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The Mystery of 'The Killing Zone'


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#91 Bond111

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:40 AM

Whatever happened to spynovelfan's quest for knowledge on "Per Fine Ounce"?

Did IFP have him taken out???

#92 Righty007

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 06:39 AM

Did IFP have him taken out???

Nah, he's still alive. He's a free agent now.

#93 clinkeroo

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 06:46 AM

Whatever happened to spynovelfan's quest for knowledge on "Per Fine Ounce"?

Did IFP have him taken out???



He wrote an amazing article on both his pursuit and on what he found. Now, finding the article is getting to be a challenge in itself :( .

#94 Greene Planet

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:48 PM

Should be in the Literary 007 section. Under "PER FINE OUNCE".

#95 Safari Suit

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 06:51 PM

Never heard of this until today's bump. Fascinating stuff. Wouldn't happen today, not in an age where anyone can write a piece of fan fiction and have it read by more than two people. So he straight up plagarised a chapter from Gardner eh? Very funny, I love that kind of bare-faced cheek and silliness. He seemed to have a couple of good ideas; it's a real shame neither Gardner nor Benson nor Faulks or even the many people behind NSNA seemed to take advantage of the "Bond comes out of retirement" idea the way they could have and the way Hatfield seemed to. And, hey, if you're not under the heavy regulation of the official company, why not get a book out there which brings a difinitive end to the Bond saga?

Despite all this, I don't really want to read it.

#96 spynovelfan

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:34 PM

Did IFP have him taken out???


Still here. :(

Long story short: I found four pages of a draft version of Per Fine Ounce, in which James Bond quits MI6 to pursue his own mission in South Africa. I wrote two articles related to it: one for this site, which focused more on an extended tribute Jenkins gave to Ian Fleming in the novel he wrote just prior to Per Fine Ounce (and with an eerie similarity to the film You Only Live Twice, which hadn't yet come out), and which can be read here; and a 10-page article on the story behind Per Fine Ounce and its commissioning by Glidrose, which included excerpts of the draft pages and a brilliant full-page mock-up version of a jacket cover by Mister Asterix in the style of Richard Chopping, for the Winter 2005 issue of KKBB, which you can still buy online here.

Nah, he's still alive. He's a free agent now.


:) I've just seen a new improved version of that cover, in fact: it now has a London skyline visible in the distance, as well as a few other changes.

#97 Greene Planet

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 11:34 PM

That's why I'm not. I mean, why would an highly appretiated journelist plagurise and previous Bond novel?

#98 Bond111

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 11:38 PM

Did IFP have him taken out???


Still here. :(

Long story short: I found four pages of a draft version of Per Fine Ounce, in which James Bond quits MI6 to pursue his own mission in South Africa. I wrote two articles related to it: one for this site, which focused more on an extended tribute Jenkins gave to Ian Fleming in the novel he wrote just prior to Per Fine Ounce (and with an eerie similarity to the film You Only Live Twice, which hadn't yet come out), and which can be read here; and a 10-page article on the story behind Per Fine Ounce and its commissioning by Glidrose, which included excerpts of the draft pages and a brilliant full-page mock-up version of a jacket cover by Mister Asterix in the style of Richard Chopping, for the Winter 2005 issue of KKBB, which you can still buy online here.

Nah, he's still alive. He's a free agent now.


:) I've just seen a new improved version of that cover, in fact: it now has a London skyline visible in the distance, as well as a few other changes.



Aha, I must have missed that article. I'd heard about the draft pages, I was hoping there was some way to read them. I'll have to get a hold of that issue of MKKBB.

Any chances of seeing the entire 4 pages? (as I understand it, MKKBB only contains excerpts?)

Fantastic work, spynovelfan, and I look forward to reading your new novel.

#99 spynovelfan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:39 AM

Thanks, Bond111 (and clinkeroo, for your earlier comments).

