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Looking Back: Role Of Honour


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#31 marmaduke

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 09:56 AM

I for one found ROH a rather tepid and boring Bond novel.After the excitement of For Special Services and Icebreaker it had the impression of Gardner simply :tup: 'Going through the motions'.

#32 manfromjapan

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 02:39 PM

I really liked it...evenly paced, suspenseful, intriguing plot, better than usual plot, realistic tone. Found it easy to read. The best of the first four IMO, with LR second, followed by IB (pretty good) and FSS (boring).

#33 Qwerty

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:19 PM

Figured I'd bump this up as we're currently reading Role Of Honour in the .

#34 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:44 AM

I've never read Role Of Honour but I heard about a scene where Bond enjoys the sight of a female's mole or something absurd like that.

Can somebody give me the page number or chapter title that this passage is in? I own both the US hardback and paperback, FYI.

I know this is a weird request but I want to see if that scene is as absurd/disgusting as I'm imagining. B)

#35 Qwerty

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:17 AM

It's been a long time since I last read this one Chris - 'fraid I don't even remember such a (odd!) scene. B) Sorry!

#36 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:23 AM

It's been a long time since I last read this one Chris - 'fraid I don't even remember such a (odd!) scene. B) Sorry!

Thanks for the reply, Qwert.

If you saw a chapter list, would you be able to point out the chapter titles that you think had sex scenes in them? If so, it would narrow my investigation down a bit.

ROLE OF HONOUR - CHAPTER TITLES

  • Robbery with Violets
  • Outer Darkness (A Frivolous and Extravagant Manner)
  • Riotous Living (Outer Darkness)
  • Proud Percy
  • War Game (Teacher's Pet)
  • Holy Code
  • Rolling Home
  • The Bull
  • Inside Endor (Endor Games)
  • Erewhon
  • Terror for Hire
  • Return to Sender
  • The Numbers Racket
  • Bunker's Hill
  • The Balloon Game
  • Epoc (EPOC)
  • Down Escalator
  • The Magic Carpet
  • Ploughshare
  • End of the Affair


#37 Qwerty

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:44 AM

Well, Chris, you piqued my curiousity - it's about halfway through chapter five.

#38 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:45 AM

Well, Chris, you piqued my curiousity - it's about halfway through chapter five.

You're the man, Dev! B)

I'm going to read the offending passage and report back, ASAP.

EDIT: "For the first time Bond noticed a little mole on Percy's neck that almost made him jump with delight."

That's just sick.

Edited by Righty007, 13 August 2009 - 02:53 AM.


#39 Qwerty

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:55 AM

Everyone gets their jollies one way or another, I suppose.

#40 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:57 AM

Everyone gets their jollies one way or another, I suppose.

If James Bond's going to have a fetish, I would hope it would be more mainstream than jumping for delight at the sight of neck moles. B)

#41 Qwerty

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:58 AM

Thigh moles, perhaps?

#42 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:59 AM

Thigh moles, perhaps?

Is that a reference to Thunderball? If so, Bond wasn't really attracted by it. It was more of a way to identify Domino than anything else.

#43 Qwerty

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:14 AM

LOL! Didn't even think of that until you mentioned it.

#44 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:25 AM

I don't want anybody to get the idea that I'm a Gardner basher. I love the man's Bond work but that line makes me want to puke. B)

#45 Righty007

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:29 PM

I started reading Role Of Honour for the first time last night. I read the first three chapters and it's really good so far; it was hard to put down.

#46 Righty007

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:37 PM

Interesting te have CBner's views on Uncle Bruce - the man who gave Bond the inheritance that allowed him to buy the Bentley and live the "Bondian lifestyle" again - in view of Silverfin.

Bruce has never struck me as a particularly Swiss name, either.

Bruce was the younger brother of Andrew Bond of Glencoe, Scotland. Bond's mother Monique Delacroix was Swiss.

#47 Qwerty

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:23 AM

I started reading Role Of Honour for the first time last night. I read the first three chapters and it's really good so far; it was hard to put down.


Let me know how the book moves along for ya, Chris. I really, really love Gardner's first five Bond novels with the only exception being this one. Definitely not my least favourite, but it always struck me as one that took a while to get going plot-wise. Although, it has been a while since I last picked it up...

