'On His Majesty's Secret Service' by Charlie Higson (2023)

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Comments

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,792
    I dunno, I don’t mind that as an idea. Good post JJames.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Red_Snow wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Well, I finally got it, and I started reading it. This is so poorly written, the prose so clunky and cliche-ridden, I’m sadly stopping on page 13. I’ll put up with some garbage in the name of Bond, but this is just bad. I have no idea what the story is, I have no idea what the plot is, doesn’t matter to me. This is just poorly written.

    Its rather rushed conception and writing are no doubt the cause of this. However, I blame IFP (and not the author) for not giving Charlie Higson enough time to write it and for a proper and thorough editing process to then be conducted. If they had been thinking what they were doing they'd have contacted Higson shortly after the Queen died in order to give him enough time to write his short story or book and have it ready for King Charles III's coronation in May 2023. As others have said, I hope that the typos and missing words etc. can be fixed for any future paperback edition that may come along.

    Other than a nice marketing ploy, would it really have made that much difference if they held off and published it after the coronation when everyone's properly had time to write it, edited it, design the cover, etc.?
    It was a bit of a marketing gimmick but I still think forward planning by IFP some time after the Queen's death would have avoided a lot of the problems that beset the book during its rushed writing, editing and publication.

    Maybe they're not immediately looking at every world event and major death as a book opportunity?

    No, I'm sure they're not but some extra time wouldn't have gone amiss either. The pressure they put Charlie Higson under to deliver something was rather unfair.

    I guess, but they could hardly get The King's Coronation put back a few months...? Sometimes you spot an opportunity and go for it.
    I liked it, I don't see why we're treating it as a failure.

    Of course they couldn't change the King's Coronation date, that wasn't my point at all. They could however have had the idea to tie the book in to the upcoming Coronation a little earlier and this would have given Charlie Higson more of a sporting chance when doing the writing. Anyway, the book we got was good and it felt like a return to a John Gardner type of Bond story, albeit his politics weren't ever as overt as Higson's.
  • George_KaplanGeorge_Kaplan Not a red herring
    Posts: 514
    mtm wrote: »
    I dunno, I don’t mind that as an idea. Good post JJames.

    I just don't know if having eco-terrorists as the main villains is such a wise move when the environment is such a pressing concern at the moment, especially amongst the young. It might risk alienating a much larger group of people than this book.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,792
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Red_Snow wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Well, I finally got it, and I started reading it. This is so poorly written, the prose so clunky and cliche-ridden, I’m sadly stopping on page 13. I’ll put up with some garbage in the name of Bond, but this is just bad. I have no idea what the story is, I have no idea what the plot is, doesn’t matter to me. This is just poorly written.

    Its rather rushed conception and writing are no doubt the cause of this. However, I blame IFP (and not the author) for not giving Charlie Higson enough time to write it and for a proper and thorough editing process to then be conducted. If they had been thinking what they were doing they'd have contacted Higson shortly after the Queen died in order to give him enough time to write his short story or book and have it ready for King Charles III's coronation in May 2023. As others have said, I hope that the typos and missing words etc. can be fixed for any future paperback edition that may come along.

    Other than a nice marketing ploy, would it really have made that much difference if they held off and published it after the coronation when everyone's properly had time to write it, edited it, design the cover, etc.?
    It was a bit of a marketing gimmick but I still think forward planning by IFP some time after the Queen's death would have avoided a lot of the problems that beset the book during its rushed writing, editing and publication.

    Maybe they're not immediately looking at every world event and major death as a book opportunity?

    No, I'm sure they're not but some extra time wouldn't have gone amiss either. The pressure they put Charlie Higson under to deliver something was rather unfair.

    I guess, but they could hardly get The King's Coronation put back a few months...? Sometimes you spot an opportunity and go for it.
    I liked it, I don't see why we're treating it as a failure.

    Of course they couldn't change the King's Coronation date, that wasn't my point at all. They could however have had the idea to tie the book in to the upcoming Coronation a little earlier and this would have given Charlie Higson more of a sporting chance when doing the writing. Anyway, the book we got was good and it felt like a return to a John Gardner type of Bond story, albeit his politics weren't ever as overt as Higson's.

    Sure, it’s just not how having ideas works: you can’t decide to have an idea earlier than you did- that’s just hindsight. As you say, it was a good bit of fun, there’s no problem.
  • JustJamesJustJames London
    Posts: 198
    mtm wrote: »
    I dunno, I don’t mind that as an idea. Good post JJames.

    I just don't know if having eco-terrorists as the main villains is such a wise move when the environment is such a pressing concern at the moment, especially amongst the young. It might risk alienating a much larger group of people than this book.

