Tom Clancy's SSN - A Book Review

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The first thing you need to know about this Tom Clancy's SSN is the one thing I had to learn the hard way. Contrary to what the title says, this is NOT a Tom Clancy book. Some toolbag author supposedly cowrote it and then Tom Clancy passed by, took a shit on the manuscript, and called it "cowritten". I've seen Call Of Duty fanfiction that sounds more Clancy than this book. Suffice to say, it appears that the whole theme of the book is disparaging disappointment.

The second thing you need to know about SSN is that it's written based on a GAME. And while there are books that actually pull the transition off, good for them, bad for this book. I can't say much about the SSN game because I never played it, but I was expecting a lot more from this book - being that I've been wanting to read it since I was in third year highschool.

The story starts with a very interesting premise. What if China went to war with the US? Nevermind how ridiculous this sounds now (as it did before) but who wouldn't want to see that? Keep in mind that this was written back in the 90s, just before the cold war ended, long before China started catching up on the US military program through a systematic nationwider version of "may I copy your homework". The result is pretty obvious. America triumhps effortlessly and rapes practically every piece of military unit that China has with just ONE submarine. It's so ridiculous at points you'd think it's written as substitute porn for hardcore military enthusiasts. The whole China/US battle is just slightly a notch above the premise of America invading Somaliland pirate coves.

The story is centered on Captain Mack, who, unfortunately, is the only named person in the WHOLE FUCKING AMERICAN NAVY. By comparison, a single chapter of the Chinese story Three Kingdoms which is the oldest novel in existence, has 20 characters with different names. Everybody else is named after their function and their ranks, and possess personalities no further than that of their position in the submarine. SSN chronicles the captain and his ships missions done throughout the war on several ridiculous rambo-style missions (which is kind of understandable since it's a game) and does not really go far into detailing the US-China war itself.

Most of the narratives sounds like it was written as though whoever wrote it really really hated the game, submarines, and fiction in general. Parts of it, no, a good healthy portion of the book is practically a slightly embelished activity log of somebody who knows half shit about submarines. To make things worse, the enemies are about as poorly constructed as the main storyline, most of them acting mindlessly as though they've never received even the most basic of training or even a hint of common sense. The way the Chinese navy got portayed in this story is so poor, you might as well call it blatantly racist. There's not a drop of Chinese blood in my veins but hell, even I got offended.

I read this book only during the times I had to take a dump, so I read slowly - and it was like watching a very slowly unfolding trainwreck that made me cringe every other chapter. The writing quality is rudimentary, repetitive and absolutely horrible to the mental facilities. Dialogue sounds like it's being spat at by one of those Command and Conquer units, limited to only one or two unique lines. I tried skipping an entire chapter and found nothing of value was lost. As I've said earlier, I've seen far better work in the annals of the internet. Writing quality-wise, this has got to be the worst book that I have read in many many years.

As a final word, the only way I can recommend this is if you have brain cancer and the only way for you to survive is to kill enough of your gray matter cells as fast as possible. At a little over 350 pages, this piece of bajongo shit is a better alternative than the much more elaborated and painfully meandering Twilight series.

Verdict: Fuck you Tom Clancy you fucking sellout sunnovabitch. We loved Rainbow Six and Red October but this is just too much to put up with.


Anonymous said...

awesome review :)

Anonymous said...

Wah, wah, wah. Whiny bitch.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it. Love Tom Clancy's work.


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