I described and quoted from the four pages at length in my article for KKBB. Quoting the whole lot verbatim would have been a violation of fair use, unfortunately. I strongly recommend Jenkins' published novels, especially the first half-dozen, to get a feel of what a Bond novel by him may have been like. My personal favourite of his works is A CLEFT OF STARS, published in 1973. It's set in precisely the same part of South Africa as his synopsis for his Bond novel, and includes at least one scene that I think might have originated from that, wherein the hero hides out in a baobab tree. It's a superb novel; in my view, Jenkins was one of the great adventure thriller-writers of the last century.

#100 Greene Planet

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:10 AM

Good luck on your Trilogy spynovelfan. I will pre-order it tomorrow. And the excerpt I read was exellent.

#101 spynovelfan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:13 AM

Thanks, GP!

And sorry for going so off-topic, everyone. This thread will now return to the regularly scheduled subject of The Killing Zone. :(

#102 Byron

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:57 AM

Thanks, Bond111 (and clinkeroo, for your earlier comments).

I described and quoted from the four pages at length in my article for KKBB. Quoting the whole lot verbatim would have been a violation of fair use, unfortunately. I strongly recommend Jenkins' published novels, especially the first half-dozen, to get a feel of what a Bond novel by him may have been like. My personal favourite of his works is A CLEFT OF STARS, published in 1973. It's set in precisely the same part of South Africa as his synopsis for his Bond novel, and includes at least one scene that I think might have originated from that, wherein the hero hides out in a baobab tree. It's a superb novel; in my view, Jenkins was one of the great adventure thriller-writers of the last century.


I recently started reading Jenkins, based on his link to Fleming. If it weren't for your article SNF i would have never heard of him.

"Twist of Sand" and "Watering Place of Good Peace" have been interesting reads with a story set within a story type structure. His writing takes some getting used to with its heavy use of nautical terms. However he is very successful in capturing the wonderful atmosphere of the African locations. Meticulous attention to detail is also evident. The only later one i read was "The Unripe Gold" a very solid action/adventure story with a Bond-like plot and villain.

Look foward to reading more.

#103 spynovelfan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:27 PM

I'm delighted to hear you sought out Jenkins, Byron - his books are out of print but easily found online. THE UNRIPE GOLD is particularly Bond-like, though it's not one of my favourites of his. I'd rate it above any of Gardner's, by a fair margin (and it would make a great film), but I personally prefer his richer, rather more sophisticated earlier novels. The two you mention were written before PER FINE OUNCE, as were A GRUE OF ICE and HUNTER KILLER. All four are stuffed to the gills with evocative descriptions of landscape, odd customs, baroque villains, technical expertise and strange facts. They are soaked in suspense and atmosphere, and contain some very fine writing indeed. Having read them, I was very surprised to be told by Peter Janson-Smith that the reason for Glidrose rejecting PFO was because it was poorly written. Jenkins' style was certainly different from Fleming (although I think they had a lot in common, too), and yes, he sometimes created rather heady stews, especially when looked at from today's thriller landscape - but the writing in them was generally top notch, I think. I find the rejection of this lost manuscript a far greater mystery than THE KILLING ZONE...

with which deft twist I once again return this thread to its topic! :(

#104 Greene Planet

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:43 PM

I'm delighted to hear you sought out Jenkins, Byron - his books are out of print but easily found online. THE UNRIPE GOLD is particularly Bond-like, though it's not one of my favourites of his. I'd rate it above any of Gardner's, by a fair margin (and it would make a great film), but I personally prefer his richer, rather more sophisticated earlier novels. The two you mention were written before PER FINE OUNCE, as were A GRUE OF ICE and HUNTER KILLER. All four are stuffed to the gills with evocative descriptions of landscape, odd customs, baroque villains, technical expertise and strange facts. They are soaked in suspense and atmosphere, and contain some very fine writing indeed. Having read them, I was very surprised to be told by Peter Janson-Smith that the reason for Glidrose rejecting PFO was because it was poorly written. Jenkins' style was certainly different from Fleming (although I think they had a lot in common, too), and yes, he sometimes created rather heady stews, especially when looked at from today's thriller landscape - but the writing in them was generally top notch, I think. I find the rejection of this lost manuscript a far greater mystery than THE KILLING ZONE...

