Anthony Horowitz's James Bond novel - Trigger Mortis

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  • Funnily enough I've been reading the Alex Rider books over the past year after I saw the Stormbreaker film and then a member here recommended them.

    They're really good, very Bond inspired (although it's more film Bond than book Bond). The best thing about them is the action (there are loads of tense, violent action scenes) and the villains. Anthony Horowitz seems to be really good at creating great Fleming esque villains: well fleshed out psychos, really bizarre, nasty evil psychos with physical deformities and interesting backstories.

    EG- The last one I read was Crocodile Tears (the second to last book), and the villain in that is a former boxer who's lived a difficult life and has had loads of botched plastic surgery (trying to fix damage from fights), who went to prison for fraud, pretended to become born again Christian (even becoming a reverend) and then set up a charity called First Aid which is always the first on the seen to disasters: because they create them. The reverend bloke, the villain, wears crucifix earings, has a messed up face as a result of the surgery and spouts bible quotes and is obsessed with becoming rich because he knows that money gets you respect (something he had little of throughout his life) and that nobody cares who you are or where you come from if you have money.

    There are loads of great villains like this throughout the books so I'm excited to see what he comes up with for Bond.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,442
    Funnily enough I've been reading the Alex Rider books over the past year after I saw the Stormbreaker film and then a member here recommended them.

    They're really good, very Bond inspired (although it's more film Bond than book Bond). The best thing about them is the action (there are loads of tense, violent action scenes) and the villains. Anthony Horowitz seems to be really good at creating great Fleming esque villains: well fleshed out psychos, really bizarre, nasty evil psychos with physical deformities and interesting backstories.

    EG- The last one I read was Crocodile Tears (the second to last book), and the villain in that is a former boxer who's lived a difficult life and has had loads of botched plastic surgery (trying to fix damage from fights), who went to prison for fraud, pretended to become born again Christian (even becoming a reverend) and then set up a charity called First Aid which is always the first on the seen to disasters: because they create them. The reverend bloke, the villain, wears crucifix earings, has a messed up face as a result of the surgery and spouts bible quotes and is obsessed with becoming rich because he knows that money gets you respect (something he had little of throughout his life) and that nobody cares who you are or where you come from if you have money.

    There are loads of great villains like this throughout the books so I'm excited to see what he comes up with for Bond.

    Great review of the books and Crocodile Tears sounds a tad like John Gardner's Scorpius (1988) with Father Valentine (tka Vladimir Scorpius) of the Society of the Meek Ones. I have a few of these but I really need to dig them out and get the rest and read them. Is the film Stormbreaker any good?
  • Posts: 2,250
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I also read in The Times last night that Fleming's grand niece said that Fleming's original TV script treatment entitled 'Murder on Wheels' would be included as an appendix to the novel if fans so desired.

    Yes, dammit, yes, yes, yes! Unread Fleming is more exciting than any continuation novel.
    The Fleming website states that TLD was also based on a TV treatment. Since TLD postdates FYEO, which contained at two other stories based on treatments, I wonder if Fleming would have turned the remaining treatments into short stories if he'd lived longer.
    007InVT wrote: »
    There is also the fabled Moonraker script/treatment Fleming wrote...

    Or as I like to call it, the Holy Grail! Imagine if that was found and published in a collection containing the TV treatments, Fleming's notebook, and his initial Thunderball script. Call it Bond on Film: The Lost Adventures. That would be the publication of a Fleming fan's lifetime.
  • Posts: 4,622
    SaintMark wrote: »
    007InVT wrote: »

    Confidence is high for Horowitz, so if he knocks it out of the park I could see him writing more.

    Pardon me, I will first read the book before complimenting the writer.

    Actually, considering all the hope and promise and interesting background, that has been revealed in this thread and elsewhere, I have already elevated the book to 2nd on my Bond continuation novel rankings, behind only Pearson. :P

    1. Pearson, James Bond Authorized Biography
    2. Horowitz, untitled
    3. Gardner, License Renewed.

  • Posts: 7,639
    timmer wrote: »
    SaintMark wrote: »
    007InVT wrote: »

    Confidence is high for Horowitz, so if he knocks it out of the park I could see him writing more.

    Pardon me, I will first read the book before complimenting the writer.

