Jump to content


The forums are moving

Please head over to our new forums at https://quarterdeck.commanderbond.net/ as these forums will soon be converted to a read only archive.



Photo

Looking Back: For Special Services


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#31 Qwerty

Qwerty

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 85605 posts
  • Location:New York / Pennsylvania

Posted 25 October 2006 - 04:46 AM

Bumping this up as it is the current book in the .

#32 Jericho_One

Jericho_One

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1370 posts
  • Location:Portugal

Posted 30 October 2006 - 10:52 PM

A bit of a dog, this one, although it ought to be required reading for anyone who thinks Benson was the only continuation novelist capable of rotten prose and really diabolical liberties with Fleming characters.

Having Cedar Leiter as the Bond girl forces us to picture 007 as a guy pushing 50 - not good. Okay, I'll sorta take that back: nothing wrong with an "old" Bond, as long as he does interesting things and has interesting reactions that arise from his being a bit over the hill. None of that here, of course, just a Bond who's ageing to no apparent creative end beyond Gardner's desire to shoehorn Leiter's daughter into the novel.

Apart from which, Gardner's writing is lazy in the extreme. The story isn't too bad (although it's most certainly no great shakes, either), but the way it's told results in a book that's a great big crashing bore.

Oh, and need I mention that fans of Fleming's Bond need not apply?


Didn't like it that much.

#33 Qwerty

Qwerty

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 85605 posts
  • Location:New York / Pennsylvania

Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:24 AM

How come, Jericho?

#34 Willowhugger

Willowhugger

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 330 posts
  • Location:Ashland, Ky

Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:20 PM

For Special Services was a continuation of the Roger Moore Bond for me. Oddly enough, I always tended to see Roger (with dark hair and a perpetually ****ed off look) in Flemming but that was unrelated to the Gardener Bond. License Reknewed established this was an older Bond and one with everything up to the Man with the Golden Gun behind him. So the issue of Cedar Leiter wasn't a terribly large problem for me that time though frankly her character had other issues for me. Blofeld's daughter worked fine age wise since Blofeld was always a decade or two older than Bond anyway in my interpretation of the man.

FSS is my favorite Gardener Bond book honestly and the only one I really rank up there with Benson. Part of it has to do with the crowd pleasing choice of bringing back SPECTRE. It's a return of an old friend and its arising from the ashes Phoenix style is something that works remarkably well. Honestly, I think the elimination of the threat of Blofeld II was handled far too easily though. It might have helped Gardener's books tremendously to keep Spectre as a multi-book villain. Plus, oddly, the group never gets to do anything particularly villainous in the story. I do admit that I applaud Nina Blofeld's use of a snake to eat a underling. That's a very well visualized scene.

The problem with Cedar Leiter is, oddly, she's acting her age. The girl pretty much embodies 19 year old vapidity in the world. The idea she's a CIA agent and college student pretty much breaks my suspension of disbelief. That Bond would be interested in her is also a trifle ridiculous to me. I'm reminded very strongly of Bibi Dahl whom I actually didn't mind in FYEO because the whole point of her character was that Bond was attracted to more worldly women than just an attractive body. Ceidar is somewhat better than Bibi in terms of maturity but not enough that I think Bond would really be interested.

I am surprised at how easily I bought that Bond would sleep with Blofeld's daughter despite her deformity though. My attention to Thunderball betrayed me when I read the book though. Did Gardener recall that Blofeld had syphilis? It's established in Thunderball and his opening description. Bond should get himself tested.

#35 [dark]

[dark]

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6239 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:52 AM

Gotta say, I don't quite feel the love for For Special Services that most others do. Better than Licence Renewed, though.

The book opens well, with the airplane teaser (though the first chapter's a bit redundant), while the SPECTRE meeting's well-handled. Unfortunately, I guessed the revelation of Blofeld's identity very early in the piece. I can't remember if I'd already read it somewhere, or it was simply too obvious. I agree Cedar was totally shoehorned in (it seems, well, wrong); it's a bit uncomfotable that we have Leiter's and Blofeld's daughters in the same book.

Some real highlights - the drugged Bond posing as a General in Cheyenne Mountain was an excellent sequence, while Walter Luxor's speech could have come from the pen of Fleming. Tara as the villain's lair was simply inspired, while the car race is quite thrilling, even if the set-up is much too similar to the wrestling in Licence Renewed. Actually, I guess my biggest problem is the book's story development is much too similar to Licence Renewed. I'm aware of the irony of criticising the James Bond series for being formulaic, but two consecutive books where 007 ingratiated himself into a villain's organisation seems a bit much. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh.

