Bond Novel Meter 2021

2

Comments

  • For Special Services: 1 +1

    Gardner: 4 +1

    It's been awhile since I've read this one. How did you like it?

    Like most of the Gardner books, I like them and will defend them to a point, but there things than can't be defended. I just can't get over how Felix, knowing what Bond is like with women, actually offeres up his own daughter as a reward for a good job. When Felix lost his hand in the shark attack, did he lose the rational part of his brain too? As an ancient greek philosopher once said, "This sounds a bit dodgy to me.".

    I wasn't sure about Bismaquer using ice cream as a means to administer the drug, but that topped it and then some.

    Cedar was a good character, but I agree, that ending could have been handled in any number of other ways. I always viewed For Special Services as sort of the Goldfinger of Gardner's Bonds: ambitious in scope, outlandish in premise, larger-than-life villains in a larger-than-life plot. So in that respect, the ice cream business never bothered me too much. In an odd way, it felt more akin to the outlandishness of Fleming's Bonds than Gardner's more down-to-earth, cloak-and-dagger Bond thrillers. I'll have to give it a re-read at some point and see if it holds up.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,490
    Like most of the Gardner books, I like them and will defend them to a point, but there things than can't be defended. I just can't get over how Felix, knowing what Bond is like with women, actually offeres up his own daughter as a reward for a good job.

    I read this one recently and was so outraged I was moved to make this little homage.

    321957_original.jpg
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Like most of the Gardner books, I like them and will defend them to a point, but there things than can't be defended. I just can't get over how Felix, knowing what Bond is like with women, actually offeres up his own daughter as a reward for a good job.

    I read this one recently and was so outraged I was moved to make this little homage.

    321957_original.jpg

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,490
    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    Then my work here is done!
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    edited February 26 Posts: 4,399
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Like most of the Gardner books, I like them and will defend them to a point, but there things than can't be defended. I just can't get over how Felix, knowing what Bond is like with women, actually offeres up his own daughter as a reward for a good job.

    I read this one recently and was so outraged I was moved to make this little homage.

    321957_original.jpg

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    :-O X_X wow...... i watched Mr Dyson's review of this novel, and he mentioned this bit at the end, but didn't go into great detail about it.. perhaps, the time in which it was written by a man of his age, this was considered cute or cheeky?.. IDK.. it's very sleazy... and it's not that i'm put off by the idea of Leiter giving his blessing to a possible relationship between Bond and his daughter - but holy hell, handle it with some decency maybe if you are going to go down that road.. it reads like something out of a low brow 50's sitcom.. i can almost hear the canned laugh track that should follow it.. i would picture Leiter being more like "i know what's going on, and while I don't approve, she is her own person and a grown woman and make her own decisions." .. or something along those lines... that leaves more open to the idea that Leiter isn't thrilled, and is letting Bond know gently without offending their friendship.. because often times in these situations, the more a parent says no - the more it drives the child into the arms of that person.. so this way, he's more or less like she'll need to learn this lesson the hard way..... but at the same time, Bond should show absolutely no serious interest in her as well.... i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    ... although... it does sort of follow in the steps of Fleming's view of women when he wrote his novels, being objects instead of well rounded characters (with a few exceptions).. so... yeah...
  • HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Wattenscheid
    Posts: 380
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 0
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 0
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Role of Honour: 0
    Nobody Lives Forever: 0
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1 (+1)
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 10
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 5
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1 (+1)
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,057
    Well, @ImpertinentGoon , congratulations! Someone finally made it all the way through that book!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,743
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 0
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 0
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1 +1
    Role of Honour: 0
    Nobody Lives Forever: 0
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 10
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 6 +1
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.
  • Posts: 5,418
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    hahaha oh don't worry. I've never been a fan of any continuation novels, of any series. The one exeption beeing the sixt installment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (for those who don't know, it's a trilogy in five parts). For Bond, it meant that I stayed away from any, until I dared try Devil May Care, which chased me away immediately. Later I tried Carte Blance (also horrid) until finally, after countless reviews here, I tried Colonel Sun. That one was at least doable, and to my surprise I founf both Horowitz's entries entertaining. Funnily enough, it wasn't difficult to find the parts that Fleming wrote there, but somehow Horowitz seems to be able to at least make everything work properly, at least it's the Bond I know from Fleming.

