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You should make up your own mind rather than reading reviews and listening to what other people have to say.
You're right, but after the last two literary fiascos I'm a bit more cautious...
Exactly. Sound advice. Don't believe the under-hype.
Boy oh boy, did I get this wrong.
After the abuse we suffered at the hands of Faulks and Deaver, us literary Bond fans felt battered and bruised and were hoping against hope that this was going to be our "Skyfall".
In a perverse way it is because the sky has completely fallen in on all of our hopes. Boyd has delivered an absolute stinker!
What went wrong?
Try everything. Fans are presented with a completely dysfunctional plot that has more holes in it than a swiss cheese, is populated with cardboard characters , has zero suspense and in which Bond seems to spend the whole time drinking himself into a stupor. Probably because he doesn't know what the hell he's doing on this absurd mission and is desperate for the whole thing to stop before he becomes any more embarrassed. In short, a bigger load of baloney it is difficult to imagine.
To give just one example of the tosh this guy writes , we are expected to believe that our hero breaks into a would be girlfriends house , when he has told her not to expect him , for no other reason than she is not at home . And when she returns during the house invasion , Bond hides out, watches her undress , drinks a whisky and departs leaving her a note! Got it?
Give me a break, who is this new Bond - Jimmy Saville?
I attended last nights launch at London's RFH were Boyd bragged that he'd researched Fleming books to death and, although he was a fan, he found them a bit uneven — thought he ( Fleming) was a bit of a sexist, racist and that he (Boyd) was going to give us a Bond that was a deep, dark character who was capable of crying and vomiting. Well, he will certainly be crying and vomiting after having been subject to this mess and so well any reader who spends their hard earned wonga on Solo.
Frankly, Boyd should be ashamed. He's taken IFP's money and ran. And you IFP should be hanging your heads in shame. Once (Faulks) was unfortunate, twice (Deaver) was incompetence. Thrice (Boyd) is just taking advantage of the fans and they deserve better. Bond Aficionados, don't buy this. Get "I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes. It's everything a thriller should be and you'll love it.
As a Bond fan, I feel completely abused and a character that was on literary life support has had the machine turned off.
So it was that good, then? I take it here that you have read the novel in full?
So, you think it's a case of 3 for 3 then? Are we still yet to wait for right Bond author? I have always had my reservations about SOLO based on the last two horrible efforts and the fact that these authors like Boyd are always claiming how familiar they are with the Fleming books and then turn out rubbish.
From other reviews I've read it seems like a decent to good book. I'm not claiming who is right and who is wrong though. If there isn't decent character development for Bond or the supporting characters, then this will disappoint me.
I won't begin reading it until I've finished the other two books I'm currently reading. I'm in no hurry. The next book won't be for another two years if there is a next one.
Every miserable page!
"So it was that good, then?"
"Every miserable page!:
Is this sarcasm..? ;) Has anyone (or anyone else) read the entire book?
I haven't as yet, though I do have a copy and it is on my reading list.
I take it you were disappointed with what you read then, @Villiers53?
I have one chapter left to read before I publish my review but I'm afraid I concur with @Bentley.
With the exception of the very beginning, that could have been concentrated on for marketing purposes, the standard is very poor and the ploting is quite ludicrous.
@Bentley highlights what he calls the 'home invasion' but frankly there are many other OMG moments.
Sad but IFP are just milking the cow. Unfortunately it's our money that comes out of it.
Yes, for my sins I read every last word.
Of the last three attempt I found Faulks DMC actually quite entertaining and surprisingly for me one of my favorite thrillerwriters Deaver failed.
I am as always highly amused by what the people that want & expect from a new 007 book. I will sit down next week and try to make up my own mind.
Well making up your own mind on the latest James Bond novel sounds like a sound plan to me.
I personally enjoyed a good deal of Devil May Care but did not like Carte Blanche at all. I think among our members, we will find a lot of differing opinions. Anyway, I will read it, just not rushing to with open arms.
And and I did I Am Pilgrim, @Bentley. Looking forward to it. Thanks for your brutally honest review of Solo.
I'm not saying that I won't enjoy Solo. I'll wait until I read it but I have had my reservations right from the beginning due to a good few other lacklustre efforts. It really doesn't matter how much an author knows about Fleming and Bond and how much of a fan they are of the two chaps, it doesn't mean that the book they write will be any good.
@Villiers53 @Bentley Do either of you like any of the Gardner Bond books? If so, which ones?
It'll be interesting to see how much of SOLO I enjoy. I am not really a fan of DMC or CB but I don't hate them either. I really like (but don't love) half of Gardner's books and the other half I merely enjoy parts of.
A woman's opinion of the book: (she loves it)
It still sounds great to me though.