Still, I feel the return of SPECTRE deserved a better book than this - and certainly a more satisfying conclusion than the brief confrontation in the penultimate chapter.

:P:*::D:D:D

Taking a brief hiatus from Gardner to read Hurricane Gold, but then I'll be straight back into it with Icebreaker.

#36 MissDalton99

MissDalton99

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 130 posts
  • Location:Pennsylvania, United States

Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:13 PM

Cedar struck me as quite odd and not very credible. A spare time secret agent between college and cover job? Working without her father noticing? And then sent right to the head of a sister service in GB? I mean, how short of personel are the CIA? Haven't they got somebody slightly more versatile for such a task?


I agree wholehartedly. I'm reading the book right now (trying to, rather), and I find the whole Cedar thing very odd. Why would a young agent without very much experience be sent over to recruit someone as experienced as Bond? And then she kind of quivers right before the big action takes place, forcing Bond to ask her whether she wants to participate or not. It makes virtually no sense.

#37 Qwerty

Qwerty

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 85605 posts
  • Location:New York / Pennsylvania

Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:02 PM

Welcome to the Forums, MissDalton. :D

#38 HawkEye007

HawkEye007

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 358 posts
  • Location:North Carolina

Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:33 PM

But there is still weirdness. The final two issues of the graphic novel A Silent Armageddon was cancelled because they contained Blofeld's son. There's also clearly some issue with the video games as Blofeld had to be called "number 1" in GE:RA. And seeing as FSS came out while NSNA was being produced, I'd think the issue would be hotter than ever.

But Gardner did use SPECTRE in two more books so...maybe not.



I know this is slightly off topic, but how can I find info the last 2 unpublished issues of A Silent Armageddon? I own the first 2 and I know that Rosa Klebb's son shows up.

Now on topic, FSS was the first Gardner novel that I read. I really liked it then, but I was only 11 or 12 when I read it. Now that I am older, if I read it again I might not feel the same way.

Edited by HawkEye007, 22 October 2007 - 08:34 PM.


#39 K1Bond007

K1Bond007

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4932 posts
  • Location:Illinois

Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:33 PM

Cedar was a huge mistake if you ask me. I mean Bond is known for sleeping around with beautiful women etc, but this book makes Bond out to be a huge [censored]. His best friend's daughter? Really? Come on. Kingsley Amis actually wrote a little blurb in The James Bond Dossier where he said a Bond girl would never be a "best-friend-in-the-Navy

#40 ACE

ACE

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4543 posts

Posted 22 October 2007 - 11:18 PM

I also see my own memories of the 80s in my mind. The Fleming novels took place in a time long before my own existance. Reading his books I can only imagine an idealized place in time. The Gardner books for me are different though. More vivid. Subconciously, I believe they remind me of my own past and in that I find a comfort.

View Post

Well said, Frostyak. I never really realized it, but I think this is also why I enjoy the Gardner books so much. I can even just look at the covers and teleport back to the time and place read it.


Very much so for me too.

#41 MissDalton99

MissDalton99

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 130 posts
  • Location:Pennsylvania, United States

Posted 22 October 2007 - 11:23 PM

Welcome to the Forums, MissDalton. :D


Thank you!

#42 JimmyBond

JimmyBond

    Commander

  • Executive Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 10559 posts
  • Location:Washington

Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:11 AM

Bumping an old thread I know, but I thought I'd do this rather than start a whole new thread for it.

I too recently finished FSS and it's something of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the opening "teaser" on the airline, but when SPECTRE showed up I grimaced a tad, it seemed gimmicky for this "new" Bond to be going after old enemies. And as was said above, they don't really do anything interesting, and then there's Nena. Now I spoiled the "twist" really early on, not on purpose though, but even if I hadnt I imagine I'd pick up on it rather easily.

I also felt it ended rather abrubtly, once Nena is revealed for who she is she's killed off, felt rather anti-climatic.

#43 Harry Fawkes

Harry Fawkes

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2229 posts
  • Location:Malta G.C

Posted 12 July 2009 - 10:22 AM

Simply fantastic novel and a great sequel to LR. Oh, how I miss those days!

#44 Righty007

Righty007

    Discharged.

  • Veterans Reserve
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 13051 posts
  • Location:Station CLE - Cleveland

Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:51 AM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

#45 [dark]

[dark]

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6239 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:47 AM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

Don't know that there's much more to it than that, though. If nothing else, her inclusion only serves to highlight the awkward logic inherent in the Gardner and Benson novels that Bond remains the same while the world around him is changing.

