SOLO by William Boyd - Reviews & Feedback

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  • edited October 2013 Posts: 2,584
    SaintMark wrote:
    As for the folks of top gear, yes I would trust them on their knowledge and enjoy their shows a lot. And accept that they are really big 007 fans as well.

    Agreed. The Top Gear Bond special was excellent. And Clarkson was upfront in saying the Jensen Interceptor was unreliable and in parts badly built, but still beautiful:
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/jensen-interceptor-series-17-episode-5
    Perhaps Bond might have viewed it as the equivalent of a moody but gorgeous girlfriend--not someone he'd stick around with forever, but still worth getting to know a while.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    Revelator wrote:
    Perhaps Bond might have viewed it as the equivalent of a moody but gorgeous girlfriend--not someone he'd stick around with forever, but still worth getting to know a while.
    Haha, good one!
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 I've missed you all.
    Posts: 28,480
    chrisisall wrote:
    Revelator wrote:
    Perhaps Bond might have viewed it as the equivalent of a moody but gorgeous girlfriend--not someone he'd stick around with forever, but still worth getting to know a while.
    Haha, good one!

    I concur. The description sounds Fleming-esque to my ears for some reason.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    I loved my '79 Mustang, but in the end, I was so happy to be rid of it. :))
  • The Amazon reviews continue to be interesting.
    Human nature being what it is, reader reviews tend to be over generous. Even given this phenomena, SOLO is struggling to hold on to 3 Stars.
    By way of comparison, two other high profile espionage thrillers launched on pretty much the same day (Robert Harris' "An Officer And A Spy" and Frederick Forsyth's "The Kill List") are rocking along with 5 stars apiece.
    For me, this indicates that not only is the book failing to appeal to so called "Fleming die hards", it is also not scoring with non Bond thriller readers.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,649
    Villiers53 wrote:
    The Amazon reviews continue to be interesting.
    Human nature being what it is, reader reviews tend to be over generous. Even given this phenomena, SOLO is struggling to hold on to 3 Stars.
    By way of comparison, two other high profile espionage thrillers launched on pretty much the same day (Robert Harris' "An Officer And A Spy" and Frederick Forsyth's "The Kill List") are rocking along with 5 stars apiece.
    For me, this indicates that not only is the book failing to appeal to so called "Fleming die hards", it is also not scoring with non Bond thriller readers.

    It would appear to be something of a flop comparatively then, wouldn't you say?
  • Villiers53 wrote:
    The Amazon reviews continue to be interesting.
    Human nature being what it is, reader reviews tend to be over generous. Even given this phenomena, SOLO is struggling to hold on to 3 Stars.

    Not quite, online reviews are mostly overly enthusiastic AND critical. People who think something's just ok don't take the trouble to write about it. Right now Solo isn't struggling to hold 3 stars with an average of 3.2.

    No need to take my word for it. Just look for yourself:
    5 x 1 star
    8 x 2 stars
    3 x 3 stars
    16 x 4 stars
    5 x 5 stars


    Nearly no middle ground, people either like it a lot or not at all. Just as chrisisall predicted.



    Villiers53 wrote:
    By way of comparison, two other high profile espionage thrillers launched on pretty much the same day (Robert Harris' "An Officer And A Spy" and Frederick Forsyth's "The Kill List") are rocking along with 5 stars apiece.
    For me, this indicates that not only is the book failing to appeal to so called "Fleming die hards", it is also not scoring with non Bond thriller readers.

    To me this chiefly proves Harris and Forsyth are both much bigger names than Boyd, no big news there. Where's the beef?
  • brinkeguthriebrinkeguthrie Piz Gloria
    Posts: 1,261
    Just got it today from the library, taking it on vaca to Lake Tahoe. Only 308 pages?
  • Finished Solo........ And wow, that was a ride, the villain was a menacing equal to Bond, the Bond "Women" are well written and the twist before he goes "Solo" caught me off guard, somehow it is now my 2nd favorite Bomd book behind FRWL (even though I have only read Fleming's first half, Benson's TFOD, Higson's SF, DMC, CB, and Solo) its a big Turnabout from the last 2 adult Bond books (even though I love CB) I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)

    Again we see that one man's Flint is another man's Bond.
    Glad you enjoyed it; I predict that I will as well.
  • Posts: 267
    chrisisall wrote:
    I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)

    Again we see that one man's Flint is another man's Bond.
    Glad you enjoyed it; I predict that I will as well.

