Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Just started Gardner's "Win, Lose or Die." Is this a good read or am I wasting my time?
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,845
    GoldenEye

    With the exception of a few changes (Mishkin's christian name here is Viktor, rather than Dimitri in the film), Gardner's novelisation stays relatively close to the film. The carnage in the Tank chase is also present and correct.

    01. Moonraker - Ian Fleming (1955)
    02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming (1963)
    03. From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming (1957)
    04. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming (1964)
    05. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming (1953)
    06. For Special Services - John Gardner (1982)
    07. Licence Renewed - John Gardner (1981)
    08. Icebreaker - John Gardner (1983)
    09. The Living Daylights - Ian Fleming (1966)
    10. Role Of Honour - John Gardner (1984)
    11. Scorpius - John Gardner (1988)
    12. Licence To Kill - John Gardner (1989)
    13. The Spy Who Loved Me - Christopher Wood (1977)
    14. For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming (1960)
    15. Thunderball - Ian Fleming (1961)
    16. Quantum Of Solace - Ian Fleming (1960)
    *****17. GoldenEye - John Gardner (1995)*****
    18. Nobody Lives For Ever - John Gardner (1986)
    19. Live And Let Die - Ian Fleming (1954)
    20. Death Is Forever - John Gardner (1992)
    21. From A View To A Kill - Ian Fleming (1960)
    22. Risico - Ian Fleming (1960)
    23. No Deals, Mr Bond - John Gardner (1987)
    24. Moonraker - Christopher Wood (1979)
    25. Colonel Sun - Robert Markham (1968)
    26. The Property Of A Lady - Ian Fleming (1966)
    27. The Hilderbrand Rarity - Ian Fleming (1960)
    28. Dr No - Ian Fleming (1958)
    29. Win, Lose Or Die - John Gardner (1989)
    30. SeaFire - John Gardner (1994)
    31. Never Send Flowers - John Gardner (1993)
    32. Brokenclaw - John Gardner (1990)
    33. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming (1962)
    34. Octopussy - Ian Fleming (1966)
    35. The Man With The Golden Gun - Ian Fleming (1965)
    36. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming (1959)
    37. Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming (1956)
    38. 007 In New York - Ian Fleming (1966)
    39. The Man From Barbarossa - John Gardner (1991)

    Next up: COLD
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,659
    Well, better than I expected! You think it was that good because he had the luxury of a complete story to work with?
  • Posts: 2,585
    DB5 wrote:
    Just started Gardner's "Win, Lose or Die." Is this a good read or am I wasting my time?

    You're certainly not wasting your time but it's not as good as some of Gardner's others. You'll also meet a new Bond girl who reappears in another of Gardner's books later on.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,585
    GoldenEye

    With the exception of a few changes (Mishkin's christian name here is Viktor, rather than Dimitri in the film), Gardner's novelisation stays relatively close to the film. The carnage in the Tank chase is also present and correct.

    01. Moonraker - Ian Fleming (1955)
    02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming (1963)
    03. From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming (1957)
    04. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming (1964)
    05. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming (1953)
    06. For Special Services - John Gardner (1982)
    07. Licence Renewed - John Gardner (1981)
    08. Icebreaker - John Gardner (1983)
    09. The Living Daylights - Ian Fleming (1966)
    10. Role Of Honour - John Gardner (1984)
    11. Scorpius - John Gardner (1988)
    12. Licence To Kill - John Gardner (1989)
    13. The Spy Who Loved Me - Christopher Wood (1977)
    14. For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming (1960)
    15. Thunderball - Ian Fleming (1961)
    16. Quantum Of Solace - Ian Fleming (1960)
    *****17. GoldenEye - John Gardner (1995)*****
    18. Nobody Lives For Ever - John Gardner (1986)
    19. Live And Let Die - Ian Fleming (1954)
    20. Death Is Forever - John Gardner (1992)
    21. From A View To A Kill - Ian Fleming (1960)
    22. Risico - Ian Fleming (1960)
    23. No Deals, Mr Bond - John Gardner (1987)
    24. Moonraker - Christopher Wood (1979)
    25. Colonel Sun - Robert Markham (1968)
    26. The Property Of A Lady - Ian Fleming (1966)
    27. The Hilderbrand Rarity - Ian Fleming (1960)
    28. Dr No - Ian Fleming (1958)
    29. Win, Lose Or Die - John Gardner (1989)
    30. SeaFire - John Gardner (1994)
    31. Never Send Flowers - John Gardner (1993)
    32. Brokenclaw - John Gardner (1990)
    33. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming (1962)
    34. Octopussy - Ian Fleming (1966)
    35. The Man With The Golden Gun - Ian Fleming (1965)
    36. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming (1959)
    37. Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming (1956)
    38. 007 In New York - Ian Fleming (1966)
    39. The Man From Barbarossa - John Gardner (1991)

    Next up: COLD

    You'll find out more about Flick in COLD.

