'On His Majesty's Secret Service' by Charlie Higson (2023)

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Comments

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited May 2023 Posts: 14,936
    Yes, if you don't want spoilers of any kind don't read the MI6 review I linked to above as it contains a few too many details of where he goes etc. for my liking- I skimmed it. The LTQ one is nice and vague.
    If I were to have spoiled anything (and what I said isn't accurate!), it's only literally the first page ;)
    What I do like so far is that he's taking a very Fleming approach to structure.
  • Posts: 2,598
    mtm wrote: »
    Yes, if you don't want spoilers of any kind don't read the MI6 review I linked to above as it contains a few too many details of where he goes etc. for my liking- I skimmed it. The LTQ one is nice and vague.
    If I were to have spoiled anything (and what I said isn't accurate!), it's only literally the first page ;)
    What I do like so far is that he's taking a very Fleming approach to structure.

    That's what I suspected and thanks for the heads up.

    Glad you're enjoying it so far.
  • edited May 2023 Posts: 303
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.
  • brinkeguthriebrinkeguthrie Piz Gloria
    Posts: 1,400
    Just snagged on USA Kindle.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,105
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited May 2023 Posts: 17,795
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.

    Yes, and it's worse that they were both only two films apart in the same Bond actor's era. I agree that Tomorrow Never Lies would've been a preferable title. It's a shame they chickened out and went with the typo on the fax instead. Not every Bond title needs to have "Die" in the title. I'm not sure if Beyond the Ice was ever considered for DAD or was just a rumoured title. I remember first hearing it mooted as early as September 2000 so it's unlikely it was ever an Eon title. More likely something dreamed up by the feverish British tabloid press.
  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 4,312
    € 18,81 from Amazon Germany. Ordered on May 4, expected to arrive May 13-19.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,936
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.

    Higson seems to hint in his interviews that the title was IFP's idea to celebrate the 60th anniversary of OHMSS.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    mtm wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.

    Higson seems to hint in his interviews that the title was IFP's idea to celebrate the 60th anniversary of OHMSS.

    I think the title is fine and an obvious choice given the subject matter of the plot. Titles are always a bone of contention with some people. Like most things, you can't please everyone.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,936
    Yeah seems fine to me.
    If anything I kind of think that it suits this better than Fleming's title suits his book: he probably should have gone 'The World Is Not Enough' or 'All The Time In The World' for his one.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    mtm wrote: »
    Yeah seems fine to me.
    If anything I kind of think that it suits this better than Fleming's title suits his book: he probably should have gone 'The World Is Not Enough' or 'All The Time In The World' for his one.

    Yes, I suppose OHMSS seems a little generic as it doesn't really reference anything in the plot. Still, it's a classic Bond title and uses the trick of taking an existing phrase and adapting it slightly, as with LALD prior to it.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 1,351
    Good thing is that we can now point to this book as already having taken the title everytime someone thinks they’re clever in suggesting On His Majesty’s Secret Service for the next film…
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    Good thing is that we can now point to this book as already having taken the title everytime someone thinks they’re clever in suggesting On His Majesty’s Secret Service for the next film…

    That's a point though hopefully the very specific contemporary plot with real world implications will stop the rather suggestive media ever considering the filming of the novel.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,719
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.

    Yes, and it's worse that they were both only teleo films apart in the same Bond actor's era.
    I wish Dalton had made more than teleo films. He deserved more.
  • Posts: 2,895
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Not every Bond title needs to have "Die" in the title.

    Just for that the producers will call the next Bond film Die Die Die Die.
    mtm wrote: »
    If anything I kind of think that it suits this better than Fleming's title suits his book: he probably should have gone 'The World Is Not Enough' or 'All The Time In The World' for his one.

    In an interview from 1962 Fleming asked “What do you think of Belles of Hell as a title? Or should I play safe with something like, On Her Majesty's Secret Service?”

    The Belles of Hell referenced not only Blofeld's patients but also the classic old WWI marching song "The Bells of Hell." Its lyrics go:

    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me:
    For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling,
    They've got the goods for me.

    Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
    Oh! Grave, thy victory?
    The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
    For you but not for me.

    Those could have been the lyrics of the film's title song if Fleming had decided on The Belles of Hell.
  • Posts: 5,802
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    bondywondy wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Seems a bit on the gimmicky side for me, but I actually enjoyed the Young Bond novels. The quality remains to be seen, but needless to say he obviously wrote it in a relatively short space of time.

