On the right track? - Your thoughts on John Gardner's Death is Forever (1992)

DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
edited January 2016 in Literary 007 Posts: 13,926
I'm currently researching John Gardner's Death is Forever (1992) (and its possible relation to UK laws on the Channel Tunnel specifically) and so I was wondering what other members here thought on this James Bond continuation novel?

In some ways it is a rehash of the earlier No Deals, Mr Bond (1987) what with the Cabal agents being killed off one by one as the members of the Cream Cake operation were in NDMB. Into this mix was thrown the topicality of the uncertainty towards the New World Order proclaimed by President George Bush Snr as the 45 year Cold War in Europe came to an end with the collapse of the "Evil Empire", the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 (the collapse of its European Empire in Western and Central Europe having occurred . The AIDS epidemic is also referenced and we are told for the first timer that Bond practices safe sex (Gardner clearly wanted to send out a moral message to any impressionable readers who might be out there). Then there was the added topicality of the new Channel Tunnel/Eurotunnel built between Britain and France and an all-too-real terrorism plot to kill all of the leaders of then then European Community (EC) in a mass assassination on board the Euro Star and bring communism to life again across all European borders.

So this is the designated thread for the discussion of John Gardner's Death is Forever (1992) as we don't seem to ever have had one hitherto.

I'd love to hear all of your thoughts, comments, reviews, critiques, criticisms etc. in the space below. Thanks in advance, as always. :)

Comments

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy N.Ireland
    Posts: 11,893
    I agree it is a "revisiting" of ideas from No Deals, Mr Bond. Although it is
    The most "set in contemporary events" Bond novel.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,926
    I agree it is a "revisiting" of ideas from No Deals, Mr Bond. Although it is
    The most "set in contemporary events"
    Bond novel.

    Yes, perhaps along with The Man From Barbarossa (1991) as well.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,119
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited January 2016 Posts: 13,926
    suavejmf wrote: »
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.

    Seriously? John Gardner is second only to Kingsley Amis in my book.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    suavejmf wrote: »
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.

    Let me offer some evidence to counter this dubious claim:

    Exhibit A: Faulkes - appalling pastiche.
    Exhibit B: Benson - Americanised fan fiction.
    Exhibit C: @Iguanna - Woeful trolling.

    Anyway in answer to the original post I have to say I find DIF the most enjoyable of the later era Gardner novels (TMFB to Cold).

    I remember finding the topical (then) finale great fun and I have to admit I did like Gardner's occasional forays into the real world; meeting the world leaders in WLD and Diana in NSF also spring to mind (although please don't take that as any endorsement of NSF Draggers!! It's still awful).
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 2,181
    Is this the one with "the poison dwarf"? If so, it's all I can remember from that book, probably because it's the only really Bondian element. My problem with Gardner is that his early Bonds read like pastiches of the movies and his later ones barely read like Bonds of any kind.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited December 2020 Posts: 13,926
    Revelator wrote: »
    Is this the one with "the poison dwarf"? If so, it's all I can remember from that book, probably because it's the only really Bondian element. My problem with Gardner is that his early Bonds read like pastiches of the movies and his later ones barely read like Bonds of any kind.

    Yes, correct, the villain in Death is Forever Wolfgang Weisen was nicknamed 'the Poison Dwarf' (Dr Josef Goebbels was also nicknamed this of course) but there was also another character (a midget hitman called Paul Cordova) in the earlier Nobody Lives Forever (1986) who was originally called 'the Poison Dwarf'.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,119
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.

    Seriously? John Gardner is second only to Kingsley Amis in my book.

    Amis, Boyd, Horrowitz and Faulkes all far better than Gardner in my book.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited January 2016 Posts: 5,119
    suavejmf wrote: »
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.

    Let me offer some evidence to counter this dubious claim:

    Exhibit A: Faulkes - appalling pastiche.
    Exhibit B: Benson - Americanised fan fiction.
    Exhibit C: @Iguanna - Woeful trolling.

    Anyway in answer to the original post I have to say I find DIF the most enjoyable of the later era Gardner novels (TMFB to Cold).

    I remember finding the topical (then) finale great fun and I have to admit I did like Gardner's occasional forays into the real world; meeting the world leaders in WLD and Diana in NSF also spring to mind (although please don't take that as any endorsement of NSF Draggers!! It's still awful).

    I really liked Devil May Care actually. Faulkes 60's set novel was far more Flemingesque than Gardner.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    suavejmf wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    My view is that Gardner is the worst of the continuation authors.

    Let me offer some evidence to counter this dubious claim:

    Exhibit A: Faulkes - appalling pastiche.
    Exhibit B: Benson - Americanised fan fiction.
    Exhibit C: @Iguanna - Woeful trolling.

    Anyway in answer to the original post I have to say I find DIF the most enjoyable of the later era Gardner novels (TMFB to Cold).

    I remember finding the topical (then) finale great fun and I have to admit I did like Gardner's occasional forays into the real world; meeting the world leaders in WLD and Diana in NSF also spring to mind (although please don't take that as any endorsement of NSF Draggers!! It's still awful).

    I really liked Devil May Care actually. Faulkes 60's set novel was far more Flemingesque than Gardner.

    Funniest thing I've read all day. It's the DAD of Bond novels.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,926
    Anyone else want to give their thoughts on John Gardner's Death is Forever? I'd love to hear from you!
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