So you read the entire manuscript of Per Fine Ounce? Don't understand why they don't just publish it.
with which deft twist I once again return this thread to its topic! :(



#105 TheSaint

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:39 AM

I don't think there ever was an entire manuscript of PFO or, if there was, it no longer exists.

#106 Nicolas Suszczyk

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:49 PM

About TKZ... well, I felt it copied many scenes of A View to a Kill and Never Say Never Again.

#107 Safari Suit

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:44 PM

Ah, but those films (AVTAK certainly, at least) copied a thing or two from Gardner's first book.

#108 spynovelfan

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:49 PM

So you read the entire manuscript of Per Fine Ounce?


No, just four draft pages, as explained above.

I don't think there ever was an entire manuscript of PFO or, if there was, it no longer exists.


Well, according to Duff Hart-Davis in his 1974 biography of Peter Fleming, Jenkins submitted the novel to Glidrose, who decided to suppress it because they thought it unpublishable (Chapter 15). Peter Janson-Smith told me the same thing. As to whether any copies of the book exist today, though... yes, I fear you may be right there.

Um, back to TKZ again, sorry. (Perhaps someone could start a PFO thread if they wish to continue the discussion on that, or revive one of the earlier threads on it.)

#109 clinkeroo

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:35 AM

I would just like to see this thread die.

There are quite a few folks here hearing about TKZ for the first time, and it creates that special tingle in them that one gets when they first scent new blood in the waters of the Bond canon. That feeling is wasted on TKZ, and the only way to find that out, is to actually read this trash. It's akin to paying for a 1-900 chat line to listen to a woman with a sexy voice, only to find out that she's 270 pounds and needs her back shaved.

I only know of the disappointment, of TKZ that is :( , because I felt it all those years ago. Trying in vain to track it down, until the Russian site finally posted it...and it was utter crap. Now, a whole new generation will get their hopes up, only to find the nasty fat lady hiding behind the Wizard of Oz's curtain.

Please let it die, my friends. We are doing the newbie's a disservice by making it out to be something that is worth our time discussing. Hatfield was a con-man, a plagiarizing hack, and a truly horrible writer. The "book" is so poorly written, it's almost painful to plod through, and I'd sooner pop the puss-filled pimples on the hairy back of the aforementioned lady than peruse its pages one more time.

#110 David Schofield

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:42 AM

I would just like to see this thread die.

There are quite a few folks here hearing about TKZ for the first time, and it creates that special tingle in them that one gets when they first scent new blood in the waters of the Bond canon. That feeling is wasted on TKZ, and the only way to find that out, is to actually read this trash. It's akin to paying for a 1-900 chat line to listen to a woman with a sexy voice, only to find out that she's 270 pounds and needs her back shaved.

I only know of the disappointment, of TKZ that is :( , because I felt it all those years ago. Trying in vain to track it down, until the Russian site finally posted it...and it was utter crap. Now, a whole new generation will get their hopes up, only to find the nasty fat lady hiding behind the Wizard of Oz's curtain.

Please let it die, my friends. We are doing the newbie's a disservice by making it out to be something that is worth our time discussing. Hatfield was a con-man, a plagiarizing hack, and a truly horrible writer. The "book" is so poorly written, it's almost painful to plod through, and I'd sooner pop the puss-filled pimples on the hairy back of the aforementioned lady than peruse its pages one more time.


A first-class, 100% accurate summation of the whole TKZ experience, from the excitement of anticipation to the tragedy of fulfillment.

#111 Safari Suit

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:55 AM

But the story behind the book is interesting, regardless of the quality of the book itself. I don't think the thread should die as long as there are people interested in discussing it.

#112 Greene Planet

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:19 AM

Agreed, quite inresting, I finally read TKZ. It was and ok book, if it weren't a Bond novel.

#113 DavidJones

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:58 PM

Hi all, I'm new here.

It sounds like the story behind TKZ is more interesting than the book itself. The link to the 007Forever article at the beginning of this thread is a dead link: does anyone have a fresh link? I'd like to read about this. And the links to on-line versions of TKZ are also dead, so a fresh link to one of those would be good too.

Thanks.

