Tom Clancy Died (1947 – 2013)

October 2nd, 2013 // 29 Comments
Tom Clancy in a field wearing a salmon colored polo sunglasses and USS baseball hat

Depending on what age you are, you know the name Tom Clancy from either his expansive library of meticulously detailed military/espionage novels or the several video games series bearing his name. I fall squarely in the former category (Ask me to name some of my all time favorite books and/or movies, and you’ll hear the words Clear and Present Danger.) though I did dabble with the latter after plunking my after-school paycheck on the very first Rainbow Six for our old family Compaq. The man was an icon if you were a bookish kid like myself who when given a choice between KB Toys or Waldenbooks during a trip to the mall chose Waldenbooks almost every time. Granted, our politics completely differ, and this site is a testament to my inability to not spout off, but for Tom Clancy who died yesterday in Baltimore, I’ll let nostalgia win because the man wrote some great American novels. He captured a time and a history and even a mindset of this country, for better or worse, in dense stacks of pulp that Americans today would rather be spoonfed NCIS than pick up and read.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Clancy


  1. Edvard Munch

    The man was the first Tea Partier. Glad he’s dead.

  2. TheMoreYouKnow

    Well said Mike, all of it. I don’t agree with his politics either but his legacy speaks for itself. The Hunt for Red October will always hold a special place in my heart, and the quality of his work was pretty much the one thing my late grandfather and I ever agreed on. RIP.

  3. Kodos

    Some real greatness.

    I’m glad World War 3 was fought (several times) in the pages of his epic tomes, instead of real life.

    And he didn’t need WikiLeaks, either.


  4. Disco Dave

    The man wrote some great books with storylines that had numerous interesting subplots.

    I was hoping Hollywood would get around to do an above average adaption of Rainbow Six.

  5. Anyone know if Tom Clancy gave his blessing when they cast Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan? Cause if he did, that would be my only gripe with him. RIP Mr. Clancy, you were our generation’s Dilios.

  6. Some of my favourite books were written by him:

    Red Storm Rising
    Rainbow Six
    Hunt for Red October
    So many more…


  7. Cock Dr

    “Sum of All Fears” was a great yarn.

  8. Jane Doe

    Did I just read a classy obit on thesuperfical? Wow, I’m impressed.

    Did I just read a classless entry on the message board? I’m not surprised.

  9. Sometimes I think Fish and I are the same person. I’m a little older (I think) but the first ‘grown up’ book I ever read was Hunt for Red October. The best part: he used the word ‘fuck’. That was awesome to a 12 year old boy.

  10. Red Storm Rising was the shit when I was about 15. That run from “Red October” to “Without Remorse” was great fun.

  11. Frank Burns

    Will Smathers wasn’t the most experienced funeral director in town, but when it came to selecting coffins, he knew the selections better than any of them. Starting off in construction, Smathers had found his way into architecture, keeping his weekends busy with a woodworking hobby that relied on basic chisels, hammers, and the occasional jigsaw. After pulling aside the local mortuary director to point out flaws in some display coffins during an acquaintance’s funeral, Smathers became de facto quality control for the mortuary, and then after some personnel disruptions and the collapse of the housing market, a funeral director. Now asked to consult on the proper coffin for Tom Clancy, Smathers drew from a wealth of hidden knowledge, hard-earned in the field and at home. This funeral wouldn’t have any chunky metal bronze casket or stainless steel that looked like a refrigerator. No, Smathers knew, this casket had to be wood, and that wood had to be cherry. And not just any cherry, but from the same orchard that supplied the Yoshino cherry trees to Hains Point and the Washington Monument.

    • palmtreebev

      Frank Burns, that had to be the best and most appreciated thing you could ever have written about Tom Clancy’s passing. All of the internets to you today, sir.

  12. wally

    Although I usually don’t speak ill of the dead, I’ll make an exception in this case, while noting that I can say nothing bad about his personal character, since I have no basis for that: he was an absolutely *terrible* writer, one of the worst I’ve ever read. I mean, can you read this without either laughing out loud in disbelief and/or cringing with embarrassment for the author? —

    • I really tried, but had to give it up at “BOOM!”

      No surprise that the posters here who loved his books turn out to have been 12-15 years old when they read them.

      • You are not incorrect.

      • I was a WaldenBooks Saturday Mall Orphan myself, so I get the enduring kid-love, especially if the books were your first foray into “grown up” fiction. Being somewhat older than you I found them hideously clunky, robotic and uniformly badly written, and about as enthralling as undergoing a root canal. (“Damn,” Cathy said gruffly.)

        I went for Elmore Leonard, every damn time.

      • Once I got older, I tried to read one of his later ones in the Jack Ryan series. It just struck me as macho posturing crap. But the good feelings I have from those early days are probably the reason I don’t re-read these books ever.

    • Also, it’s humerus when you’re talking about a 9mm slug damaging someone’s shoulder anatomy. “Humorous” is the result of your (and your publisher’s) overreliance on Spell Check.

  13. cc

    They did some decent movie versions of his books, which is something of an accomplishment. Hopefully if they do more they’ll maintain at least a reasonably standard…you know, nothing like Stephen King adaptations.

  14. I personally don’t give a fuck about his personal politics but damn his novels were exciting to me and the movies quite enjoyable imo.
    The shit they serve out to the masses are so incorrect in-terms of military accuracy and so full of cgi I puke or cringe when I find out it took 100+ millions to make shit. All transformers, Battleship and Pearl Harbor ? God ,my friends grandfather told us that the Japs actually were strafing civilians in PH. As if a Jap pilot would wave at kids b4 a bombing run?
    Fuck you Hollywood very much!

  15. Deacon Jones

    Mna, my old man loved Jack Ryan!

    What did he die from, i cant find it anywhere

  16. RIP Tom Clancy.

  17. tlmck

    Rainbow 6 and Splinter Cell. Two of the best vid game series ever.

  18. Laredo

    For me, they killed splinter cell by not casting Ironside for the latest game.

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