First Impressions: The Saturday Times Exclusive 'Carte Blanche' extract.

saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
edited May 2011 in Literary 007 Posts: 987
The Times Newspaper (Saturday May 14) has published two pages worth of extracts from the new 007 novel 'Carte Blanche' by Jeffrey Deaver with another extract to be published in times2 on Monday. The extracts titled 'The Red Danube, Chapter 1' and 'chapter 2' do little more than set the scene for the first chapter and Bond only appears in the second part with no dialogue. Has anyone read these and if so what are your first impressions on this admittedly scant sample of Deaver's work.
For me, while it's too little to really make a sound judgement I can't help but feel the prose sounds wrong for a Bond novel and sentences like <I>'He returned to the staging area, behind a decrepit garden shed that smelt of engine oil, petrol and piss, near the driveway to the restaurant'</I> hardly endear me to his style of writing. Clearly Deaver is not trying to mimic Fleming's prose, which may be a good or a bad thing considering your viewpoint on Sebastian Faulks attempt.
Still 12 days and we'll know for sure.

Comments

  • ChevronChevron Northern Ireland
    Posts: 359
    Yeah, I've read it. As reported it is pretty clear that Deaver is not attempting to write it in Flemings style.

    Beyond the style of the writing I would have liked to been eased into the story a little bit. Perhaps a first chapter to set the scene, something happens, Bond is called in and briefed, etc. Here Bond is on site as th story starts. From reading the WHSmith booklet I know that Deaver likes to get right into the story so he probably wants Bond involved right from the start.

    There's another bit of the story in Monday's paper so I may buy it.
  • anyone could put in spoilers the entire extract from the times?
  • Posts: 117
    I would have bought the paper if I'd known about this. You can read the extracts online but The Times operates a pay-site so they can jolly well smeg off. I'll buy monday's though, just to get a feel for the style of Deaver's Bond... but I seem to remember reading Chapter 1 (or was it Chapter 2?) of Devil May Care in the Times three years ago and thinking "that sounds really good..." How wrong can you be? Still like my friend says up there, less than two weeks to go and we can read the whole thing.
  • I dont plan to buy the times, dont think it worth it just to read this specific extract. Hope someone will post it up....
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 2,174
    Oh man, I'm getting excited! I'm sure the narrative concerning Bond's origin's will come later on. Not sure if I should pay the pound or not. The book aint too far away but then again...

    If Deaver does a good job with this book I'm going to wish he would write all of the Bond books! I reckon Samantha Weinberg would be a good choice. Loved her Moneypenny Diaries.

    "He returned to the staging area, behind a decrepit garden shed that smelt of engine oil, petrol and piss, near the driveway to the restaurant"

    "Clearly Deaver is not trying to mimic Fleming's prose, which may be a good or a bad thing..."

    Sounds alright to me. I really don't care if the writing style is different to our god Fleming. As long as the book conjures up that old Fleming/Bond spirit with all that character and location detail that we all know and love I'll be happy.

    My main worry is that it will be too fast paced. I feel this might be my major critisicism.

    You can't start reading it expecting it to sound like a Fleming book though because this will obviously never happen. John Pearson's excellent biography of Bond is a wonderful Bond book - almost as good as Fleming's yarns and he didn't write in Fleming's style and nor dis Amis with Colonel Sun.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 660
    guess it copyright....maybe a summary or something from it
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Hopping into the escape pod with XXX
    edited May 2011 Posts: 1,589
    I skim-read it in a coffee shop - I too wasn't going to buy The Times.

    It seemed OK to me; neither terrible nor great. But, frankly, from just that short extract it's too hard to tell. And I guess that's the point - it's supposed to be a teaser, after all... ;)
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 9,959
    I'll wait for it to be released. But even then, I want to finish Duncan Falconer's 'Stratton' series first.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    edited May 2011 Posts: 987
    I've read all of Falconer's 'Stratton' books MajorDSmythe but I can't warm to them in the same way I do with Andy McNab's 'Nick Stone' books.

