Non-Fleming Bond Novels - Where to Start?

RikRik Southend
edited July 2013 in Literary 007 Posts: 67
I'm someone who has only ever read the Fleming Novels.

I'm now thinking about reading the Non-Fleming titles.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start?
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Comments

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,030
    Yep, don't. I tried the devil may care and Carte Blanche and neither came close to Fleming. They're just run of the mill thrillers with a guy called Bond as the lead character. And especially in TDMC he's clearly NOT Fleming's creation.
  • RikRik Southend
    Posts: 67
    @CommanderRoss Thanks for replying. Were those John Gardner novels? Or someone else? It's been suggested I stick with Gardner's books.
  • Posts: 76
    I'm doing the same right now. I'm just reading through them all and making my own opinions. I would really recommend colonial sun it's just as good as any Fleming. Just read the novelisations of tswlm and mr (coz I'm really hardcore) lol I'm gona be making a start on the gardener novels this week. So I can let you know how I get on with those. :)
  • RikRik Southend
    Posts: 67
    Thanks @MrDJWest Appreciate it. I'm going to head over to my library and try to get Colonel Sun and give that a go first :)
  • RikRik Southend
    Posts: 67
    Couldn't get Colonel Sun at the library so got Licence Renewed instead.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Colonel Sun is great an the first 5 Gardner novels are worth reading.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    I once read an article which compared reading John Gardner Bond books to the different Star Trek series, it suggested that you get more from his books if you read them as a different interpretation of Bond rather than a direct continuation of the Fleming character, just like The Next Generation carries the same principles as Star Trek but is a different ship and crew.
    I would agree with this principle as all the continuation authors are left wanting when compared directly with Fleming's work, but taken on their own merit they all are worth reading at least once. I would start with Colonel Sun and then work through the Wood's, Gardner's, Benson's, Faulk's and then Deaver. You probably won't like all of them, but at least you will of expanded your own Bond world and made the decision for yourself rather than relying on other members views.
  • edited July 2013 Posts: 136
    Agreed that 'Colonel Sun' is the best spin-off one. It does actually feel like Fleming....unlike 'Devil May Care' which feels like a Fleming pastiche (though it has its moments and I like the idea of them doing period Bond).

    I really enjoyed 'Carte Blanche' of the more recent ones.

    As for Gardner...the early ones, he's clearly going for it and the likes of 'Licence Renewed' and 'For Special Services' are solid reads. The middle period are ok as solid thrillers with a bloke called Bond in them and the later ones..well, the schedule has clearly caught up with him. I often think they'd make good graphic novels as the plots can sometimes be inspired but I find his writing a bit flat.

    Yet to read Benson, so can't comment.

    Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels are brilliant though. Whatever your reading age!
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Tomorrow Never Dies , Goldeneye , TWINE, DAD and LTK start with any of them then read CR and QOS.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited July 2013 Posts: 23,650
    Tomorrow Never Dies , Goldeneye , TWINE, DAD and LTK start with any of them then read CR and QOS.

    What? Simple novelizations over the truly amazing Fleming original CR? And QOS isn't even a book by itself. Clearly, @hullcityfan, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you even read a serious Bond book?

  • RecipeRecipe Banned
    Posts: 56
    A confession I try to start reading again. I have a stroke 2 years ago, lose part of my spelling and reading and use off one off my arm. I read Fleming to get abck to basics and get the old brainbox working again. Fine all good.

    Then I try Gardner.

    I get half way through For Secret Services and frankly I just give up.

    This charatcer is not James Bond 007. He a nerdy, swotty good good who is rude to people, has no fun, is studious, wears horrible clothings and gear, drive a granny Saab and make referendce to old literature and theatre and also stage. He eat bad cuisine, an Apple johnson. I realise after the Harvester ant attack I wonder "Why am I even reading this? Frankly I no care?" and I put it down and read DAF...

