Slay It With Flowers: Your views on John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993)?

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  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Is there an element of the early influence of The X Files on John Gardner's Never Send Flowers? NSF was published in the UK on 15 July 1993. The X Files aired in September 1993 (I vaguely remember it airing on UK TV around this time). The novel by John Gardner with its serial killer plot is very prescient - like the David March serial killer who keep the severed heads of the blonde women he kills in jars in his refrigerator as an offering to the Egyptian God Oriris (I think). That's where our member osris got his name!

    What do we think - I need to do some more research to see if John Gardner was in fact an X Files fan at all. The literary James Bond continuation is a subject area that never ceases to fascinate me. :)
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    I would be nice to revive this topic if anyone here is interested in giving their views on this? :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I like NSF, the Villain of David Dragonpol was one that broke the Mold when it came to traditional Bond Villains. Even though I still think that Gardner should of left the Bond Series before this Point -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,712Chief of Staff
    I would be nice to revive this topic if anyone here is interested in giving their views on this? :) -{

    It's bloody awful X-(

    :))
    YNWA 97
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    edited December 2018
    I like NSF, the Villain of David Dragonpol was one that broke the Mold when it came to traditional Bond Villains. Even though I still think that Gardner should of left the Bond Series before this Point -{

    Glad to hear you like it - it's always been one of my favourites from Gardner. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Sir Miles wrote:
    I would be nice to revive this topic if anyone here is interested in giving their views on this? :) -{

    It's bloody awful X-(

    :))

    Can you elaborate on why? :)) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    He has, post 26 above.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,712Chief of Staff
    Barbel wrote:
    He has, post 26 above.

    :007)
    YNWA 97
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    He has, post 26 above.

    Sorry, yes. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    What do we make of this blog review of John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993)?:

    https://triumphofthenow.com/2015/12/24/james-bond-never-send-flowers-by-john-gardner/
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    Sounds like he didn't like it much. Very detailed, and he backs up his thoughts.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Yes, it's an interesting read.

    Does anyone know off hand when John Gardner wrote Never Send Flowers? I know that it has to have been in 1992 some time, but I'm interested in the exact month.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    If anyone except you had asked that, I would have advised them to ask you!
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    If anyone except you had asked that, I would have advised them to ask you!

    Ha ha, I quite understand, Barbel! :)

    I will ask around some literary/continuation Bond experts and see if I can come up with an answer. Failing that, I will try IFP.

    I know that NSF was published on 15 July 1993 in the UK but sadly not much more than that!

    I really regret not asking John Gardner about this in email correspondence though I did ask him about plenty of other stuff. Oh well.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    I wish to mark the 25th anniversary today of one of my favourite James Bond continuation novels, John Gardner's Never Send Flowers, which was first published in the UK on 15 July 1993.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    {[] Seems so long ago, now. ;)
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    {[] Seems so long ago, now. ;)

    Yes, I remember the day not too bad as it was also my older sister's wedding. I was only in my infancy as a Bond fan back then though, only being 8 at the time! I didn't buy and read Never Send Flowers until 1998 in fact, when I bought it new from Easons.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    Silhouette Man, I don't know if you already know about this but if you go to

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/LiveAndLetDie

    then scroll down to "Bowdlerization" and click on "here", you will get a very pleasant surprise (as I said, if you don't already know about it). :)
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    Silhouette Man, I don't know if you already know about this but if you go to

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/LiveAndLetDie

    then scroll down to "Bowdlerization" and click on "here", you will get a very pleasant surprise (as I said, if you don't already know about it). :)

    Thanks, Barbel. Yes, I found that some time ago as it was a link that directed to the blog and I noticed it behind the scenes of TBB. It was a pleasant surprise! The Bondologist Blog all over the world! I think that is one of my more popular articles on the blog for some reason. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    :) I must admit that I smiled when I saw it. That was an old article of yours- you must update it sometime!
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    edited July 2018
    Barbel wrote:
    :) I must admit that I smiled when I saw it. That was an old article of yours- you must update it sometime!

    Yes, there have been a few mentions of the blog in a few books on Bond, in some articles and on websites like that one. I (and my YOLT Blofeld "mad king" article) even got a small mention on James Bond Radio! I've been meaning to update that article for years.

    You're right in that it's an old article. I first wrote it in 2007 and it started out as a CBn Main Page article.

    I'm trying to write some new articles for TBB, with one on the possible origins of the literary Scaramanga in TMWTGG on the way, hopefully soon.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    That one sounds good- can you drop a hint or two?
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    edited July 2018
    Barbel wrote:
    That one sounds good- can you drop a hint or two?

    Well, I've run the idea past a few literary Bond experts and some of them seem to think I'm onto something. It concerns a 1950s book on bank crimes that I think may have influenced Fleming to create Scaramanga and have him fire golden bullets.

    There's one particular case from 1903 reported as a chapter in that book that I think may represent the origins of Scaramanga and may have sparked the idea to create him and write TMWTGG as his final Bond novel.

    There's no definite proof or smoking gun as such, but I'm going to write it up anyway and make my case then see what others think of it all!
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    I'm looking forward to it. You mentioned before that the title bears resemblance both to "The Man With The Golden Arm" by Nelson Algren (filmed starring Frank Sinatra) and Carson McCullers' "Reflections In A Golden Eye" which of course also influenced Fleming. Neither of these stories has any resemblance whatsoever to Fleming's, of course, just the titles.

    Fleming's Scaramanga has a whiff of Raymond Chandler about him, I've always thought, especially the character of Lash Canino in "The Big Sleep"- known as "The Brown Man" since he always wears brown, feared by everyone, hired gunman...
    AA_OLD_MAN_3.jpg
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    I'm looking forward to it. You mentioned before that the title bears resemblance both to "The Man With The Golden Arm" by Nelson Algren (filmed starring Frank Sinatra) and Carson McCullers' "Reflections In A Golden Eye" which of course also influenced Fleming. Neither of these stories has any resemblance whatsoever to Fleming's, of course, just the titles.

    Yes, I had a thread on the origins of Fleming's TMWTGG and Scaramanga where I was trying to draw out any other ideas people had.

    This new article will attempt to present the case that Fleming was inspired by golden bullets and a very similar sounding chapter title in the book on bank crimes to call his last Bond novel TMWTGG.

    I first found the book in question in 2014 but the idea was put on the back burner for some years until I could get the article built up into something a bit more. I'm unfortunately not the most prolific or speedy of writers!
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    True, but when you put your mind to it it's always worth reading.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    Fleming obviously had a thing about gold- the entire plot of GF runs on it, LALD concerns gold coins, he bought a gold-plated typewriter as soon as he had the money, his house was Goldeneye, his last book was TMWTGG... I can picture him coming across the chapter you mention and getting ideas!
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    True, but when you put your mind to it it's always worth reading.

    I do tend to get there in the end, given enough time. I suppose it's getting the time with work and sleep taking up a fair part of every day. I'm determined to get this one finished though as more than anything I'd like to hear feedback on what other literary Bond fans think of it all. That's the main motivation for writing it in the first place. -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,535Chief of Staff
    I'll be very happy to read it and give feedback (as usual).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,703MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    I'll be very happy to read it and give feedback (as usual).

    Thank you, Barbel. I've started writing it up so I hope to have it finished before too much longer. Hearing back from other fans is what makes the writing worthwhile.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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