    As with DMC and CB, just a few scenes can ruin the book for me if they're off character. I don't remember which one it was, but Bond not knowing anything about Iran is as likely as a meteorite hitting his head. The guy's been in international espionage for years! It just destroys the whole story. So in a way you did me a favour, for now I won't read Gartner and won't be dissapinted, which, as you can read above, is easy to do when it comes to Bond. And reading and beeing dissapointed is far worse than not reading at all ;-)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,057
    I can't even get through the passages that you guys are discussing. But thanks for keeping the thread alive and interesting!
  • Posts: 5,418
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    hahaha oh don't worry. I've never been a fan of any continuation novels, of any series. The one exeption beeing the sixt installment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (for those who don't know, it's a trilogy in five parts). For Bond, it meant that I stayed away from any, until I dared try Devil May Care, which chased me away immediately. Later I tried Carte Blance (also horrid) until finally, after countless reviews here, I tried Colonel Sun. That one was at least doable, and to my surprise I founf both Horowitz's entries entertaining. Funnily enough, it wasn't difficult to find the parts that Fleming wrote there, but somehow Horowitz seems to be able to at least make everything work properly, at least it's the Bond I know from Fleming.

    As with DMC and CB, just a few scenes can ruin the book for me if they're off character. I don't remember which one it was, but Bond not knowing anything about Iran is as likely as a meteorite hitting his head. The guy's been in international espionage for years! It just destroys the whole story. So in a way you did me a favour, for now I won't read Gartner and won't be dissapinted, which, as you can read above, is easy to do when it comes to Bond. And reading and beeing dissapointed is far worse than not reading at all ;-)

    There is potential for much greater things to be done with Bond, continuity-wise. I actually think Boyd's Solo, set in 1969, was one of the better continuation novels, both in terms of the quality of the prose and in staying true to Fleming while approaching the character from a 21st century perspective. I'd have been very happy for Boyd to have been the recurring literary handler of Bond rather than Horowitz. Wood's James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me is worth a read too, though even there I have my quibbles. I have to temper my expectations greatly whenever reading the continuations but generally follow the motto that "bad Bond is better than no Bond." I've been getting into Dynamite's 007 comics lately and am struggling with how Fleming's creations have been managed there, so I definitely understand your feelings regarding modern interpretations!
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 7 Posts: 30,057
    I agree about SOLO, very well-written, and it benefits from it's low-key earthy approach. For my it's only COLONEL SUN, the Wood adaptations and SOLO that are worth the time after Fleming. The Horowitz books have been a boon in that the special editions give us some heretofore unseen Fleming Bond. That's gold to me.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited March 7 Posts: 13,862
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    It would seem it is always easier to ruminate on the perceived negative aspects of the Gardner Bond novels (or any of the other Bond continuation novels for that matter). It's after all very difficult to disprove a negative if that is your mindset going in to reading a novel. It's therefore all about the frame of mind that one brings to the Bond continuation project as a whole. One can approach them overly critically or one can decide to enjoy them for what they are and not constantly nitpick every sentence or paragraph for nor being Flemingesque or Bondian enough or whatever. We know after over 50 years of the Bond Continuation project that no one can ever take the place of Ian Fleming. That's a given. He was a truly remarkable writer and one of a kind very difficult to replicate.

    Granted, there are the usual criticisms of Gardner that rear their head when his books are discussed. They include the aforementioned Bond-Cedar Leiter relationship, the character of Q'ute, the disbanding of the Double-O Section, the Saab 900 car, the use of EuroDisney in a climactic scene and Bond's waxing lyrical about Disneyland, the overuse of double and triple crosses in the novels from Icebreaker onwards and so on and so forth.

