Picks and Pans Review: The Bear and the Dragon

updated 10/02/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/02/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Tom Clancy

The latest offering by the world's foremost spinner of war tales resembles a political convention: There's a lot of posturing and pontificating before you get to the good stuff. Russia has just discovered a mountain of gold and an ocean of oil beneath the Siberian tundra. China wants the resources badly enough to go to war. But no shot is fired until page 778 of this 1,028-page filibuster. Until then readers must endure reams of conservative polemic about Roe v. Wade and Social Security. Once Clancy pulls the trigger, though, nobody can touch his gift for describing combat. (Putnam, $28.95)

Bottom Line: A long forced march

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