#48 Guy Haines

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:17 AM

It's been ages since I read Role Of Honour (great title...spoken by Bogie in Casablanca).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Surely the title's just a weak pun on 'Roll of honour' and role-playing?

It's been years since I read this; I always mix it up with BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN, which Gardner must have read or watched, I'm guessing. Supercomputers, nuclear war games becoming real, a deranged American and his private army? Can it be coincidence? I suppose so. I'm on a Deighton kick at the moment, obviously.
Here's a great article about Ken Russell's much-maligned film of BDB, which compares it quite extensively to the Bond films (and makes a few points in favour of David Schofield's argument in another thread B)). Fans of ROLE OF HONOR who would like to see it filmed could do worse than watch this film.


Billion Dollar Brain may be much maligned by some, but I've always liked it. In fact I am a fan of all three "Harry Palmer" films from the 1960s. BDB was the closest of the three to being a "Bond" style epic - the only one of the three I think. The plot is somewhat confusing at times (another reason why it may remind one of a Gardner novel?), but the locations are striking, and the Texan billionaire "general"'s HQ is like something out of a 60s Bond epic. The finale is also something that could have come straight out of Bond - I thought that hiding an invasion force in a fleet of oil tanker lorries was ingenious!

#49 Safari Suit

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 12:50 PM

Billion Dollar Brain is great fun. Sure it takes Palmer into more OTT terrain, but its cartoonishly paranoid commie-hating all powerfull billionaire is...quite believable somehow...

I haven't read Role of Honour; I'm quite interested in it, but I've never found a copy. I just wish they'd kept the computer game in. Bond and the villain matching wits over an old computer game? Sounds like all kinds of retro fun! Bond and the villain matching wits over a six-sided die? Ugh! That's even worse than John McClane admitting he was "always a Star Wars guy"!

#50 zencat

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 04:12 PM

You know what's funny? I remember being pretty confused by the computers and the computer lingo in ROH. Hey, it was 1984, I wouldn't own a computer until 1986. It was over my head. Then when I re-read the book a few years back, it was downright quaint.

#51 Turn

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:30 PM

You know what's funny? I remember being pretty confused by the computers and the computer lingo in ROH. Hey, it was 1984, I wouldn't own a computer until 1986. It was over my head. Then when I re-read the book a few years back, it was downright quaint.

I read this one for the first time 4-5 years ago and was amused at how it prefigured the whole Bill Gates/Steve Jobs era with the Jay Autem Holy character. It does make you wonder, though, what would have happened if a group such as SPECTRE would have gotten their hooks into a guy like that.

#52 David Schofield

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 06:34 PM

Interesting te have CBner's views on Uncle Bruce - the man who gave Bond the inheritance that allowed him to buy the Bentley and live the "Bondian lifestyle" again - in view of Silverfin.

Bruce has never struck me as a particularly Swiss name, either.

Bruce was the younger brother of Andrew Bond of Glencoe, Scotland. Bond's mother Monique Delacroix was Swiss.


You should have read my full post from back then - questioning "Bruce's" existence in view of Charlie's info in Silverfin.

I was being ironic about the potential of him being on Bond's Swiss side.

Bloody American Bond fans. B)

#53 Righty007

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:09 PM

Interesting te have CBner's views on Uncle Bruce - the man who gave Bond the inheritance that allowed him to buy the Bentley and live the "Bondian lifestyle" again - in view of Silverfin.

Bruce has never struck me as a particularly Swiss name, either.

Bruce was the younger brother of Andrew Bond of Glencoe, Scotland. Bond's mother Monique Delacroix was Swiss.


You should have read my full post from back then - questioning "Bruce's" existence in view of Charlie's info in Silverfin.

I was being ironic about the potential of him being on Bond's Swiss side.

Bloody American Bond fans. :tdown:

Stupid Yanks! B)

#54 Attempting Re-entry

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:40 PM

I'm reading the Gardner novels in order, and started Role of Honour the other night.

I found this little snatch of dialogue interesting:

"...now he calls himself Professor Jason St. John-Finnes - pronounced Sinjon-Finesse..."

And his was published a year before A View to a Kill's release? Made me smile.

Edited by Attempting Re-entry, 16 January 2012 - 08:41 PM.