    I very much agree with what @Some_Kind_Of_Hero eloquently said in the post quoted above. As he said we shouldn't automatically decide to just throw out the idea of reading the Gardner Bond novels because of one foul note. To my mind that's tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's a tad extreme as a reaction to reading one part of a novel that you didn't like. Each novel has to be judged on its own merits and as @Some_Kind_Of_Hero said Gardner did make a massive contribution to the Bond field of literature with fourteen original Bond novels and two film novelisation, totalling sixteen books. Gardner is in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more Bond novels than Fleming himself. Of course no one is saying that Gardner's novels are better than Fleming's or have more literary merit. They merely build on the firm base put down by Fleming the master craftsman from Casino Royale onwards. Like all continuation novels Bondian or otherwise they are an exercise in arranging or rearranging other men's flowers. They're also an exercise, to put it at the basest level, in continuing the copyright in the literary Bond novels and character and of course a commercial transaction for the Fleming Estate and literary copyright holders. That being so, I say jolly good luck to them!

    You can criticise Gardner as much as you want but you have to admit, grudgingly if you must, that he contributed a lot to the literary Bond world in the fifteen years between the publication of Licence Renewed in 1981 and the publication of Cold in 1996. No other Bond author since Fleming himself wrote that amount of Bond novels so on the sheer volume of his work if nothing else he deserves a lot more respect than he currently gets from the Bond community. Sadly little ever changes though and it's just the cross that Gardner fans have to carry through the ages. Would it be too much to ask that Gardner's contribution to the Bond world could receive a revisionist history 40 years after it first began? It might be but here's hoping that it surfaces at some point!
  • Posts: 5,418
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Granted, there are the usual criticisms of Gardner that rear their head when his books are discussed. They include the aforementioned Bond-Cedar Leiter relationship, the character of Q'ute, the disbanding of the Double-O Section, the Saab 900 car, the use of EuroDisney in a climactic scene and Bond's waxing lyrical about Disneyland, the overuse of double and triple crosses in the novels from Icebreaker onwards and so on and so forth.

    You forgot my favorite: anyone and everyone, from Bond to M to May to the villains to the meter checker, spouting full stanzas of poetry in everyday conversation. ;)

    I actually like that Gardner's books weren't Fleming. He brought Bond forward into the 80s and 90s with some of the most memorable new villains this side of Sun, an Italian principessa, the resurgence and destruction of SPECTRE, and thrilling finales ranging from Brokenclaw's body-breaking Okeepa ritual to No Deals, Mr. Bond's "Most Dangerous Game"-style melee weapon battle on a Hong Kong island. All things considered, the world of Bond would be poorer for his absence.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,743
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 0
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 0
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1 +1
    Nobody Lives Forever: 0
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 10
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 7 +1
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    It would seem it is always easier to ruminate on the perceived negative aspects of the Gardner Bond novels (or any of the other Bond continuation novels for that matter). It's after all very difficult to disprove a negative if that is your mindset going in to reading a novel. It's therefore all about the frame of mind that one brings to the Bond continuation project as a whole. One can approach them overly critically or one can decide to enjoy them for what they are and not constantly nitpick every sentence or paragraph for nor being Flemingesque or Bondian enough or whatever. We know after over 50 years of the Bond Continuation project that no one can ever take the place of Ian Fleming. That's a given. He was a truly remarkable writer and one of a kind very difficult to replicate.

    Granted, there are the usual criticisms of Gardner that rear their head when his books are discussed. They include the aforementioned Bond-Cedar Leiter relationship, the character of Q'ute, the disbanding of the Double-O Section, the Saab 900 car, the use of EuroDisney in a climactic scene and Bond's waxing lyrical about Disneyland, the overuse of double and triple crosses in the novels from Icebreaker onwards and so on and so forth.

    I very much agree with what @Some_Kind_Of_Hero eloquently said in the post quoted above. As he said we shouldn't automatically decide to just throw out the idea of reading the Gardner Bond novels because of one foul note. To my mind that's tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's a tad extreme as a reaction to reading one part of a novel that you didn't like. Each novel has to be judged on its own merits and as @Some_Kind_Of_Hero said Gardner did make a massive contribution to the Bond field of literature with fourteen original Bond novels and two film novelisation, totalling sixteen books. Gardner is in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more Bond novels than Fleming himself. Of course no one is saying that Gardner's novels are better than Fleming's or have more literary merit. They merely build on the firm base put down by Fleming the master craftsman from Casino Royale onwards. Like all continuation novels Bondian or otherwise they are an exercise in arranging or rearranging other men's flowers. They're also an exercise, to put it at the basest level, in continuing the copyright in the literary Bond novels and character and of course a commercial transaction for the Fleming Estate and literary copyright holders. That being so, I say jolly good luck to them!

