The 'Carte Blanche' discussion thread

245678

Comments

  • Posts: 117
    I'm up to page 48 so far and I'm enjoying it. It's got a Bondesque (but not Flemingesque) atmosphere to it, but I can't help picturing the Daniel Craig Bond while I'm reading it (I've just finished re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reading The Spy Who Loved Me and it was Connery in my mind's eye).
    I loved all the stuff in Serbia at the beginning.
  • Posts: 7,653
    Us yanks have to wait until mid June :-(
    So you can't order from the UK?
  • I'm up to page 48 so far and I'm enjoying it. It's got a Bondesque (but not Flemingesque) atmosphere to it, but I can't help picturing the Daniel Craig Bond while I'm reading it (I've just finished re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reading The Spy Who Loved Me and it was Connery in my mind's eye).
    I loved all the stuff in Serbia at the beginning.
    I hope you can review after and how long is the book?

  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,894
    I'm 20-some pages in. So far, I think it's good read.
  • can someone post a review when you finish thanks!
  • JamesPageJamesPage Administrator, Moderator, Director
    Posts: 1,380
    It seems this could be a very good book indeed! :-D

    By the way, I love all the Carte Blanche coverage MI6.
    Glad you are enjoying it! Big credit goes to our special reporters. :) More soon from The Times event...

  • Posts: 136
    Up to page 122 and I'm enjoying the book so far. I think it is somewhat Fleming-esque and very much Deaver-esque. It particularly reminds me of his Kathryn Dance books (both of which I recommend). I agree with Gaz1961, I'm picturing Craig's Bond as well. It's the modern setting I suppose.
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 370
    The book is around 425 pages long. I'm now 115 pages in.

    I do have to say that I think Deaver has got Bond's 'voice' spot-on, ie his thought processes.

    And there are definitely little touches of Fleming in the book, for example describing Bond's Bentley: 'It had always been his goal to own one of the stately yet wickedly fast and clever vehicles'. When I read lines like that I just smile.

    The book itself is very nicely presented. There is a nice glossy '007' embossed on the front cover and the dust-jacket has a pleasing satin finish.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 4,622

    My apologies for slipping up. But I actually wanted to illustrate that tv's were not that common in those early days of 007, common in the sense that is today, and while the movie series went quite far in its gadgets the books never did in the same excess. Had Fleming lived longer he might have used tv in some sort of way. Alas he didn't have enough time to give us more 007. I was sincerly curious where he would have gone after TMWTGG.
    The point about the TV is a good one. TV wasn't so big in the early 60's I guess.

  • Posts: 638
    Us yanks have to wait until mid June :-(
    So you can't order from the UK?
    I probably could, but it would probably take over two weeks to get across the pond unless I paid extra for express shipping.
  • Posts: 26
    The book is around 425 pages long. I'm now 115 pages in.

    I do have to say that I think Deaver has got Bond's 'voice' spot-on, ie his thought processes.

    And there are definitely little touches of Fleming in the book, for example describing Bond's Bentley: 'It had always been his goal to own one of the stately yet wickedly fast and clever vehicles'. When I read lines like that I just smile.
    That's very encouraging to hear! ;-) I had a feeling, from what I've managed to read of Deaver's Garden of Beasts, that he'd be a natural fit for the job.
    The book itself is very nicely presented. There is a nice glossy '007' embossed on the front cover and the dust-jacket has a pleasing satin finish.
    Impressive! :D Really wish the American edition was getting the same dust-jacket with the smoke image (unlike most folks here, I love the look personally). Just hope that the physical hardcover is the same as the British edition. ;-)
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!
    edited May 2011 Posts: 1,699
    I'm up to page 48 so far and I'm enjoying it. It's got a Bondesque (but not Flemingesque) atmosphere to it, but I can't help picturing the Daniel Craig Bond while I'm reading it (I've just finished re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reading The Spy Who Loved Me and it was Connery in my mind's eye).
    I loved all the stuff in Serbia at the beginning.
    I was lukcy enough to go along to the book launch Q&A with Jeffrey Deaver last night, meet him and get a copy signed (I know I shouldn't brag, but hey :p ), and having quickly read on the train home the novel's first scene between Bond and M, I can certainly see where you're coming from with that comment, Gaz. For better or worse, I was rather doing the same thing myself.

    Anyhoo, looking forward to getting down to it and reading it properly in a week or so... :)
  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 4,312
    Are there any puns hidden (or obvious to native English speakers) in the names of henchmen, love interests etc. in Carte Blanche?
  • Posts: 5,767
    I picked it up in the book store, read the first 5 or so pages, and put it down again.

    With all due respect, why is Deaver describing a scene where Bond seems to be staking out some place, and then out of nowhere mentions his hairstyle and that he has a scar? I didn´t have negative thoughts about Deaver, but who writes like this? Is it going on like this? I´m sorry, but to me that was the worst expositional bit I ever read from anybody.
  • Posts: 1,894
    Well, there's a Mary Goodnight. And a Felicity Willing, too.

    Anyway, I've finished off the novel and I thought I'd share a few things that came up. Please bear in mind that this will probably contain a few major spoilers. Consider yoruselves warned.