#46 Double-Oh Agent

Double-Oh Agent

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4325 posts

Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:00 AM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

I like Cedar, although I can understand others' complaints that Felix wouldn't have a daughter that old. Other than that, they tend to give her a bum rap, I think.

Oh, and Righty, Bond NEVER slept with Cedar. She WANTED him to and TRIED to get him to--Felix even gave him permission at the end of the novel--but Bond wouldn't do it. He was determined to keep the status quo with his best American friend. His and Cedar's was a chaste relationship the entire way.

#47 Righty007

Righty007

    Discharged.

  • Veterans Reserve
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 13051 posts
  • Location:Station CLE - Cleveland

Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:12 PM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

Oh, and Righty, Bond NEVER slept with Cedar. She WANTED him to and TRIED to get him to--Felix even gave him permission at the end of the novel--but Bond wouldn't do it. He was determined to keep the status quo with his best American friend. His and Cedar's was a chaste relationship the entire way.

Oh, okay. It's been a long time since I've read the book. I'm re-reading it right now.

#48 Byron

Byron

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1377 posts

Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:14 AM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

Oh, and Righty, Bond NEVER slept with Cedar. She WANTED him to and TRIED to get him to--Felix even gave him permission at the end of the novel--but Bond wouldn't do it. He was determined to keep the status quo with his best American friend. His and Cedar's was a chaste relationship the entire way.

Oh, okay. It's been a long time since I've read the book. I'm re-reading it right now.


I recently picked up a cheap paperback copy of FSS and read it for the first time. For a long time i was reluctant to read any of the Gardner/Benson continuation novels but gave in as i figured there was nothing to lose. FSS wasn't as bad as what i thought a Gardner novel would be but it wasn't great. Just okay and a good way to kill a few hours.

As for Cedar i found her whole inclusion superfluous. I believe Gardner's main aim was to provide some kind of sexual tension/titilation to the story, a spin on the older man, younger woman relationship. However Felix giving his tacit approval for Bond to shag his daughter right at the end of the book, was a little grotesque and went too far. Who would offer their daughter to their best friend or give them their blessing? Felix should have acted with more decorum and warned Bond to keep his hands off his daughter in a joking way.

#49 [dark]

[dark]

    Commander RNVR

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6239 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:13 AM

Anybody else a fan of Cedar Leiter?

I know I'm biased but still I'd like to hear opinions of her other than the standard "she was shoehorned in" and "she made Bond seem like a dirty old man."

While I don't feel she was shoehorned in (again, I'm biased), I do find it odd that Bond slept with one of his best friend's daughters...

Oh, and Righty, Bond NEVER slept with Cedar. She WANTED him to and TRIED to get him to--Felix even gave him permission at the end of the novel--but Bond wouldn't do it. He was determined to keep the status quo with his best American friend. His and Cedar's was a chaste relationship the entire way.

Oh, okay. It's been a long time since I've read the book. I'm re-reading it right now.


I recently picked up a cheap paperback copy of FSS and read it for the first time. For a long time i was reluctant to read any of the Gardner/Benson continuation novels but gave in as i figured there was nothing to lose. FSS wasn't as bad as what i thought a Gardner novel would be but it wasn't great. Just okay and a good way to kill a few hours.

As for Cedar i found her whole inclusion superfluous. I believe Gardner's main aim was to provide some kind of sexual tension/titilation to the story, a spin on the older man, younger woman relationship. However Felix giving his tacit approval for Bond to shag his daughter right at the end of the book, was a little grotesque and went too far. Who would offer their daughter to their best friend or give them their blessing? Felix should have acted with more decorum and warned Bond to keep his hands off his daughter in a joking way.

Especially given that Felix is more than familiar with Bond's womanising ways.

#50 DavidJones

DavidJones

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 347 posts

Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:09 PM

I just finished For Special Services today. I thought it started off well, but it was overlong by about 70 pages, in my opinion. Most of my quibbles have already been mentioned by others here (Cedar's age in comparison to Bon's, etc) and I did prefer Licence Renewed. I'll be reading Icebreaker next.