    You can criticise Gardner as much as you want but you have to admit, grudgingly if you must, that he contributed a lot to the literary Bond world in the fifteen years between the publication of Licence Renewed in 1981 and the publication of Cold in 1996. No other Bond author since Fleming himself wrote that amount of Bond novels so on the sheer volume of his work if nothing else he deserves a lot more respect than he currently gets from the Bond community. Sadly little ever changes though and it's just the cross that Gardner fans have to carry through the ages. Would it be too much to ask that Gardner's contribution to the Bond world could receive a revisionist history 40 years after it first began? It might be but here's hoping that it surfaces at some point!

    Tbh to my mind this makes little sense. No doubt someone else could've done a better job. The thing is that I don't find 'james bond' stories interesting when the main character is Bond in name only. When the character does things bond would never do the story isn't a bond story anymore. Would you accept a batman story where he starts to sing and dance like in a musical? Gardner may have written many books with the protagonist beeing called james bond, but it's not the james bond I want to read about. Yes, continuation novels are that much harder to write, but it doesnt mean they all should get a pass.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited March 9 Posts: 13,862
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    It would seem it is always easier to ruminate on the perceived negative aspects of the Gardner Bond novels (or any of the other Bond continuation novels for that matter). It's after all very difficult to disprove a negative if that is your mindset going in to reading a novel. It's therefore all about the frame of mind that one brings to the Bond continuation project as a whole. One can approach them overly critically or one can decide to enjoy them for what they are and not constantly nitpick every sentence or paragraph for nor being Flemingesque or Bondian enough or whatever. We know after over 50 years of the Bond Continuation project that no one can ever take the place of Ian Fleming. That's a given. He was a truly remarkable writer and one of a kind very difficult to replicate.

    Granted, there are the usual criticisms of Gardner that rear their head when his books are discussed. They include the aforementioned Bond-Cedar Leiter relationship, the character of Q'ute, the disbanding of the Double-O Section, the Saab 900 car, the use of EuroDisney in a climactic scene and Bond's waxing lyrical about Disneyland, the overuse of double and triple crosses in the novels from Icebreaker onwards and so on and so forth.

    I very much agree with what @Some_Kind_Of_Hero eloquently said in the post quoted above. As he said we shouldn't automatically decide to just throw out the idea of reading the Gardner Bond novels because of one foul note. To my mind that's tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's a tad extreme as a reaction to reading one part of a novel that you didn't like. Each novel has to be judged on its own merits and as @Some_Kind_Of_Hero said Gardner did make a massive contribution to the Bond field of literature with fourteen original Bond novels and two film novelisation, totalling sixteen books. Gardner is in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more Bond novels than Fleming himself. Of course no one is saying that Gardner's novels are better than Fleming's or have more literary merit. They merely build on the firm base put down by Fleming the master craftsman from Casino Royale onwards. Like all continuation novels Bondian or otherwise they are an exercise in arranging or rearranging other men's flowers. They're also an exercise, to put it at the basest level, in continuing the copyright in the literary Bond novels and character and of course a commercial transaction for the Fleming Estate and literary copyright holders. That being so, I say jolly good luck to them!

    You can criticise Gardner as much as you want but you have to admit, grudgingly if you must, that he contributed a lot to the literary Bond world in the fifteen years between the publication of Licence Renewed in 1981 and the publication of Cold in 1996. No other Bond author since Fleming himself wrote that amount of Bond novels so on the sheer volume of his work if nothing else he deserves a lot more respect than he currently gets from the Bond community. Sadly little ever changes though and it's just the cross that Gardner fans have to carry through the ages. Would it be too much to ask that Gardner's contribution to the Bond world could receive a revisionist history 40 years after it first began? It might be but here's hoping that it surfaces at some point!

    Tbh to my mind this makes little sense. No doubt someone else could've done a better job. The thing is that I don't find 'james bond' stories interesting when the main character is Bond in name only. When the character does things bond would never do the story isn't a bond story anymore. Would you accept a batman story where he starts to sing and dance like in a musical? Gardner may have written many books with the protagonist beeing called james bond, but it's not the james bond I want to read about. Yes, continuation novels are that much harder to write, but it doesnt mean they all should get a pass.