    Basically I recommand stick to Fleming :)
  • Posts: 66
    Everybody has their own taste in books; besides Fleming I would recommend Colonel Sun. You could try the Raymond Benson books, but I must say they read like more of a fan fiction (because they are in a way). The Gardner books are hit and miss for my taste; he had some good ones, but even in his best the James Bond charater was never quite what it was in the Fleming novels. Again it's all up to personal taste, my best advice would be just to dive in and see what you like, there's plenty to choose from; but to me nothing matches the originals.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited July 2013 Posts: 23,650
    Recipe wrote:
    A confession I try to start reading again. I have a stroke 2 years ago, lose part of my spelling and reading and use off one off my arm. I read Fleming to get abck to basics and get the old brainbox working again. Fine all good.

    Then I try Gardner.

    I get half way through For Secret Services and frankly I just give up.

    This charatcer is not James Bond 007. He a nerdy, swotty good good who is rude to people, has no fun, is studious, wears horrible clothings and gear, drive a granny Saab and make referendce to old literature and theatre and also stage. He eat bad cuisine, an Apple johnson. I realise after the Harvester ant attack I wonder "Why am I even reading this? Frankly I no care?" and I put it down and read DAF...

    Basically I recommand stick to Fleming :)

    All too often have we had trolls and spammers claim physical limitations. No-one believes this to be true. And since it couldn't possibly be an excuse to spam the place up, don't even bother brining it up.

    Furthermore, the latter comments clearly show you are not on the level of the rest of us in terms of being a Bond fan. This post of yours, @Recipe, makes no sense. Expect a PM.
  • edited July 2013 Posts: 4,622
    You could just keep it simple. Start with Colonel Sun, followed by Pearson's fictionalized biography, which is chalk full of Bond adventure. Then just keep ploughing along in order, moving on to the Gardners, followed by the Bensons, followed by Faulks and Deaver.
    Then go back and read the7 movie-tie in novels. Then the 5 Young Bonds in order followed by the 3 Moneypenny Diaries. And then you are all caught up, but for a handful of Benson, Weinberg and Higson short-stories.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Tomorrow Never Dies , Goldeneye , TWINE, DAD and LTK start with any of them then read CR and QOS.

    What? Simple novelizations over the truly amazing Fleming original CR? And QOS isn't even a book by itself. Clearly, @hullcityfan, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you even read a serious Bond book?

    Unbelievable!
  • RikRik Southend
    edited July 2013 Posts: 67
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Tomorrow Never Dies , Goldeneye , TWINE, DAD and LTK start with any of them then read CR and QOS.

    What? Simple novelizations over the truly amazing Fleming original CR? And QOS isn't even a book by itself. Clearly, @hullcityfan, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you even read a serious Bond book?

    i completely agree with @DarthDimi here. Plus Hull City? *shakes head* Sooo the wrong team to support!
    Recipe wrote:
    A confession I try to start reading again. I have a stroke 2 years ago, lose part of my spelling and reading and use off one off my arm. I read Fleming to get abck to basics and get the old brainbox working again. Fine all good.

    Then I try Gardner.

    I get half way through For Secret Services and frankly I just give up.

    This charatcer is not James Bond 007. He a nerdy, swotty good good who is rude to people, has no fun, is studious, wears horrible clothings and gear, drive a granny Saab and make referendce to old literature and theatre and also stage. He eat bad cuisine, an Apple johnson. I realise after the Harvester ant attack I wonder "Why am I even reading this? Frankly I no care?" and I put it down and read DAF...

    Basically I recommand stick to Fleming :)

    The character is called James Bond is he not? He is James Bond then. Simple.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2013 Posts: 17,882
    Rik wrote:
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Tomorrow Never Dies , Goldeneye , TWINE, DAD and LTK start with any of them then read CR and QOS.

    What? Simple novelizations over the truly amazing Fleming original CR? And QOS isn't even a book by itself. Clearly, @hullcityfan, you don't know what you're talking about. Have you even read a serious Bond book?

    i completely agree with @DarthDimi here. Plus Hull City? *shakes head* Sooo the wrong team to support!
    Recipe wrote:
    A confession I try to start reading again. I have a stroke 2 years ago, lose part of my spelling and reading and use off one off my arm. I read Fleming to get abck to basics and get the old brainbox working again. Fine all good.

