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Executive Orders

A Novel
Written by: Tom Clancy
Narrated by: Michael Prichard
Length: 51 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Debt of Honor ends as Jack Ryan is confirmed vice president minutes before a mammoth act of terrorism kills the President, most of his cabinet, all but a few members of Congress, the entire Supreme Court and all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Suddenly Ryan is President, which is where Executive Orders begins.

Ryan's responsibilities crush in on him. Where should he begin? He must calm a nation, pacify world leaders, arrange a massive funeral -- while he rebuilds a government as quickly as possible. But that's not all. Enemies abroad and at home see opportunities, and they'll soon present President Ryan with an unimaginable crisis. How will he tackle his greatest challenge ever?

©2009 Tom Clancy (P)2010 Random House

What the critics say

“What sets this book apart is that for the first time, Clancy has gotten inside Jack Ryan's head, finally letting us see the real person behind the super-action hero.” (Boston Globe)

 “A wild ride...Clancy's storytelling gifts are unmatched in the political/military thriller genre. Executive Orders has everything the Tom Clancy lover needs: An unholy pantheon of foreign heads of state, bomber militia men, sleeper assassins, kidnapping terrorists, good men gone bad and bad men gone worse.” (San Francisco Chronicle

“[Clancy's] in top form. Executive Orders is more complex, more thoughtful, more exciting than anything he's written before.” (Detroit News)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

# Audible 1

I'm new to audible & I'm still learning how to pic books that I like. I've never been a reader, so I'm completely in the dark.
I choose Executive Orders mainly because of the length & the author of the book. I have come to realize that I did not like this book at all. I found it a struggle to return to listening to this title. I found it hard to go where the narrator wanted me to go. Plus the length is not helpful at all. I think that I would like this series, where Ryan is in the field & not in the white house. I think of him as a man o action, not a politician. I'm now thinking, stories around the 12 to 16 hr. length would be better for myself. I can't really say anything more, because I only got through about 1/5th of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Techno-thriller

I enjoyed this one. Not Clancy's best work...a little heavy on the political intrigue side, but good just the same. Worth a listen

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A tedious lecture on the superiority of America.

For me, this book marks the point where author Tom Clancy jumped the shark.


It's a tedious lecture on the superiority of all things American. At several points he stops telling the story, and launches into what can only be described as an ad for the"American way"

Skip it if at all possible..

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • LEWISTON, IDAHO, United States
  • 2012-05-10

Don't some of us wish Jack ryan was real?

I would hesitate to name any single one of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan books as my favorite, but if I did Executive Orders would probably be it. What an excellent book! When I started reading this series sometime in the late 80's it never dawned on me that Jack Ryan would ever become president. Still Clancy comes up with a plausible if unlikely sequence of events to propel Jack Ryan into the presidency of the United States. My only problem with the whole scenario is that I find it hard to believe that there are any politicians with as much common sense as Jack Ryan demonstrates in this book. Prichard does a good job as narrator of this book although there might be some better choices for narrator. Some people don't care for the detail that Clancy puts into his books or the length of this book in particular. I don't understand that myself. To my way of thinking I got this audio book for entertainment. Isn't 51 hours of entertainment better than 5 hours of entertainment? Would I recommend this book? I sure would!

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brodie
  • Mornington, Australia
  • 2011-01-26

Long labour of listening

A monster of a book but worth every cent, this Jack Ryan tale is woven into a great tapestry. The charicters are sublime and they all work. His knowledge on warfare, be it truth or fiction, is of the highest calibre. If you only get one Clancy, get this one but be warned, it is very hard to turn off. Ideal for when you have a week of painting the house or you are confined to quarters!

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph K. Dominic
  • 2011-12-13

Classic Tom Clancey

I have been listening to the complete "Ryanverse" from start to finish. The different readers have different styles but I haven't had an issue with either.

Admittedly its a shock switching from one to another after listening for 40-50 hours but after an hour or so it doesn't matter to me. If it was possible to pick one I would stick with one but so it goes. The Clancy books are a good read or a good listen and that upwards of 55 hours you do get your moneys worth.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carla
  • United States
  • 2013-04-15

Entertaining story, Poor narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I am generally impressed with audio books from Audible.com - the narrators are well chosen and well-directed, but not this one. Clancy's books have so much material that I usually like getting them as audiobooks as listening to the story makes me slow down and read the entire book.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Needs a different narrator.

What didn’t you like about Michael Prichard’s performance?

He's barely better than a computer generated voice. He doesn't used much inflection, he doesn't do anything to help you cue into which character is speaking and his performance does not advance the story in this book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ray
  • Rockhampton, Australia
  • 2013-02-03

A highly improbable scenario made plausible!

