Bond Book of the Month

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Comments

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    DMC, wasn't bad ( in my opinion) liked the villain and his use of slave labour !
    All very nasty, but still not close to Fleming. Many continuing writers seem to
    Want to tick off items from Fleming's books, into their books ( or maybe, they're
    told to put them in) although many, try and give the story their own twist, to make
    It different from Fleming, which in many cases ( once again only my opinion) spoils
    The flow, as if they are trying to sandwich two different styles together.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • welshboy78welshboy78 Posts: 9,923MI6 Agent
    You might be right TP! I thought the name dropping and Fleming items went a bit too far in DMC, it was if the author was trying to remind you constantly that it was a Bond novel. Still fairly enjoyable mind but doubt I would read again!
    Instagram - bondclothes007
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Faulks wrote DMC as Fleming :)

    Are you referring to the Biography by Matthew Parker?
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • welshboy78welshboy78 Posts: 9,923MI6 Agent

    Are you referring to the Biography by Matthew Parker?

    Yes - looking forward to it!!!
    Instagram - bondclothes007
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,704MI6 Agent
    welshboy78 wrote:
    You might be right TP! I thought the name dropping and Fleming items went a bit too far in DMC, it was if the author was trying to remind you constantly that it was a Bond novel. Still fairly enjoyable mind but doubt I would read again!

    Some say that Devil May Care is the Die Another Day of the Bond continuation novels (hence all of the references back to Fleming) but I couldn't possibly comment! :))
    "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
    welshboy78 wrote:

    Are you referring to the Biography by Matthew Parker?

    Yes - looking forward to it!!!

    I'm currently read Catching Bullets and the first of the Indiana Jones Novels. So I'm planning to start on Goldeneye when I can -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • DevilMayCare007DevilMayCare007 Posts: 196MI6 Agent
    Last time I've read DMC was 3 or 4 years ago, but i remember enjoying it :)
    Solo was interesting, halfway during i did have to force myself, because it did get boring. It did pick up when he got to D.C.
    Carte Blanche I did find boring, I hate reading a Bond set in the present day it doesn't feel right IMO. Sadly i didn't finish it.
    Top 10 Bond Films
    1. Thunderball 2. FRWL 3. Casino Royale 4. TLD 5. OHMSS 6. SkyFall 7. GF 8. TSWLM 9. GE 10. FYEO
  • chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,043MI6 Agent
    I quite enjoyed DMC.
    Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
    #1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.GF 5.DN/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Zero minus Ten :
    Raymond Benson takes over the mantle of Bond writer, his first book has an
    Interesting villain ( although not in it enough), a cool leading lady, and a few
    Colourful characters.
    This is obviously J Gardner's Bond, as at one point Bond reminisces on past
    Loves and as well as a couple of Fleming's ladies, a few of Gardner's females
    Get a mention.
    Oddly Bond has been demoted from Captain back to Commander Bond, with no
    reason given, and he's back to using the PPK.
    The story is set around the handing back of Hong Kong to the Chinese. It has a
    Few good set pieces but Benson's attempt to give us the rules of Mahjong, in the
    Fleming style Fails in my opinion, we even get some diagrams of the " Hands" rather
    Like the Bridge hands in the fantastic Moonraker.
    The torture scene with a Chinese general, felt a little odd to me, as if Bond would just
    Stand there and take it. Not fight back and have to be held down ?
    I remembered this as being one of the better Benson novels, but I feel I may have been
    Over generous in my praise, as I feel it's only as good as the weaker Gardner efforts.
    Next up, The Facts of Death.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    The Facts of Death :
    Apparently This was originally to be called " The world is not enough" ;)
    On the whole, I rather enjoyed TFOD, it reads like a movie script, very visual
    And action packed. From fights to chases of all sorts.
    There is a gadget filled Jaguar Xk8, which would have looked amazing
    With Brosnan as 007, ( Benson has Bond in Brioni suits etc, Which Brosnan wore
    in his films). The use of a "Drone" is a fantastic idea for a gadget, and one I'd
    Love to see make it into a film.
    Writing wise Benson is a run of the mill author, the few twists he uses are easy
    to spot,but he can describe action very well.
    The main villain is very good with a nasty plan, I do like a Bond villain to think big.
    He has a couple of aggressive side kicks. With a basic reuse of the torture scene
    He had in his short story " Blast from the past". Nowhere near the same league as
    Fleming, and In my opinion not as good as Gardner but it would easily pass the time
    On a plane or train journey.
    Next on the list " High time to kill"
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    High Time To Kill :
    This is my least favourite Benson Bond Book, I hated the whole
    Mountain climbing section, which is half the book. :)) . Because this
    Story has a bit of a down beat feel to it. The gadget filled car chase
    Seems out of place ( unlike in the last story). Infact Golrush007 recently
    Posted a nice review of it which mirrors many of my own feelings, I've
    Reposted it here.

