Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:48 AM
Win Lose Or Die really shook things up in the litBond universe. Gardner had taken a leap with the character: promoting Bond to Captain and having him rejoin the Royal Navy was a big step. However, Gardner seemed to have dispensed with the accoutrements he had given his Bond aka Predator aka James Boldman: no Bentley, no ASP 9mm or COB, no Q'ute - just when Gardner had been developing his own Bond, the rug was pulled from under him. In other ways, things were the same: a fun, not-fully joined up plot, huge twists, double and treble crosses with characters given several names and codewords (all only used once). The locations were well drawn and Gardner's love of classical literature is apparent. Beatrice is a great girl although BAST is a bit silly. The topical ending is similar to Scorpius and dates the book. There are some nice moments such as Bond remembering his last Christmas with his parents but somehow it didn't gel for me. A mixed bag - I liked what Gardner was trying to do rather than his actual execution of it. One was forced to accentuate the positive in the reading experience - the only fix of literary Bond. Perhaps the pressure of having to also churn out 1989's novelization of Licence To Kill impacted upon this original continuation Bond novel.