    Actually, considering all the hope and promise and interesting background, that has been revealed in this thread and elsewhere, I have already elevated the book to 2nd on my Bond continuation novel rankings, behind only Pearson. :P

    1. Pearson, James Bond Authorized Biography
    2. Horowitz, untitled
    3. Gardner, License Renewed.

    For you and everybody else I do hope the book lives up to your expectations. I will only admit like the previous three I will pre-order the book, as it is a 007 novel.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,477
    Revelator wrote: »

    Yes, dammit, yes, yes, yes! Unread Fleming is more exciting than any continuation novel.

    Yes.
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 2,509
    "Yes, dammit, yes, yes, yes! Unread Fleming is more exciting than any continuation novel.
    The Fleming website states that TLD was also based on a TV treatment. Since TLD postdates FYEO, which contained at two other stories based on treatments, I wonder if Fleming would have turned the remaining treatments into short stories if he'd lived longer."

    Birdleson wrote: »
    Revelator wrote: »

    "Yes, dammit, yes, yes, yes! Unread Fleming is more exciting than any continuation novel.
    The Fleming website states that TLD was also based on a TV treatment. Since TLD postdates FYEO, which contained at two other stories based on treatments, I wonder if Fleming would have turned the remaining treatments into short stories if he'd lived longer."

    Yes, dammit, yes, yes, yes! Unread Fleming is more exciting than any continuation novel.

    Yes.

    I don't agree if it's just a TV script.

    The fact that so many fans always wanted Horowitz for the job makes me feel a little more positive than what I otherwise would have been if another celebrity author not mnetioned by the fans had have been chosen, but I still won't be getting my hopes up. For the past three books we've heard the same positive comments and look at how the books have turned out. One can only hope the positive vibe will generate a well written book this time around.

  • Things do appear to be heading in a more hopeful direction, though. For example, we'll get none of the "gruff" about Bond being past his prime. Just Fleming's Bond during Fleming's era at the peak of his prime in a story working from one of Fleming's own unfinished ideas. You gotta admit that's a bit more than some author saying, "Oh yeah, my new Bond is going to be different from all the others...blah, blah...twist you'll never see coming...blah, blah...Fleming-esque...blah, blah...[insert other unsubstantiated promises here]...blah, blah...and in conclusion, here are some scantily-clad girls to unveil my working title against a black background with a couple of smoldering bullet holes."

    I do agree though, as much as I'm excited to read even a TV treatment of one of Fleming's James Bond stories, I'm more excited to read a competently written, fully fleshed out James Bond novel based off that treatment.
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 802
    How can somebody with a handle like @villieurs 53 not like this idea?
    The '50s motor sport era has to be one of the most glamorous periods and offers huge potential.
    I'd love to know exactly when Anthony will be setting his story. I want it to be a prequel to Casino Royale and it could be because Sir Sterling raced at the Nuremberg circuit throughout the '50s albeit I don't think he ever won. He was up against the great Fangio at the time.
    Personally, I'd love it to be set before 1955 when he raced for Jaguar.
    Always dangerous to predict after the huge disappointment that was Boyd (I always thought Faulks and Deaver were mistakes from the get go) but I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a complete winner with this one. Cars, girls and a strong villain - what can go wrong?
  • timmer wrote: »
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    In my opinion literary Bond would lack any relevance in a modern setting. The spy world has moved on and I don't think that Fleming's core attributes carry credence in modern times.
    But I do think Bond is a timeless character. A man of his integrity, talents, courage, loyalty and style, personal quirks and indulgences - those attributes can be adopted to any period.

    I know where you are coming from but unlike the movies, I think a modern literary Bond is a tough proposition.
    For me, it's not about the vices and the violence. With the exception of a smoking habit that would be completely unbelievable today, all are transferable.
    What is much less credible in this surveillance and technological age is the proposition of one man, armed solely with his Walther, saving the day and the attendant sense of glamour that Fleming embodied into his stories. This is the essence of Bond and in updating him you always loose something. As I've said before, I think that John Gardner made a pretty good effort at a 1980's reboot but for me, there was always something missing and it was the glamour.
    Every era has its strengths and the great strength of the '50s and '60s was the devil may care attitude that emerged after the second world war and the glamour that came with it.
  • Posts: 2,250
    Bounine wrote: »
    I don't agree if it's just a TV script.