    Then I try Gardner.

    I get half way through For Secret Services and frankly I just give up.

    This charatcer is not James Bond 007. He a nerdy, swotty good good who is rude to people, has no fun, is studious, wears horrible clothings and gear, drive a granny Saab and make referendce to old literature and theatre and also stage. He eat bad cuisine, an Apple johnson. I realise after the Harvester ant attack I wonder "Why am I even reading this? Frankly I no care?" and I put it down and read DAF...

    Basically I recommand stick to Fleming :)

    The character is called James Bond is he not? He is James Bond then. Simple.

    IFM time! Don't give @Recipe the oxygen, friend. Look at his avatar picture. that tells you all you need to know, I think.
  • RecipeRecipe Banned
    edited July 2013 Posts: 56
    Dragonpol I know my Bond, I read when Bond eats an Apple johnson.

    If you look past your arrogance you might learn something. Any gimp can write a blog
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2013 Posts: 17,882
    Recipe wrote:
    Dragonpol I know my Bond, I read when Bond eats an Apple johnson.

    If you look past your arrogance you might learn something. Any gimp can write a blog

    Does that include yourself? Where's your blog? Talk of arrogance!

    No need for name calling.

    If it's so easy, why don't you write the blog that you were referring to?

    Any gimp can write a blog after all. How hard can it be?

    It's easy to troll and be uber-critical. it's much harder to be creative.

    Come back to me when you have a successful blog all of your own. Until then, zip it. I've had enough of your baiting other proper MI6 members on here, as have others.
  • RikRik Southend
    Posts: 67
    I'm going to ignore this thread now and just get on with reading the book. Not after an argument.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,882
    Any gimp can ruin a thread too it seems...
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Definitely Amis' "Colonel Sun." Very well written, and you definitely feel that this is the sequel to "The Man With the Golden Gun." If your libray doesn't have it ask the librarian to order it from another library, they do that.
  • Posts: 76
    Rik wrote:
    Thanks @MrDJWest Appreciate it. I'm going to head over to my library and try to get Colonel Sun and give that a go first :)

    Hey Rik, just wondering how you are getting on with Licence Renewed, I have so far read the first two gardener novels and I am rather enjoying them. I don't like bonds over reliance on gadgets, they are way too convenient and I didn't think for special services really picked up until the second half but apart from that they are good reads.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Has anyone read the books on the short list for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award this year?

    Steel-Dagger.jpg

    http://www.ianfleming.com/steel-dagger-longlist-announced-2/

    GHOSTMAN by Roger Hobbs (Transworld)

    ‘An assured and engaging novel which maintains suspense throughout and grips the reader to the very end.’

    THE UNINVITED by Liz Jensen (Bloomsbury)

    ‘Hesketh is a brilliantly conceived and created narrator in this inventive and enthralling thriller.’

    THE NECESSARY DEATH OF LEWIS WINTER by Malcolm Mackay (Pan Macmillan)

    ‘A remarkable insight into Glasgow’s criminal underworld – original, clever and written with a distinctive voice.’

    RATLINES by Stuart Neville (Random House)

    ‘With a gripping plot and a colourful array of characters, this thriller masterfully evokes the tensions of post-war Ireland.’

    THE SENTINEL by Mark Oldfield (Head of Zeus)

    ‘A very dark and chilling account of Spain under Franco, this novel is intensely atmospheric and a truly substantial work.’

    THE POISON TIDE by Andrew Williams (Hachette)

    ‘An accomplished and intelligent spy novel, with a scrupulously well-researched and compelling plot.’

    CAPITAL PUNISHMENT by Robert Wilson (Orion)

    ‘Teeming with action and suspense, this riveting thriller explores a dark, Dickensian cross-section of the capital.’

    - See more at: http://www.ianfleming.com/steel-dagger-longlist-announced-2/#sthash.DPtq5OWd.dpuf
  • Posts: 802
    007InVT wrote:
    Has anyone read the books on the short list for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award this year?

