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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

The Sum of all Fears

By Tom Clancy
Berkley Books, 914 pp, 1991

I know I'm about ten years behind the Clancy books, and am probably the last person in the known world to read this book. The subsequent Jack Ryan books are sitting on my bookshelf and patiently waiting their turn.

Based on this one, they may move up in line. This was a wonderful book, typical Clancy, but with higher stakes. Clancy is a master of plot, weaving seemingly disconnected and random strands until he ties it all together. I could hardly put the book down during the last two hundred pages.

Of course, the events of September 11 show us that not even Clancy can keep up with reality. But unlike in this book, I think we now have a serious president who won't let ego or pride get in his way. If only President Fowler were so inclined, we wouldn't need Jack Ryan's heroics!

But then we wouldn't have the book, and that would be a pity.

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