    It feels like half a novel in some places. Deaver ties off all the loose ends, but at times he just glosses over content without really paying it the attention it deserves. There's more than one thing going on for most of the story, but things feel disjointed. I get that the theme was the over-reliance on electronic surveilance and the way intelligence can be mis-interpreted, but events later in the novel only have a loose connection to one another when things are implied to be stronger. The end result is that it feels a little like an episode of "Murder She Wrote" with Bond having to explain everything. While there are hints and clues scattered throughout the novel, there's never really anything to back them up. So you can read it a second time and everything will crystallise much earlier on than the first time through, but Deaver just doesn't throw us enough. Even then, key plot points simply happen. There's no foreshadowing, so it feels like they come out of nowhere and only happen because the overall plot needs to advance. The resolution of the "A" storyline gives way to the "B" storyline, but the pacing is all wrong - far too much time is spent on the A and not nearly enough on the B. Worse, still, is the tendency to break character. Severan Hydt is made out to be a sociopath who will kill thousands simply because it will bring him pleasure, but then he is revealed to be in it for the money. Bond does it, too; defending the son of a rich and flamboyant Islamic expatriate for no particular reason other than that he needs a favour later on - it reads as if Deaver realised he had to get Bond from point A to point B and had written himself into a corner. There's also a few other issues that plague the novel. For example, Felix Leiter. He shows up for no reason, does nothing (except get beaten up) and then disappears without word. It feels like fan service.

    But perhaps the most alarming thing about the novel is that Bond's success is usually a direct result of someone else's incompetence. He does have the occasional moment of cleverness, but for the most part, he's surrounded by idiots - the two Serbian agents in the early chapters, the domestic operative he's forced to work with, an unreliable contact in Africa; they're all morons.
  • Posts: 7,653
    Us yanks have to wait until mid June :-(
    So you can't order from the UK?
    I probably could, but it would probably take over two weeks to get across the pond unless I paid extra for express shipping.
    Nobody said it would be cheap to be a Bondfan.
    :!!
  • would love some review and rate of 10 please..is it still better than DMC and the bensons and gardner books? best book since Colonel Sun?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    Can someone explain the title in the context of the book without major spoilers? ;;)
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    Just finished reading Carte Blanche and was pleasantly surprised by just how good it is. (I'll try and keep this short and without plot spoilers) Jeffrey Deaver has boldly re-imagined his James Bond very much in the modern world (his parents deaths are dated as occurring in 1990 and Bond was 11 at the time), and just as Fleming wrote much detail on the global politics and spying techniques of his time so has Deaver on the post 9/11 world of today.
    Many familiar characters make brief cameos, a fully limbed Felix even manages to pick up his almost traditional injury, and even Bonds first meeting with M is mentioned in a scene that echos Fleming's own very beginning in Navel Intelligence with his lunch meeting with Admiral Godfrey.
    Deaver has clearly done his research and for the most Bond thinks and sounds like the 007 we know, even very subtle references to continuation authors Amis and Higson are made.
    Deavers style is interesting and he obviously takes great delight in wrong footing the reader on a number of occasions and his multi stranded plots are something rather new to the Bond novel. His cast is large and well drawn and suggests that Deaver may have further ideas for Bond novels.
    The main plot involves issues that are very topical and some of his ideas are very clever, though to be honest I did find the book overlong, though the final revelation in the last chapter is a humdinger!
    The best way to treat this book is think of it like the rebooted CR film rather than a continuation novel. Yes it is very different in tone and style to what we have been used to, but this fresh approach works really well and I hope we see a few more Deaver Bond novels.
    Oh and DathDimiCarte Blanche is a reference to Bonds role for acting outside the realms of law and the difficulties that inevitably entails.
  • hey Saunders..what would you rate the book out of 10? Is it the best novel since Colonel Sun?
  • Posts: 5,767
    Navel Intelligence
    :-))
  • doubleonothingdoubleonothing Los Angeles Moderator
    Posts: 864
    I went to the Q&A last night and one thing from it was that Deaver certainly has a real love and understanding of Fleming's writing, and for Bond.

    It remains to be seen whether or not he lives up to the task. I've only just started the book, although it looks promising so far.

    When I spoke to him at the signing last night, he told me that it was the fans of Fleming he was most nervous about pleasing. Just the fact that he's anxious to do justice to the character and to Fleming's legacy gives me a lot of hope.
  • Posts: 1,894
    Can someone explain the title in the context of the book without major spoilers? ;;)
    Basically, when Bond is abroad, he has "carte blanche" - a blank cheque, or the power to do whatever he deems necessary to get his mission accomplished. If that means operating outside local laws, then he is entited to do so.
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!
    Posts: 1,699
    Can someone explain the title in the context of the book without major spoilers? ;;)
    Basically, when Bond is abroad, he has "carte blanche" - a blank cheque, or the power to do whatever he deems necessary to get his mission accomplished. If that means operating outside local laws, then he is entited to do so.
    Yes, it effectively describes his overseas 'licence to kill' - so a reference that's not new in any way or spoiler-ish...
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 2,598
    I ordered mine from Amazon because I'm too lazy to go to a book store. LOL. It's hard for me to get the motivation to go to the supermarket, I always put it off, but it has to be done unfortunately. I love ordering online - DVD's, books... Forget physical shops! Amazon offer good deals too. I'm actually glad now I chose to have the original version with the white background. I have decided I like that more than the black background some bookstores are offering. The best version was the first one when the writing was in grey I reckon. Good thread this. :)
  • Posts: 7,653
    Am a good 100 pages into the book, so far it is excellent. But then again that is my experience with most books bij Jeffrey Deaver.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,350
    Side note: Today, of course, would have been Fleming's 103rd birthday, so Happy Birthday and thanks for everything, Sir.
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 370
    Spent the afternoon reading it and am now at page 300. Should get it finished tomorrow.

    If I have one complaint it's that there are not enough 'Fleming' style chapter titles. I can think of quite a few suitable ones. For example 'Carte Grise' pops up in Bond's thoughts a few times early in the book and I thought that would be a good candidate.
  • Posts: 2,598
    Happy belated Birthday Mr Fleming! Thanks again for having such a great mind!
  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 370
    Just finished it. I enjoyed it and would not object to Mr Deaver doing another.
Sign In or Register to comment.