there’s been a coup in China. The country has violated a UN peace treaty, and China has seized the oil rich Spratly Islands. One sub, SSN-668 Cheyenne, has been sent towards the South China Sea to aid the UN.

This book, co-written by Martin Greenberg and Tom Clancy, reads like the recap of a video game simulator. Considering this is a Tom Clancy novel, chances are, it probably was. The sentiments of American supremacy are prevalent, harkening back to post Gulf War patriotism, and, although it’s action packed, it’s basically a constant narrative of submarine maneuvers.

Basically the story bounds from one scenario to the next. Each new situation is slightly more challenging than the prior excursion. It culminates with the Cheyenne Deep in the enemy’s lair. The American submarine’s brethren are not as lucky, but the 688 makes it through mission after mission, racking up an implausible kill total, and the protagonist craft returns to the West Coast unscathed.

There is very little dialogue, no character conflicts, and you hardly know anything about the crew- besides the fact that they are competent sailors.

On the other hand, info on ally and enemy ships, subs, aircraft and weapons…yeah I couldn’t retain all of the facts.

With all that said, the read wasn’t horrible. I think what kept it interesting, at least from a middle-aged man’s perspective, were the strategies employed for each new scenario. Whether they’d be used in real life…I have no clue.

Anyways, that’s my take. This book is so old, and probably not considered one of Clancy’s best, that it’s most likely out of print. But, I’m sure you could find it on Amazon.

Take Care and Safe Travels!

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