The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October

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Tom Clancy's rich imagination and his remarkable grasp of the capabilities of advanced technology give this novel an amazing ring of authenticity. It is a thriller with a new twist, a "military procedural" with an ingenious, tightly woven plot that revolves around the defection of a Soviet nuclear submarine--the USSR's newest and most valuable ship, with its most trusted and skilled officer at the helm.

A deadly serious game of hide-and-seek is on. The entire Soviet Atlantic Fleet is ordered to hunt down the submarine and destroy her at all costs. The Americans are determined to find her first and get her safely to port in the intelligence coups of all time. But the Red October has a million square miles of ocean to hide in and a new silent propulsion system that is impossible to detect. Or is it?

Her daring and cunning captain, Marko Ramius, thinks so. The commander of the Soviet's fastest attack submarine, however, is confident that he will find his prey. And Bart Mancuso, the aggressive commander of the U.S. Navy attack sub the Dallas, is counting on the sensitive ears of his resourceful young sonar operator to identify Red October's unique sound print and track her down.

The nerve-wracking hunt goes on for eighteen days as the Red October stealthily eludes her hunters across 4,000 miles of ocean. But just short of Ramius's objective, his submarine converges with the others in a rousing climax that is one of the most thrilling underwater scenes ever written. Can the start of all-out war be avoided? The outcome is clear only on the very last pages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792765875
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2008
Series: Jack Ryan Series , #1
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Since the publication of The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy established an unrivalled position as the world's leading thriller writer, with a string of million-selling novels and three major Hollywood films to his name. He was also the author of SSN and the non-fiction books Submarine, Armoured Warfare, Fighter Wing and Marine, and the co-creator of the Op-Centre series.


Huntingtown, Maryland

Date of Birth:

April 12, 1947

Date of Death:

October 1, 2013

Place of Birth:

Baltimore, Maryland


Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland, 1965; B.A. in English, Loyola College, 1969

Read an Excerpt



The Red October

Captain First Rank Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy was dressed for the Arctic conditions normal to the Northern Fleet submarine base at Polyarnyy. Five layers of wool and oilskin enclosed him. A dirty harbor tug pushed his submarine’s bow around to the north, facing down the channel. The dock that had held his Red October for two interminable months was now a water-filled concrete box, one of the many specially built to shelter strategic missile submarines from the harsh elements. On its edge a collection of sailors and dockyard workers watched his ship sail in stolid Russian fashion, without a wave or a cheer.

“Engines ahead slow, Kamarov,” he ordered. The tug slid out of the way, and Ramius glanced aft to see the water stirring from the force of the twin bronze propellers. The tug’s commander waved. Ramius returned the gesture. The tug had done a simple job, but done it quickly and well. The Red October, a Typhoon-class sub, moved under her own power towards the main ship channel of the Kola Fjord.

“There’s Purga, Captain.” Gregoriy Kamarov pointed to the icebreaker that would escort them to sea. Ramius nodded. The two hours required to transit the channel would tax not his seamanship but his endurance. There was a cold north wind blowing, the only sort of north wind in this part of the world. Late autumn had been surprisingly mild, and scarcely any snow had fallen in an area that measures it in meters; then a week before a major winter storm had savaged the Murmansk coast, breaking pieces off the Arctic icepack. The icebreaker was no formality. The Purga would butt aside any ice that might have drifted overnight into the channel. It would not do at all for the Soviet Navy’s newest missile submarine to be damaged by an errant chunk of frozen water.

The water in the fjord was choppy, driven by the brisk wind. It began to lap over the October’s spherical bow, rolling back down the flat missile deck which lay before the towering black sail. The water was coated with the bilge oil of numberless ships, filth that would not evaporate in the low temperatures and that left a black ring on the rocky walls of the fjord as though from the bath of a slovenly giant. An altogether apt simile, Ramius thought. The Soviet giant cared little for the dirt it left on the face of the earth, he grumbled to himself. He had learned his seamanship as a boy on inshore fishing boats, and knew what it was to be in harmony with nature.

“Increase speed to one-third,” he said. Kamarov repeated his captain’s order over the bridge telephone. The water stirred more as the October moved astern of the Purga. Captain Lieutenant Kamarov was the ship’s navigator, his last duty station having been harbor pilot for the large combatant vessels based on both sides of the wide inlet. The two officers kept a weather eye on the armed icebreaker three hundred meters ahead. The Purga’s after deck had a handful of crewmen stomping about in the cold, one wearing the white apron of a ship’s cook. They wanted to witness the Red October’s first operational cruise, and besides, sailors will do almost anything to break the monotony of their duties.