    Steel-Dagger.jpg

    http://www.ianfleming.com/steel-dagger-longlist-announced-2/

    GHOSTMAN by Roger Hobbs (Transworld)

    ‘An assured and engaging novel which maintains suspense throughout and grips the reader to the very end.’

    THE UNINVITED by Liz Jensen (Bloomsbury)

    ‘Hesketh is a brilliantly conceived and created narrator in this inventive and enthralling thriller.’

    THE NECESSARY DEATH OF LEWIS WINTER by Malcolm Mackay (Pan Macmillan)

    ‘A remarkable insight into Glasgow’s criminal underworld – original, clever and written with a distinctive voice.’

    RATLINES by Stuart Neville (Random House)

    ‘With a gripping plot and a colourful array of characters, this thriller masterfully evokes the tensions of post-war Ireland.’

    THE SENTINEL by Mark Oldfield (Head of Zeus)

    ‘A very dark and chilling account of Spain under Franco, this novel is intensely atmospheric and a truly substantial work.’

    THE POISON TIDE by Andrew Williams (Hachette)

    ‘An accomplished and intelligent spy novel, with a scrupulously well-researched and compelling plot.’

    CAPITAL PUNISHMENT by Robert Wilson (Orion)

    ‘Teeming with action and suspense, this riveting thriller explores a dark, Dickensian cross-section of the capital.’

    - See more at: http://www.ianfleming.com/steel-dagger-longlist-announced-2/#sthash.DPtq5OWd.dpuf

    I've read Ghostman by Roger Hobbs and it is absolutely dire.
    I will probably give Ratlines by Stuart Neville a go. I've read his previous stuff and he is quite excellent. As for the rest of it - there's nothing that interests me.

    Back to the thread.

    With other Bond reading there is only one route to follow:

    1) Colonel Sun - As good as any Fleming excluding OHMSS & FRWL
    2) Young Bond - read them chronologically. They are all fabulous and are definitely for
    readers of all ages.
    3) Moneypenny Diaries - Again, read the trilogy in the order they were written. These
    fabulous books are so under praised on this site it makes me want to cry.
    4) Gardner - first five are worth a read.
    5) Gardner - the rest only if you are desperate.
    6) Benson - only for the lobotomised.
    7) DMC - read the first 60 pages and ditch the rest. Faulkes did!
    8) CB - OMG no under any circumstances.
    9) Boyd - fingers crossed.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    1) Colonel Sun - As good as any Fleming excluding OHMSS & FRWL - Excellent Read
    4) Gardner - first five are worth a read. - Agreed
    5) Gardner - the rest only if you are desperate. - Agreed
    7) DMC - read the first 60 pages and ditch the rest. Faulkes did! - Passable, ludicrous villain
    8) CB - OMG no under any circumstances. - Tedious
    9) Boyd - fingers crossed. - Yep
  • Posts: 802
    007InVT wrote:
    1) Colonel Sun - As good as any Fleming excluding OHMSS & FRWL - Excellent Read
    4) Gardner - first five are worth a read. - Agreed
    5) Gardner - the rest only if you are desperate. - Agreed
    7) DMC - read the first 60 pages and ditch the rest. Faulkes did! - Passable, ludicrous villain
    8) CB - OMG no under any circumstances. - Tedious
    9) Boyd - fingers crossed. - Yep

    And 6) @007InVT?

  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Not read 2, 3 or 6 but I won't bother with Benson.

    I do like his JB Bedside Companion by the by.
  • Posts: 802
    007InVT wrote:
    Not read 2, 3 or 6 but I won't bother with Benson.

    I do like his JB Bedside Companion by the by.

    @007InVT, you are clearly a discerning aficionado and I would strongly recommend you attack 2) & 3). Mark my words - you won't regret it!
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    I have read the Fleming novels countless times, I even own all of the unabridged audio-books.

    Now for the first time I feel like reading a non-Fleming novel.

    I've gone through the previous posts in this thread but except for that Colonel Sun that seems to get recommended I'm lost.

    Can you recommend the book I should read first, so I can see if a non-Fleming novel works for me?
    Or should I read them chronologically?
    How many authors have written James Bond novels, and I guess they are all official?
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