'No Deals, Mr. Bond' as a title?

DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
edited June 2015 in Literary 007 Posts: 15,820
I just wanted to ask you all your thoughts on the choice of No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987) as a title for John Gardner's sixth James Bond continuation novel.

Who do you think was responsible for naming the novel and what do you think a good alternative title would have been?

Do you remember any of the fan reaction to the title around the time that the novel was released?

I'm preparing a piece on the novel and I'd be very grateful to hear your views as members of the literary Bond fan community.

Thanking you,

Dragonpol. :)
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Comments

  • No Deals, Mr. Bond happens to be one of my favorites of John Gardner's 007 novels—and I've always loved the title as well. I have no qualms whatsoever about "Mr. Bond," "James Bond," or "007" being used in a story or film title provided the rest of the title works.

    I believe I read somewhere that John Gardner had a different title prepared, but that the publishers insisted on No Deals, Mr. Bond—a choice Gardner was dissatisfied with. Not 100% sure on that, but I'm sure you'll uncover the truth in your research. I look forward to reading your article!
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I never liked the title, and from memory I think J Gardner wasn't even a fan
    Of it himself, the publishers came up with it ?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger we are in this together
    Posts: 44,918
    Have not read the book, but was intrigued by the title when it came out. Even if it is a bit generic, it is quite unique within the series.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    I'm not a follower of the continuation novels, but this title is really quite atrocious. It sounds like something from a certain Noel Edmonds gameshow ;))
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    edited June 2015 Posts: 3,157
    Of all the continuation novels titles, it's not exactly the one that I would pick (although in my opinion most of Gardner titles were all bland and generic.
    I think some of the best continuation novel titles are:
    - By Royal Command by Charlie Higson
    - Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks
    - Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver
    I would like to see those titles used for Bond films in the future (as long as they make sense with the plot and are not just shoehorned).
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited June 2015 Posts: 15,820
    Thank you all so much for replying. I really appreciate it. The article I'm writing will very much seek to bring out the truth about the naming of No Deals, Mr. Bond. I'm hard at work doing research on this subject and will furnish a link when I get it written up (hopefully soon!).

    If any other members want to throw in their two cents I'd love to hear from you in this thread. There's a somewhat fascinating story to tell here, I feel. :)
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,667
    Well, I've never read it, but sounds good enough.
  • Posts: 4,622
    The book was damn good.
    Hardcore Bond, especially towards the end.
    One of Gardner's tougher efforts.
    I am ambivalent re the title.
    But the book was so good, the title hardly matters to me.
  • AgentJamesBond007AgentJamesBond007 Vesper’s grave
    Posts: 2,605
    The original title of No Deals, Mr. Bond was "Tomorrow Always Comes".
  • ThomasCrown76ThomasCrown76 Augusta, ks
    Posts: 757
    As do certain women;)
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    The original title of No Deals, Mr. Bond was "Tomorrow Always Comes".
    Could have been called "Tomorrow Always Tells The Truth" as well.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    There's a somewhat fascinating story to tell here, I feel. :)

    I agree.

    This is a frankly awful title - how does it refer to anything in the plot? It's been a long time since I read it (and I certainly stand to be corrected) but I'm pretty sure Bond never asks for any sort of deal nor does the villain utter the line at any point. Who came up with it and why?

    It strikes me as some classic corporate bullshit where a committee decided that it would sell better if the word 'Bond' was clearly on the cover (notably in a lot of Bond novels (non Fleming that is) and paperbacks since the name James Bond is often bigger than the author on the cover).

    I'd be interested to know if sales had started to decline with the previous couple of books and some focus group did some research and concluded that the casual Bond fan didn't realise that ROH and NLF were Bond books so they came up with the stroke of genius of putting Bond's name in the title.

    Bond titles should be poetic, romantic and mysterious and not as unimaginative or in your face as this or execrable '007 in New York' (which is an even worse title for a 'story' that is little more than a magazine article that Fleming clearly knocked off in afternoon).

    We all know that this was a decision imposed on Gardner from over his head so it can only have been for commercial reasons because it is inconceivable that Gardner could not come up with a better title himself.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited June 2015 Posts: 893
    It's a fine chapter title. Amazing the difference really. A book title has to do a lot of heavy lifting on many levels.

    As a matter if fact which Fleming title do you think is the best?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,820
    007InVT wrote: »
    It's a fine chapter title. Amazing the difference really. A book title has to do a lot of heavy lifting on many levels.

    As a matter if fact which Fleming title do you think is the best?

    Interestingly, there was a chapter title in John Gardner's first Bond novel Licence Renewed (1981) called 'A Contract, Mr Bond'. Perhaps there was meant to be similar dialogue in No Deals, Mr Bond?

    To answer your question I think that Moonraker is the best Fleming title.
  • Posts: 19,339
    I don't mind the title.
    I really like all of Gardener's books,except 'Brokenclaw'...I didn't get on with that at all.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,820
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I don't mind the title.
    I really like all of Gardener's books,except 'Brokenclaw'...I didn't get on with that at all.