    I just wanted to add on this discussion that whatever doubts I may have about Deaver's suitability for the job, it's still really heartwarming to see how much promotion and media attention both Carte Blanche and it's immediate predecessor Devil May Care have received. Especially when you consider how discreet Hodder & Stoughton seemed when releasing the latter Gardner and the Benson Bond novels, almost as if they were deeply ashamed of them!
  • I'm happy to wait until the end of the month and read the complete novel. Reading a few extracts is, for me, an overrated pastime and will spoil reading the novel.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 9,959
    I've read all of Falconer's 'Stratton' books MajorDSmythe but I can't warm to them in the same way I do with Andy McNab's 'Nick Stone' books.
    I've read The Hostage, and i'm currently reading The Hijack. So far, i've liked them both (but preferred what i've read of The Hijack). Though there's something small that niggles me, it's the americanisms that Falconer uses. If the books were written by an american, I could understand, but a brit? Highway / Motorway being the first example that springs to mind.
  • Posts: 65
    I remember when reading Devil May Care extracts in the Times, I spotted 3 or 4 Bondian errors on the first page, has Deaver at least got things right?
  • is there any chance that We can see a free version of the extract of Carte Blanche because Devil May care extract was free???? anyone know and please summarize what the chapter is about please??????
  • Posts: 99
    I've read the extract in mondays paper. For your information, there's more on tuesday too. My first impression is its alright. Doesn't really give a clear indication how the whole novel is going to pan out and Bond seems quite peripheral in hhis presence. I am intrigued though. Incidentally, his weapon of choice is a Walther PPS
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 1,894
    anyone know and please summarize what the chapter is about please??????
    Bond is in Marseilles, shadowing a man with a connection to a French union leader with political aspirations that MI6 believe has been smuggling terrorists from training camps in Algeria into France. The extract doesn't go into why this is; indeed, Bond's mission seems to be to confirm that the Algerians are indeed being smuggled in before he finds out what is happening. Bond works out that the man he is shadowing is the union leader's lover, and follows him into a seedy gay nightclub in Marseilles, prepared to do whatever he has to in order to get the information he needs. It's made quite clear that Bond thinks sleeping with a suspect is a perfectly legitimate tactic for getting information, and it's implied that this is not his first encounter with a homosexual man.
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    Okay, that's not what happens at all. But if you're too lazy or too tight to shell out the one pound that you need in order to read the extract, you honestly deserve stuff like this.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    edited May 2011 Posts: 987
    Or if you read it in the Times:

    The extract begins with a diesel train driver on the Serbian Railway line heading north from Belgrade and approaching Novi Sad, among his trains cargo are some drums of MIC-methyl isocyanate, a substance that caused the death of eight thousand people in Bhopal India within a few days of a leak.
    The setting next moves to James Bond who is waiting nearby on top of a hill spying on a Irishman in a restaurant near the rail line who is involved in a decrypted electronic message about a planned terrorist attack involving thousands of casualties and British interests being adversely affected.
    Bond intends to get his two colleagues dressed as policemen but who are really members of the Serbian Security Information Agency to stop the Irishman and remove him from his car while giving Bond enough time to secretly check out the car and contents for any further Intel.
    The plan goes wrong when rather than drive onto the road, the Irishman drives his Mercedes over to the railway and waits.
    Bond watches and notices that the oncoming train has the hazardous -materials...

    That's as far as the two days worth of extracts go until tomorrow.

    Despite my first reservations I must admit the story has started to pick up and it's starting to feel very much like an Andy McNab novel, maybe Deaver's style is going to mimic Daniel Craig's tougher and more realistic Bond in the same way that Benson's Bond was very much modelled on Brosnan.
  • I bought the times this morning to read the extract.
    I feel that the book will have a lot of suspense and I liked the ending of this extract a lot (the train which is approaching and Bond has to figure out quickly what to do)

    However two things felt wrong to me:
    1) he doesn't smoke (we knew this before), but instead of just never giving a cigarette to Bond, I almost expected a moral sermon against smoking from Deaver by the way it was formulated
    2) he devised a plan with two local agents. It looks like Bond is now working alone and no government agency is setting up contacts for him. Did Bond just ring the doorbell of the foreign secret agency to find some men for his plan??? To me Bond should indeed have "carte blanche", however only in minor variations and cunning escapes or plans to conquer the enemy. This however sounded like all Mi6 was reunited in one person.

    what do you think?

    Apart from these two remarks it was a fun read and I look forward for tomorrows edition.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    edited May 2011 Posts: 987
    Good points Sir_Hilary_Bray.

    1) Bonds objection to his colleagues smoking (and drinking) was for operational reasons, just as Fleming's Bond had to cut out his nicotine intake while preparing for certain operations but I concede there was a slightly preachy undertone to his views.

    2) To be fair in the first Times extract from Saturdays paper it's made clear that after speaking to his chief of staff, Bond is sent on MI6's orders to Serbia and working with local Government agencies is fairly standard operational procedure, for instance think Fleming's Bond with Mathis in CR.
  • Posts: 13,161
    It looks alright, so I'm very excited to see what the finished novel brings in a couple of weeks.

