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#1 Trident

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:27 AM

In another thread doublenoughtspy has kindly given a link to John Gardner's page on his Bond books. Gardner gives some really detailed information on how he was approached first and how difficult and at times certainly unsatisfying the process of writing, editing and finding a title was. Gardner had to deal not only with Glidrose' demands but also with a GB and a US publisher, thus making the work for him extremely complicated and, it seems, much more demanding than the final product would give him credit for.

John Gardner - The Bond Books

While most interesting and informative, Gardner's recollections and summary also open some further questions, or at least leave room for speculation.

After his immediate reaction to the approach ( 'Thank you but no thank you.') Gardner writes:

'Later that evening my agent telephoned and during the course of our conversation I told him about the feeler from Glidrose. There was a long pause after which he said, "You realise it's a great honour to be asked." I said yes, I knew that but the job really wasn't for me. Though I had started my career by writing comedy spy novels I had been working for a long time on books that tried to depict the real world of the Secret Intelligence and the Security Services. "Bond is fantasy." I said,

Edited by Trident, 15 May 2008 - 09:26 AM.


#2 Trident

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 09:26 AM

Another peculiar thing is that Gardner in his resum

Edited by Trident, 15 May 2008 - 09:27 AM.


#3 ACE

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:35 AM

Firstly, nice work, Herr Trident. An interesting and well-written speculative post.

Some clarification. I believe there was no list. Your analysis is correct - if Gardner was top and he accepted, why tell him of a supposed list? I understand that comment was for publicity purposes. That also goes for the writing process.

Just a note about professional writing. Garder would always work through an agent (his being Desmond Elliott - see acknowledgments in his Bond books). A bestseller like Gardner would probably have to be officially commissioned first before he wrote chapters. The agreement and deal would have to worked out. Invariably, there would be a clause allowing the commissioner (Glidrose) to decline to publish. The rights to the existing work created may be held by Glidrose or revert back to the author. Desmond Elliott and copyright laws meant Gardner would never have been able to submit chapters first and then be commissioned.

The very well-known author most likely is Jack Higgins


Er, no. The well-known author was H R F Keating http://en.wikipedia....._R._F._Keating

He is cited as the "Go-Between" in the acknowledgements of Licence Renewed and Gardner has confirmed this in interview.

One must remember, Gardner was much more keen on his own novels and the Bonds were lower on his priority list. They introduced him to an American/Global market (as will DMC do for Seb Faulks) but, as his webstory shows, it was a double-edged sword. Also, many people do not remember their work in detail - they move on. Ken Adam is similar - he does not remember the precise details. For them, it was, incredibly, just a job.

Another observation. Gardner and Glidrose always knew that Danjaq would not necessarily be filming the books. Glidrose had sold the character rights some time previously. They hoped that, if the books generated enough heat and could give some presale value to the film, then adaptations would occur. But it was relatively clear that adaptations, at that stage, would be unlikely.

A word about Glidrose. This was a small branch of huge conglomerate that was actually an agricultural firm, Booker McConnell. Merely as a side project and accident of fate, they got involved in literary rights and estates. In the mid-1960's, they received a huge windfall in Bond royalties causing them to inaugurate a literary competition (hence Bond created the Booker Prize!). By the 1970's, the management of Glidrose was a complex set of trusts and, I think it is fair to say, under-resourced and less focussed in direction. What I'm trying to say is that Bond was not navigated by a company for whom that copyright, ultimately, mattered. It was a merely a corporate asset.

That has all changed now and I think the current way IFP are running things is spectacularly good. Having become addicted to the Bond exhibits at The Fleming Collection http://www.flemingco...co.uk/index.php and Imperial War Museum http://london.iwm.or...exhibition.html, I urge people to see the evidence of their skill.

#4 MarkA

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:12 PM

That has all changed now and I think the current way IFP are running things is spectacularly good.

I agree. And one of the first things they did was jettison fan boy rubbish like Benson's book and put the franchise into the hands of proper writers. And boy has it improved.

#5 Trident

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:26 PM

Firstly, nice work, Herr Trident. An interesting and well-written speculative post.


Thank you very much! :tup:

Some clarification. I believe there was no list. Your analysis is correct - if Gardner was top and he accepted, why tell him of a supposed list? I understand that comment was for publicity purposes. That also goes for the writing process.


Well, that would be the other, and probably more realistic, option. But without list there'd be nothing much to speculate about, isn't it?


Just a note about professional writing. Garder would always work through an agent (his being Desmond Elliott - see acknowledgments in his Bond books). A bestseller like Gardner would probably have to be officially commissioned first before he wrote chapters. The agreement and deal would have to worked out. Invariably, there would be a clause allowing the commissioner (Glidrose) to decline to publish. The rights to the existing work created may be held by Glidrose or revert back to the author. Desmond Elliott and copyright laws meant Gardner would never have been able to submit chapters first and then be commissioned.