    For Special Services is also my favourite Gardner book. :)
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    DB5 wrote:
    Just started Gardner's "Win, Lose or Die." Is this a good read or am I wasting my time?

    It's an interesting idea to put Bond back in a Royal Navy environment, but ultimately if you don't like John Gardner's style of writing you may find this as frustrating and disappointing as most of his later works.

  • Die Another Day
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    edited September 2013 Posts: 13,845
    @chrisisall - That sounds about right. The novelisation sticks close to the film, so I would imagine Gardner has the shooting scripts or near enough.

    @Bounine - I was curious as to where Gardner was going to take their romance. My favourite Gardner book used to be Icebreaker, during this bondathon, For Special Services has moved to the top (of the Gardner books).

    @DB5 - As @saunders said, Gardner puts Bond back into a Naval environment, and there are some good aerial sequences, but other than those, there is much else worth noting. But by all means give it a try, one man's Moonraker is another man's Carte Blanche.
  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,585
    @chrisisall - That sounds about right. The novelisation sticks close to the film, so I would imagine Gardner has the shooting scripts or near enough.

    @Bounine - I curious was where Gardner was going to take their romance. My favourite Gardner book used to be Icebreaker, during this bondathon, For Special Services has moved to the top (of the Gardner books).

    @DB5 - As @saunders said, Gardner puts Bond back into a Naval environment, and there are some good aerial sequences, but other than those, there is much else worth noting. But by all means give it a try, one man's Moonraker is another man's Carte Blanche.

    Are you going to read the Benson books after COLD? Have you read them before? Benson puts Bond in some wonderful, colourful situations but his novels sound like fan fiction. He just can't or at least couldn't write particularly well back then. This hinders my enjoyment of his books. He brings back too many characters from the Fleming era too. It's OTT. This is another point which makes me think of fan fiction when I read them. I've read all of Gardner's books twice but I've only red Benson's once except for Zero Minus Ten.

  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    edited September 2013 Posts: 13,845
    I will indeed be reading the Benson books after COLD. I have previously only read 3 of them; High Time To Kill, Never Dream Of Dying and The Man With The Red Tattoo. I recall them reading like the 90's films, though I did enjoy High Time To Kill, especially when the expedition begins.
  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,585
    They were in the vein of the 90's films unfortunately. This is part of the reason that I'm not keen on them. I don't know whether it was IFP or Benson who chose to have them like this. Zero Minus Ten, if I remember correctly, is less like the 90's movies than Benson's other Bond books.

    I recall that golf match in HTTK not having any real suspense to it.

    Aside for Zero Minus Ten which isn't bad (this is my favourite of his or at least was, at the time of reading them), I haven't read any of them since they were first released. I might try reading them again one day but I'm not in any hurry. I think I'll start with TMWTRT. I think that I'd thought that this was better than the others bar ZMT at the time.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    edited September 2013 Posts: 13,845
    Having finished COLD, I found it to be a poor end to Gardner's patchy run. The Children Of the Last Days Days made for a bland enemy. Though it was sad to see the old M retire, it does pave the way for Benson to bring the books parallel to the films, which won't please everyone. And it was getting silly with one character apparently being killed, only to turn up later very much alive, apparently being killed again, turning up alive again and then finally being killed off (and not by Bond).

    Next time I read the books in from the beginning, I will try and read GoldenEye after COLD. Reading GoldenEye first. It was a bit awkward to go from male M in SeaFire, to the female M in Gardner's nevelisation of GoldenEye and back to the male M in COLD.