    The general reader would probably agree with you, but I will gladly take a TV script by Bond's creator over any continuation novel. The latter will always be pastiches, uneasily poised between what the author would like to do and what he thinks Fleming's Bond would do. Whereas Fleming is Fleming.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,477
    I am in 100% support of the above statement.
  • Bounine wrote, in response to my posting: "The book you're referring to is 'For Special Services'. My favourite Gardner Bond book."
    Thanks Bounine - your enviable compass of Gardner's books has saved me several more sleepless nights and speed-reading the Gardner series. I still maintain that Gardner was the very best of the authors of the Bond-continuation novels and it sticks in the craw that he was never accorded the acclaim and publicity that's attended later, Fleming Estate-accredited writers. His non-Bond novels, such as "The Dancing Dodo" and "The Werewolf Trace" are also riveting reads.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,442
    Bounine wrote, in response to my posting: "The book you're referring to is 'For Special Services'. My favourite Gardner Bond book."
    Thanks Bounine - your enviable compass of Gardner's books has saved me several more sleepless nights and speed-reading the Gardner series. I still maintain that Gardner was the very best of the authors of the Bond-continuation novels and it sticks in the craw that he was never accorded the acclaim and publicity that's attended later, Fleming Estate-accredited writers. His non-Bond novels, such as "The Dancing Dodo" and "The Werewolf Trace" are also riveting reads.

    Finally someone who talks some sense regarding the contribution made by the late great John Gardner to the literary James Bond series! :)
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 4,622
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    I know where you are coming from but unlike the movies, I think a modern literary Bond is a tough proposition.
    For me, it's not about the vices and the violence. With the exception of a smoking habit that would be completely unbelievable today, all are transferable.
    What is much less credible in this surveillance and technological age is the proposition of one man, armed solely with his Walther, saving the day and the attendant sense of glamour that Fleming embodied into his stories. This is the essence of Bond and in updating him you always loose something. As I've said before, I think that John Gardner made a pretty good effort at a 1980's reboot but for me, there was always something missing and it was the glamour.
    Every era has its strengths and the great strength of the '50s and '60s was the devil may care attitude that emerged after the second world war and the glamour that came with it.
    Your point is well taken. Bond is of the '50s and "60s. Those were the decades of maximum Bond. The best Bond is of those decades. Even the films attest to this. The six movies made in the '60s were all released within 6 years or less of their original novel source material.
    You could say DN-OHMSS are the authentic, period Bond films. By DAF suddenly the '70s were in full swing. The new film was now 15 years removed from its source novel with its look updated accordingly. The post classic-era of Bond was launched.
    So yes contemporary Bond stories can never capture the magic of Bond's vintage era. It's a different world, but I am happy to see Bond continue in literature through the ages. Trick I think is to find a writer that really gets Fleming, and who might be able to project the Fleming touch through the decades.
    It's no small task.

  • edited October 2014 Posts: 2,509
    "Bounine wrote, in response to my posting: "The book you're referring to is 'For Special Services'. My favourite Gardner Bond book."
    Thanks Bounine - your enviable compass of Gardner's books has saved me several more sleepless nights and speed-reading the Gardner series. I still maintain that Gardner was the very best of the authors of the Bond-continuation novels and it sticks in the craw that he was never accorded the acclaim and publicity that's attended later, Fleming Estate-accredited writers. His non-Bond novels, such as "The Dancing Dodo" and "The Werewolf Trace" are also riveting reads."


    Your welcome.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Bounine wrote, in response to my posting: "The book you're referring to is 'For Special Services'. My favourite Gardner Bond book."
    Thanks Bounine - your enviable compass of Gardner's books has saved me several more sleepless nights and speed-reading the Gardner series. I still maintain that Gardner was the very best of the authors of the Bond-continuation novels and it sticks in the craw that he was never accorded the acclaim and publicity that's attended later, Fleming Estate-accredited writers. His non-Bond novels, such as "The Dancing Dodo" and "The Werewolf Trace" are also riveting reads.

    Finally someone who talks some sense regarding the contribution made by the late great John Gardner to the literary James Bond series! :)

    Yes! Although, for me, in terms of Fleming's successors, Pearson did the best job with his excellent biography of Bond. I felt he really nailed it in terms of the stories and Bond's personality. One could say though that he isn't really a continuation author in the strictest sense of the word .
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 4,622
    Bounine wrote: »
    One could say though that he isn't really a continuation author in the strictest sense of the word .

    I would say he is, simply because Fleming teased the idea of the Bond books existing in the fictional narrative in the YOLT obit.
    Pearson took Fleming's thread and ran with it.
    For that reason I can't set him aside as having some unique and original spin outside the literary continuum.
    His premise that the Fleming Bond novels also exist in Bond's fictional world, connects directly with what Fleming had already presented.
    That was a cute little touch of Flemings, adding mention of the novels in the obit, but its there and part of the Bond lore.