The only books I buy when they are first released are the Bond books. Every other book I wait until it can be borrowed at the public library.
I have ONE Bond book in hardcover. I think I'll donate to Goodwill soon.
At this point I wonder if they should actually just put it all on hold, wait for Charlie Higson to become available then get him to write some adult books about Bond during the war. Maybe 5 books (one a year) and then progress to another 5 around the time Bond was a new recruit in the service, pre Casino Royale and then another 5 set between or/and after the Fleming adventures. After the first 5 he could have 3 or 4 years to do his own thing, then return for another 5 and so on...
By the time I'd left Waterloo, I'd finished the first chapter and from there on in, I only stopped turning the pages to sleep, walk the dog and play tennis until I finished it last night.
Must have been a gripper then?
If only - my page turning was driven by pure shock. I simply couldn't believe how a supposedly renowned author could make such a pigs breakfast out of things and having finished Solo, my overwhelming feeling is one of complete sadness. It's like I've just experienced the literary death of a character I've loved for fourty nine years and have slipped into mourning.
In my opinion, Boyd has just trousered the cash and done us over. The plot is absolutely farcical. It begins with Bond recieving a cardboard briefing from 'M' (these exchanges were always a high point in any Bond read - not here, it's virtually like they don't know each other) and from there we are just taken from one stupid incident to another.
@Bentley mentioned what he called the "Home Invasion Scene" and it is a good example of what we have to put up with but there are many others - when he takes our hero to Washington, we are asked to believe that he is stupid enough to walk into the wrong neighbourhood (not too bright this Bond) and beats up three would be muggers in the most unbelievable fashion. The book is riddled with the ridiculous and to be honest I can't think of a saving grace.
Guns, girls, cars, violence and glamorous places are Bonds stock in trade and it is pretty clear to me that within the context of this example Boyd has little enthusiasm for any of the aforementioned - at one point he even has him donning a cream shirt with a pale blue knitted tie - unbelievable!
I do think that when this turkey does the rounds it could be the death nel because although Bond fans like us will be offended and then talk about what went wrong. A casual reader would probably bin it after fourty pages. When you consider it is competing this month with new books from the likes of Robert Harris and Frederick Forsyth any Solo sales will be down to the Bond name and after the Faulks/Deaver debacle there has to be limit to how many times IFP can insult people by allowing our icon to be abused in such a cynical way.
Save your money!
Just out of curiosity, what do you think of the Gardner books? Do you like any of them?
"Solo sales will be down to the Bond name and after the Faulks/Deaver debacle there has to be limit to how many times IFP can insult people by allowing our icon to be abused in such a cynical way."
I have to agree if I don't end up liking this book and it sounds as though this might be the case - something I have suspected since day one and for good reason. I won't say anything more though. I need to start reading it first after I've finished the other two novels I'm reading but I'm in no hurry now. Really, if I don't like this book either then I think it's finally time they put a stop to this adult Bond books being written by different authors move. They probably won't though.
Yes, @ Bounine, I do like the first six John Gardner Bond books.
I thought Gardner was a fine writer and a very nice man to boot. I particularly liked "Licence Renewed" and "Role Of Honour". For me, they were his best.
The great thing that John did was to give us a very credible reboot for the 1980s.
There hadn't been a book since Amis' excellent Colonel Sun in 1968 and we'd been thirteen years without 007. He succeeded in giving us a series that maintained completely Flemings high old tone whilst setting Bond firmly in the '80s with a slightly revised raison d'être. The first five stories (with the exception of "For Special Services") were well plotted and I think he did a damn fine job.
That said, I do think he stayed at it fare too long. That was probably more IFP's fault (or Gildrose as they were back then) than John's. I say that because in my opinion the quality dropped away quite dramatically after "No Deals, Mr.Bond".They should have drawn a line on it and found a quality successor. I think he (John) lost interest and wished he was writing other things. I used to dialogue with him in the latter stage of his life and he was completely charming.
Back to our current dilemma, after Boyd's absolute clunker, I think that IFP should definitely freeze their celebrity author strategy and go, as you suggested earlier, on bended knee and beg Higson to take up the adult mantel by following his project through the war years. Wether this will happen will doubtless be purely a financial decision. After what we can safely label "The Celebrity Trilogy Disaster," I am firmly of the opinion that Lucy Fleming and the IFP gang have zero interest in the qualitative end of things or what the fans think. They are after our wonga, pure and simple. I wish them all the worst in this because we, the fans, deserve better but the Bond brand is hugely strong and is capable of withstanding all sorts of abuse so perhaps the normal rules of diminishing return don't apply? But, I for one, won't be buying any more dross. Enough is definitely enough!