    Completely gimmicky. Imho the title is awful. That's not paying homage, it's just lame. Higson will probably do a sequel when William becomes king and call it

    Die Another Tomorrow

    Because, like On His Majesty's Secret Service, that's such a clever play on Bond titles. Sarcasm overload.

    You can't win 'em all. ;)

    Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day are pretty much the same title, lol. EON should have stuck with Tomorrow Never Lies and Beyond The Ice, in my opinion. I don’t personally mind On His Majesty’s Secret Service as a title, personally. The book was written at the last minute, honestly.

    Yes, and it's worse that they were both only teleo films apart in the same Bond actor's era.
    I wish Dalton had made more than teleo films. He deserved more.

    Me too. He's my favourite Bond.

    Apologies, but I was slipping into my native dialect, Dragonpolian, there. Alas, it happens sometimes when I don't proof read my posts.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 13,002
    Okay, Kindle.

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    Okay, Kindle.

    OK Computer?
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 13,002
    Update: my Kindle version is signed by Charlie Higson.

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    Update: my Kindle version is signed by Charlie Higson.

    How did he manage that then? 8-}
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 13,002
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Update: my Kindle version is signed by Charlie Higson.

    How did he manage that then? 8-}

    I'm not gonna question it. Thanks, Mr. Higson!

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,795
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Update: my Kindle version is signed by Charlie Higson.

    How did he manage that then? 8-}

    I'm not gonna question it. Thanks, Mr. Higson!

    It's the royal seal of approval.
  • Posts: 1,001
    I'm in the UK and ordered the Goldsboro edition, but there's no sign of it being dispatched, (they usually come out later), and it really needs to be read this weekend in the UK I reckon, so I'm off up Waterstones now.

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,936
    Yeah I got a reader copy as well as the Goldsboro. Do they update you on when it's dispatch then? Their website doesn't seem to give a status.

    I haven't had much time to read it but really enjoying it so far.
  • edited May 2023 Posts: 1,001
    I checked my Goldsboro order email earlier today and it said they tell you when it's been dispatched. And the last two Horowitz Goldsboro books came out a while after the publication date, so I think we've done the best thing by getting one from Waterstones.

    I see what they mean by 'novella'. It wasn't even displayed with the new hardbacks in Waterstones, there were just two copies on the main desk. When there's a Horowitz new novel there's usually a whistle-and-bells table full of the new books.
    Still, it's a smart little hardback with no dust-jacket, and there's some scribble in the one corner that means it's probably signed. So, at £12.95 I reckon it's the cheapest signed first edition James Bond novel ever?

    0071.jpg

    0072.jpg

    0073.jpg

    Still, size isn't everything and the proof of the pudding is in the reading. I'll enjoy this over the weekend, (though I'll have to pace myself, if it's a page turner it could turn into a single-sitting book!).
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,936
    The signature is printed I'm afraid: I believe the new Flemings have IF's signature in too. If you look carefully there's a halftone effect on it, I think so it can't be mistaken for a real signed edition.

    I must say I love the size of it- it feels really nice to read in the hand!
  • Posts: 1,001
    Ah right. I though if it was printed they might have gone for something more elaborate. But that's fine, because the Goldsboro will be signed.
    Yes, I agree it's a tactile little item. I'm going to enjoy stashing it in my work bag over the weekend and reading it on breaks.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited May 2023 Posts: 14,936
    Weirdly there's something about the shortness of the story which really appeals to me. I love compact-tightly made things, and I really like the Fleming short stories (although some are better than others), so a proper Bond adventure which is half the length of a normal one just appeals to me. Feels like something I can quickly re-read when I fancy a Bond hit in future.
    If they did more of these (I'd love it to be Higson but I don't see why they can't use a variety of writers) I'd snap them up.

    I had the same though: just two copies on the sales desk rather than anywhere else. It took a bit of hunting to find it, and obviously just as I was about to ask the guy at the desk- there it was.
    What with Amazon not being able to send it out and Waterstones seemingly not being fully stocked (and no copies in Smiths or Sainsburys that I could find) I wonder if they haven't been able to print enough in the time. I guess for a new publishing house it's a bit of a challenge to set yourself for your first original publication- and doing it for charity too.

    EDIT: Just got my 'order processed' email from Goldsboro, apparently it'll ship in 2-3 days.

    Daily Express feature on the book:
    Bond Save the King
    online version
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