The 'Carte Blanche' discussion thread

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  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    edited January 2013 Posts: 7,962
    I posted this on another discussion but didn't really get any comments on it, so I figured I'd start a new thread (forgive me if it's a duplicate.

    I just finished Carte Blanche. I thought it was ok. The ending more than anything redeemed the book for me. I thought the main plot of a
    recycling magnate
    being the villain was a little far-fetched, but then it became a little less believable when we found out who the the real villain was.

    I thought Deaver's prose was great and the plot was pretty easy to follow and genuinely surprising at times despite the fact that Bond was basically portrayed as a genius; he managed to outsmart nearly every character and somehow come through in the clinch with some miraculous solution to a deathtrap and/or problem. There were some red herrings and parts of the plot that seemed superfluous (the pseudo-PTS with the train really seemed like something that Deaver came up with last minute, had no bearing to do with the rest of the book beyond the Serbian sub-plot, which was actually well-handled). Overall, solid construction of the plot even if it wasn't the most plausible (then again, little of Fleming's plots were linear and plausible).

    The characters were fine. Really loved to hate the Dunne character, then felt some pity when we learned his backstory. One character I really liked was Jordaan; a strong, independent female who for once did not fall for Bond and who frankly was turned off by his charms. Not really sure why Deaver did away with Boothroyd and added in all these new characters, although they did fulfill their purposes and weren't terrible. But that brings me to my next point--why did he modify/add characters, change Bond's longterm affiliation with MI6 (as believable as a black-ops unit is, it's still slightly off-putting creating the ODG, even though I had no real problems with that), and most importantly, why did he alter Bond's past history if he wasn't going to write another book? I this was the first book in a new continuity shepherded by Deaver then I can get behind. But now it seems like the new author is picking up where Faulks (or is that Fleming?) left off and we have to get used to another, familiar, timeline? Bond is bigger than the author or the filmmaker and more respect should have been paid to an established canon if one wants to reboot the literary series, ala film CR.

    Finally, the most important part: did Deaver get Bond right? Yes and no. I for one was appalled to read that Bond was a former smoker and even slightly irritated when Deaver insinuated that
    Bond's parents may have been spies.
    This strikes me as trying to create subplot that previously never existed and had no good reason to ever exist in the first place. Overall though, I thought Deaver did a good job of describing Bond's thoughts and actions in a similar vein to Fleming. He's still a serious pro and damn good at what he does (again, despite the moments where heavy suspension of belief is required to explain Bond's God-like quick wits and actions). My one serious complaint is his unexplained infatuation with Maidenstone. I never care for Bond for that is head over heels over a woman and Deaver's constant reference to her is annoying, to say the least. Again, this is an arc that could be explored in future continuation novels if it wasn't seemingly designed as a one-off. As it is, it's kind of tiresome and unbelievable.

    Like I said, the ending was pretty good and I even felt sorry for
    the Lamb character
    after hating him and then seeing him as grossly incompetent and foolish. The twist caught me off guard and the revelation of the motivations of
    Felicity Willing
    was surprising, if not totally believable. Then again, the plot comes to a satisfying conclusion. I went on for a little bit longer than I wanted to, but overall, the book gets a 7/10 from me. Would really like it if Deaver or some other writer would expand on this new timeline. There's potential for interesting assignments for Bond and good stories centred around "protecting the realm".
    CB felt for me as a run-of-the-mill formuleac book. problem is, it isn't the Bond-formula that's been used. So it isn't a bad book, just not Bond, and definately not for me. had less plotholes or unbelievable parts then DMC, which i also strongly dislike as a Bond-story. Those are the two non-Fleming books i've read, and i don't think i'll read any more. Others just don't seem to understand Bond as created by Fleming.
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