In the Right Direction? - Your thoughts on John Gardner's Cold/Cold Fall (1996)?

DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
edited March 2023 in Literary 007 Posts: 17,882
Continuing the theme of the controversial James Bond novels by John Gardner, let's have a look at his last novel published in 1996, Cold (UK), Cold Fall (US). There are significant differences between the two versions of the novel, with Cold Fall probably being more coherent and better organised than the UK version, although it is edited in places. There used to be a very interesting article on the interweb about the differences between the UK and US versions of Gardner's Bond novels, written by the staff writer Nick Kincaid on the now defunct site 007 Forever. Luckily, though, I still have print copies from the site taken in 2001-02.

I wonder are there also elements of foretelling the 2001-2009 Bush Jnr. administration here also - far right foreign and social policy/torture like waterboarding/US and UK led 'War on Terror' etc.?

What are our thoughts on Gardner's controversial swan song from the literary James Bond?

Was Gardner's plot with General Brutus Clay inspired by the American Nazi Party/American Christian Fascists or Christ-fascists at all? Clay appears nowadays as a sort of mix of Len Deighton's General Midwinter (from Billion Dollar Brain) and President George W. Bush (in office 2001-2009).

Cold/Cold Fall certainly had a lot of relevance nowadays - I think that its prescient qualities need to be reappraised now in 2013!

I've also been doing a little bit of Google and book researching on John Gardner's final James Bond continuation novel Cold/Cold Fall (1996) and I've found the following information online on the possible inspiration for General Brutus Brute Clay as the American Christian Fascist in the novel version: one US Congressman Brutus Junius Clay whose father was a certain General Brutus Clay. See the website posted below here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus_J._Clay

http://claye.tripod.com/descendants_of_green_clay.htm

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cg … d=15490047

http://files.usgwarchives.net/ky/bourbo … 400003.txt

Was John Gardner inspired by the Clay family to create the villain General Brutus Clay who wants to take over the United States in a Fascist coup?

Does anyone here have any thoughts on this revelation - do you think that this was what inspired Gardner to create General Brutus Brute Clay in Cold/Cold Fall or is this merely coincidence? Gardner did have vast tomes of military and political history in his West Virginian home in the United States so my theory about his getting the name from United States political history might just fit. Having a villain with the name "Clay" also works from the "Clay Pigeon" perspective - a reference Gardner also made in his final James Bond continuation novel in 1996.

I can't help but think that Gardner was also inspired by the fundamentalist Christian far right Americans of the time - see the 'hawks' such as Vice President Dick Cheney in the later George W. Bush Administration. What are our thoughts on this element of potential inspiration for the novel? I'm currently reading a book called American Fascists (Jonathan Cape, 2007) on the subject of the Christian Far Right in the United States and General Brutus Clay would certainly not look out of place amongst its pages.

I'd really love to hear your thoughts on these (admittedly esoteric) points on the background of John Gardner's Cold/Cold Fall.

Thanks for reading. :)

Comments

  • Well, it's been too long since I've read the novel, so I don't really remember all the details. I also have no idea which version I read, as I read a Dutch translation.

    What I do remember: I really liked the beginning, Bond running into the girl from Nobody Lives Forever (Was in NLF?) while he thought she was dead, then the stuff in the hotel, noticing how she's changed, I believe then she get's 'killed' again, and he goes after her brothers or nephews or something. I really liked that.
    I remember reading it on holiday and really getting drawn into it, but then towards the end I really started to hate it, for the following reason:
    This was Gardner's last novel, and he I think he knew as he really wrote this to give it legacy over to the next writer (introducing the new M so the writer could follow the film series and stuff like that) but after a while it just started feeling like Gardner didn't want other kids playing with his toys. In Cold it seemed like he returned all the characters he created and loved, and just killed them off in a horrible way so no other writer could use them. I know it happened to that girl (didn't she marry the General, then on their wedding night he cut her to pieces or something? That's just sick) and I think it happened to a couple of other characters, or I wouldn't have taken it so heavily. I remember being really depressed by the end of the novel because so many lovely characters had died, but I have to be honest, I only remember the girl dying.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    Thank you.

    Any further interest on this one, from the points that I've raised?

    Would love to hear some more views from Bond fans on this Gardner Bond finale!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    The only thing I remember is that it was utterly unmemorable like the last 3 or 4 Gardners. By this stage John was just churning them out with little care or inspiration just to pick up his paycheck.
    I think Death Is Forever was the last decent one and even that I only really remember the Eurotunnek finale and a cool scene in which Bond pulls the filament out of a lightbulb, fills it with gunpowder and then puts it back together so when a goon turns on the light it blows up.

