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Looking Back: Nobody Lives Forever


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#1 Athena007

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 05:38 AM

From CBn's Main Page...

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Looking Back: Nobody Lives Forever
John Gardner's fifth James Bond novel



#2 zencat

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

Afraid today's big Casino news buried this so I'm bumping it back up. :)

#3 Qwerty

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:36 AM

My personal favorite of the Gardner novels.

#4 Qwerty

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 03:00 AM

Anyone else? :)

#5 Turn

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:05 AM

Anyone else? :)

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OK, yeah, my favorite Gardner, too. But, I admit I haven't read them all, so...

#6 Qwerty

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 03:33 AM

Which do you need to read still?

#7 Iain McLaughlin

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 01:55 AM

Has anybody hereabouts read Matthew Reilly's novel Scarecrow, which was published last year? The plot is remarkably similar to Nobody Lives Forever - or to be more accurate, the central premise is exactly the same even down to the presence of a guillotine. I was reading Nobody Lives Forever last week and I had to go and check Scarecrow to see if my mind was playing tricks on me.

#8 Tarl_Cabot

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 02:00 AM

It's a good Bond book. I think the title is weak though...The words 'Forever','Always','Never'and Die(s) should be banned from Bond titles.

#9 Turn

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 02:22 AM

It's a good Bond book. I think the title is weak though...The words 'Forever','Always','Never'and Die(s) should be banned from Bond titles.

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It only got worse, didn't it -- Never Send Flowers, Death is Forever, High Time To Kill, Never Dream of Dying, The Man From Barbarossa, The Man With the Red Tattoo, etc. Some seem so uninspired it makes me kind of remember why I never ran out and bought such titles at the time.

I guess the Glidrose people or whoever controlled the estate at the time probably thought those types of titles would draw in people because they have Fleming connotations - The Man With the Golden Gun, Diamonds are Forever and so on. It seemed the Flemings had more appeal even if they just had the names of the character, place or situation as a title -- Dr. No, Goldfinger, Casino Royale, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

#10 Qwerty

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 02:29 AM

It's a good Bond book. I think the title is weak though...The words 'Forever','Always','Never'and Die(s) should be banned from Bond titles.

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It only got worse, didn't it -- Never Send Flowers, Death is Forever, High Time To Kill, Never Dream of Dying, The Man From Barbarossa, The Man With the Red Tattoo, etc. Some seem so uninspired it makes me kind of remember why I never ran out and bought such titles at the time.

I guess the Glidrose people or whoever controlled the estate at the time probably thought those types of titles would draw in people because they have Fleming connotations - The Man With the Golden Gun, Diamonds are Forever and so on. It seemed the Flemings had more appeal even if they just had the names of the character, place or situation as a title -- Dr. No, Goldfinger, Casino Royale, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

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I thought some of those titles were pretty good: Never Send Flowers and The Man With The Red Tattoo to say a few, but yes, others were weak.

#11 marmaduke

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 04:57 PM

I have just completed Nobody Lives Forever and I really enjoyed it. :tup:
This seemed more like the Fleming originals. It reminded me of a cross between
: OHMSS and Dr No due to the location settings. The nature of the proposed

#12 dunmall

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 03:53 AM

Has anybody hereabouts read Matthew Reilly's novel Scarecrow, which was published last year? The plot is remarkably similar to Nobody Lives Forever - or to be more accurate, the central premise is exactly the same even down to the presence of a guillotine. I was reading Nobody Lives Forever last week and I had to go and check Scarecrow to see if my mind was playing tricks on me.



Off topic I know but do you find Reilly's books to be almost a parody of the techno/airport thriller genre?


Back on topic I love Nobody Lives Forever, I agree one of Gardner's best.

#13 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:41 AM

I love Nobody Lives Forever and its premise. In fact, it is my favorite James Bond book--period. Very original, and yet it has a touch of From Russia, With Love to it. Interestingly enough, FRWL is my favorite Ian Fleming novel. :D Anyway, Gardner was at his best in NLF. There is a lot of mayhem and suspense and everything works from the first page to the last. Bond was most definitely back. :tup:

#14 Jeff007

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:51 AM

I'm sure some people might know this but not only is the title different accross the pond as Nobody Lives For Ever vs Nobody Lives Forever but so is the first chapter title.

"The Road South" vs "No Way to Start a Vacation"

Qwerty, maybe this could be added to the Literary 007 page under trivia?

#15 tristanjblythe

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

Re-read this recently and didn't quite live up to my memeory but still a good Bond book.

Edited by tristanjblythe, 19 May 2009 - 07:44 AM.