    01. Moonraker - Ian Fleming (1955)
    02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming (1963)
    03. From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming (1957)
    04. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming (1964)
    05. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming (1953)
    06. For Special Services - John Gardner (1982)
    07. Licence Renewed - John Gardner (1981)
    08. Icebreaker - John Gardner (1983)
    09. The Living Daylights - Ian Fleming (1966)
    10. Role Of Honour - John Gardner (1984)
    11. Scorpius - John Gardner (1988)
    12. Licence To Kill - John Gardner (1989)
    13. The Spy Who Loved Me - Christopher Wood (1977)
    14. For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming (1960)
    15. Thunderball - Ian Fleming (1961)
    16. Quantum Of Solace - Ian Fleming (1960)
    17. GoldenEye - John Gardner (1995)
    18. Nobody Lives For Ever - John Gardner (1986)
    19. Live And Let Die - Ian Fleming (1954)
    20. Death Is Forever - John Gardner (1992)
    21. From A View To A Kill - Ian Fleming (1960)
    22. Risico - Ian Fleming (1960)
    23. No Deals, Mr Bond - John Gardner (1987)
    24. Moonraker - Christopher Wood (1979)
    25. Colonel Sun - Robert Markham (1968)
    26. The Property Of A Lady - Ian Fleming (1966)
    27. The Hilderbrand Rarity - Ian Fleming (1960)
    28. Dr No - Ian Fleming (1958)
    29. Win, Lose Or Die - John Gardner (1989)
    30. SeaFire - John Gardner (1994)
    31. Never Send Flowers - John Gardner (1993)
    32. Brokenclaw - John Gardner (1990)
    33. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming (1962)
    34. Octopussy - Ian Fleming (1966)
    35. The Man With The Golden Gun - Ian Fleming (1965)
    36. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming (1959)
    37. Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming (1956)
    *****38. COLD - John Gardner (1996)*****
    39. 007 In New York - Ian Fleming (1966)
    30. The Man From Barbarossa - John Gardner (1991)

    Next up: Zero Minus Ten
  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,585
    Having finished COLD, I found it to be a poor end to Gardner's patchy run. The Children Of the Last Days Days made for a bland enemy. Though it was sad to see the old M retire, it does pave the way for Benson to bring the books parallel to the films, which won't please everyone. And it was getting silly with one character apparently being killed, only to turn up later very much alive, apparently being killed again, turning up alive again and then finally being killed off (and not by Bond).

    Next time I read the books in from the beginning, I will try and read GoldenEye after COLD. Reading GoldenEye first. It was a bit awkward to go from male M in SeaFire, to the female M in Gardner's nevelisation of GoldenEye and back to the male M in COLD.

    01. Moonraker - Ian Fleming (1955)
    02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming (1963)
    03. From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming (1957)
    04. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming (1964)
    05. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming (1953)
    06. For Special Services - John Gardner (1982)
    07. Licence Renewed - John Gardner (1981)
    08. Icebreaker - John Gardner (1983)
    09. The Living Daylights - Ian Fleming (1966)
    10. Role Of Honour - John Gardner (1984)
    11. Scorpius - John Gardner (1988)
    12. Licence To Kill - John Gardner (1989)
    13. The Spy Who Loved Me - Christopher Wood (1977)
    14. For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming (1960)
    15. Thunderball - Ian Fleming (1961)
    16. Quantum Of Solace - Ian Fleming (1960)
    17. GoldenEye - John Gardner (1995)
    18. Nobody Lives For Ever - John Gardner (1986)
    19. Live And Let Die - Ian Fleming (1954)
    20. Death Is Forever - John Gardner (1992)
    21. From A View To A Kill - Ian Fleming (1960)
    22. Risico - Ian Fleming (1960)
    23. No Deals, Mr Bond - John Gardner (1987)
    24. Moonraker - Christopher Wood (1979)
    25. Colonel Sun - Robert Markham (1968)
    26. The Property Of A Lady - Ian Fleming (1966)
    27. The Hilderbrand Rarity - Ian Fleming (1960)
    28. Dr No - Ian Fleming (1958)
    29. Win, Lose Or Die - John Gardner (1989)
    30. SeaFire - John Gardner (1994)
    31. Never Send Flowers - John Gardner (1993)
    32. Brokenclaw - John Gardner (1990)
    33. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming (1962)
    34. Octopussy - Ian Fleming (1966)
    35. The Man With The Golden Gun - Ian Fleming (1965)
    36. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming (1959)
    37. Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming (1956)
    *****38. COLD - John Gardner (1996)*****
    39. 007 In New York - Ian Fleming (1966)
    30. The Man From Barbarossa - John Gardner (1991)

    Next up: Zero Minus Ten

    Yeah, COLD would probably be the second poorest novel in Gardner's series after The Man From Barbarossa. I would have to read them for a third time as it's been a few years. He was quite sick at that point though as I understand it. There were parts of COLD that were entertaining but overall it's pretty drab. I liked how he brought back a certain Bond girl from one of his other books. This was something Fleming never did.

    I find it interesting and pleasantly surprising that you rank some of Gardner's books above some of Fleming's. So many people slag off the Gardner books, some of whom, have only read one or two. A good few of them are very nice reads.