    They would find Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me concerning films. As I said — Bond has form. Even Blofelds scheme in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service skews somewhat that way.

    It can be done, and handled well without peeing people off, but maybe making them think a little.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,792
    Carte Blanche angles that way a little as well. It can be done, I wouldn't rule it out.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Red_Snow wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Well, I finally got it, and I started reading it. This is so poorly written, the prose so clunky and cliche-ridden, I’m sadly stopping on page 13. I’ll put up with some garbage in the name of Bond, but this is just bad. I have no idea what the story is, I have no idea what the plot is, doesn’t matter to me. This is just poorly written.

    Its rather rushed conception and writing are no doubt the cause of this. However, I blame IFP (and not the author) for not giving Charlie Higson enough time to write it and for a proper and thorough editing process to then be conducted. If they had been thinking what they were doing they'd have contacted Higson shortly after the Queen died in order to give him enough time to write his short story or book and have it ready for King Charles III's coronation in May 2023. As others have said, I hope that the typos and missing words etc. can be fixed for any future paperback edition that may come along.

    Other than a nice marketing ploy, would it really have made that much difference if they held off and published it after the coronation when everyone's properly had time to write it, edited it, design the cover, etc.?
    It was a bit of a marketing gimmick but I still think forward planning by IFP some time after the Queen's death would have avoided a lot of the problems that beset the book during its rushed writing, editing and publication.

    Maybe they're not immediately looking at every world event and major death as a book opportunity?

    No, I'm sure they're not but some extra time wouldn't have gone amiss either. The pressure they put Charlie Higson under to deliver something was rather unfair.

    I guess, but they could hardly get The King's Coronation put back a few months...? Sometimes you spot an opportunity and go for it.
    I liked it, I don't see why we're treating it as a failure.

    Of course they couldn't change the King's Coronation date, that wasn't my point at all. They could however have had the idea to tie the book in to the upcoming Coronation a little earlier and this would have given Charlie Higson more of a sporting chance when doing the writing. Anyway, the book we got was good and it felt like a return to a John Gardner type of Bond story, albeit his politics weren't ever as overt as Higson's.

    Sure, it’s just not how having ideas works: you can’t decide to have an idea earlier than you did- that’s just hindsight. As you say, it was a good bit of fun, there’s no problem.

    Yes, I realise that. What's done is done. Perhaps it'll be a bit of a cautionary tale for next time though. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing a Bond novel set in contemporary times again and the links with a Gardner type story were certainly welcomed by me.
  • Red_SnowRed_Snow Australia
    Posts: 2,487
    When you really think about it, the rushed nature of the book really is baffling. It wasn't like the King's Coronation was a surprise announcement. The date of it sure, but we all knew it was coming soon rather than later, and that there will be three King's in a row, at least.

    So why were IFP not thinking more than a few months ahead? They could have planned this long in advance. Charlie Higson or whoever could have written On His Majesty's Secret Service months or years ago, editors could have been brought in, then when the Coronation details were announced they could have made any necessary tweaks.
  • Posts: 1,421
    mtm wrote: »
    This review from right wing magazine The Spectator is hilariously insane and mouth-foaming. Weirdly late too.
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-terribleness-of-a-progressive-bond/

    They actually criticise Bond for not having a full English breakfast at one point, showing they don't know anything about 007, and don't seem to realise they sound like a ridiculous Farage parody. Also apparently, you can't be vaguely progressive and still like cars, good to know.

    (Credit to LicenceToQueer on Twitter for plucking it from the bin)

    Would a hotel in Budapest actually serve a traditional full English breakfast? Not that I can recall having ever read Bond ordering such a breakfast.

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    CrabKey wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    This review from right wing magazine The Spectator is hilariously insane and mouth-foaming. Weirdly late too.
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-terribleness-of-a-progressive-bond/

    They actually criticise Bond for not having a full English breakfast at one point, showing they don't know anything about 007, and don't seem to realise they sound like a ridiculous Farage parody. Also apparently, you can't be vaguely progressive and still like cars, good to know.

    (Credit to LicenceToQueer on Twitter for plucking it from the bin)

    Would a hotel in Budapest actually serve a traditional full English breakfast? Not that I can recall having ever read Bond ordering such a breakfast.

    Sometimes the press seem to mistake James Bond for being some kind of Lionel Asbo figure waving an England flag. It's obvious many of them haven't ever read the more nuanced presentation of Bond in the original Ian Fleming novels and short stories.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 2023 Posts: 14,792
    CrabKey wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    This review from right wing magazine The Spectator is hilariously insane and mouth-foaming. Weirdly late too.
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-terribleness-of-a-progressive-bond/

    They actually criticise Bond for not having a full English breakfast at one point, showing they don't know anything about 007, and don't seem to realise they sound like a ridiculous Farage parody. Also apparently, you can't be vaguely progressive and still like cars, good to know.