Ordinarily it would have irritated Ramius to have his ship escorted out—the channel here was wide and deep—but not today. The ice was something to worry about. And so, for Ramius, was a great deal else.

“So, my Captain, again we go to sea to serve and protect the Rodina!” Captain Second Rank Ivan Yurievich Putin poked his head through the hatch—without permission, as usual—and clambered up the ladder with the awkwardness of a landsman. The tiny control station was already crowded enough with the captain, the navigator, and a mute lookout. Putin was the ship’s zampolit (political officer). Everything he did was to serve the Rodina (Motherland), a word that had mystical connotations to a Russian and, along with V. I. Lenin, was the Communist party’s substitute for a godhead.

“Indeed, Ivan,” Ramius replied with more good cheer than he felt. “Two weeks at sea. It is good to leave the dock. A seaman belongs at sea, not tied alongside, overrun with bureaucrats and workmen with dirty boots. And we will be warm.”

“You find this cold?” Putin asked incredulously.

For the hundredth time Ramius told himself that Putin was the perfect political officer. His voice was always too loud, his humor too affected. He never allowed a person to forget what he was. The perfect political officer, Putin was an easy man to fear.

“I have been in submarines too long, my friend. I grow accustomed to moderate temperatures and a stable deck under my feet.” Putin did not notice the veiled insult. He’d been assigned to submarines after his first tour on destroyers had been cut short by chronic seasickness—and perhaps because he did not resent the close confinement aboard submarines, something that many men cannot tolerate.

“Ah, Marko Aleksandrovich, in Gorkiy on a day like this, flowers bloom!”

“And what sort of flowers might those be, Comrade Political Officer?” Ramius surveyed the fjord through his binoculars. At noon the sun was barely over the southeast horizon, casting orange light and purple shadows along the rocky walls.

“Why, snow flowers, of course,” Putin said, laughing loudly. “On a day like this the faces of the children and the women glow pink, your breath trails behind you like a cloud, and the vodka tastes especially fine. Ah, to be in Gorkiy on a day like this!”

The bastard ought to work for Intourist, Ramius told himself, except that Gorkiy is a city closed to foreigners. He had been there twice. It had struck him as a typical Soviet city, full of ramshackle buildings, dirty streets, and ill-clad citizens. As it was in most Russian cities, winter was Gorkiy’s best season. The snow hid all the dirt. Ramius, half Lithuanian, had childhood memories of a better place, a coastal village whose Hanseatic origin had left rows of presentable buildings.

It was unusual for anyone other than a Great Russian to be aboard—much less command—a Soviet naval vessel. Marko’s father, Aleksandr Ramius, had been a hero of the Party, a dedicated, believing Communist who had served Stalin faithfully and well. When the Soviets first occupied Lithuania in 1940, the elder Ramius was instrumental in rounding up political dissidents, shop owners, priests, and anyone else who might have been troublesome to the new regime. All were shipped off to fates that now even Moscow could only guess at. When the Germans invaded a year later, Aleksandr fought heroically as a political commissar, and was later to distinguish himself in the Battle of Leningrad. In 1944 he returned to his native land with the spearhead of the Eleventh Guards Army to wreak bloody vengeance on those who had collaborated with the Germans or been suspected of such. Marko’s father had been a true Soviet hero—and Marko was deeply ashamed to be his son. His mother’s health had been broken during the endless siege of Leningrad. She died giving birth to him, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother in Lithuania while his father strutted through the Party Central Committee in Vilnius, awaiting his promotion to Moscow. He got that, too, and was a candidate member of the Politburo when his life was cut short by a heart attack.

Marko’s shame was not total. His father’s prominence had made his current goal a possibility, and Marko planned to wreak his own vengeance on the Soviet Union, enough, perhaps, to satisfy the thousands of his countrymen who had died before he was even born.

“Where we are going, Ivan Yurievich, it will be colder still.”

Putin clapped his captain’s shoulder. Was his affection feigned or real? Marko wondered. Probably real. Ramius was an honest man, and he recognized that this short, loud oaf did have some human feelings.

“Why is it, Comrade Captain, that you always seem glad to leave the Rodina and go to sea?”

Ramius smiled behind his binoculars. “A seaman has one country, Ivan Yurievich, but two wives. You never understand that. Now I go to my other wife, the cold, heartless one that owns my soul.” Ramius paused. The smile vanished. “My only wife, now.”