    That very well may be the conclusion you come to after you actually deign to read the John Gardner Bond continuation novels. However, don't you think you somewhat lack credibility by not having read any of the Gardner novels yet? Apathy to continuation Bond novels is one thing but to write off a whole author's work just from reading a few excerpts from it on a Bond forum is rather silly is it not? It reminds me of Malcolm Muggeridge writing a scathing article on Ian Fleming's Bond novels for the Observer in 1965 after admitting that he'd only actually read one of them - Goldfinger.

    On the same token surely you have to actually read the Gardner Bond novels before you can be so scathing about them? Or do you simply let other people make up your mind for you? It's like someone reading a few excerpts from the Fleming Bond novels on social media or even on this forum and deciding never to read any of them based on quotes taken out of context. They might conclude that the books are racist, sexist or whatever based on the miniscule amount of Fleming's considerable oeuvre that they'd read online. It seems to me that you're making the same mistake and, if I may say so, missing out on a good reading experience at the same time. That's a shame but your mind already appears to be made up based off the personal opinions of others. Surely the condemned man (John Gardner) deserves a fair trial at least?
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 10 Posts: 30,057
    I agree that it's hard to accept the criticism if the critic hasn't sampled the wares. I can understand not being interested, or anticipating not liking it, but that's a different thing. My recollection from reading the first four Gardner books upon release (I was late teens/early 20s) was that they were mildly amusing , a bit silly, but ultimately dull. I recently decided to give the fella another try with, for the first time, NO DEALS, MR. BOND. He's an adequate journeyman, he knows his craft (unlike some other continuation writer), but boy, was I bored. That's enough for me.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Wattenscheid
    Posts: 380
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 0
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 1 +1
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1
    Nobody Lives Forever: 0
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 11 +1
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 7
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0

  • Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 1 (+1)
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 1
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1
    Nobody Lives Forever: 0
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 12 (+1)
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 7
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,862
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I agree that it's hard to accept the criticism if the critic hasn't sampled the wares. I can understand not being interested, or anticipating not liking it, but that's a different thing. My recollection from reading the first four Gardner books upon release (I was late teens/early 20s) was that they were mildly amusing , a bit silly, but ultimately dull. I recently decided to give the fella another try with, for the first time, NO DEALS, MR. BOND. He's an adequate journeyman, he knows his craft (unlike some other continuation writer), but boy, was I bored. That's enough for me.

    Yes, well Gardner was a thriller writer for close to 20 years before he was called up as Bond continuation author so that helped him refine his craft. I recall you saying you like the writing in the passage with the dogs in No Deals, Mr Bond though, @Birdleson, so at least that's always something.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,057
    Yes, I remember.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited March 12 Posts: 13,862
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Yes, I remember.

    Good. You should read a few others, especially Never Send Flowers. It's one of my favourite Gardner novels. You may find a familiar character in there besides James Bond and the MI6 crew! I'd love to hear what you make of it!
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    HASEROT wrote: »
    i have no read the novel, so i don't know what Bond's feelings are..

    It has been awhile since I've read this, but I seem to recall Gardner keeping things pretty ambiguous until Leiter shows up. Then again, I don't recall Leiter being quite so, well, off-character either so I'm evidently due a re-read.

    that quote in itself is so, so, so bad it disqualifies anything else the guy's ever written. I'm definately never going to read his efforts.

    I think that's just a bit harsh. Just about all of the earlier writers, from Amis to Wood to Fleming himself, have their uncomfortable moments you either blanch over then fling the book out the window or shake your head at and continue on to the good stuff. Swearing off 16 books' worth of Bond because of an uncomfortably characterized Felix turning up at the tail end of one of them is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Try Nobody Lives For Ever, No Deals, Mr. Bond or Win, Lose or Die. No Felix in any of those. ;)

    No, I've read continuation novels that were bad (Devil May Care) in which the author got Bond completely wrong, but this is not just getting Bond wrong, it's getting Felix wrong too. The two are brothers' in arms from CR and LALD onwards. Felix even loses an arm in the process. I can handle uncomfortable moments (not too many in Fleming and certainly not out of their time setting) but this is going way beyond anything. It's the highes betrayal of a friend (Bond) and of a father to his daughter. It's sick. If a female collegue of mine would ever attempt to seduce my son it'd be hell and fury, and I'm not even talking friendship here, let alone brothers in arms.

