Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 938
    Birdleson wrote: »
    It is the consummate Bond novel.

    Completely agree, I haven't been able to put it down this past week especially with there being no Football on
  • Posts: 15,556
    For Your Eyes Only.
    Soon finished reading FYEO for the first time. It's interesting to read these shorter stories. Bond works just as well in a format like this.

    Personally I find the short stories even better. Especially with a view to a kill and the Hildebrand rarity.

    I can definitely see why, @CommanderRoss! With A View To A Kill was particularly great, and I've just started reading The Hildebrand Rarity.
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Another request to log your reads onto the 2029 Bond Novel meter.

    Will do, @Birdleson :-)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,020
    Thank you!
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 687
    I really wish there were a section or something in Reviews in Fan Creations for the Fleming novels. Anyway. I finished On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and absolutely loved it, definitely my favorite of the four Fleming books I have read so far. I’m going to start reading You Only Live Twice tomorrow, looking forward to it, I’ve heard many great things about it.
  • Posts: 1,407
    Just finished Forever And a Day. Enjoyable for sure. Next up is Solo for me
  • Posts: 266
    I've just finished Trigger Mortis, I thought it was great. My favourite of the new continuation novels I've read so far. Loved it all but especially the Murder On Wheels chapter.

    I haven't read Forever And A Day yet, i'm going to start that soon and see how it measures up.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 687
    I've read Forever And A Day and loved it. Looking forward to reading Trigger Mortis, which I will get to at some point, right now my hands are full with reading some Fleming books for the first time. I just started You Only Live Twice.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,135
    Agent_47 wrote: »
    @Agent_47 I recommend trying the first three or four John Gardner novels. They're obviously not Fleming and are more minor missions. I've enjoyed them over the years as a good read during travel.
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    I've only read Icebreaker and thought it was fantastic. Out of the 3 non Fleming books I have read so far I'd say it's my favourite of the bunch.

    Which would you say is the best of Gardner's first four? I'm not really a stickler for continuity so I can pick up whichever.

    Catching up, I'd still say start with Licence Renewed, @Agent_47. It's a careful, professional approach by Gardner to reestablish Bond.

    Here's how Raymond Benson describes things in his The James Bond Bedside Companion.
    THE JOHN GARDNER BOOKS

    The summer of 1981 was significant for James Bond
    fans: the first in a new series of novels was published.
    British mystery writer John Gardner was approached
    by Glidrose to resurrect Bond from literary limbo, and
    the result was LICENCE RENEWED. This was followed by
    FOR SPECIAL SERVICES (1982), and ICEBREAKER (1983).
    Gardner has since been signed to write additional 007
    books.

    The books are controversial among Bond fans
    in that they make many changes in Bond's world.
    Gardner's writing style is dissimilar to Fleming's, and
    Gardner/Glidrose have elected to update Bond's en-
    vironment; basically, the character has been picked up
    and placed unchanged in the eighties. This change
    may be disconcerting to some fans who desire a con-
    tinuity with the Fleming series. In 1981, the "real"
    James Bond would be in his late fifties; the Bond of
    the Gardner novels is still fairly young--perhaps in his
    forties (there is a little grey showing in his black hair).
    Another striking stylistic element of the books is that
    they resemble the film scripts more than the original
    Fleming novels. Gadgets abound in the books, and
    LICENCE RENEWED especially borrows ingredients from
    the film versions of GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, and
    ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. But despite these
    disconcerting changes, all three Gardner efforts are fast
    reading, slick, and entertaining.

    LICENCE RENEWED concerns James Bond's investi-
    gation of Anton Murik, the Laird of Murcaldy. Murik
    was a top nuclear scientist who had developed plans
    for a "perfectly safe" nuclear reactor. But his col-
    leagues at the International Atomic Energy Research
    Commission would not approve his plan. Murik re-
    signed and began making plans to hire terrorists to
    infiltrate six major nuclear plants around the world in
    order to cause meltdowns unless he is allowed to build
    his own reactor.

    Chapter 2.
    "As far as I'm concerned, 007, you will remain 007. I shall
    take full responsibility for you, and you will, as ever, accept
    orders and assignments only from me. There are moments
    when this country need a troubleshooter--a blunt instru-
    ment--and by heaven it's going to have one. They can issue
    their pieces of bumf and abolish the Double-O section. We
    can simply change its name. It will now be the Special Sec-
    tion, and you are it. Understand, 007?"
    6d607435465469961bb9ce3fb4f8f77b7335791a.png
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,062
    Listening to Die Another Day on CD.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited March 2020 Posts: 2,062
    Has anyone read the comic Permission to Die? I’d like to read it, but can’t find a copy. Is it good? I hear it’s a sequel of sorts to From Russia with Love.
  • Posts: 1,160
    I listen to bond most nights as I fall asleep. flemings writing is just fantastic.

    I love octopussy and for your eyes only from the short stories.

    Currently just starting Solo
  • edited March 2020 Posts: 2,302
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Has anyone read the comic Permission to Die? I’d like to read it, but can’t find a copy. Is it good? I hear it’s a sequel of sorts to From Russia with Love.