#51 DAN LIGHTER

DAN LIGHTER

    Lt. Commander

  • Enlisting
  • PipPipPip
  • 1248 posts

Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:20 PM

I took FSS to work today so I could read it over lunch. I had a quick peek at this thread to settle me into it and give me a taster then it dawned on my I read it last year! After a bit of mild swearing I recalled that it was a brilliant book. I really enjoyed it, ok Cedar, bit odd to start but Gardner managed to talk me round. I also accepted the Silver Beast. Brilliant car race. I dont think I saw the end twist coming. Very good. B)

#52 dlb007

dlb007

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Location:Tallahassee, Fl

Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:03 PM

For Special Services was easily one of Gardner's better efforts. I wasn't too troubled by the inclusion of Cedar; I actually quite liked the idea of there being a woman that Bond was sexually attracted to, but wasn't willing to force himself upon. I too enjoyed the Silver Beast; the race was increbile and I'm surprised EON have stolen that idea for their films. As for Nena, it became a slap in the face upon her reveal. I distinctly remember reading it and thinking "oh, so that's why he never said he or she when discussing Blofeld earlier." I didn't really like that. I wouldn't have minded knowing Nena was Blofeld; as long as Bond doesn't know is what is important. I would have liked to see her evil plans for Bond, and while her death was fitting, it came much too quickly. All in all though, a great edition to the Bond storyline.

#53 zencat

zencat

    Commander GCMG

  • Commanding Officers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 25814 posts
  • Location:Studio City, CA

Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

Fabulous book. Very cinematic. One of Gardner's best. One of the best of all the continuation novels.

#54 dlb007

dlb007

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 108 posts
  • Location:Tallahassee, Fl

Posted 28 April 2010 - 03:38 AM

I agree. EON if you're listening: make For Special Services; why not have Blofelds daughter at the head of Quantum, creating her own organization of evil a la Spectre. That way, if the rumors are true, you could have Rachel Weisz as the villain. Gardner wrote some really good novels that were be perfect for the big screen. Let's face it, as long as they keep making Bond films, which will be as long as the studios can continue to profit, they can't keep using Fleming, they will have to branch off. Choosing any of the Gardner novels would be a great choice.

#55 KBOX007

KBOX007

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 21 posts
  • Location:Washington DC, USA

Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:48 PM

I'm resurrecting this page after three years of silence. 

 

I believe NDMB was the first Bond novel I ever read about 20 years ago, when I was first discovering the literary world of 007. I remember as a kid in the 90s, I really enjoyed most of the Gardner novels, but Fleming was a bit above me. About four years ago, I read the entire Fleming canon, and it was all great. Now that I'm collecting the Gardner re-releases, I'm reading some of them for the first time, others for the first time in 15-20 years. 

 

I've just read License Renewed and FSS for the first time, and found them both to be huge disappointments, particularly FSS. As someone said earlier in this forum about not getting excited about Bond stories set in England as it's not exotic to an Englishman, I feel the same way about Bond stories/movies set in the US. The only redeeming feature of this story to me, as it seems to be for everyone else is the return of SPECTRE. Other than that, I found this to be a very tedious read, and am a little worried that so many people are regarding this as the best or one of the best of Gardner's offerings. I'm going to start Icebreaker today. I recall that Role of Honor and No Deals, Mr. Bond were my two favorites back in the day, I hope they hold up as well now. 



#56 AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän

AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 493 posts
  • Location:Oulu, Finland

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

. Did Gardener recall that Blofeld had syphilis? It's established in Thunderball and his opening description.

Erm... No. In no point in Thunderball did Fleming suggest that Blofeld had syphilis. In fact Fleming stresses the fact Blofeld was asexual. In OHMSS Blofelds nose is said to resemble having been disfigured by syphilis but in YOLT it was gone, hence scarred nose probably was a plastic surgery trick. If one who is wanted by several countries and is known to be an asexual person with virgo intacto, someone with an STD would be the last person they would suspect...



#57 glidrose

glidrose

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2469 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:56 PM

I'm resurrecting this page after three years of silence.


Oh, risky move!
 

The only redeeming feature of this story to me, as it seems to be for everyone else is the return of SPECTRE. Other than that, I found this to be a very tedious read, and am a little worried that so many people are regarding this as the best or one of the best of Gardner's offerings.


I too hate this novel. Always hated it. Dumb inert plot - drugged ice cream? - cynical tone, logic loopholes galore. I liked the start - the airplane hijack and the Bayou sequence - and the final quarter or so. The characters are also well drawn. And I must note that this was the first Gardner Bond novel to feature those twists and turns of loyalty. But unlike the other Gardner Bond books, here it works and serves the story.