    A last, something new that is Bond related coming out!
  • the 3rd and last extract is now online!
    This last section has action and great suspense, it makes me excited to read the entire book!
  • any summary plesase? Just some specific details please
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 1,894
    If you want specific details, read my post earlier in the thread: Bond is trailing a gay man in Marsellies, looking for a way to get to a French unionist suspected of people smuggling.

    Or, better yet, stop being lazy or tight (or whatever it is that keeps you from buying it) and shell out the one pound per section and read it yourself.
    2) he devised a plan with two local agents. It looks like Bond is now working alone and no government agency is setting up contacts for him. Did Bond just ring the doorbell of the foreign secret agency to find some men for his plan??? To me Bond should indeed have "carte blanche", however only in minor variations and cunning escapes or plans to conquer the enemy. This however sounded like all Mi6 was reunited in one person.
    From the sounds of things, Bond doesn't actually have carte blanche. Not yet. I'm willing to bet the job in Serbia goes awry, but foreshadows an even greater attack. Bond is then authorised to have carte blanche in order to stop it.

    Secondly, why shouldn't he have his pick of agents for the job? For all we know, they were sent by the Serbian government to aid Bond (even if it is implied they are barely competent) as a condition of his operation.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I'd buy the Times if I lived in London but I won't pay for it on-line.
    Extracts do sound promising though. The book is out next month. I will buy it first day. Its going to cost me about 30 bucks anyway by the look of it, but it will display nicely with the other Bond hardcovers.
    I would like Bond to be young and very lethal.
  • Posts: 26
    I'd buy the Times if I lived in London but I won't pay for it on-line.
    Same. The ironic thing is that I live in the same state as Jeffery Deaver here in the USA (North Carolina) but the book will have been out for about a month in the UK before I get to read it myself. Though it is understandable, considering Bond IS a British character.
    Extracts do sound promising though. The book is out next month. I will buy it first day. Its going to cost me about 30 bucks anyway by the look of it, but it will display nicely with the other Bond hardcovers.
    I would like Bond to be young and very lethal.
    I'm hoping to pre-order it on Amazon for about half that price. It's been a while since I've read any of my Bond novels, but if memory serves me correctly, I sadly only own one hardcover; John Gardner's "Role of Honor". Good book IMO, but I do wish I had a hardcover of at least one Fleming Bond novel. Particularly OHMSS, CR or FRWL. Those are my personal Top 3 Bond books.

    That said, I'm definitely excited to read this book. While I do admit some of the details of updating Bond into the modern world are notes for caution, I give Deaver props to being bold enough to do so and am hopeful that he delivers. And on a side-note, Bond kinda HAD to be updated for this book (unless Deaver had decided to go down the route Faulks did by having it set during the Cold War); Bond would be in his 80s or 90s at this point if it were still set in the modern world and was the original details for Bond.

    Part of why I only read one or two of the Benson books (the other reason being they came across as being shoddy attempts of blending the Brosnan films with the classic Bond and failing miserably at the attempt) was that it just seemed really off. The last Bond book or two by Benson was Post-9/11 and I remember thinking to myself when I read that book, "If this is the same Bond as Fleming, he would've been retired or dead by this point." And by the time I finished reading the book, the Bond I was seeing in my mind wasn't Hoagy Charmicheal or even Brosnan (which was the closest movies I could compare in 'feel' to the Benson books I read); no, the Bond I was seeing was a nightmarish vision of what it would probably be like if EON still had Roger Moore casted as Bond at this point. *shudders at recalling the image*

    So while the update on Bond is a risky move, it's one I'm personally more than willing to welcome with open arms at this point, so long as it's executed well.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    Just read part three and I'm now much more confident that Deaver can pull this off than before, and as for people being mean by not buying the Times, I've bought all three sections amounting to a few pages of chapter one at a total cost of £3.50 and that's almost half the price of what WHSmiths will be selling the whole book for in just nine days time.
  • Posts: 26
    Just read part three and I'm now much more confident that Deaver can pull this off than before, and as for people being mean by not buying the Times, I've bought all three sections amounting to a few pages of chapter one at a total cost of £3.50 and that's almost half the price of what WHSmiths will be selling the whole book for in just nine days time.
    True, but that's exactly why I personally won't be buying the samples, not to mention the fact the samples and I are separated by an entire ocean. The book itself is just a few weeks away from USA release, and I'm patient enough to wait to just read the whole entire thing.

    That said, what did you think of the most recent sample?
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