#16 zerominus

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:58 PM

According to some information I found online, not only did the UK title differ from the US, the content did too:

"British and American editions of Nobody Lives For Ever account for two different versions of the text in every way. The American edition came out first and respects the novel's original length but the prose is so bad it's upsetting, whereas the British edition retains the original idioms but it's been shortened to the extent it reads like one of those book for first level English learners!"

Does anyone have copies of both versions to verify this? Did this happen to any other Bond novels?

#17 Qwerty

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:26 PM

I'm sure some people might know this but not only is the title different accross the pond as Nobody Lives For Ever vs Nobody Lives Forever but so is the first chapter title.

"The Road South" vs "No Way to Start a Vacation"

Qwerty, maybe this could be added to the Literary 007 page under trivia?


Sorry I didn't notice this sooner, but I'll definitely add it in. B)

#18 dlb007

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 03:30 AM

Who else here feels that Tamil Rahani was an incredibly wasteful character? I think he could have been a major villain ruining Bonds life over the course of several novels, instead of just a shriveled up corpse by the his second book; he rarely does anything in Role of Honor. That was my major complaint with Nobody Lives Forever. On the whole, I found it a rather enjoyable read, but that one facet always bothered me. Am I alone on this?

#19 Righty007

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 08:04 AM

I'm currently reading this one for the first time. About 120 pages in and can't wait to read more. I didn't mind the pacing of Role Of Honour but Nobody Lives Forever is definitely moving way faster. B)

#20 Righty007

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:47 AM

Who else here feels that Tamil Rahani was an incredibly wasteful character? I think he could have been a major villain ruining Bonds life over the course of several novels, instead of just a shriveled up corpse by the his second book; he rarely does anything in Role of Honor. That was my major complaint with Nobody Lives Forever. On the whole, I found it a rather enjoyable read, but that one facet always bothered me. Am I alone on this?

I just finished Nobody Lives Forever and you're right, Tamil Rahani does absolutely nothing. He's the story's main villain yet he's a lifeless vegetable in the few scenes he has. This doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the book but the fact that he's bedridden is unique because all of Gardner's villains from Licence Renewed to Role Of Honour are active and menacing.

I can't speak for the Fleming novels with Blofeld but I know in the early Connery films, Blofeld is a shadowy figure that appears only once or twice in a behind-the-scenes capacity. This is very similar to how Tamil Rahani is presented in this book. He's the main villain, however, most of the story features his subordinates doing SPECTRE's dirty work.

It's a welcomed change but I would have liked to see a Rahani trilogy. Anybody agree?

By the way, all the double-crosses in this novel made my head spin!

#21 zencat

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:38 PM

I don't know, I really loved the idea of a damaged vengeful villain putting a bounty on Bond's head from a hospital bed in his hidden lair. Felt Bondian and truly evil. Loved how Bond did him in too. The bedridden Rahani is one of the things I like most about NLF.

#22 AMC Hornet

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:35 PM

NLF is one of my all-time favorite Gardner novels. I found it much more satisfying than Role of Honour and No Deals, Mr. Bond - the ones which immediately preceded and followed it.

I too sensed a litte of FRWL in the plot (revenge on Bond) as well as elements of Colonel Sun and, in the mood and tone of the final chapters, YOLT.

I have to admit that I expected SPECTRE was up to more than just killing Bond. The way the gangs of assassins were killing each other off (a la The Pink Panther Strikes Again) I thought they were using Bond to eliminate the competition to their own Assassination department. But that's the way you start to think after reading several JG novels - you're always expecting an added twist, then you end up disappointed instead of relieved when it turns out you didn't outguess the author.

I was only disappointed when, ten years later, Sukie showed up again, a mad parody of her former self. Do you suppose all Bond's former lovers go off their nuts after the end of the affair? I'm glad that this did not become a trend with Raymond Benson (he brought back enough of Bond's male friends).

Nobody Lives Forever (I even like the title) - right up there with LR, IB, Scorpius, WLoD and BC.

#23 zencat

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:35 PM

Just re-read NLF. Love this book. I'm having such a wave of nostalgia for Gardner lately.

You know, it never really hit me until this read, but this book is important as it's truly the last stand with SPECTRE. I don't believe SPECTRE ever shows up or is even mentioned again in a continuation novel. If feels like a fitting end as well. No world domination, just the last leader trying to kill James Bond before he dies, and he fails. The SPECTRE story ends here. Nobody lives forever. Fitting that it ends with a sunset and applause.

#24 Secret Treaties

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:35 PM

One of my all-time favorite Bonds. It's a focused, expertly constructed thriller zipping along at a breakneck pace. Sometimes the simplest plots are the best - rather than cluttering things up with subplots and digressions, story is king and other elements are sketched, suggested, or essential to the plot. The best of Gardner's early Bonds.




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