Putin was quiet for once, Marko noted. The political officer had been there, had cried real tears as the coffin of polished pine rolled into the cremation chamber. For Putin the death of Natalia Bogdanova Ramius had been a cause of grief, but beyond that the act of an uncaring God whose existence he regularly denied. For Ramius it had been a crime committed not by God but the State. An unnecessary, monstrous crime, one that demanded punishment.

“Ice.” The lookout pointed.

“Loose-pack ice, starboard side of the channel, or perhaps something calved off the east-side glacier. We’ll pass well clear,” Kamarov said.

“Captain!” The bridge speaker had a metallic voice. “Message from fleet headquarters.”

“Read it.”

“‘Exercise area clear. No enemy vessels in vicinity. Proceed as per orders. Signed, Korov, Fleet Commander.’”

“Acknowledged,” Ramius said. The speaker clicked off. “So, no Amerikantsi about?”

“You doubt the fleet commander?” Putin inquired.

“I hope he is correct,” Ramius replied, more sincerely than his political officer would appreciate. “But you remember our briefings.”

Putin shifted on his feet. Perhaps he was feeling the cold.

“Those American 688-class submarines, Ivan, the Los Angeleses. Remember what one of their officers told our spy? That they could sneak up on a whale and bugger it before it knew they were there? I wonder how the KGB got that bit of information. A beautiful Soviet agent, trained in the ways of the decadent West, too skinny, the way the imperialists like their women, blond hair…” The captain grunted amusement. “Probably the American officer was a boastful boy, trying to find a way to do something similar to our agent, no? And feeling his liquor, like most sailors. Still. The American Los Angeles class, and the new British Trafalgars, those we must guard against. They are a threat to us.”

“The Americans are good technicians, Comrade Captain,” Putin said, “but they are not giants. Their technology is not so awesome. Nasha lutcha,” he concluded. Ours is better.

Ramius nodded thoughtfully, thinking to himself that zampoliti really ought to know something about the ships they supervised, as mandated by Party doctrine.

“Ivan, didn’t the farmers around Gorkiy tell you it is the wolf you do not see that you must fear? But don’t be overly concerned. With this ship we will teach them a lesson, I think.”

“As I told the Main Political Administration,” Putin clapped Ramius’ shoulder again, “Red October is in the best of hands!”

Ramius and Kamarov both smiled at that. You son of a bitch! the captain thought, saying in front of my men that you must pass on my fitness to command! A man who could not command a rubber raft on a calm day! A pity you will not live to eat those words, Comrade Political Officer, and spend the rest of your life in the gulag for that misjudgment. It would almost be worth leaving you alive.

A few minutes later the chop began to pick up, making the submarine roll. The movement was accentuated by their height above the deck, and Putin made excuses to go below. Still a weak-legged sailor. Ramius shared the observation silently with Kamarov, who smiled agreement. Their unspoken contempt for the zampolit was a most un-Soviet thought.

The next hour passed quickly. The water grew rougher as they approached the open sea, and their icebreaker escort began to wallow on the swells. Ramius watched her with interest. He had never been on an icebreaker, his entire career having been in submarines. They were more comfortable, but also more dangerous. He was accustomed to the danger, though, and the years of experience would stand him in good stead now.

“Sea buoy in sight, Captain.” Kamarov pointed. The red lighted buoy was riding actively on the waves.

“Control room, what is the sounding?” Ramius asked over the bridge telephone.

“One hundred meters below the keel, Comrade Captain.”

“Increase speed to two-thirds, come left ten degrees.” Ramius looked at Kamarov. “Signal our course change to Purga, and hope he doesn’t turn the wrong way.”

Kamarov reached for the small blinker light stowed under the bridge coaming. The Red October began to accelerate slowly, her 30,000-ton bulk resisting the power of her engines. Presently the bow wave grew to a three-meter standing arc of water; man-made combers rolled down the missile deck, splitting against the front of the sail. The Purga altered course to starboard, allowing the submarine to pass well clear.

Ramius looked aft at the bluffs of the Kola Fjord. They had been carved to this shape millennia before by the remorseless pressure of towering glaciers. How many times in his twenty years of service with the Red Banner Northern Fleet had he looked at the wide, flat U-shape? This would be the last. One way or another, he’d never go back. Which way would it turn out? Ramius admitted to himself that he didn’t much care. Perhaps the stories his grandmother had taught him were true, about God and the reward for a good life. He hoped so—it would be good if Natalia were not truly dead. In any case, there was no turning back. He had left a letter in the last mailbag taken off before sailing. There was no going back after that.