    Well, I'm very glad to hear it, @barryt007! Another big Gardner fan here. :)
  • Posts: 19,339
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I don't mind the title.
    I really like all of Gardener's books,except 'Brokenclaw'...I didn't get on with that at all.

    Well, I'm very glad to hear it, @barryt007! Another big Gardner fan here. :)

    Nice one !
    Yes,he is a very under-rated author I find sometimes..but I can imagine Icebreaker or Nobody Lives Forever on the big screen as an EON production in the 007 series.

  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,340
    Sounds like P.G. Wodehouse wrote it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,820
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I don't mind the title.
    I really like all of Gardener's books,except 'Brokenclaw'...I didn't get on with that at all.

    Well, I'm very glad to hear it, @barryt007! Another big Gardner fan here. :)

    Nice one !
    Yes,he is a very under-rated author I find sometimes..but I can imagine Icebreaker or Nobody Lives Forever on the big screen as an EON production in the 007 series.

    Yes, I agree that he is very underrated as a Bond author. I too would love to see some of his Bond novels filmed.

  • edited September 2016 Posts: 14,329
    I never liked the title- it sounds more a title of a magazine article reviewing the newest film in a negative light. It's a pity because if I recall, the book was one of the better Gardners.
    I like a great deal of the John Gardner titles, actually: LICENCE RENEWED, ICEBREAKER, ROLE OF HONOR, SCORPIUS, BROKENCALW, etc and always supported the idea of Eon doing movie adaptations of his work. For one thing, the films could have gone back to announcing the next title at the end credits had they carried on with the Gardners. That I would have certainly welcomed. NO DEALS, MR BOND as a film title, though would sound too much like a joke.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger we are in this together
    Posts: 44,918
    LICENCE RENEWED could have been a good title for SF.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    The novel is rather good, very good... But, the title is awfully uninspired and happens to be the worst title Gardner baptized a book of his to date.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger we are in this together
    Posts: 44,918
    Really? I find it better than Cold or Seafire.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,820
    The novel is rather good, very good... But, the title is awfully uninspired and happens to be the worst title Gardner baptized a book of his to date.

    Although, as I mention above the publishers went over the head of John Gardner for the naming of this particular Bond novel of his. Gardner categorically stated that he was not responsible for this title. In fact, only about four of the titles of his Bond novels are his alone.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    That's interesting, @Dragonpol. Which four are originally his? I'm assuming License Renewed is not among them...
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger we are in this together
    Posts: 44,918
    Give us an overview, and if you know his own preferred titles, that would be really interesting as well.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited September 2016 Posts: 15,820
    That's interesting, @Dragonpol. Which four are originally his? I'm assuming License Renewed is not among them...

    Icebreaker is certainly one of them that the publishers eventually came back to. I'm not too sure about the rest or if he ever revealed them. There's more about it on the 'Bond' page of his website http://www.john-gardner.com
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited September 2016 Posts: 15,423
    I love this paragraph:
    I have always believed that the editor who begins a session with the words, "I'm not happy with the title," has nothing to say about the book. Many reviewers said that my titles were poor. Little did they know what I'd saved them from because publishers almost to a man (or woman) wanted title changes and the Americans in particular suggested the most appalling new titles: I recall such wonders as Oh No, Mr. Bond! And Bond Fights Back. Those two finally became, after many protests on my part, the dreadful No Deals Mr. Bond while my original title for Icebreaker was instantly turned down only to be picked up again a month later after turkey after turkey had to be rejected. My former agent is convinced to this day that he was responsible for Death is Forever, which was actually taken from some dialogue in a Stephen King book. I tried to explain it to him but he still claimed that he was the one. I can't think why because it isn't a very sophisticated title. Peter Janson-Smith came up with two of the titles, though by now I've forgotten which, and somewhere I have the original lengthy list of quite abominable titles suggested by publishers.

    Just by reading this article, I appreciate Gardner a lot more. I totally see where he's coming from with all these experiences and claims where the public "hated the change". Good on you, Gardner.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,820
    I love this paragraph:
    I have always believed that the editor who begins a session with the words, "I'm not happy with the title," has nothing to say about the book. Many reviewers said that my titles were poor. Little did they know what I'd saved them from because publishers almost to a man (or woman) wanted title changes and the Americans in particular suggested the most appalling new titles: I recall such wonders as Oh No, Mr. Bond! And Bond Fights Back. Those two finally became, after many protests on my part, the dreadful No Deals Mr. Bond while my original title for Icebreaker was instantly turned down only to be picked up again a month later after turkey after turkey had to be rejected. My former agent is convinced to this day that he was responsible for Death is Forever, which was actually taken from some dialogue in a Stephen King book. I tried to explain it to him but he still claimed that he was the one. I can't think why because it isn't a very sophisticated title. Peter Janson-Smith came up with two of the titles, though by now I've forgotten which, and somewhere I have the original lengthy list of quite abominable titles suggested by publishers.

    Yes, me too and that was of course the bit I was referring to in my post above. :)
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger we are in this together
    Posts: 44,918
    OH NO, MR BOND
    and
    BOND FIGHTS BACK

    sounds like some fan fiction that could get posted on here.
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