#114 Grubozaboyschikov

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 01:11 PM

Due to some changes made to my website, the link was broken for a long time. Sorry.
Here's a fresh one:
http://www.james-bon...by-jim-hatfield

#115 Mr. Blofeld

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 03:42 PM

Your website's all in Cyrillic, but the link works fine; thanks. B)

As an addendum, I managed to dredge up the original 007FOREVER review via the Internet Archive; contrary to most of the comments on here, the damn thing practically glows with praise for the book.

Here, have a look: http://web.archive.o...reports003.html

#116 Grubozaboyschikov

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 04:59 PM

In my opinion, the book is poorly written. I seemed to have already discussed it at this forum, but in another thread, I think. Anyway, I remember finding in the novel several passages ripped from Pearson's 'Authorised biography of 007', which made me wonder if the whole book wasn't just a literary jigsaw?

#117 AMC Hornet

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 08:44 PM

"A literary jigsaw" is precisely the right phrase to describe that dreck. Not only did Hatfield lift verbatim entire paragraphs from Col. Sun, John Pearson's Authorized Biography of 007, John Gardners first trilogy (including his entire dedication from Licence Renewed) and lines from several of the movies, but the police motorcyle chase was lifted intact from the novelization of Magnum Force and the funeral at sea from Sar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. And those are just the passages I recognized. How many more might there be?

I think we've been giving Hatfield the benefit of the doubt by saying he 'wrote' any of TKZ. I've read fanfics by 12-year-old wannabes that were just as derivative, but which posessed more potential(except Never Argue With a Woman - you know who you are!).

Any of us could self-publish a Bond novel, claiming to have literary licence from IFP, and strew a few copies around like apple seeds and come to be as well-regarded as Hatfield is - but who would want that? Had this sort of internet forum existed when Hatfield 'published' TKZ it might have gone over well enough, but would not have come to be regarded as a 'lost' entry, any more than any of ours. I too have read From Death's Door, Mightier Than the Sword and Heaven Isn't Too Far Away and seen both promise and flaws, but none of them were the kind of plagiaristic patchwork that TKZ is.

Don't worry about finding a published copy - it's no more worth the collector's item price than any of ours is. Just print and bind your own work and stick it on the shelf next to Devil May Care; it has at least as much right to be there as TKZ does.

#118 St. John Smythe

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:39 AM

This is indeed a fascinating thread, and has proven a great read. There may come a day when I want to read TKZ, but only in the same way that I someday want to see "Glitter" with Mariah Carey or Lindsay Lohan's "I Know Who Killed Me" - to finally find out what truly legendary crap it is.

I mean, seriously, "Lotta Head"? That's not even a single entendre.

Continue.

#119 godwulf

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:47 PM

I downloaded The Killing Zone the other day, and finally got around to reading about half of it yesterday. Wow, what a stinker!

Truthfully, the plot isn't so bad, so far, but the writing is pretty dreadful, and the dialogue is absolute crap. He's got "Bond" recycling old Groucho Marx lines and calling a girl "babe". In one scene, he wakes up the girl and says something like, "We've got company...and I don't think it's the Avon lady." Yeah, that's really 007, isn't it? Sounds more like bad Mickey Spillane. (Sorry, Mickey.)

The author's description of fight scenes ranges from bad to unreadable. It strikes me as sounding pretty much exactly like a teenaged boy describing a fight scene he just saw in a movie. ("And then this other guy gets hit, and doesn't fall over right away, his eyes get funny, and then he falls on this other guy.") Very cinematic, in the worst possible way.

As I say, the plot itself isn't bad - it only requires that a REAL writer do something with it. I would honestly love to see someone - preferably someone British - rewrite the thing, if only for unoffical fan consumption, into a "real" 007 novel.

I would also like to propose that folks who have read The Killing Zone and have access to it now post, either here or in a separate thread, their favorite, really REALLY bad lines and brief passages from the book.

Alternatively, there could also be a competition - along the lines of the Bulwer-Lytton contest - to write the worst first line of a James Bond novel; call it the Jim Hatfield Competition.

Edited by godwulf, 20 April 2010 - 02:48 PM.


#120 AMC Hornet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:40 PM

Interesting idea, but it means I would have to read TKZ again, and I'd rather not.




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