    You haven't read it yet?

  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,649
    Bentley wrote:
    chrisisall wrote:
    I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)

    Again we see that one man's Flint is another man's Bond.
    Glad you enjoyed it; I predict that I will as well.

    You haven't read it yet?

    I'd imagine that quite a few people haven't read it yet but chalk that down to the mixed reviews and bad fan reviews on forums such as this one. It's not surprising, though it is a little bit sad as these new Bond novels come along so rarely.
  • Posts: 267
    It's interesting the effect that things can have.
    Just after reading SOLO, my wife offered to buy me the Bentley special edition of Casino Royale. Normally I would have jumped at the chance but such is my determination not to put another halfpenny in IFP's pocket, I declined. My wife was in shock - she couldn't believe that I would ever decline a sumptuous Bentley/Fleming.
    I doubt there will be a 60th joint celebration between Jensen & Cape - not that I'll be around to find out!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,649
    Bentley wrote:
    It's interesting the effect that things can have.
    Just after reading SOLO, my wife offered to buy me the Bentley special edition of Casino Royale. Normally I would have jumped at the chance but such is my determination not to put another halfpenny in IFP's pocket, I declined. My wife was in shock - she couldn't believe that I would ever decline a sumptuous Bentley/Fleming.
    I doubt there will be a 60th joint celebration between Jensen & Cape - not that I'll be around to find out!

    Well in that case and assuming there are others out there who agree with your sentiments it seems that IFP need to get their act together as it were before releasing any more adult Bond continuation novels!
  • Posts: 2,872
    Finished Solo........ And wow, that was a ride, the villain was a menacing equal to Bond, the Bond "Women" are well written and the twist before he goes "Solo" caught me off guard, somehow it is now my 2nd favorite Bomd book behind FRWL (even though I have only read Fleming's first half, Benson's TFOD, Higson's SF, DMC, CB, and Solo) its a big Turnabout from the last 2 adult Bond books (even though I love CB) I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)

    Sorry, but if you have not read all Fleming's novels yet, and you love CB, I don't think this is a glowing reference for die-hard Fleming purists like myself and a fair few members on here.

    Your opinion may be enough to sway casual literary Bond fans though.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    Bentley wrote:
    .
    You haven't read it yet?
    No; I cannot abide hard cover books- so big & bulky. I'm a paperback man.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 I've missed you all.
    Posts: 28,480
    chrisisall wrote:
    Bentley wrote:
    .
    You haven't read it yet?
    No; I cannot abide hard cover books- so big & bulky. I'm a paperback man.

    I'm with you on that, @chrisisall.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, wow, I thought I was alone on that.
    I like to read in strange positions sometimes, and a paperback can fit into any of them. A hard cover dictates TO ME how it will or won't be read. :))
  • Posts: 2,872
    chrisisall wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, wow, I thought I was alone on that.
    I like to read in strange positions sometimes, and a paperback can fit into any of them. A hard cover dictates TO ME how it will or won't be read. :))

    I'm the same too. I hate hardbacks.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited October 2013 Posts: 37,100
    chrisisall wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, wow, I thought I was alone on that.
    I like to read in strange positions sometimes, and a paperback can fit into any of them. A hard cover dictates TO ME how it will or won't be read. :))

    Couldn't agree more. It's one of the many reasons why I rarely purchase a book as soon as it comes out; can't stand hardbacks.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,649
    Creasy47 wrote:
    chrisisall wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, wow, I thought I was alone on that.
    I like to read in strange positions sometimes, and a paperback can fit into any of them. A hard cover dictates TO ME how it will or won't be read. :))

    Couldn't agree more. It's one of the many reasons why I rarely purchase a book as soon as it comes out; can't stand hardbacks.

    Yes, they are rather inflexible and even hard to read from, which kind of defeats the purpose of the thing after all.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,100
    Plus, being so cheap, the price is always higher.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,649
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Plus, being so cheap, the price is always higher.

    A first edition is a first edition though is it not?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,100
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Plus, being so cheap, the price is always higher.

    A first edition is a first edition though is it not?

