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No Deals, Mr. Bond; Reviews & Ratings

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Poll: How do you rate 'No Deals, Mr. Bond'?

How do you rate 'No Deals, Mr. Bond'?

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#1 Qwerty


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Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:36 PM

This thread is intended for reviews and ratings of No Deals, Mr. Bond by members of the The Blades Library Book Club here. Be sure to add your review if you do vote in the poll!

The Blades Library Book Club will be reading No Deals, Mr. Bond from: 15 June 2007 - 15 August 2007.

#2 Navy007Fan



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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:47 PM


-This is my first book review on this forum, so please forgive me if I ramble a bit.

No Deals, Mr. Bond concerns the recovery and, five years later, the subsequent murder of several MI-6 agents involved in a botched "honey trap" operation called Cream Cake. The story goes from the Baltic coast of East Germany, to Great Britain, Ireland, and finally Hong Kong as Bond tries to save the surviving Cream Cake agents from murder by a re-constituted SMERSH.

No Deals is John Gardner's sixth James Bond novel, and, in my opinion, the weakest of those early books. I feel that, while a fine espionage thriller, it is not a good James Bond novel. Bond could be replaced easily by any other spy character without affecting the book. And the villian, KGB General Chernov, is just a generic spy master, nothing spectacular or grotesque about him.

Bottom Line: If you like spy thrillers in general, then No Deals is great. But as a Bond novel, I'd recommend For Special Services or Role of Honor instead.

#3 Sbott


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Posted 06 July 2007 - 09:33 AM

Great summary of the book Navy007Fan.

I've also just finished it and had many of the same comments. It was my first Gardner book and i found it quite disappointing and i'm looking forward to reading some of his earlier Bond stories, as recommended by numerous reviewers in these pages.

The story is very formulaic and you never get any insight into Bond at all from the pages. As the story moves around there are some interesting characters but Gardner never develops them and you find yourself wanting more from them. This may have been difficult for the double agents without spoiling the plot but as Navy007fan wrote "General Chernov, is just a generic spy master, nothing spectacular or grotesque about him" he could have been so much more interesting.

Overall a fun read that could have been so much more.

#4 Sbott


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Posted 17 July 2007 - 02:34 AM

Hey - keep the reviews coming!

#5 ACE



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Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:40 PM

By his 6th OO7 Continuation novel, No Deals Mr Bond, I guess Gardner had got into his own Bond formula with double plus crosses, tradecraft, James Boldman, the ASP and the COB etc. These developments gave Gardner a surer touch - he was making the series his own. The locations (Ireland, Hong Kong) were well worked out. The chase across Europe with a motley crew of fellow travellers felt like an Alistair MacLean-ish. The logic of the story always troubled me (won't spoil it here) - it seems like events just happened and were papered over later on. Plotting and logic always seemed like an afterthought as Gardner often wrote the stories without planning them first. I loved Heather Dare (although I later discovered this was a character name from a Boysie Oakes book) and Ebbie Heritage (whom, we discover later in a subsequent GardnerBond, Brokenclaw, taught Bond how to lip read). I felt it was a beat below ROH and NLFE. Saddled with the worst Bond title ever, it reminded me somewhat of Icebreaker. Gardner would re-use virtually the same plot in Death Is Forever (the 2nd worst Bond title ever!). It's Cold War leanings have not been kind to this book either. However, I really enjoyed reading it, it was great fun. From Icebreaker onwards, Gardner slowly began imposing his stamp on the series and NDMB is classic GardnerBond.

#6 Bon-san


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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:21 PM

The older I get, the more I am irritated by Gardner's lack of dedication to the job at hand. But I do respect him. And he's a great interview. I really end up wanting to like his books more than I actually do. That said, about half of them I find quite cracking. And the other half seem fairly limp.

No Deals, Mr. Bond is one of my favourite Gardner Bonds. Gardner does 'Cold War' pretty well most of the time. And NDMB features what I found to be a nice batch of Cold War baddies. The girls are decently drawn by Gardner standards. The pace is brisk. The back-story is engaging. The locations are interesting and novel. There's a decided lack of the outlandishness that kills some of the Gardners. Also avoided is the near-complete mundanity of, say Seafire or Cold.

All in all, good stuff.