    The comic was originally issued in three issues and then collected in a paperback that has gone out of print and is very expensive. If you look online, issues 1 and 2 are very common, whereas 3 tends to score higher prices. I found someone offering all three on ebay last week and bought them--I'll let you know what I think. Grell is a Fleming fan, so I'm hoping for good things. I also acquired a lengthy interview with him about PTD that I hope to eventually post on this forum.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,062
    Revelator wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Has anyone read the comic Permission to Die? I’d like to read it, but can’t find a copy. Is it good? I hear it’s a sequel of sorts to From Russia with Love.

    The comic was originally issued in three issues and then collected in a paperback that has gone out of print and is very expensive. If you look online, issues 1 and 2 are very common, whereas 3 tends to score higher prices. I found someone offering all three on ebay last week and bought them--I'll let you know what I think. Grell is a Fleming fan, so I'm hoping for good things. I also acquired a lengthy interview with him about PTD that I hope to eventually post on this forum.

    Thank you for your help!
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 687
    Matt007 wrote: »
    I listen to bond most nights as I fall asleep. flemings writing is just fantastic.

    I love octopussy and for your eyes only from the short stories.

    Currently just starting Solo


    I’ve heard various opinions about Solo. If it’s any good, let us know and I’ll check it out, eventually.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,020
    It's not Fleming, but what I like about SOLO is that, unlike the bulk of the continuation novels, I feel as though I'm in the hands of a capable wordsmith.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    edited March 2020 Posts: 687
    I’ve only read one continuation novel so far, Anthony Horowitz’s Forever And A Day, and it felt pretty close to Fleming, which I suppose was the intent. I don’t think Bond continuation novels novels necessarily need to channel Fleming as much as possible, though they shouldn’t stray too far from Fleming’s Bond either. More than anything, though, the authors need to deliver a good, memorable Bond adventure that a reader would want to return to. If you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be writing Bond.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,020
    I want a solid writer, not Fleming. Horowitz is better than most that have attempted, but he still comes across as bush league to me when I'm reading his Bond novels. I have liked his television work.
  • Posts: 3,923
    I liked Foyle's War a lot, which makes me a bit biased towards Horowitz's continuation novels.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Enemy of the state
    Posts: 41,577
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I want a solid writer, not Fleming. Horowitz is better than most that have attempted, but he still comes across as bush league to me when I'm reading his Bond novels. I have liked his television work.

    Horowitz thoroughly turned me off from reading any more of him with Trigger Mortis, but I would like to read Solo after your recommendation. I am also curious about Benson, and may also try him out whenever I find an available book.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 2020 Posts: 31,020
    vzok wrote: »
    I liked Foyle's War a lot, which makes me a bit biased towards Horowitz's continuation novels.

    I liked it too, which is why I was a bit disappointed when it came to his prose.

    I only read one Benson short story and it turned me off so much that I've never tried another.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,954
    Most of all I want the writer to understand Bond. The chaacter, his motivations, his drive, his knowledge, his skills. I can accept the fact that there's only one Fleming, but not that Bond would do things he just wouldn't do. And THAT has been quite the challenge. Horrowits makes few mistakes, so I'm quite happy with him and Forever and a Day was pretty good imo.
    Sharky wrote: »
    I've just finished Trigger Mortis, I thought it was great. My favourite of the new continuation novels I've read so far. Loved it all but especially the Murder On Wheels chapter.

    I haven't read Forever And A Day yet, i'm going to start that soon and see how it measures up.
    IIRC that is the chapter based on Flemings' material, no?
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,020
    In both novels the same chapter is based on the original Fleming teleplay (Chapter 7, I believe). I bought the special editions of both that contain copies of Fleming's original drafts. Unseen Fleming Bond, even at only a total of 15 pages between the two books, is priceless to me. And there are three more untapped treatments under wraps.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,062
    Just finished listening to Die Another Day on CD. The quality of writing and expansion between DAD and Tomorrow Never Dies by Raymond Benson is bad. Nothing but a straight adaptation.
  • edited March 2020 Posts: 623
    I think Benson himself said the movie tie-ins were rushed. I think they're the weakest Bond novels I've come across. Which feels a bit of a mean thing to say, because I honestly think Benson, with what he started with as a first-time novelist, did really well with the original books he did.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,062
    shamanimal wrote: »
    I think Benson himself said the movie tie-ins were rushed. I think they're the weakest Bond novels I've come across. Which feels a bit of a mean thing to say, because I honestly think Benson, with what he started with as a first-time novelist, did really well with the original books he did.

    I still quite like the TND novelization. It’s very fitting for the times we are going through now.
  • Posts: 7,642
    Did read Win, lose or Die it is certainly one of Gardners lesser 007 books with 007 doing somewhat of a Top Gun act and less of 007.
  • edited March 2020 Posts: 1,585
    Re-reading Diamonds are Forever. Whenever I return to the novels I’m always struck by how strong Fleming’s prose was, for a pulp fictionist.

    I also sort of like how different the films are. Gives us more Bond and I don’t have to necessarily always picture the film when reading. So I view them as totally different adventures.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 687
    I’ve heard so many negative things about Diamonds Are Forever. Calvin Dyson on YouTube did say that Tiffany Case is a highlight, though, which sounds interesting. I’d have to wade through more of Fleming’s low opinion of us Americans, though, from everything I’ve heard about the clichéd mobsters. That’s okay, I’m reading YOLT now and I’m just past a part where Tiger Tanaka bitches about us, which is understandable. I’m starting to get used to Fleming’s views on us (I had better if I want to get through LALD).
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,020
    It’s probably the weakest of the novels, but there is still so much greatness in it.
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