    Of course when I first read the obit, I just kind of laughed at Flemings reference to his own work, but by the time I picked up the Pearson book, which really fleshed it all out, I had myself convinced that Bond was real and it was now finally all being revealed, conveniently ignoring, that the fine print on the inside flap said the book was a fictional work.
    Later I grudgingly acknowledged it was all just a good yarn. But when reading, it was fun to believe.
  • Posts: 7,639
    I recently acquired Pearsons "The live of Ian Fleming" and am curious to read this, I thought it was the 007 book but to my surprise he did write another tome on the subject.

    I would really like it if the Horrowitz novel would have Flemings notes in it, it would probably be what I would read first.
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 4,622
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.
  • Posts: 7,639
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    Looking forward to the bio of Fleming, remember reading the Bond bio twenty odd years ago and feeling not to impressed.

    But on the basis of your positive view I shall seek it out and reread the book.

  • Posts: 5,745
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    I just finished his Bond bio and I now consider it 100% cannon. Let's start a movement #jamesbondisreal
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,477
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    I just finished his Bond bio and I now consider it 100% cannon. Let's start a movement #jamesbondisreal

    If you consider that canon than you are wiping out much of what Fleming had put to paper (like all of MOONRAKER), so I don't.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Birdleson wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    I just finished his Bond bio and I now consider it 100% cannon. Let's start a movement #jamesbondisreal

    If you consider that canon than you are wiping out much of what Fleming had put to paper (like all of MOONRAKER), so I don't.

    Forgive me for I haven't read Moonraker in two years and read the first half of the Bond bio a year ago and just last week got around to finishing the second half. I know that sounds absurd but when one doesn't read much, one loses some of the details. How does the bio conflict with Moonraker?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,442
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    I just finished his Bond bio and I now consider it 100% cannon. Let's start a movement #jamesbondisreal

    If you consider that canon than you are wiping out much of what Fleming had put to paper (like all of MOONRAKER), so I don't.

    Forgive me for I haven't read Moonraker in two years and read the first half of the Bond bio a year ago and just last week got around to finishing the second half. I know that sounds absurd but when one doesn't read much, one loses some of the details. How does the bio conflict with Moonraker?

    It basically says that it never happened and that it was merely a misinformation campaign to fool the Soviets into thinking how potent a blunt instrument James Bond was. Very strange considering Moonraker is in my view Fleming's best James Bond novel.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,477
    Couldn't have answered better in detail and sentiment.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,477
    And I haven't read it (the bio) since the mid-70s. But that bothered me even back then.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    timmer wrote: »
    I think you have picked up Pearson's well respected actual bio of Fleming.
    It (1966) preceded his fictional authorized bio of Bond (1973), which is what I am babbling about two posts above.

    I just finished his Bond bio and I now consider it 100% cannon. Let's start a movement #jamesbondisreal

    If you consider that canon than you are wiping out much of what Fleming had put to paper (like all of MOONRAKER), so I don't.

    Forgive me for I haven't read Moonraker in two years and read the first half of the Bond bio a year ago and just last week got around to finishing the second half. I know that sounds absurd but when one doesn't read much, one loses some of the details. How does the bio conflict with Moonraker?

    It basically says that it never happened and that it was merely a misinformation campaign to fool the Soviets into thinking how potent a blunt instrument James Bond was. Very strange considering Moonraker is in my view Fleming's best James Bond novel.

    Oh yes, I remember now. In both situations it's still a work of Fleming fiction, and his mind still created it.

    It is odd to build up this idea that James Bond is in fact real, and all his missions are real, if not 100% accurately depicted by Fleming, and yet Pearson takes away arguably the best novel plot as some throwaway war-game diversion.

    It doesn't bother me though. It's still a great story, and like I said, in both universes it's still the best Fleming creation, 'real' or not. It is my favorite novel, as I realize I've listed some time ago on here.

    The whole biography makes me feel as though Pearson 'got it' when it came to Bond's character. I like how he made Bond relatively humble when it came to scaling back the stories Fleming told. It's the little details and quirks I feel he nails. Especially the ending, with Honeychile's "The bastard's gone."
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 2,509
    "The whole biography makes me feel as though Pearson 'got it' when it came to Bond's character. I like how he made Bond relatively humble when it came to scaling back the stories Fleming told. It's the little details and quirks I feel he nails. Especially the ending, with Honeychile's "The bastard's gone."""

