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Jack Ryan is Dead

November 4, 2019

Novelist, Tom Clancy, died relatively young at age 66 of heart failure. But he was fascinated by the military, the rush to develop advanced attack systems and the contest between the United States and the Soviet Union. Owner of a family-built insurance company, Clancy had the good luck to be born Catholic and benefited from a good education at Loyola University in Maryland where he was an English major.

Good literature buoyed him as his writing became a greater part of his life than his day-job. Utterly inexperienced with the business-side of writing, he accepted $5,000 in payment for The Hunt for Red October, but soon became a multi-millionaire.

One of his characters, Jack Ryan, is now featured in a Prime Video “Jack Ryan” series that, since Clancy is deceased, is “ghosted” to spec for the big bucks of international distribution. Series 2 in the streaming media version of “Jack Ryan” follows the usual decline of popular theatrical properties. Based in mythical Venezuela, much of the dialogue is in Spanish (a large market to be satisfied) with subtitles that are difficult to read. Interspersed are scenes with Clancy character “Jim Greer” who converted to Islam, thus appealing to the Arabic-speaking market. And there’s a German female spy to provide a love interest and, oh, Jack Ryan.

His complaint as he’s drafted into operations that “I’m an analyst” is betrayed by the physical build of the actor playing that role. No Harrison Ford of Patriot Games or Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October. This Jack Ryan is an unknown actor chosen for his beefy build and certainly not his looks. The streaming media Jack Ryan is a piece of the furniture in a greater enterprise called “Making Big Bucks.”

Jack Ryan without Tom Clancy is dead. Cause of death? Greed.

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