#55 glidrose

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:12 AM

Billion Dollar Brain may be much maligned by some, but I've always liked it. In fact I am a fan of all three "Harry Palmer" films from the 1960s. BDB was the closest of the three to being a "Bond" style epic - the only one of the three I think. The plot is somewhat confusing at times (another reason why it may remind one of a Gardner novel?), but the locations are striking, and the Texan billionaire "general"'s HQ is like something out of a 60s Bond epic. The finale is also something that could have come straight out of Bond - I thought that hiding an invasion force in a fleet of oil tanker lorries was ingenious!


BDB is my favorite Palmer film. A truly opulent, mind-bending film, far ahead of its time. They don't make films like this any more. They don't photograph films like this any more either. Kudos to DOP Billy Williams. Glad to see this gem get the love it deserves. The plot makes sense after you sit through it enough times. My only gripe is how needlessly over-the-top Begley's performance is. The part is already flamboyant enough. Also don't like the use of Shostakovich's 7th symphony during the finale. Too loud and crass. Detracts from the finale. Although outside this film it's a great listening piece. Shame the filmmakers couldn't use the Prokofiev music which fits perfectly and would have made the finale truly exciting. IMHO would have made this film much better known and liked.

Director Ken Russell died several months ago. I tried "quick news" posting it to this board, but the mods rejected it. Go figure.

#56 Kronsteen

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

I'm reading the Gardner novels in order, and started Role of Honour the other night.

I found this little snatch of dialogue interesting:

"...now he calls himself Professor Jason St. John-Finnes - pronounced Sinjon-Finesse..."

And his was published a year before A View to a Kill's release? Made me smile.


Can't recall that quote from the book (don't remember much at all from the book, except from some scenes, but I remember enjoying it), but that must be the most obvious proof that the producers read the non-Fleming books and delibirately took details from them.

Edited by Kronsteen, 24 January 2012 - 09:53 PM.


#57 Kronsteen

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:20 PM

Has just finished a re-read of Role of Honour, and as the re-reads of Gardners first three, I find it better than the first time I read it. The whole "computer games"-stuff seems pretty dated, but somehow I managed to overlook it. Otherwise I found to be a surprisingly good read, especially the plot twist (disarming the nuclear powers, probably the best Gardner villain plot) and Rahani is a great villain, while Holy is a bit weak perhaps. The only big objection I have is that Holy accepts Bond into his inner circle and that the hole operations seem to rely on Bonds getting that code. Not very smart.

I'm looking forwars to continue with Nobody Lives Forever soon!

#58 AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

I've always disliked the way Gardner re-introduced SPECTRE - the whole idea of Blofeld having a daughter feels cliche'd and goes strictly against Fleming. I would have preferred if ROH would have been first novel in his SPECTRE trilogy and Rahani being the main villain all the time. By the way, the finnish translation of ROH's title is most amusing: "James Bond and the secret code". Most of Gardners had cheesy finnish titles, Nobody Lives Forever being "You'll die tonight James Bond" - for some reason translators had to use the name James Bond with almost every Gardner.

Edited by AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän, 29 September 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#59 freemo

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:26 AM

I've always disliked the way Gardner re-introduced SPECTRE - the whole idea of Blofeld having a daughter feels cliche'd and goes strictly against Fleming. I would have preferred if ROH would have been first novel in his SPECTRE trilogy and Rahani being the main villain all the time.


Funny, I would have preferred the opposite: for the new Blofeld to have survived FSS and gone on to be the main villain in ROH and NLF as well. I think it would have given both ROH - Bond "joining" SPECTRE - in particular, and NLF much more weight.

Despite how serious and personal to Bond Gardner says they are, I just didn't feel SPECTRE in ROH. I think the return of the new Blofeld, given the events of FSS, would have given that extra dimenion to the book.

#60 AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:02 AM

Despite how serious and personal to Bond Gardner says they are, I just didn't feel SPECTRE in ROH. I think the return of the new Blofeld, given the events of FSS, would have given that extra dimenion to the book.

The idea of having a new Blofeld bugs me immensily since I never got an impression from Fleming that Blofeld could have had an intimate physical relationship with anyone, much less with a french prostitute. SPECTRE in Gardners novels felt bland (unlike in TB and OHMSS) and could have been called anything. In my opinion the NSAA in Icebreaker was much more "potent" organization.




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