    Wonder if when they came to do the SF finale it was. Gardner fan who came up with that idea to throw into the mix?
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    Wonder if when they came to do the SF finale it was. Gardner fan who came up with that idea to throw into the mix?

    or a Nightmare On Elm St. fan ;)

    the original... not the horrid remake.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    Have any more of our members read Cold and care to give their views on it?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    I'd like to bump this thread as I'm trying to write something on it and the Right in US politics afterwards. There may also be something about the false flag operation conspiracy theories on 9/11 in there too.

    As such, I'd really love to hear your thoughts on John Gardner's last James Bond continuation novel released 20 years ago this year. :)
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    Below is a quoted review from the 007 Bond Supplement website page on John Gardner's Cold (1996). I've highlighted a particularly interesting passage below:

    Another re-visit as first read when published in '96, John Gardner's last outing as Bond author before handing the baton to Mr. Benson. The novel is split into 2 books, one called Cold Front and two called Cold Conspiracy. The time between each books appears to be Gardner's previous Bond outing Sea Fire.
    The story opens with the crash of a Boeing 747-400 at Washington's Dulles Airport and the apparent death of Bond's friend & lover, the Principessa Sukie Tempesta. He is sent by M to the airport with an investigation team which leads to meetings with FBI agent, Eddie Rhabb.
    The main action takes place in Italy at the home of the Tempesta brothers, Luigi & Angelo where Bond gets caught in the act with one of the brother's wives. As James later explains to M, the lady made the advances.
    The enemy of the story is provided by a terrorist army called COLD which stands for Children Of the Last Days. Without giving too much away about the ending, the main villain is a General Brutus Brute Clay who reminds me towards the end of Hank Hill's father in tv's King of the Hill.
    During the narrative, dear old M is kidnapped and that is where the helicopters on the cover appear during a chase over the mountains. Needless to say this is Sir Miles' swan song before James is dragged off to meet the new female M. The ladies come & go in this adventure but the only clue to Bond's final conquest is B & B .. that's not Bed & Breakfast !
    Still worth a visit to your library to enjoy this Bond excursion.


    Source: http://website.lineone.net/~shadlow/007bs/book/johngar.html

    I'm not very familiar with King of the Hill but what do we think of this interesting comparison between Cold villain General Brutus Brute Clay and Cotton Hill?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_Hill
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,675
    I've not read this, and as such, have nothing to add to the discussion.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    I've not read this, and as such, have nothing to add to the discussion.

    Yes, but you should read it, my friend. Track down a copy today!
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2017 Posts: 17,882
    I suppose that the advent of President Donald Trump opens up this topic yet again to some degree of prescience.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the points raised in this thread, as always. :)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    We live in interesting times indeed. It is now a known fact that
    the Vietnam war was started on a lie "Gulf of Tonkin", the sexing
    up of Infomation to get the UK involved in the Iraq war, perhaps even
    the many conspiracy theories surrounding the Attack on the Twin
    towers. All to aid in moving the voting populous to a more " Right wing "
    agenda ?
    Cold starts with the crashing of a plane and another right wing group
    trying to take control ? so I do think there are some interesting parallels.
  • JGFan007JGFan007 Somewhere in the Midwest
    Posts: 12
    If you are still interested in hashing this old topic out, I'm game. I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts were...though some time has passed since you first mentioned it, so maybe you've moved on.

    I'm a lifelong Bond fan. I grew up in the 80's and, unfortunately, I never paid any attention to Gardner's continuation novels. I've read them all for the first time this past year, mostly in order, give or take two or three. Incidentally, the first of the JG books I read was Cold Fall. I had heard that the story involved plot details similar to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, namely the airliner incident. That proved to be false, of course, but I still enjoyed the book none the less. I ended up reading it almost three times - I reread it a second time right after I finished the first time lol. Then I browsed through it, reading selected sections after I finished reading Gardner's previous 13 novels.

    I must have read a copy of the book edited for readers in the U.S. because it was titled "Coldfall," not simply "Cold ". It was a paperback that featured a black, faceless silhouette of what I am pretty sure was originally a picture of Pierce Brosnan. I'm tempted to get a copy of the UK release now.

    We're all of Gardner's Bond novels edited differently for the US and UK? If they are, I'll probably go back and read the corresponding version because I paid no attention to which region the books I read were printed in. I bought second hand copies of each book online, basically buying whatever was the least inexpensive out of whatever was avaliable at that time I needed it. And all but a handful appeared to be published by the same company. Maybe 5 I read were Putnam hardcovers from the US.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited March 2023 Posts: 17,882
    JGFan007 wrote: »
    If you are still interested in hashing this old topic out, I'm game. I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts were...though some time has passed since you first mentioned it, so maybe you've moved on.

