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'The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling'


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#61 Qwerty

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:47 AM

Finally got around to ordering my copy of The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling today, but it won't ship until Devil May Care and Hurricane Gold are released. Going to be a long wait!


But just imagine when the package of Bondian treasure finally does arrive in the mail. :tup:

#62 zencat

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:57 PM

Read the book in two sittings and I LOVED it! I think it's clearly the best of the series. A true third act adventure. It's more personal than the others books, and I like that. I also like that it's a true conclusion. It doesn't leave any doors open. And as far as the literary Bond canon goes, this is major book that effectively erases the Gardner/Benson era from the continuity. It really is the last James Bond book -- the Final Fling. :tup:

Oh course, the thing I loved most was the last line. It made me gasp out loud, and then I laughed because I realized I now need to re-read all the books. But I'm not going to spoil it here. I'll start a new thread to discuss.

Also, when I was reading the final chapters, I was suddenly hit with a strong wave of suspicion that these books could be REAL. Remember the strange roll out? Is it official, is it not official? Why have the books not really been promoted? Why the U.S. delay? Could our friend Samantha really be the niece of a Moneypenny equivalent and these diaries are real? Are we seeing of a modern day SIS plot to out a Cold War traitor via a piece James Bond "fiction"? Is my phone being tapped?

Okay, I really don't think they're real. But the books are so effective in spinning webs of intrigue and subterfuge, I really did seriously think this for a moment and found myself looking over my shoulder as I barred toward the conclusion. LOL.

I'm sad to see this series end, but I loved the ride. What a wonderful way to start the Centenary.

#63 [dark]

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:00 PM

Wonderful stuff, zencat.

I can't wait for The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling to land in my mailbox next month. Problem is, it'll arrive alongside Devil May Care. What do I read first?

#64 David Schofield

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:06 PM

Oh course, the thing I loved most was the last line. It made me gasp out loud, and then I laughed because I realized I now need to re-read all the books. But I'm not going to spoil it here. I'll start a new thread to discuss.

I'm sad to see this series end, but I loved the ride. What a wonderful way to start the Centenary.


John, you didn't twig immediately? :tup:

#65 zencat

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:13 PM

John, you didn't twig immediately? :tup:

Twig? :tup:

#66 David Schofield

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:15 PM

John, you didn't twig immediately? :tup:

Twig? :tup:



Sorry! Twig = olde Englishe expressione!

Guess. Tumble to it. Work it out.

#67 zencat

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:25 PM

Ah, gotcha. Thanks.

Yes, I think I did work it out. Started a new thread (where we can talk spoilers) HERE.

#68 Qwerty

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 04:16 AM

I'm about halfway through it now. Finally started it last night and only expected to read for about half an hour, but I somehow just kept going and going--this one really is unputdownable.

And now I'm even more excited for whatever is to come. :tup:

#69 killkenny kid

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 04:20 AM

Oh, I can't wait for this one. It's moving up the must read list, very fast.

#70 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 05:00 AM

I'll copy a segment that I wrote on another thread regarding Final Fling.

It was a very good read with good suspense and one that managed to keep you guessing as to the identity of the mole for a good portion of the book. Skill-wise, Final Fling is probably the best of the three Moneypenny Diaries novels. Although, I think I like Guardian Angel the best--no doubt because Bond plays a more prominent role in that one than in the others. Nevertheless, like Young Bond's, this series has turned out much better than I had anticipated/feared when it was first announced. A solid job by Samantha Weinberg.

Personally, I'd rate them 1) Guardian Angel, 2) Final Fling, 3) Secret Servant.

#71 [dark]

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:09 PM

What a ride! I haven't been so gripped by a book in years.

With Devil May Care, I found myself caught up in the hype of the occassion. That was what powered me through the novel. Devil May Care will remain in my mind far more for being the Centenary novel than for the story itself.

However, reading The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling, Samantha Weinberg involves the reader to a degree I haven't felt in a story for some time. Jane Moneypenny takes Kate Westbrook on a journey, who in turn, takes the reader on the journeys of both women. As zencat said, you believe in this story. There are no major action sequences - this is a novel of mystery and intrigue. The seeds have been planted throughout The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel and The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Servant; The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling is all about taking the reader towards its very tidy conclusion.

Most importantly of all, you believe the story's characters really exist. Moneypenny and Westbrook are wonderfully fleshed out, but what is particularly impressive is the way Weinberg so convincingly takes Fleming's key players in directions in which John Pearson's James Bond: The Authorised Biography Of 007 barely hinted.

In so many ways, The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling is the most important entry ever into the continuation series - and one of the most important James Bond novels period. While Devil May Care failed to bring anything new to the table (perhaps that was the intention), The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling delivers revelation after revelation - all within Fleming's timeline.

It's a gutsy move, which may go some way toward explaining why these books haven't received the marketing push that Devil May Care or the Young Bond novels have; like zencat said, it effectively - if you'll excuse the pun - closes the book on the literary James Bond. This lack of marketing is hugely disappointing, given the trilogy (and in particular, The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling) is undoubtedly superior to the former and certainly on par with the latter. In fact, it parallels Higson's series quite nicely in that its conceit is rather naff, but it's executed with such conviction that you believe it.

The result is a surprisingly moving novel with several scenes in particular that are ripe with emotion. In fact, The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling achieves a level of intelligence and poignancy that one would never expect to find within the pages of a James Bond novel - and it's all the better for it.

To any fans holding out (given the lack of discussion on these boards, I suspect there are many), read these novels. Weinberg captures the spirit of Fleming's Bond and his world in a way no book has since Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun.

#72 Simon

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:11 PM

Just finished it too - a thoroughly interesting read.

I have to say I didn't like the inclusion of Fleming in Bond's world touched upon in the first book, but with that out of the way, books two and three bettered as life went on.

Curious that these slipped by and that, perversley, DMC didn't!

#73 manfromjapan

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:37 AM

Finished the book last night. An immensely satisfying, ballsy (finishing the 'diaries' halfway through) conclusion to a brilliant, under-rated (in the canon) trilogy. Compelling, enjoyable and I loved the whole political backdrop to events. Perhaps the recognition of the importance and value of the books by Bond fans will improve with time, as more and more fans finally get to read them. I also loved the way the Flemingian references were not littered and clumsily included - they felt like nice homages. Every time JB appeared it was welcome - she also seemed to get the character right. It seems these spin-offs alleviate the pressure from novelists to follow-up Fleming, and as a result, fantastic work has been created. Like many fans, I very nearly didn't read these books or Young Bond because of the purist in me. But it would have been a mistake. Anybody who hasn't read either series needs to immediately!!

BTW I also liked 'M' retiring in 1989 - the last time we saw a male 'M' in the movies before the arrival of Judi Dench in 1995. Coincidence??

Edited by manfromjapan, 09 July 2008 - 12:38 AM.





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