    @JWESTBROOK I agree. As to why IFP never approached Pearson to write more Bond books, I'll never know. Maybe they did and he refused. He's still alive and kicking. They should ask him if Horowitz doesn't do a good job or doesn't want to continue writing more. I suppose they just want celebrity authors though unfortunately.

    I wonder if it has always been IFP's plan to ask a writer to continue to write more if they had have been truly happy with the first book and if the author had have been keen to do more.

    In terms of Pearson saying that Moonraker never happened, maybe this was to do with him portraying the fact that Bond is real. All of Bond's assignments 's concerning the villain's plots could have been kept from the public eye, however, if indeed the Moonraker missile existed, all of the British public would have known about it. Or did Pearson say that the Moonraker existed and that the story around it was made up? I can't remember. Pearson addressed everything else. Don't know about Dr No though, you'd think that the world would hear about the toppling of missiles.

  • edited October 2014 Posts: 802
    Bounine wrote: »
    "The whole biography makes me feel as though Pearson 'got it' when it came to Bond's character. I like how he made Bond relatively humble when it came to scaling back the stories Fleming told. It's the little details and quirks I feel he nails. Especially the ending, with Honeychile's "The bastard's gone."""

    @JWESTBROOK I agree. As to why IFP never approached Pearson to write more Bond books, I'll never know. Maybe they did and he refused. He's still alive and kicking. They should ask him if Horowitz doesn't do a good job or doesn't want to continue writing more. I suppose they just want celebrity authors though unfortunately.

    I wonder if it has always been IFP's plan to ask a writer to continue to write more if they had have been truly happy with the first book and if the author had have been keen to do more.

    You renowned Bondologists have rekindled my interest in this. I'm going to go back and re- read it. I wasn't too impressed the first time but maybe I missed something.
    I did enjoy Pearson's biography of Fleming and preferred it to Lycett's weighty tomb albeit I found it a little sycophantic.
    Regarding Pearson's relationship with IFP, my understanding is that he didn't have one. That was the problem. It was a rogue effort that for one reason or another IFP (or Gildrose as they were back then) let it go. I don't think the same thing would happen again.
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 4,622
    This is interesting - what is being brought up about Bond's recollection of the Moonraker Affair in the Pearson book.
    Upon last reading (last year), I again just glossed over the MR explanation. It didn't jar at all, in fact I thought it fit with the premise quite fine.
    In JBTAB we are being asked to swallow that the Fleming books also exist in the Fleming-Bond fictional timeline.
    Pearson in effect has made Fleming a fictional character, but Fleming did it first with the obit - making himself a character in his own books. Such is the mischievious streak of Ian Fleming.
    So Fleming planted the seed for his books existing in the fictional Bond world, and Pearson found a way to make them fit.
    The Moonraker story still exists in our world as a Bond adventure, but in Bond's fictional lit world, the MR adventure is as Pearson describes. ;)
    I am not bothered by this. Fleming mapped out the beginnings of this path with the obit.
    I'd have to re-read the MR passage again, but thank you to those who brought it up.
    I'd never thought one way or the other about it. I was just having so much fun believing Bond was real, and that I was being let in, on some top-secret con job that had been pulled over on the world. I will have to go back and re-read.
    And it was great to catch-up with Honey again. I had mixed feelings about Bond running off to fight Bunt at the end. I was hoping he might settle down with Honey and live the good life. They had lots of cash. He was kind of semi-retired anyway.
    I thought Pearson overall did a real nice job fleshing out Bond's life based on the loose outlines that Fleming had provided

    ===On the new book.
    I do hope that Horowitz gives serious thought as to where his story might fit with the Fleming timeline.
    I think he needs to consider when Fleming might have scribbled the original notes for discarded title "Murder on Wheels" and then envision where Fleming might have considered placing the story in the continuity.
    I am sure Horowitz is competent to do the research.

    ==btw if anyone is wondering about the whereabouts of the "real" Bond, readers of the MP Diaries know that MP's niece found him to be alive and well, living peacefully in a small house on an island off the coast of England, circa 2008- still enjoying a drink or two at noon and in robust spirits.
    Bond I believe, if we go with the 1924 birth, which is what I think Boyd in Solo settled on, would be enjoying his 90th birthday this fall, presumably still residing at his cottage retreat, where MP's niece found him.
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