Excerpted from "The Hunt for Red October"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Tom Clancy.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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From the Publisher

“Flawless…frighteningly genuine.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Remarkable…intricate and nerve tingling.”—Clive Cussler

“Gripping narrative…Navy buffs and thriller adepts have been mesmerized.”—Time

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The Hunt for Red October 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 397 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Hunt for Red October in this Clancy tells the story of a run away sub from Russia. This sub is special because it has a caterpillar drive, allows a submarine to move through the water silently and making it almost impossible to be tracked with sonar. Captain Marko Ramius is the man responsible for taking the Red October on the first voyage. His intent is different from that of his mission. He intends to take Red October and hand it over to the Americans. Clancy does a great job describing each of these events and I think that is his best equality of writing. Clancy is a great writer and everyone should give this book a chance.
Jrage More than 1 year ago
This guy is awesome! What a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great story which I've read several times.
theaderholds More than 1 year ago
Great Book
Cush More than 1 year ago
I watched the motion picture some years before I read this piece. As always, the book is better than the movie. Clancy's apparent knowledge of submarines, the Navy, the Military and the USSR is impressive. The details that he provides add to the authenticity of the story. I have not verified all of the information that he provides in this work. However, as a former submarine sailor, I appreciate his depiction of life aboard an undersea vessel. Clancy adheres to the plot and does not add any unnecessary elements. The novel reads more like a report on international relations than like a maritime drama. It is a well written and informative tale. However, the plot does not flow consistently throughout this composition. Some of the segments seem out of place. The storyline is excellent, but Clancy obviously places more emphasis on accuracy and detail. In fiction, this is not absolutely necessary. I give it 3-1/2 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Hunt for Red October is a NAVY/war/espionage thriller by "Tom Clancy". The Hunt for Red October was published in 1984 by "Naval Institute Press". This book is about Captain Ramius an elite Russian submarine captain who recently was put in command of a new CCCP Russian Typhoon-class Ballistic Missile Submarine. The submarine is unlike any other built in the world and has new structural features which worries the U.S. Jack Ryan (CIA analyst) is put in charge of finding out what the new mysterious submarine's purpose is. The book starts with Captain Marko Ramius leaving Russia to sea with his new prototype submarine and Jack Ryan heading to workThe Hunt for Red October is a NAVY/war/espionage thriller by "Tom Clancy". The Hunt for Red October was published in 1984 by "Naval Institute Press". This book is about Captain Ramius an elite Russian submarine captain who recently was put in command of a new CCCP Russian Typhoon-class Ballistic Missile Submarine. The submarine is unlike any other built in the world and has new structural features which worries the U.S. Jack Ryan (CIA analyst) is put in charge of finding out what the new mysterious submarine's purpose is. In my opinion this the best book of its kind and is unlike any other conceived in this genre. It is probably the most gripping novel of the Cold War. This book is for anyone who has ever picked up a book even remotely relating to mysteries/thrillers. The book is completely original and whenever someone makes a new book of this type they are compared to Tom Clancy's masterpiece. The setting is largely in the Atlantic Ocean and contains the massive network of submarines hunting the Red October. The events largely unfold on the USS Dallas(an LA-class fast attack submarine) and the Red October. Tom Clancy has meticulously made all facts relative to the story completely accurate complete with proper navy/air force jargon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is still Clancy's best!!!! I have read multiple Clancy books, and although they are all very good and recommended, nothing has topped The Hunt for Red October. The plot is masterfully crafted, and it is no wonder that this established Clancy's career as a writer. Highly recommended. 5+ stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I enjoyed the movie, the book goes into much more in terms of character and plot development. I especially like the parts that focus on the V.K. Konovalov, the Alfa-class sub which pursues the Typhoon-class Red October. Clancy KNOWS HIS STUFF, and he makes his protagonists worth caring about...even if he tends to puff them up a little to make each one an All-American hero. However, that might be just the thing we need these days...especially in light of world events over the past year-and-a-half.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want something with (sometimes) technical adventure, along with great strategy, you've found the best book! The book is about the defection of a Russian captain and his submarine to the US. Lots of detail, author Tom Clancy is a great writer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Clancy is one of my favorite authors and this is one of his best novels! I've found myself reading this book untill two in the morning. I never wanted to put this book down and neither will you. It's an intense, suspensful, mysterious, action-packed thriller! Clancy makes you feel like you're really on a submarine hearing the alarms going off and the torpedoes zooming through the ocean. Clancy puts so many twists, turns, and surprises that you won't know what will happen next! Clancy gives extream detail on the way a submarine operates, but doesn't confuse you in the proccess. And the government in his novel operates exactly the way they would in real life! This is a must read. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an excellent book that one can read multiple times and enjoy it every time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was most enjoyable to me especially because, I'm a submarine 'nut', & comparing the two I find most interesting. I rate the movie as one of the very best ever made, however,in this case, I consider the movie to be considerably better insofar as it eliminates some long-winded details. It varies some from the book, but not in a way that destroys the story. For a thoroughly enjoyable experience, read the book followed up quickly by the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book, I've read and it totally the best I've read in 14 years of my life