    Hope you enjoy Zero Minus Ten. Aside for this novel which I've read a couple of times, I've only read the Benson books once and this was way back when each one was just released but as far as I remember, ZMT is my favourite out of all of them. As I said before, if I remember correctly, there is less influence from the films in this one then there is in the rest of them. Are you going to re-read the Benson books you've already read?
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,845
    It's a controversial opinion. Yes Fleming created Bond, but I don't think he got it right al the time. Take GF, personally, I found it to be a tedious book to read.

    As for the Benson books, it's been about 10 years since I read High Time To Kill, Never Dream Of Dying & The Man With The Red Tattoo, so I will be re reading those. I'm only a few chapters into Zero Minus Ten, but my impression so far... it's quite good.
  • edited September 2013 Posts: 2,585
    No, Fleming didn't get it right all the time. DAF is probably my least favourite of Fleming's yarns. I don't count 007 in NY in that. It was written especially for the Americans because they were unhappy with some of the negative things he said about NY if I remember correctly and I don't really count it as a proper story.

    I think that some of Gardner's books are definitely better than Colonel Sun and maybe DAF too. Some find that hard to comprehend. LOL.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Just finished Gardner's "Win, Lose or Die." As Saunders and MajorDSmythe have noted, putting Bond back in the British Royal Navy was an interesting premise, and the story moved along reasonably well. The one problem, and I'll issue a spoiler alert here, is that Gardner has a penchant for plot twists in which at least one and sometimes several of the leading characters are not whom they seem to be. This was especially the case in Icebreaker, but I've seen it in No Deals Mr. Bond and again here.
  • Posts: 2,585
    I don't think that there is anything wrong with plot twists, providing there aren't too many. I'd have to read the Garner books again but if I remember correctly, I never felt that there were too many in his Bond books.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,845
    Raymond Benson wastes no time in undoing the changes made by Gardner; gone are Microglobe One (SIS is back to being overseen directly by M), the 00 Section is reinstated as if it never left and Bond is back to using the Walther PPK (he does mention having used the ASP 9mm in recent times). I like that Bond, as well as his Chelsea flat, also own a house in Jamaica called Shamelady. I enjoyed this one, as my ranking showed. But one thing did bother me...
    I thought that Benson made it too obvious that Thackeray wasn't dead. A van pulls up, blocking Bond's view of the car, then pulls away. Moments later Thackeray's "assassin" throws an explosive through the window. No more Guy Thackery, or so we were supposed to think. It felt too convenient, and as it turned out, my suspicion was correct.

    01. Moonraker - Ian Fleming (1955)
    02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming (1963)
    03. From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming (1957)
    04. You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming (1964)
    05. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming (1953)
    06. For Special Services - John Gardner (1982)
    07. Licence Renewed - John Gardner (1981)
    08. Icebreaker - John Gardner (1983)
    09. The Living Daylights - Ian Fleming (1966)
    *****10. Zero Minus Ten - Raymond Benson (1997)*****
    11. Role Of Honour - John Gardner (1984)
    12. Scorpius - John Gardner (1988)
    13. Licence To Kill - John Gardner (1989)
    14. The Spy Who Loved Me - Christopher Wood (1977)
    15. For Your Eyes Only - Ian Fleming (1960)
    16. Thunderball - Ian Fleming (1961)
    17. Quantum Of Solace - Ian Fleming (1960)
    18. GoldenEye - John Gardner (1995)
    19. Nobody Lives For Ever - John Gardner (1986)
    20. Live And Let Die - Ian Fleming (1954)
    21. Death Is Forever - John Gardner (1992)
    22. From A View To A Kill - Ian Fleming (1960)
    23. Risico - Ian Fleming (1960)
    24. No Deals, Mr Bond - John Gardner (1987)
    25. Moonraker - Christopher Wood (1979)
    26. Colonel Sun - Robert Markham (1968)
    27. The Property Of A Lady - Ian Fleming (1966)
    28. The Hilderbrand Rarity - Ian Fleming (1960)
    29. Dr No - Ian Fleming (1958)
    30. Win, Lose Or Die - John Gardner (1989)
    31. SeaFire - John Gardner (1994)
    32. Never Send Flowers - John Gardner (1993)
    33. Brokenclaw - John Gardner (1990)
    34. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming (1962)
    35. Octopussy - Ian Fleming (1966)
    36. The Man With The Golden Gun - Ian Fleming (1965)
    37. Goldfinger - Ian Fleming (1959)
    38. Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming (1956)
    39. COLD - John Gardner (1996)
    40. 007 In New York - Ian Fleming (1966)
    41. The Man From Barbarossa - John Gardner (1991)