I think it is fair to say that Tom Clancy's tales would not be for everyone! For starters, there's the sheer volume of listening that's required! And then the stories themselves are woven together with many threads. This particular story seems so completely improbable that it is a tribute both to Tom's lively imagination and the Narrator, Michael Pritchard's delivery, that the end result is a story which seems completely plausible!
I'm sure others would disagree on that point but I found the descriptions of the various phases of the book quite believable. Tom's writing style has always appealed to me. His account of the battle phases carry comprehensive details of the weaponry used & it's effects. It could all be made up or it could be meticulously researched but the end result is beyond question!
If you drive a lot, like I do, or you simply have the time necessary for such a story, then I would recommend it!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J Tyler
  • 2015-11-24

Too much of a good thing

Love Tom Clancy, but I really struggled to get through this monster of a book. This story undoubtedly lost many readers due to the gargantuan heaps of minutiae which is often repetitive. I got the impression at one time that Clancy was getting paid by the word. I didn't need to know the thread count of the linen napkins in the KLM first class passenger cabin. It was just way too much. At over 50 hours of audio (900 pages, half a million words the weight of a sack of sugar in hard cover), this book was simply too long. Most Clancy books I have read are less than half that long. The abridged version is five hours long. This tells us that the original is way too long and the story can be told in a much more compressed time frame.

After reading this book, I think I could work at the CDC because I learned more about Ebola and infectious diseases than probably half of the people that already work there.

What distracted me further was Clancy's one tone dialog. It seems as every character speaks as if they all were from the same part of the country and all the same age. There is no variation in the dialog and I felt like I was going to blow a gasket hearing the question tag "okay?" over and over and over and over and over and over and over... and in the same tone and vocal inflection. It's like Stepford Wives all speaking the same style of dialect.

The reader is simply horrible and does nothing to add any nuance to the various characters. They are all read with the same cadence and dialect. Some have a bit of a different accent, but the foreign accents on the whole are messy, inaccurate and annoying.

I can't remember if I paid full price for this book, but if I did I certainly have buyer's remorse.

Overall, the story is good and plot interesting. But the painfully excruciating details of non-essential and often unnecessary plot elements just bog this book down in a morass of self-flagellation.

As I started out writing this review, I gave the story four stars based on the outline of the plot. But the more I write, the more I realized how frustrating this book was to finish and downgraded to three... which may be overly generous. Perhaps Mr. Clancy viewed this book as his magnum opus and literary legacy when he pumped so much into it. If it was intended as such, it was a failure for an otherwise brilliant career.

You can skip whole chapters if you want and never lose the plot, because it will all be revisited in mind-numbing detail to set up the final crescendo which is not in as much detail as the rest of the book indicates. There is a excruciatingly long buildup for a comparative short payoff.

Good luck and good reading/listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • 2011-02-16

Sluggish like a rainy day

Wow....painfully slow over detailed. Wanted to put me to sleep. I usually like this particular narrator, but even he sounded bored and tired while reading. Slightly interesting educational stuff.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ralph
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
  • 2011-03-28

Ececutive Orders

Several reviews suggested that Tom Clancy and his reader, Michael Prichard, had missed the mark with this edition of Jack Ryan. I am about half through with the book and find it exceptional and the narration is quite good.

Perhaps if you have not read any of the other books in this series, or not seen any of the pictures, you might get lost in the plot. However, anyone who is a fan of Tam Clancy and these charcters should find this an outstanding read. The complaint about the detail is understandable, but this is what Clancy has built his readership.
I was concerned with the negative reviews, but very happy I purchased this book, and find the unabridged version much to my satisfaction.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • tdg
  • 2013-11-08

A good core story surrounded by distractions

I like Clancy, I think. However, this book was implausible at so many levels. It contains a good core story, but is degraded by the reader's performance, subplots that should have been omitted, and offensive undertones.

First the multiple assassination attempts, could have been interesting, but they weren't all developed. The Mountain Men subplot was the worst. When I completed the book, I came to the conclusion that someone demanded this subplot be added. It was not completely thought out. The characters were flat and the story only popped up here and there and ended in a dull thud, never having any climax. I am convinced a publisher demanded it so the book wasn't all about evil Muslims. Seemed like a balancing act.

Now I really did like the Iraqi Ebola plague. Great story there and the war was interesting as well. Had the story concentrated on this and the VP conflict and not chased bunnies down dark holes I would have been happier.

I think Mr. Clancy has much more faith in the press than I do. At one point, he has a reporter confessing to dishonest reporting and apologizing not once, but twice! Even before the writing of this book, reporters were political operatives who put more importance on making political points than getting facts right. No reporter would apologize unless pressured to do so and certainly not twice. In fact, I would expect a reporter who's proven wrong might react like a scorned lover and become even more aggressive and hostile. But that's one personal opinion.

The way Clancy writes sometimes makes me uncomfortable. When he was covering the Mountain Men even the narrative took on the character's voice. The racist verbiage didn't end when the characters stopped speaking or thinking and I found this offensive. I also noticed he peppered in a lot of racist sentiments even into Ryan's interactions with staff. I didn't like this at all.

The narrator. Michael Prichard was just awful reading this one. His cadence was boringly slow, even at 1.5X he sounded slow. His portrayal of different characters was so monotone that at times I wasn't sure who was speaking. His women sounded no different from the males. This book required a ton of accents (like any Clancy book) and I didn't feel he always got them right. Perhaps he was off his game. I listened to the next book and Mr. Prichard was much better, if still slow.

I rated this book overall at 2 stars somewhat out of personal preference but when the good story elements are balanced against the poor, the racial tones, and the poor read, I feel I rated this book correctly. At least in this listener's opinion.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Hixson, TN, United States
  • 2012-10-07

Gripping

Mr. Clancy lays the ground work for a very riviting story. I love how he weaves characters from previous books into the plot. I also appreciate how the narrator, Mr Prichard, brings the characters to life. This was an excellent investment of my time and money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful