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Topic: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

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I'd like to ask you for your thoughts on the sound torture scene in John Gardner's Licence Renewed (1981)? In the scene in question the villain Dr Anton Murik and his assistant Mary-Jane Mashkin apply white noise to Bond's ears in a white tiled torture chamber.

What did you think of it?

Have you any praise for it or criticisms of it?

Was it too tame (as some commentators have said) or something refreshingly different?

How would you rank it alongside the other torture scenes by Ian Fleming, Kingsley Amis and John Gardner himself?

As always, I'd love to hear from you!  ajb007/smile  ajb007/martini

Last edited by Silhouette Man (26th Sep 2016 18:23)

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

It's not a patch on any of Fleming's torture scenes- or Amis', come to that.

There's a similar scene in Alistair MacLean's "Puppet On A Chain", although there the bad guys intend to kill the hero with sound rather than torture him.

8 songs done, 3 in various stages of disarray for next album!

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

I liked the white tiled , medical type room setting but agree it was a little tame. Although
Perhaps Gardner may have been told not to make it too graphic ?  I did enjoy the book
and can still remember the excitement of getting my hands on it. ajb007/smile

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

Thank you chaps for those interesting replies. Much appreciated by me.

Thank you for alerting me to the Alistair Maclean novel, Barbel. I have that book somewhere. Will have to dig it out and give it a read now!

Yes, TP, I too liked the clinical setting but I agree that it was a bit tame or rather toned down in nature. As you say, this may have been deliberately done under the policy of Glidrose at the time as we know that Gardner didn't hold back anything on the violence front in some of his later Bond novels.

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

Once again I'm only guessing here but,  with it being the first Bond book in quite a while
They didn't want to take any chances, so played it safe.

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

An interesting idea from Gardner's best book.

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

Thunderpussy wrote:

Once again I'm only guessing here but,  with it being the first Bond book in quite a while
They didn't want to take any chances, so played it safe.

Yes, I had thought that myself.  I think you're right though as Gardner more or less confirms this in the Raymond Benson 007 Magazine interview from 1995 - the fact that the violence had increased again from the first  ovel Licence Renewed by the time of No Deals, Mr Bond (1987). As you say, Gardner did not of course have free reign to do just as he pleased. There were all sorts of editorial restrictions from Glidrose and the British and American publishers.

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

Yes, I remember reading in an Interview that one rule he had to stick to was no relatives ! Which
Was a surprise to him when in the first Raymond Benson story, up pops one of Bond's relatives, and
Then through his books many old characters made an appearance.

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Re: Your thoughts on the Sound Torture in John Gardner's Licence Renewed?

Thunderpussy wrote:

Yes, I remember reading in an Interview that one rule he had to stick to was no relatives ! Which
Was a surprise to him when in the first Raymond Benson story, up pops one of Bond's relatives, and
Then through his books many old characters made an appearance.

Yes, TP, that is the same 007 Magazine Interview by Raymond Benson from 1995. Highly recommended. Clearly things had changed regarding that 'no relatives' rule by the time that Raymond Benson took over as James Bond continuation author in 1996.

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Remembering Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964)