Critics seem to think this was the worst of Gardner's initial Bond offers, if Wikipedia is worth trusting:
 

Many critics were scathing. Kingsley Amis, himself a former Bond author, was the harshest. His Times Literary Supplement review called the book "an unrelieved disaster", Gardner "not the most self-assured of writers", and said that the plot was "absurd" and "blundering". Amis said, "What makes Mr Gardner's book so hard to read is not so much its endlessly silly story as its desolateness, its lack of the slightest human interest or warmth. [...] But then to do anything like that the writer must be genuinely interested in his material."[3]

Writing in The New Republic, Robin W. Winks wrote, "Bond is dead, and John Gardner's second effort to remove the nails from that coffin, though not so dreary nor so silly as the first, is nonetheless very thin gruel." Winks further said the book was "exceptionally bad when read back-to-back with Ian Fleming's From a View to a Kill. The book is full of one sentence paragraphs — did Fleming ever really write this way? — and obligatory "who'll sleep in the one bedroom, who on the couch" scenes once calculated to titillate fourteen-year-olds."[4]

New Statesman critic Lewis Jones dismissed it as "a real airport novel, unimaginative and badly written. Bond is as dated as Biggles. Gardner's attempts to update meet with partial success. He can manage the machines but not the people." Jones summed the book up in one word: "Deadly."[5]

Novelist Stanley Ellin's New York Times review asserted that that the novel "was a dud, and for reasons having nothing to do with the author's well-proven talent. Ian Fleming was a dreadful writer, a creator of books for grown-up boys, a practitioner of tin-eared prose. As evidenced by his writings, he was also by nature a ferocious and humorless snob, a political primitive, a chauvinist in every possible area whose ideas about sexuality apparently were implanted by fevered readings of Lady Chatterley's Lover. John Gardner, creator of the inimitable and delightful Boysie Oakes among other characters, is the antithesis to all this, a writer of style and wit with a sharp-eyed, acidulous and yet appreciative view of humanity and its foibles. Fleming's shoes are simply too tight and misshapen for Mr. Gardner to wear comfortably. Fleming, however, did offer the reader one thing no imitator can possibly duplicate: total identification with and commitment to his hero and his works as the products of an uninhibited wish fulfillment." Ellin believed that no writer "could have done better with this curious project than John Gardner, but it is simply a defeating project to start with." Ellin did find several things to admire. "There are some good things among the zany proceedings: an automobile road race described to nerveracking effect; the amusing relationship between the aging Bond and the youthful Cedar Leiter; a climax where Bond is drugged into imagining he is the woolly-headed Gen. James A. Banker, U.S.A. - all pure John Gardner at his Boysie Oakes best. This still doesn't compensate for the awkwardness of the whole project. The reader will do better to head for anything by Mr. Gardner that isn't imitation Fleming. As pure Gardner, he is quite a writer."[6]

Mystery novelist Reginald Hill writing in Books and Bookmen, admitted "I was not pre-inclined to like John Gardner's second James Bond adventure For Special Services, and I didn't. Mr. Gardner is far too good a writer not to make a fair stab at the job. No mere arranger of other men's flowers, he is of course a thriller writer of the first water. All this is done with technical skill and some panache, but in the end Bond belongs so much to the 50s and early 60s that to translate him to the 80s without making him grow up is an almost impossible task. The result is very fair escapist stuff, but time and again I found myself asking the, I hope, not impertinent question, if this man wasn't called James Bond, how good a thriller would this be? And the answer, I'm afraid, is not half as good as what Mr Gardner is capable of giving us when he follows his own creative bent. Bring back Boysie Oakes!"[7]

People Magazine's anonymous reviewer complained that the novel "has the stripped-down feeling of a comic strip. Fleming had fun with James Bond, but he also seemed genuinely to admire 007's ridiculous, perfect-martini mannerisms. Gardner, while he's a better writer than Fleming, is a cynical pro. There is no joy in his Bond."[2]

A handful of critics liked the book despite some reservations. The Globe and Mail crime critic Derrick Murdoch praised Gardner's vast research "on the state-of-the-art technology affecting satellite chasers, hydraulics, automobile and monorail engineering design, weaponry, optics and pyrostatics." Murdoch also praised the novel's final scene set "in a mock-decrepit palace in the middle of the Louisiana swampland, is played out in maniacal fury, total illogic and superb idiocy to enchant the mind. In other words, John Gardner is having more fun with his rented character than he allowed himself to have in the earlier book."[8]

Kirkus Reviews said Gardner's second Bond novel "is smooth enough - but a good deal less fun than License Renewed. Comic-strippy as ever, but without the freshness and Bond-persona detail of the first resurrection.[9]

John Waite writing in the Nursing Mirror said Gardner managed to write in Fleming's style "beautifully". The plot, he said, was preposterous enough, the girls exotic enough and the villains superbly Satanic.[10]






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users