Tom Clancy died today, too young at 66. He was a towering author of technically detailed espionage and military thrillers spanning three decades. I was particularly impressed with his character Jack Ryan, with whom I was in love even before Hollywood’s depiction with the likes of Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Alec Baldwin. The guy knew how to write a thriller, and I had a hard time putting down the books before I came to the end. What impressed me the most was his ability not only to tell a story, but to keep it relevant to the current time, moving seamlessly from the Cold War to the current problems in the Middle East. I suspect his novels didn’t attract a wide swath of women readers; they are of the sort that appeals to men. Clancy himself presented as a macho type with aviator glasses. But my father, who was an omnivorous reader, introduced me to his books and said I would like them. I did. But then, almost everything my Dad recommended, I liked. Imagine reading The Odyssey at age eight. I did and liked it.
His last book, Command Authority, comes out on December 3rd. I’ll probably pre-order it.