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PussyNoMore has the complete set of Flemings in the Easton leather bound edition but won't be investing in this.
He already has both the Waterston and Goldsboro special editions - both signed and there is a limit to how much TM a man needs.
If he didn't have the aforementioned, he'd probably go for it.
overall it wasn't horrible and it wasn't amazing. I can see why fans enjoyed it largely due to it being far better then Solo (at least bond does something in this book) but in terms of overall feel I don't feel it's as good as Fleming or Benson (who is still my personal favorite sorry) and I rank it either equal or just below Amis
I will pick up the next book likely as a hardcover and read it along with everyone else but I don't think Horowitz is amazing he isn't bad and I still dislike the period piece stuff (plus so what now like the films the novels are going to just plow through all the unused fleming stuff for new novels really we can't try something original and new)
Sin is an ok villain his end felt weak though (to action move clichéd in my opinion along with a Schwarzeneggar esque one liner) Jeopardy is slightly bland (Uhm why does she sleep with bond again?)
and I could of gone without the Fan service and home drama of Bond Pussy and the Race Car driver... but over all the novel was good and at least it didn't bore me as much as Solo did.
I haven’t read much of the continuation novels. After reading COLD and half of The Man with the Red Tattoo, I decided I didn’t need to read any more of Gardner or Benson. (A look through the MI6Community thread called “Things that you feel didn’t belong in the James Bond Novels” suggests this was the right decision.)
Fleming’s books have always been half the equation in my fandom. So I was intrigued by reviews that called Trigger Mortis closer to Fleming than any of the other continuations (due in part, no doubt, to the use of Fleming material). At last, spurred on by the fact that Horowitz will be writing another Bond, I decided to check out his first Bond book.
I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it. Horowitz (no relation to Sol) provides a good amount of detail – likely culled from things he saw or researched – which is an important part of Fleming’s style. It grounds the whole thing in the real world. This is true especially in the early chapters set in the world of racing and in the descriptions of Bond’s hand-to-hand combat.
Bond competing on the racetrack is a great premise. It’s a natural extension of the character’s love of vehicles and the race really felt dangerous and strenuous. I would have enjoyed another chapter set at Nürburgring – perhaps a whole chapter for setting up the race, or maybe split the race itself into two chapters. I particularly liked Bond requesting his gas tank be only a quarter full. Very clever.
On the whole, the writing is good. Horowitz also clearly knows his Fleming. This is to his advantage in recalling all of Bond’s habits, but the constant references to previous Bond adventures kept pulling me out of the story. There are maybe four references to Dr. No alone. The worst was when I was mentally comparing the Blue Diamond compound to Enterprises Auric (or Auric Enterprises, from the movie version of Goldfinger), and then Bond made the same comparison. A handful of tasteful references in the first half of the book would have been fun, but this was just overboard.
I enjoyed the extension of Pussy Galore’s story. We get to see how keeping a woman around can interfere with Bond’s job, and Pussy and Bond’s fling is taken to its natural conclusion: it was nice to take a roll in the hay with a man, but her affections will always lie with women (a development that seems to laugh in the face of the idea that Bond “converted” her from lesbianism, and rightly so).
Bond, of course, is drawn to the strong Pussy Galore, the woman-in-a-man’s-world Logan Fairfax, and the woman with a boy’s haircut and rear end, Jeopardy Lane. The vague homoeroticism of these attractions amused me. But just for the sake of variety, I would have liked Jeopardy to be more feminine. Regardless, Horowitz nailed the push-and-pull between Bond’s attraction to women and the necessity of focusing on his work.
Bond’s up against a complicated plot here. Luckily, he’s a pretty clever guy – he’s good at pulling information out of conversations like the one with Captain Lawrence or the first meeting with Jason Sin. Speaking of Sin – I initially had a good impression of him. We haven’t had a Korean main villain before, and I love how he’s been given a corny Westernised version of his name. His decrepit living/working space in the castle, along with the burned-out eyes of the portraits, is really creepy, and the Hanafuda card game is horrifying.