    Next up: Tomorrow Never Dies
  • chrisaldermanchrisalderman London
    Posts: 4
    i've just started Christopher Wood's The Spy Who Loved Me and so far have been very impressed. Being the first ever novelisation of a Bond film i expected it to be a fairly straight forward 'film to book' story but it's remarkably Fleming-esque. From what i've read so far i would recommend it to all Bond book fans.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,659
    i've just started Christopher Wood's The Spy Who Loved Me and so far have been very impressed.
    Yes, that one's good to the end!
  • Currently re-reading Casino Royale. Only my second time reading it, though!
  • i've just started Christopher Wood's The Spy Who Loved Me and so far have been very impressed. Being the first ever novelisation of a Bond film i expected it to be a fairly straight forward 'film to book' story but it's remarkably Fleming-esque. From what i've read so far i would recommend it to all Bond book fans.

    Just picked up a copy of this, too. At an antique store no less! It's next on my list.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,659
    Esprit wrote:
    Just picked up a copy of this, too. At an antique store no less! It's next on my list.

    Let us know what you think!
  • Posts: 2,400
    I'm reading TMWTGG. I still think it's fantastic. No, not nearly the best, but very readable and thrilling.
  • edited September 2013 Posts: 12,828
    I'm reading Colonel Sun at the moment, getting towards the end now, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Wasn't sure about reading any of the continuation books but a few members on here said this one was worth my time so I thought I'd give it a go. Pretty violent book, I do think it's as good as some of the Fleming novels.
    I'm reading TMWTGG. I still think it's fantastic. No, not nearly the best, but very readable and thrilling.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed TMWTGG when I read it because I'd heard so much about how it was one of the weaker books. I think it's the most underrated of the novels.
  • SilverFin
    Uh oh, I went out of order again but with good taste. I was introduced to Young Bond, and it was great. Higson got Bond's personality right, villain's great, and secondary characters are written better than Faulks and Deaver's.


    1. From Russia With Love
    2. Moonraker
    3. Dr. No
    4. Casino Royale
    5. SilverFin
    5. Live and Let Die
    6. Goldfinger
    7. Carte Blanche (Recently I've revisited this and enjoy the new characters than DAF's)
    8. Diamonds Are Forever
    9. Devil May Care


    Recently visited my library and found Christopher Wood's James Bond and Moonraker. John Gardner's RoH, BC, TMFB, WLoD, Scorpius. Raymond Benson's TFoD, HTTK, DoubleShot, NDoD, TMWTRT. Charlie Higson's BRC. And SOLO is out on the 8th. so ----
    Weston McKay Will Return In
    ................................I Don't Know..........
  • timdalton007timdalton007 North Alabama
    Posts: 153
    Just started reading Zero Minus Ten, which I haven't read before, and I'm pleastenly surprised by it so far. It has certainly confirmed the impression I've had of Benson's books that he tried to combine the film and literary versions of Bond as it does read like it could have been done in place of Tomorrow Never Dies (and probably would have been a better film).

    timdalton007
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    I'm reading Colonel Sun at the moment, getting towards the end now, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Wasn't sure about reading any of the continuation books but a few members on here said this one was worth my time so I thought I'd give it a go. Pretty violent book, I do think it's as good as some of the Fleming novels.
    I'm reading TMWTGG. I still think it's fantastic. No, not nearly the best, but very readable and thrilling.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed TMWTGG when I read it because I'd heard so much about how it was one of the weaker books. I think it's the most underrated of the novels.

    Totally agree with you regarding TMWTGG, I feel it's very underrated and certainly not Fleming's weakest effort, nice to know I'm alone in my thinking.
    Personally I think Colonel Sun is slightly overrated, in my opinion it does not live up to the original novels, though Kingsley Amis tries, he can't capture the Fleming 'sweep', his descriptions of Greece lack the sense of place and his characters seem rather two dimensional.
  • Posts: 1,425
    Currently reading Diamonds are Forever after just finishing Moonraker. Once again, I am reminded how the film series went right off the rails. If ever two films needed to be re-made, these two should be right up there.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    CrabKey wrote:
    Currently reading Diamonds are Forever after just finishing Moonraker. Once again, I am reminded how the film series went right off the rails. If ever two films needed to be re-made, these two should be right up there.

    Could not agree more.

    Two of my favorite novels and least favorite films.

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