    I'm a lifelong Bond fan. I grew up in the 80's and, unfortunately, I never paid any attention to Gardner's continuation novels. I've read them all for the first time this past year, mostly in order, give or take two or three. Incidentally, the first of the JG books I read was Cold Fall. I had heard that the story involved plot details similar to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, namely the airliner incident. That proved to be false, of course, but I still enjoyed the book none the less. I ended up reading it almost three times - I reread it a second time right after I finished the first time lol. Then I browsed through it, reading selected sections after I finished reading Gardner's previous 13 novels.

    I must have read a copy of the book edited for readers in the U.S. because it was titled "Coldfall," not simply "Cold ". It was a paperback that featured a black, faceless silhouette of what I am pretty sure was originally a picture of Pierce Brosnan. I'm tempted to get a copy of the UK release now.

    We're all of Gardner's Bond novels edited differently for the US and UK? If they are, I'll probably go back and read the corresponding version because I paid no attention to which region the books I read were printed in. I bought second hand copies of each book online, basically buying whatever was the least inexpensive out of whatever was available at that time I needed it. And all but a handful appeared to be published by the same company. Maybe 5 I read were Putnam hardcovers from the US.

    Firstly, thank you for reviving this decade old thread of mine, @JGFan007. How time flies when you're having fun! I did wonder when I saw you'd joined up on the Activity Page whether the "JG" in your name stood for John Gardner or not so it's nice to have it confirmed that it does. I'm always interested in revisiting Gardner Bond topics here (check my username for proof!) so your revival of this old thread of mine is most welcome. I've tidied up the opening post in this thread a bit to remove a dead YouTube link review of Cold from the now defunct channel Blue Pencil Review.

    I'm probably the most prolific Gardner topic poster on this forum. It's been one of my special interests within the literary Bond ever since I first heard of his Bond continuation novels as a young fan in 1995 or so. That was also the year I found my first Fleming Bond novels and the first two Bond novels from Gardner also. I know there was the rumour about Cold kind of predicting 9/11 and I think that the US Berkeley first paperback cover had a plane flying towards the Capitol building. That may be where the confusion comes from, as well as a frustratingly presented three part YouTube video essay on Cold Fall which covered this sort of 9/11 conspiracy theory ground:



    Sadly, however, a lot of these online things are rather will-o'-the-wisp in nature and unless one downloads them or prints them out they aren't always there forever.

    I know that I referenced the George W. Bush presidency (2001-2009) above myself but this thread was created back in early 2013 during the Obama Administration. Therefore, it obviously didn't take into account subsequent events, most notably the turbulent presidency of Donald J. Trump (2017-2021). I think these subsequent events (and especially the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and the attempted coup at the Capitol on 6th January 2021) have shown the relevancy and prescience of what Gardner wrote in Cold much more than 9/11 did. The surge in support for the Far Right in the United States and the rabble rousing of the mob have been worrying developments worthy of the type of plot Gardner created with General Brutus Clay and his planned Mussolini-style fascist takeover of the United States. Trump himself has often been compared to Mussolini in particular, whether fairly or unfairly. It is all part of the wider rise in populism we have seen in the UK, UK and across Europe since about 2015 or so.

    @JGFan007, yes, you have read the US edition which was alternatively titled Cold Fall and was better structured in that it was clear that the book was split into two parts - the first part was set in 1990 presumably after the events of Brokenclaw and the second part was set in 1994 after the events of SeaFire. The UK omitted this helpful demarcation in dates for some reason and when I first read the novel in late 1998 I don't think it was as clear that there was a four year gap between Book 1 and Book 2. There were also significant textual changes between the US and the UK versions of the novel. Last year I came across reposts of two old articles (from around 2001 or a little earlier) by Nick Kincaid on what used to be called the 007Forever site that go into more details on the textual changes in both Nobody Lives Forever and Cold/Cold Fall:

    https://bondfanevents.com/what-are-the-differences-between-the-uk-and-us-editions-of-nobody-lives-forever/

    https://bondfanevents.com/what-is-the-controversy-surrounding-john-gardners-bond-novel-cold-fall/

    To answer your final question about there being textual differences between the UK and the US versions of Gardner's Bond novels, no, not all of his novels had differences. There may of course have been small differences in spelling and the odd word here and there across the board. However, the novels I have noticed more substantial differences between editions are Role of Honour, The Man From Barbarossa and Cold/Cold Fall. Role of Honor (US) seems to be a more complete text than Role of Honour (UK). The UK text of The Man From Barbarossa is much more complete than that of the heavily truncated US edition. This isn't surprising of course given Gardner writing on his website in 2002 that Putnam was aghast that TMFB wasn't "the same mixture as before", it being effectively his TSWLM. Then there were the differences between Cold and Cold Fall as set out in the article posted above by Nick Kincaid.
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