    My next Bond novel review is High Time to Kill, which is the first time I’ve read one of Raymond Benson’s continuation novels since I read Zero Minus Ten (my first Bond novel experience) about 15 years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t read any more Benson since then, apart from the novelisations of Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day. I’ve always been interested in reading his novels, but I guess when it came down to a choice between Gardner and Benson for what to read next, Gardner has always won. On this occasion I decided to read High Time To Kill as the idea of a mountaineering Bond adventure set in the Himalayas was very appealing to me. I should also mention that I read it primarily in audiobook form. I was about 100 pages into the novel when suddenly I was without any free time to read. I found the audiobook online as I figured the only way that I would get through the novel would be to listen to the audiobook while I was doing other things like cooking or driving. I enjoyed ‘reading’ the novel this way. I’ve never tried an audiobook before, and this probably won’t be the last time I do.
    On to the novel itself...I found the first chapter most entertaining and I enjoyed the reference to Fleming’s Quantum of Solace, and seeing the character of the governor from that story appearing again, although sadly the chapter doesn’t end well for him. This is followed by an enjoyable golfing scene at Stoke Poges with Bill Tanner, which reminded me a bit of the opening to Colonel Sun. The characters of Harding and Marquis are introduced, and I thought Marquis was a good character, totally unlikable and obnoxious. The link back to Bond’s Eton days was a nice touch. The chapters detailing the theft of Skin 17 moved nice and swiftly and I thought that the plot was well set-up.
    One sequence which I didn’t enjoy was the car chase in Belgium where Bond uses a remote-controlled drone that emerges from his Jaguar to dispatch his enemies. In my opinion this was taking the gadgetry a bit far. It feels like something from one of the Bond videos games such as Everything or Nothing, and I don’t believe it is right for a Bond novel, even for a Bond film. In a game, you could just about get away with it. Another thing which struck me during Bond’s visit to Belgium was that the sexual detail in the prose was a lot more explicit than I am used to in a Bond novel, and while this is a relatively minor thing, I would have preferred it to be toned down a bit.
    The plot is very similar to Thunderball and I enjoyed that. In many ways, Thunderball is the most typical Bond plot, and the resetting of it to the Himalayas worked well in my opinion. It is a memorable and unique setting for a Bond film, and although I am not a mountaineer myself I have enough of an interest in it to be engaged by the mountain climbing passages. The trek up the mountain does go on for a long time though, and in a way it does mirror the experience of the characters in that it feels a bit of a slog. I wonder if I had been reading the text rather than listening to the audiobook I would have found this part of the novel tiring? A little thing which I noticed was that I didn’t enjoy all the reference to particular brands of mountaineering equipment. I have never had a problem with the many uses of brand names in Fleming, whether it is Morlands cigarettes, the Amherst-Villiers supercharger or Turnbull and Asser shirts. These more classic items work for me, but somehow when it is brand names of something relatively mundane like mountaineering equipment I don’t enjoy it. That is a very minor gripe though.
    I felt like this novel had an over-abundance of secondary and tertiary characters, especially once the novel reached the mountaineering section. It was difficult to keep track of who everybody was, but I think Benson just about gets away with it because the primary characters are fairly well defined. As mentioned previously, Marquis is effective as an antagonist, and his shared background with Bond adds a depth which makes him stand out from the other characters. Chandra is another character that I really enjoyed, likable and very capable. The background and history of the Gurkhas was an interesting aspect to this novel, and was something that I knew nothing about going in. I enjoyed Chandra’s relationship with Bond and he is probably one of my favourite ally characters in the continuation series. Hope Kendall is the main Bond girl in this novel. She only enters the story relatively late and I did take a while to warm to her character, but as the novel neared its climax I did feel that I had warmed to her, and I thought the sex scene at 7,900m was a very novel approach, with both participants breathing through respirators!
    The novel has a very melancholy ending which reminded me a bit of Casino Royale (never a bad thing) and upon finishing the book I must say I was pleasantly surprised by High Time to Kill. Given the general lack of appreciation for Benson’s work amongst Bond fans, I found the novel very entertaining and it delivered a good plot which takes a well-worn Bond storyline and freshens it up nicely. In terms of literary style, I feel it is below the level of Fleming, Amis and Gardner but nonetheless it was more enjoyable overall than many of the other continuation novels. I will certainly be reading some more Benson in the future, possibly continuing with the Union trilogy although I don’t own a copy of Doubleshot at this point.

    Next for me is Doubleshot :
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Doubleshot.
    Benson has some good ideas, and a twist J Gardner used in one of his
    Books too.
    Bond framed for murder, and having to take on The Union again. Trying to
    Stop Britain being plunged into war with Bond helping in a couple of very
    Public assassinations. To destroy his reputation.
    IMHO, a good solid story but nothing really outstanding to make me return to it.
    Next up, Never dream of dying.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 3,122Quartermasters
    Doubleshot is a novel I've wanted to read for quite a while. I hope to get around to it soon, but before I do that I still need to acquire a copy.

