I don't think that it's for no reason that there is an essay question option for my class that claims the characters are less important than the technology they use. Had the manuscript been rejected by the publishers, the rejection letter might have read something like this.
Dear Mr. Clancy,
It is my regretful duty to inform you that we will not be optioning the publication of your manuscript "The Hunt for Red October." As you know, we only take on a small number of new options per year, and your work narrowly missed the cut.* Your writing shows great determination and commitment, but is not what we are looking for at the current time. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.
Big False Publishing Company, Elimy's Desk, Australia
P.S. You might consider sending your submission to the United States Navy, as many of your passages read EXACTLY like a technical manual. If fiction is definitely the course that you would like to pursue however, you might want to try a) having a plot and b) not hiding it under the world's most comprehensive list of acronyms which may or may not actually exist.
Notes on the above fictional letter:
* Have you noticed that rejection letters and emails nearly always tell you that you narrowly missed the cut? I sometimes wonder if this is even the truth. Would they say that to me if I submitted the dietary information from the back of a box of corn flakes? Or am I always NEARLY good enough, because where I am sitting, that seems to be worse than being told I totally suck.
**Aren't I good at making up names? And Perth-ites, if you're listening to Hamish and Andy right now, isn't it funny that Andy pronounces this name Huck-eem rather than Waaack-eem?
Anyway, regretfully, back to Tom Clancy.
Can you tell I didn't like the book much? It took me way too long to read, considering I had about a week to do it in. Now I have 8 days to read 100 Days of Solitude! EEK.
Also, the movie of this book is funny in its complete suckiness. When Sam Neil dies, his dying words are "I would have like to have seen *death rasp* Montana!" *Dies*. Oh the hilarity, oh the kitchiness. And how funny looking is Tim Curry! Grow your hair out, mate, and put the fishnets back on. Rocky Horror forever!
I hope I never have to read another Thriller. Way to ruin the Cold War for a history lover, Mr. Clancy.