Pat-Powers More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book and loved reading it. It was well written and it sucks your right it. Its one of the books you will just want to keep reading. I still wonder how Tom Clancy can write so well.
Anonymous 8 months ago
rememder loving it when first reading it in the 90 sDidnt lose anything with time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is verry moist. I red this book in the sower and the book fell apart. So a note for Tom Clancy,make your books water proof pleas?
csayban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Any novel that in its wake produces an entire new genre and turns the author into one of the best-selling authors of all time must be viewed as one of the great stories written. The Cold War is long since over and it is still a gripping read. The art-book crowd might poo poo on this book, but fiction is about storytelling and Clancy tells a story in a way that had not been successful prior to this. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than the long list of techno-thriller writers are a testament to how powerful this book really was.
Doondeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still the best Clancy book
Mendoza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As someone who grew up during the cold war I appreciate the suspense and dread of the possibilities of this novel - at the time it was written.Clancy singlhandedly made me grow to enjoy the whole military government espionage genre. The Hunt For Red October is one of my favourite.Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision: the Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on....THis is a non stop adventure ride filled with suspense. As enjoyable read now as much as it was over 20 years ago.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Clancy's first novel (to my knowledge). As such, it ushers in an almost original genre, the military technothriller. This novel will have you awake well into the early morning hours, engrossed in the story. Clancy follows this effort up with 5-6 equally outstanding efforts before essentially running out of things to say.
CharlesMcCain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel launched Tom Clancy's career and to read it is to understand why. However, like all of Clancy's novels, you have to really be interested in the technology and tactics of the weapons depicted, in this case nuclear submarines. The initial print run on the book was 5,000 copies. Someone gave it President Reagan for Christmas in 1983 and he walked off his helicopter at the White House and held the book up and yelled to reporters¿"it's unputdownable." The book sold a million copies in hardback¿unheard of then and now¿and went through 21 printings.
AresofAmbition on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Captain Marko Ramius, the most brilliant commander of the Soviet Navy has made a fateful decision: he orders the Red October, the largest and most powerful submarine in the world with the power to wipe out hundreds of cities at once before silently submerging beneath the water without a trace, on a course towards the United States. Soviets insist that Ramius is mentally insane and attempts to fire his nuclear warheads on the United States, but maverick CIA agent Jack Ryan is convinced that Ramius is attempting to defect.This book is excellent at capturing the threat of nuclear armageddon that cast a dark shadow on Americans and Soviets alike throughout the latter half of the 20th century. I recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in the Cold War. The in-depth analysis of of the US Navy, CIA, and submarine technology of the US and Soviet fleets might bore some readers, but you will be hardpressed to find any novel that captures these more realistically. The Pentagon itself has commended Tom Clancy for his accurate depiction of the US Navy, and has agreed to help research every novel Clancy has written since.Captain Marko Ramius is arguably the novel's main character as well as it's most interesting character. He is the person who is at the center of every plot twist the novel takes, and it is his actions that dictate the pace of the story. Captain Bart Mancuso, the no-nonsense yet likeable commanding officer of the USS Dallas, a US attack submarine, makes for a worthy foe for Ramius in the novel, as Jack Ryan, the lone CIA agent convinced of his idea, acts as the go-between the reader and the other characters. Despite him being surrounded constantly by the upper echelons of the US Government, he is never seems to fit in, which makes him more relatable in the eye of the reader.The action is unique, and Clancy succeeds in creating great tension in an ultimate clash of submarines at the climax of the novel, a feat that is very difficult to accomplish.
mausergem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marko Ramius, a senior USSR submarine captain, is unhappy with his government after his wife's death and decides to defect to America along with his submarine , Red October. The Russians find it out and send their entire navy fleet of shops and submarines to hunt him down. The Americans guess Ramius' intention and try to help him and succeed.The novel reads like an itinerary of the American military prowess. A serious joke of a book.