    I'm not defending the scene. If I wasn't clear, I don't like it myself and wish the book had ended differently. I'm not going to try to compare all of the series' more offensive moments in an attempt to weigh varying levels of wrongness. I think that would be an exercise in futility anyway. We register what offends us and throw the book out or choose to enjoy the parts we do like (for any writer of Bond or for any other writer for that matter). I'm only saying Gardner contributed a lot of quality material to the Bond legacy and it would be a shame to write off his contributions because of one foul note. But we agree at least this was not the best way for him to end an otherwise solid entry. (And I now regret asking the Major his thoughts on his latest read in the Bond Novel Meter thread ;) )

    It would seem it is always easier to ruminate on the perceived negative aspects of the Gardner Bond novels (or any of the other Bond continuation novels for that matter). It's after all very difficult to disprove a negative if that is your mindset going in to reading a novel. It's therefore all about the frame of mind that one brings to the Bond continuation project as a whole. One can approach them overly critically or one can decide to enjoy them for what they are and not constantly nitpick every sentence or paragraph for nor being Flemingesque or Bondian enough or whatever. We know after over 50 years of the Bond Continuation project that no one can ever take the place of Ian Fleming. That's a given. He was a truly remarkable writer and one of a kind very difficult to replicate.

    Granted, there are the usual criticisms of Gardner that rear their head when his books are discussed. They include the aforementioned Bond-Cedar Leiter relationship, the character of Q'ute, the disbanding of the Double-O Section, the Saab 900 car, the use of EuroDisney in a climactic scene and Bond's waxing lyrical about Disneyland, the overuse of double and triple crosses in the novels from Icebreaker onwards and so on and so forth.

    I very much agree with what @Some_Kind_Of_Hero eloquently said in the post quoted above. As he said we shouldn't automatically decide to just throw out the idea of reading the Gardner Bond novels because of one foul note. To my mind that's tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's a tad extreme as a reaction to reading one part of a novel that you didn't like. Each novel has to be judged on its own merits and as @Some_Kind_Of_Hero said Gardner did make a massive contribution to the Bond field of literature with fourteen original Bond novels and two film novelisation, totalling sixteen books. Gardner is in the Guinness Book of Records for writing more Bond novels than Fleming himself. Of course no one is saying that Gardner's novels are better than Fleming's or have more literary merit. They merely build on the firm base put down by Fleming the master craftsman from Casino Royale onwards. Like all continuation novels Bondian or otherwise they are an exercise in arranging or rearranging other men's flowers. They're also an exercise, to put it at the basest level, in continuing the copyright in the literary Bond novels and character and of course a commercial transaction for the Fleming Estate and literary copyright holders. That being so, I say jolly good luck to them!

    You can criticise Gardner as much as you want but you have to admit, grudgingly if you must, that he contributed a lot to the literary Bond world in the fifteen years between the publication of Licence Renewed in 1981 and the publication of Cold in 1996. No other Bond author since Fleming himself wrote that amount of Bond novels so on the sheer volume of his work if nothing else he deserves a lot more respect than he currently gets from the Bond community. Sadly little ever changes though and it's just the cross that Gardner fans have to carry through the ages. Would it be too much to ask that Gardner's contribution to the Bond world could receive a revisionist history 40 years after it first began? It might be but here's hoping that it surfaces at some point!

    Tbh to my mind this makes little sense. No doubt someone else could've done a better job. The thing is that I don't find 'james bond' stories interesting when the main character is Bond in name only. When the character does things bond would never do the story isn't a bond story anymore. Would you accept a batman story where he starts to sing and dance like in a musical? Gardner may have written many books with the protagonist beeing called james bond, but it's not the james bond I want to read about. Yes, continuation novels are that much harder to write, but it doesnt mean they all should get a pass.