    Yeah, but I heavily loathe hardback books, and a first edition book isn't necessarily more valuable.
  • edited October 2013 Posts: 502
    is it as good as Fleming? of course it isn't
    is it an enjoyable read? it is
    was i expecting it to be as as good as Fleming? no i wasn't
    is it better than Carte Blanche? i didn't give up on it after 30 pages , so what dies that tell you?( if i could give Carte Blanche a 0 star review trust me i would.)
    overall rating 3.5 stars
  • Dragonpol wrote:
    Bentley wrote:
    It's interesting the effect that things can have.
    Just after reading SOLO, my wife offered to buy me the Bentley special edition of Casino Royale. Normally I would have jumped at the chance but such is my determination not to put another halfpenny in IFP's pocket, I declined. My wife was in shock - she couldn't believe that I would ever decline a sumptuous Bentley/Fleming.
    I doubt there will be a 60th joint celebration between Jensen & Cape - not that I'll be around to find out!

    Well in that case and assuming there are others out there who agree with your sentiments it seems that IFP need to get their act together as it were before releasing any more adult Bond continuation novels!

    The damage they have done with this will become a case study in brand management that will probably be titled; " The team that killed 007".
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited October 2013 Posts: 9,117
    Villiers53 wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Bentley wrote:
    It's interesting the effect that things can have.
    Just after reading SOLO, my wife offered to buy me the Bentley special edition of Casino Royale. Normally I would have jumped at the chance but such is my determination not to put another halfpenny in IFP's pocket, I declined. My wife was in shock - she couldn't believe that I would ever decline a sumptuous Bentley/Fleming.
    I doubt there will be a 60th joint celebration between Jensen & Cape - not that I'll be around to find out!

    Well in that case and assuming there are others out there who agree with your sentiments it seems that IFP need to get their act together as it were before releasing any more adult Bond continuation novels!

    The damage they have done with this will become a case study in brand management that will probably be titled; " The team that killed 007".

    Why is it that anyone with any rights to a slice of the Bond pie can't help but make a complete shambles of it? 007 Legends, Corgi ignoring the 50th, the lacklustre Bluray box set and now this hot on the heels of DMC and CB.

    Shouldn't Bond be a licence to print money for anyone with the slightest clue of what they are doing?

    At least EON seem to be competent although DAD can never be expunged from their CV.

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited October 2013 Posts: 17,281
    Villiers53 wrote:
    The damage they have done with this will become a case study in brand management that will probably be titled; " The team that killed 007".

    Not a bit of it; they could simply engage a creative (but inexpensive) writer to produce a strange novel setting Bond in the 22nd Century. It could be well written, and have sales enough to make it nominally profitable due to its anachronistic novelty, then the next novel, no matter the content or who writes it, would sell quite well just for bringing Bond back to our time. And by then, most at IFP now would be retired.
  • Finished Solo........ And wow, that was a ride, the villain was a menacing equal to Bond, the Bond "Women" are well written and the twist before he goes "Solo" caught me off guard, somehow it is now my 2nd favorite Bomd book behind FRWL (even though I have only read Fleming's first half, Benson's TFOD, Higson's SF, DMC, CB, and Solo) its a big Turnabout from the last 2 adult Bond books (even though I love CB) I recommend it to all Bond fans. (I could do with more Felix though)

    Sorry, but if you have not read all Fleming's novels yet, and you love CB, I don't think this is a glowing reference for die-hard Fleming purists like myself and a fair few members on here.

    Your opinion may be enough to sway casual literary Bond fans though.

    Now, now. I know that not all Fleming fans will like it, in fact I know where people see flaws but O overlooked them, this book was an easy read (unlike the 2/3rds of Carte Blanche, yet I still enjoy, but not as much as SF, CR, MR, DN, FRWL). I fully understand where people see flaws but its just so easy to get through which would warrant a positive review from me. REMEMBER!!! It's my opinion and I believe Solo is a great novel, a decent Bond novel. (I guess I will have to read Book Bond's review as he seems to enjoy it too)
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,281
    chrisisall wrote:
    Now, now. I know that not all Fleming fans will like it
    All I ask is a decent enough plot, a good villain, and most importantly, a brisk, lean writing style. When it comes out in paperback I'll find out.

    Seriously, we've had so much variance in the cinema Bond, does every novel have to be so absolutely 'Fleming'? :-?
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