Jack Ryan is more or less synonymous with Tom Clancy. However, for casual fans of Tom Clancy, John Clark might be a largely unknown quantity because Jack Ryan tends to elicit most of the interest. In that regard, most people tend to simply categorize the Jack Ryan/John Clark series under the Jack Ryan name.
Order of Jack Ryan / John Clark Series
|1||The Hunt for Red October||1984|
|3||The Cardinal of the Kremlin||1988|
|4||Clear and Present Danger||1989|
|5||The Sum of All Fears||1991|
|7||Debt of Honor||1994|
|10||The Bear and the Dragon||2000|
|12||The Teeth of the Tiger||2003|
|13||Dead or Alive||2010|
|17||Support and Defend||2014|
|18||Full Force and Effect||2014|
|19||True Faith and Allegiance||2016|
Jack Ryan came to prominence in 1984, making appearances in popular novels and movies alike. A CIA analyst, a marine and a politician, Jack Ryan comes from Maryland. After a helicopter crash alters his plans in the military, Jack goes into Finance, becoming a stockbroker and a banker.
Jack eventually enters the CIA and becomes of an analyst of considerable repute, contending with opponents whose stratagems threaten to destabilize the United States and the World at large.
John Clark is a secondary character in the Jack Ryan novels. A veteran of the Vietnam War, the former Navy Seal left the military for the CIA, joining the organization’s Special Activities Division.
John has appeared in nearly a dozen Jack Ryan novels. The hero stands out because he is often thrust into morally ambiguous situations that force him to make the sorts of decisions that might typically elude Jack Ryan.
John Clark often tackles subject matters similar to what Jack Ryan encounters. However, there are darker elements at play which have allowed John to evolve into a far more complex character than Jack.
The Jack Ryan/John Clark series technically begins in 1984 with The Cardinal of the Kremlin. This book is the first to feature both Jack Ryan and John Clark. And while they are written to be allies, they do not always work together.
John Clark is best described as Jack Ryan’s foil.
Tom Clancy fans have always debated the question of whether John Clark’s story can survive the death of Jack Ryan or if the character must be automatically retired once Jack Ryan is removed from the board.
Jack Ryan/John Clark Books into Movies
Even though there have been numerous Jack Ryan adaptations, only a handful have featured John Clark. They include Clear and Present Danger in 1994, a film that featured Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones; The Sum of all Fears in 2002, a film that featured Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman; and Without Remorse which Paramount Pictures has been trying to get off the ground for a long time.
Several attempts to produce Tom Clancy novels featuring John Clark have failed.
Best Jack Ryan/John Clark Books
John Clark has become as important an aspect of Tom Clancy’s legacy as Jack Ryan, with some of the best books from the Jack Ryan/John Clark Collection of novels including:
Patriot Games: Jack Ryan became famous when he went out of his way to stop a Soviet Submarine in Red October. Years before that particular event, Jack Ryan was just a historian and CIA analyst living his life the best way he knew how.
Then the Prince and Princess of Wales are threatened by the Ulster Liberation Army which launches a terrorist assault at the same time that Jack is vacationing in the UK. Jack’s quick thinking saves lives and earns him the gratitude of some very important people. However, Jack also earns the ire of the terrorists. Having planted a target on his back, it will take everything Jack knows to survive what is coming.
Debt of Honor: When Razio Yamata’s parents died, he blamed America for it and for the despair his country endured. And as one of the most influential industrialists to come out of Japan, Razio has the power to enact his revenge, especially when wielding the authority of a small group whose power dominates the Pacific Rim’s economic powerhouse.
Razio has a plan that will bring the United States Military to its knees even while elevating Japan. When the United States gets wind of this plan, Jack Ryan is the National Security Advisor the new President needs to stop it.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Jack Ryan Jr.” Series by Tom Clancy keeps the legacy alive. These Tom Clancy novels tell the story of Jack Ryan Jr., son of Jack Ryan Sr., Tom Clancy’s most popular creation. First appearing in Patriot Games as an infant, this series finds Jack following his father into the political and espionage game.
A great game, but an even better book series is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon by David Michaels. Ghost Recon is a series of military shooter video games that follow the exploits of a squad of the United States Army Special Forces, specifically members of Delta Company. Grant Blackwood has produced novelizations of these games under the David Michaels penname.