    That very well may be the conclusion you come to after you actually deign to read the John Gardner Bond continuation novels. However, don't you think you somewhat lack credibility by not having read any of the Gardner novels yet? Apathy to continuation Bond novels is one thing but to write off a whole author's work just from reading a few excerpts from it on a Bond forum is rather silly is it not? It reminds me of Malcolm Muggeridge writing a scathing article on Ian Fleming's Bond novels for the Observer in 1965 after admitting that he'd only actually read one of them - Goldfinger.

    On the same token surely you have to actually read the Gardner Bond novels before you can be so scathing about them? Or do you simply let other people make up your mind for you? It's like someone reading a few excerpts from the Fleming Bond novels on social media or even on this forum and deciding never to read any of them based on quotes taken out of context. They might conclude that the books are racist, sexist or whatever based on the miniscule amount of Fleming's considerable oeuvre that they'd read online. It seems to me that you're making the same mistake and, if I may say so, missing out on a good reading experience at the same time. That's a shame but your mind already appears to be made up based off the personal opinions of others. Surely the condemned man (John Gardner) deserves a fair trial at least?

    I understand where you're coming from, but at the same time I haven't 'condemned' Gardner or said that all his work was rubbish. What I've said is that the quotes I've read don't fit Bond as a character, and moreover that I find continuation novels problematic from the start. It's really hard to live up to expectations. Other than you I don't think 'any Bond is better than no Bond', I'd turn it around and say half decent Bond is worse than no Bond.
    So when I'm presented with quotes from a novel that go deeply against what I understand to be the main character I'd rather stay away and not be dissapointed, as I was with DMC and CB. Colonel Sun was so often recommended here that I took the chance. I think it's fair to say Amis and also Horrowitz at least get the characters right, allthough I've got plenty of quibbles with their novels as well. As you say, they're definately not Fleming.
    I'm glad, however, others do enjoy these books.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,743
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 1
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 1
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1
    Nobody Lives Forever: +1
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 0
    Goldeneye: 0
    Cold: 0
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 0
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 0
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 12
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 8
    Benson: 0
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0
  • jammy_bjammy_b UK
    Posts: 6
    Well, I’ve now finished my Gardner re-read through and am deep into Benson!

    I enjoyed getting through Gardner, they are what they are and I choose to enjoy what I do about them and what I don’t think works I read with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I’ve also felt a bit of nostalgia, having not read them for many years.

    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 1
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 1
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1
    Nobody Lives Forever: 1
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 0
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 1 (+1)
    Goldeneye: 1 (+1)
    Cold: 1 (+1)

    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 1 (+1)
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 1 (+1)
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 12
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 11 +3
    Benson: 2 +2

    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,743
    Casino Royale: 2
    Live and Let Die: 1
    Moonraker: 1
    Diamonds Are Forever: 1
    From Russia with Love: 1
    Doctor No: 0
    Goldfinger: 0
    For Your Eyes Only: 0
    Thunderball: 1
    The Spy Who Loved Me: 0
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service: 1
    You Only Live Twice: 1
    The Man with the Golden Gun: 1
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights: 2

    Colonel Sun: 0
    James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me: 1
    James Bond and Moonraker: 2
    Licence Renewed: 1
    For Special Services: 1
    Icebreaker: 1
    Role of Honour: 1
    Nobody Lives Forever: 1
    No Deals, Mr. Bond: 1 +1
    Scorpius: 0
    Win, Lose or Die: 0
    Licence to Kill: 0
    Brokenclaw: 0
    The Man from Barbarossa: 0
    Death Is Forever: 1
    Never Send Flowers: 1
    Seafire: 1
    Goldeneye: 1
    Cold: 1
    Blast From the Past: 0
    Zero Minus Ten: 1
    Tomorrow Never Dies: 0
    The Facts of Death: 1
    The World Is Not Enough: 0
    High Time to Kill: 0
    DoubleShot: 0
    Never Dream of Dying: 0
    The Man with the Red Tattoo: 0
    Die Another Day: 0
    Devil May Care: 0
    Carte Blanche: 1
    Solo: 0
    Trigger Mortis: 0
    Forever and a Day: 0

    Fleming: 12
    Amis: 0
    Gardner: 12 +1
    Benson: 2
    Faulkes: 0
    Deaver: 1
    Boyd: 0
    Wood: 3
    Horowitz: 0
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