    I'm glad that you agreed with many of my views on High Time to Kill, although I think I enjoyed the mountaineering section somewhat less than I did.
  • David SchofieldDavid Schofield EnglandPosts: 1,528MI6 Agent
    Ah, DOUBLESHOT.

    The Bond story where JB actually gives himself away by the size of his penis.

    Only in a Benson book....
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    :)) Yes, when I'm finished I'll only ever read Fleming again. :D
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • David SchofieldDavid Schofield EnglandPosts: 1,528MI6 Agent
    There's a scene in SOLO where JB is showering and is disturbed by a nurse. Boyd remarks how perfectly normal it was for the nurse who talked about her holidays and how cold it was.

    Now one knows for certain in Benson's hands the nurse would have been double-taking and hyper ventilating at the enormity hanging toward JB's knees...

    You could always rely on RB to write like an awestruck fanboy when it came to Bond's sexual prowess. And a pretty limited writer the rest of the time.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    I agree. I never rated Benson as a writer.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    edited August 2015
    Never dream of dying.
    Bond gets to meet the head of the Union ( villains in the last two books)
    After a disaster of a raid on a film studio. Bond eventually meets up with
    A corrupt film producer. An old ally, some dodgy gadget laden underwater
    One man sub, and action sequences clearly meant for the cinema screen.
    Some nice locations, but still far removed from the work of Fleming. An
    Average thriller, and for me the annoyance of an old Fleming character
    Being reintroduced but as an enemy to Bond. I wish that hadn't been used as
    An idea for the book.
    As a book to pass a few hours on a flight or train journey, it would pass the time
    but not a story you'd return to often.
    Next up, The man with the red tattoo.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,364Chief of Staff
    I can't emphasise just how much I detest Never Dream of Dying....that book and COLD are the only Bond books I've only read twice... X-(
    YNWA 97
  • David SchofieldDavid Schofield EnglandPosts: 1,528MI6 Agent
    While NDOD is total rubbish, the basic conceit behind it - as well as that behind DOUBLESHOT - actually has some potential.

    There is a story there wherein You Know Who plans to revenge himself in a mid 60s setting after discovering JB is back in London after Japan-Russia-London-Jamaica.

    Naturally Benson's silliness about JB wipping out of You Know Who's second family as well(!!!!) would have had no place, and You Know Who's revenge based only on grief and anger after You Know What.

    Would it have still jarred, dramatically contradicted IF's - though unwritten - intention? Probably.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,364Chief of Staff
    While NDOD is total rubbish, the basic conceit behind it - as well as that behind DOUBLESHOT - actually has some potential.

    NDOD - I just feel 'dirty' reading it...and not in a good way ;) Nothing in it makes sense to me...I actually think Doubleshot is Benson's best Bond book...
    YNWA 97
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,719Chief of Staff
    Much as I've tried to defend Benson, I have to agree with what TP said above.
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Yes, the Benson Novels aren't amazing :#
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    The Man with the Red Tattoo,
    The last of the R Benson novels and published in 2002. Once again it reads like
    a script for a Bond film, especially as in some other books, Benson seems to
    dress Bond in the same clothes as P Brosnan.
    Once again Bond returns to Japan to stop a nasty virus spreading. Meets up
    again with an old friend but sadly it reads like a series of set pieces strung together
    with a bit of travelog infomation, not the skilled and entertaining writing of Fleming.
    All in all, I find Benson a very disapointing writer for Bond, he had a few good ideas,
    but then adds some outlandish gadget or " set piece" which then destroys the illusion.
    This now leaves only Carte Blance to go, a modern Bond for todays world ?
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I still need to get back to the Benson Books at some Point.
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    After my trip down memory lane through all the Bonds. I think
    only the Fleming's and a few of the continuing novels will be read
    by me again. Amis, a couple of the early Gardner's and hopefully the
    new Horowitz. The Benson's will only be there to fill the bookshelves. ;)
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I recently found Carte Blanch in a local Charity Shop, and it's an interesting Experiment on the Literary Canon -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • David SchofieldDavid Schofield EnglandPosts: 1,528MI6 Agent
    I recently found Carte Blanch in a local Charity Shop, and it's an interesting Experiment on the Literary Canon -{

    It really isn't, AOS

    A "James Bond" novel wherein no pretence is made to include Ian Fleming's James Bond is not a James Bond novel
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    To be honest, I haven't read much of CB. So I can't really give my Views on it. I know that it's not amazing though.

    It's amazing how IFP gave Deaver Permission to completely throw out everything that had been established before.
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • David SchofieldDavid Schofield EnglandPosts: 1,528MI6 Agent
    To be honest, I haven't read much of CB. So I can't really give my Views on it. I know that it's not amazing though.

    Ah. Unsurprising.
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