    (Credit to LicenceToQueer on Twitter for plucking it from the bin)

    Would a hotel in Budapest actually serve a traditional full English breakfast? Not that I can recall having ever read Bond ordering such a breakfast.

    Seems massively unlikely, yes. There was another weird review of the book in the New York Times of all places last week.
    I know it contained a massively insulting attitude to the UK, saying we didn't have a right to call ourselves a nation of immigrants and that we were just trying to be the USA. Deeply odd.

    How America Made James Bond ‘Woke’
  • edited September 2023 Posts: 1,421
    Many Americans believe the U.S. is the greatest county in the history of humankind. And there is much to brag about and be proud of. A little humility and the recognition that other countries can also brag and feel proud is not a bad thing.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,866
    Pushing on with the novel, up to page 139 now. After Æthelstan's party, the story begins to get more intriguing. Was actually disappointed to have to close the book and go to bed. Just to add, I need to get me some paprika.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,960
    CrabKey wrote: »
    Many Americans believe the U.S. is the greatest county in the history of humankind. And there is much to brag about and be proud of. A little humility and the recognition that other countries can also brag and feel proud is not a bad thing.

    Being an American right now for me is a mixed bag, namely because of my country's politicians. Both sides. I'm sorry for my country's embarrassment, with the people that run it. Sorry to get political, but there are too many real life Bond villains in my country now.
    QBranch wrote: »
    Pushing on with the novel, up to page 139 now. After Æthelstan's party, the story begins to get more intriguing. Was actually disappointed to have to close the book and go to bed. Just to add, I need to get me some paprika.

    I wish that Charlie Higson got some more time to write the book. He could have given it the Fleming-Sweep. With more time spent on the supporting characters, sometimes I honestly enjoy them more than Bond. Also, does anyone know when the physical American version will be released? I prefer buying and collecting physical media.
  • Posts: 9,669
    So do we still not know what is going on with the bond books
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,960


    I still believe that Charlie Higson has another book in him.
  • Posts: 9,669
    MaxCasino wrote: »


    I still believe that Charlie Higson has another book in him.

    A modern thriller he has time to write so its not a rush job would be amazing
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    Another adult Bond novel from Higson where he had the proper and fair amount of time to write and edit it would certainly be welcomed by me too. He's the first Bond author to give me a Gardner vibe since he stepped down as official Bond author in 1996.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,960
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Another adult Bond novel from Higson where he had the proper and fair amount of time to write and edit it would certainly be welcomed by me too. He's the first Bond author to give me a Gardner vibe since he stepped down as official Bond author in 1996.

    As I said before, it seems a bit coincidence that Higson is talking at a lot of Bond events. I think he's just waiting to announce a new book(s) himself, at the right time. After his DC comments, I'd like to see him write a modern day Blofeld spinoff book. He feels the right author for it.
  • edited October 2023 Posts: 9,669
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Another adult Bond novel from Higson where he had the proper and fair amount of time to write and edit it would certainly be welcomed by me too. He's the first Bond author to give me a Gardner vibe since he stepped down as official Bond author in 1996.

    As I said before, it seems a bit coincidence that Higson is talking at a lot of Bond events. I think he's just waiting to announce a new book(s) himself, at the right time. After his DC comments, I'd like to see him write a modern day Blofeld spinoff book. He feels the right author for it.

    Again i want to see more of higson’s bond’s modern world…

    Carte blanche is my favorite bond novel after Benson

    With on his majesty secret service a close second
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,792
    I quite like the name for the event!
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited November 2023 Posts: 3,960
    mtm wrote: »
    I quite like the name for the event!

    Me too. He keeps doing these events, and I keep hoping (and jinxing myself) that we'll get a new book announcement from him. I hope we will get an adult Bond novel soon. I'm happy with Kim Sherwood and her double 00 trilogy for now.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    mtm wrote: »
    I quite like the name for the event!

    They've got all the pronouns. They're so in fashion. :)
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,960


    I noticed the message of a surprise or two. I wish I could go. Could it be his next book announcement?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    MaxCasino wrote: »


    I noticed the message of a surprise or two. I wish I could go. Could it be his next book announcement?

    It could be something like that. Here's hoping. I wish I could go myself but these events are always too far away from me - that's fair enough as I live in a backwater of the UK.
  • Posts: 9,669
    Any news
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,960
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,623
    That's not a bad cover design concept for the paperback considering how bare bones the rushed hardback cover was.

    OHMSS_PB-1251x1920.jpg
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