Mr. Reed has given us a book which appears to lack an overall structure and suffers from extremely poor fact checking and too many editorial errors.
Three of his chapters reveal heretofore unpublished details of Naval Security Group (NSG) activities during the 1960s from his father's personal reminisces. The author combined the information from these family experiences with what appears to be historical research on NSG activities during the 1960s-1970s, providing the reader with a good, if a bit overhyped, view into these "Black" arts that will probably remain officially classified for another 50 years. From this "meat", the stew is despoiled by two chapters regurgitating the conspiracy theory nonsense of Offley, Sewell and others concerning the K-129, Project Azorian/Jennifer, and the loss of USS Scorpion. A large percentage of his discussion on K-129 and Scorpion is dated, incorrect, erroneous, or conspiracy-theory speculation.
Most of the book consists of submarine SpeOps (special operations) sea-stories told to the author by some "200" sailors interviewed for this book. Unfortunately, the author appears to have had insufficient personal experience or general knowledge of the technical and naval activities of the Cold War to separate truth from fiction in these stories, which the author offers up as "fact" in the wide-eyed innocence of a 14-year old virgin.
For example, on page 11 - in a story concerning the penetration of Sevastopol's harbor by a US submarine, the author reports that the entry across the "Dardanelles" had a Soviet iron gate, as if the Dardanelles was the at the mouth of Sevastopol's harbor. Later on page 12, he tells of this same US submarine going deep within the Sevastopol's harbor and avoiding Soviet ASW efforts by dodging between ancient buildings 300 feet below the surface of the harbor. Both these inanities come from a Machinist Mate 3rd Class source who was aboard the submarine at the time, but who certainly had no access to the periscope on that mission. This unreliable hearsay is "supported" by the author in the notes for this chapter, referencing a Ballard expedition into the Black Sea which reported a mud-and-dabble hut found off shore the Crimean at a 300-foot depth. The author would have us believe that a 7,000 year old mud hut from the area supports this bar-talk from a man who had no access to any actual sighting, and who was uneducated as to the location of the Dardanelles.
On page 1, the author talks about the Soviet fleet in May of 1952 as "...including ballistic missile submarines..." -- WRONG -- over three years later, on 16 Sep 1955, the Soviet ZULU SSB "B-67", launched the first ballistic missile ever fired from a submarine. Ballistic missile submarines did not join the Soviet navy as operational units in any numbers (ZULUs, GOLFs, and HOTELs) until over half a decade later.
Another story, on page 16, - referring to the "fall of 1953" - the author states that ---"Six SOSUS stations were now deployed..." WRONG - the first station activated was NAVFAC Ramey, Puerto Rico, commissioned Oct 1954 and the first six NAVFACs were not operational until sometime in 1955 as can be verified within 60-seconds of internet research.
Practically every sea-story contains many such errors of fact -- errors that the author swallowed whole, in open credulity, without editing for error, exaggeration, or the effects of the fourth whiskey or the eighth beer. To call this book "non-fiction" is mislabeling.
More than anything else, Red November is a collection of submarine sea-stories with all of their gee-whiz and zap-bang moments --told by participants who exaggerate their own knowledge and/or the veracity of memories from 40 years ago. Red November may be entertaining but it is not informative in its present state -- full of factual error and patent nonsense.