But Sin ended up disappointing me. He seems too lucid of his own villainy (saying more than once that he “feels nothing”) and he gives away so much during the dinner conversation that Bond’s victory stems mainly from Sin’s stupidity. Although the “fallacy of the talking killer” is a common Bond trope, it is one that every Bond writer must be aware of and fight against. If you simply surrender to the trope, as Horowitz seems to have done, the villain just looks like a fool.
I did, however, appreciate Sin’s history lesson on the Korean War, and Bond trying to “cheat” death by cheating the card game – along with Sin throwing a tantrum over not being able to control the outcome – is fantastic. This, along with Bond being buried alive, is probably the highlight of the book. Fantastic stuff.
The plot is solid, too. SMERSH’s activities, meddling in racecars and rockets alike, are driven by hubris. And Bond definitely gets put through the wringer. The action at the motel is really good, and I enjoyed following Bond’s thought processes about the bomb, its planned use, his own use of the C4, etc.
I am not so sure Horowitz sticks the landing. The final scene between Bond and Sin feels like something from a bad action movie, and the Vanguard rocket’s failure is oddly placed, coming after the failure of Sin’s plan (which made the Vanguard’s failure mean nothing more than the failure of any other rocket).
Anyway, it was a good read. The Fleming material was great (would love to see it adapted in the film series) and Horowitz has an inventive mind. I look forward to Horowitz’ next Bond book. I am glad to see that, like Trigger Mortis, it will not be set after TMWTGG (the point at which I imagine Bond to be nearing retirement).
I also didn’t care for the appearance of the phrase “world domination.”
I still haven't got round to reading it!
Me either, @stag. I'm really terrible in fact!
I found the 'buried alive!' scene absolutely terrifying, and I liked the little detail of Bond drawing on his experience in a submarine to deal with it. I read in Andrew Lycett's biography that Ian Fleming had a similar brief go in a sub, and I think it was excellent craftsmanship on Horowitz's part to work that in.
It was an excellent chapter. I noticed Horowitz mentioned Lycett's book in the acknowledgements, so I figured he drew on Fleming's life for inspiration. It's a great way to approach the task of writing a Bond story, considering Fleming often drew on his own life experiences for Bond.
I enjoyed Carte Blanche as well, and had hoped that Jeffrey Deaver would make at least one more return. Not so sure why the book was panned as much as it was. I didn't mind the modern setting at all. Certainly a way to spice up the literary part.
Cole's Young Bond I'd say is a maturing, quite formidable 15 as opposed to the younger 13-14 we saw in the Higson books.
I've finished Cole #3 Strike Lightning. Young Bond has friends along for the ride, but they kind of parallel I think, adult Bond's allies, and of course the lead Bond Girl and other femmes drawn to the Bond persona.
As for Pearson, the authors post Gardner and Benson (both adult Bond and YB) have clearly dropped Pearson's post-Fleming continuity.
It's a post Fleming reboot. New approach. I'm OK with it, even if I do really like what Pearson did, but the new breed clearly want a clean slate.
Wow, pretty cool news.
Although not particularly a fan of the movies, PussyNoMore detects that stepping off the two year launch rhythm is also diminishing interest in the movies.
A lot can happen in three years and IFP should have moved quicker to secure Horowitz after TM.
PussyNoMore thinks they should have given him a three book deal for delivery in ‘17, ‘19, ‘21
Just imagine if John Frankenheimer was still alive and would be asked to direct this film.
Agreed @Torgeirtrap, however the idea of a prequel to CR is exciting too!
Indeed. I just hope it doesn't become something like a "young Bond meets adult Bond" thing, and stays as close to the timeline of CR as possible.
Hopefully this will prove to be the case. It will give him the literary freedom to flesh out the character and how he came to be with the 00 section.
We will see - PussyNoMore is excited.