Slay It With Flowers: Your views on John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993)?

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  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Revelator wrote: »
    Now you owe us another 12,000--get cracking!

    I doubt I'll ever make it!
  • Posts: 2,877
    Average life expectancy in the western world is 70-something--you have plenty of time!
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Revelator wrote: »
    Average life expectancy in the western world is 70-something--you have plenty of time!

    Thank you. Hopefully I'll manage it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2023 Posts: 17,623
    So Saturday 15th July 2023 marked the 30th Anniversary of the publication of John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993) in the UK by Hodder and Stoughton. It was nice to see that IFP marked the 30th anniversary on their social media like Twitter and Instagram.

    As you may know(!) it is one of my favourite James Bond continuation novels. I like the experimental nature of the novel - Bond more in the role of a policeman investigating high-profile assassinations around the world with the eventual target being identified Princess Diana and her two sons on a trip to the newly opened Euro Disney resort in Paris. I picked the username @Dragonpol as a reference to David Dragonpol, the villain of the piece, a serial killer ex-actor who is a master of disguise. Dragonpol one of my favourite villains from the Bond continuation novels and as a small tribute to his creator, the late great thriller writer John Gardner (1926-2007). I chose Dragonpol as my username as it's a Bond reference that is rather subtle and doesn't immediately scream "James Bond" unless you are familiar with the later Gardner Bond continuation novels. So without Mr Gardner penning Never Send Flowers over 30 years ago there would have been no David Dragonpol and hence no @Dragonpol here and I'm sure you'll agree that would have been a pity. ;)
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,371
    This book featured one of my favorite literary Bond Girl: Flicka Von Grusse!
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2023 Posts: 17,623
    SIS_HQ wrote: »
    This book featured one of my favorite literary Bond Girl: Flicka Von Grusse!

    Yes, she was great and also features in SeaFire (1994) and Cold (1996).
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Calvin Dyson's review of John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993):

  • JGFan007JGFan007 Somewhere in the Midwest
    Posts: 12
    I see that I'm about 10 years late to the party here lol. I'll be back with a longer post later but right now I'll say that I enjoyed NSF.

    I have been meaning to go back and look, but is the buffoon of an MI5 Chief in NSF the same character who briefs Bond about Franco and Murik in the beginning of License Renewed?

    One thing I think that Gardner could have dropped from NSF was the backstory on Laura March's creepo serial killer brother, David. He could have simply been mental and committed to a hospital and it would have satisfied the reason for her and Dragonpol's breakup. I felt that Laura being so closely associated with two different serial killers to be a stretch and it also made it seem ridiculous that MI5 could be so incompetent with their vetting and background checks. Unless Gardner was trying to discredit them lol.
  • JGFan007JGFan007 Somewhere in the Midwest
    Posts: 12
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    the title also recalling the classy Bondian titles of old where DIE, DEATH or KILL were not required to refer to death and danger.

    An interesting bit of trivia - Gardner stated in an interview that Peter Janson-Smith (I believe) suggested "Never Send Flowers" for the title. You probably know who it was, Dragon.

    I agree, it is a great title.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    JGFan007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    the title also recalling the classy Bondian titles of old where DIE, DEATH or KILL were not required to refer to death and danger.

    An interesting bit of trivia - Gardner stated in an interview that Peter Janson-Smith (I believe) suggested "Never Send Flowers" for the title. You probably know who it was, Dragon.

    I agree, it is a great title.

    Yes, that's correct, and Gardner also mentions that he wasn't all that keen on it if I remember correctly. I think only about four of the titles they went with in the end were actually Gardner's own. I suppose that is the power of the committee approach taken to Bond continuation novels. Everybody wants their fleck of DNA to be on the finished product, as it were.

    I've long said that a good alternative title for Never Send Flowers would have been Slay It With Flowers, after the chapter title in Fleming's You Only Live Twice. In many ways Never Send Flowers is Gardner's version of a You Only Live Twice type of Bond story.
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