My secret suspicion/idea/hope was that Gardner perhaps wasn't the only one to be commissioned. But then off course that would have called for a lot of double/tripple-crossing and would have been an idea right out of one of Gardner's own Bonds.

The very well-known author most likely is Jack Higgins


Er, no. The well-known author was H R F Keating http://en.wikipedia....._R._F._Keating

He is cited as the "Go-Between" in the acknowledgements of Licence Renewed and Gardner has confirmed this in interview.



Bang, there turns my highly speculative idea into a load of confetti. Shame, the Sten MkII/Higgins/'The Eagle Has Landed'-connection would have fitted so well. :tup:

I wasn't aware that Keating had written a WW II novel. Must find out about this some time in the future. Still, it's a bit odd that Gardner mentioned it in this respect.





One must remember, Gardner was much more keen on his own novels and the Bonds were lower on his priority list. They introduced him to an American/Global market (as will DMC do for Seb Faulks) but, as his webstory shows, it was a double-edged sword. Also, many people do not remember their work in detail - they move on. Ken Adam is similar - he does not remember the precise details. For them, it was, incredibly, just a job.



Yes, exactly my own impression. At the end of this recollection Gardner even mentiones he got to write his own books in between the Bonds. That all but dismisses the Bonds as a means to pay the rent. Not much love lost on this assignment, it seems.




A word about Glidrose. This was small branch of huge conglomerate that was actually an agricultural firm, Booker McConnell. Merely as a side project and accident of fate, they got involved in literary rights and estates. In the mid-1960's, they received a huge windfall in Bond royalties causing them to inaugurate a literary competition (hence Bond created the Booker Prize!). By the 1970's, the management of Glidrose was a complex set of trusts and, I think it is fair to say, under-resourced and less focussed in direction. What I'm trying to say is that Bond was not navigated by a company for whom that copyright, ultimately, mattered. It was a merely a corporate asset.


This is most interesting! Didn't know about that angle of Glidrose. Now, this explains quite a lot, where the, well, strangely managed question of the continuations is concerned. And maybe it's an explanation as to why there has been, at times, all emphasis on quantity, and so very little on quality. A mere corporate asset for a company that doesn't actually deal with the publishing business firstly has to earn money, while the literary significane and quality are hardly a matter of consideraton in terms of business management.

That has all changed now and I think the current way IFP are running things is spectacularly good.


Once more, exactly my feelings. IFP has shown it has a definete idea of the direction it wants its property to take and has shown a remarkably high standard in its publishings. There is every reason to believe that this conscientous management will continue its most successful route.

Edited by Trident, 15 May 2008 - 01:27 PM.


#6 ACE

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:22 PM

Some clarification. I believe there was no list. Your analysis is correct - if Gardner was top and he accepted, why tell him of a supposed list? I understand that comment was for publicity purposes. That also goes for the writing process.


Well, that would be the other, and probably more realistic, option. But without list there'd be nothing much to speculate about, isn't it?


Stimmt

My secret suspicion/idea/hope was that Gardner perhaps wasn't the only one to be commissioned. But then off course that would have called for a lot of double/tripple-crossing and would have been an idea right out of one of Gardner's own Bonds.

LOL!

#7 dodge

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the well-written, informative and provocative posts, Tri. Also for the Houdini-like trick of luring ACE out of his long, semi-retirement here. Both of you are needed and dialogues like this one are an inspiration.

#8 Trident

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 05:08 PM

Thanks for the well-written, informative and provocative posts, Tri. Also for the Houdini-like trick of luring ACE out of his long, semi-retirement here. Both of you are needed and dialogues like this one are an inspiration.


Always a pleasure. :tup:

Although I had to give one of my favourite Bond-bees under my bonnet a funeral; the idea that Higgins could have, in however a small way, been connected with the Bond-revival of '79/'80. :tup:

But finding out about the unusual background of Glidrose (and the Booker Prize, of all things!) almost makes up for this loss. :(

Edited by Trident, 15 May 2008 - 05:10 PM.


#9 spynovelfan

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:58 PM

'Eventually I completed Licence Renewed and then the somewhat cumbersome editing began. Just as I had to satisfy all three with a synopsis so the editing had to be done three ways. Glidrose had their say, followed by the London publishers and then New York. It was a mightily strange way of going about editing a book but Peter Janson-Smith - Glidrose's man in charge of the process - made it as easy as could possibly be allowed. By the time we got to the final book, some fourteen years later, I owed him a great debt of gratitude because he did the hard work of haggling with editors. For instance, my editor at Hodder was Richard Cohen and Richard really approached editing just as he approached his chosen sport - fencing with sabre. After we had done all the fine print editing I recall that Richard suddenly decided he really wanted a completely different book. Richard Cohen was a bit of a control freak at the time and I had been involved in his strange techniques before. He was, in fact, a wonderful editor if you could keep him within the book as it was written, but he caused many problems if you allowed him to run amuck and go down roads you had already rejected. On this occasion, with the first Bond, he didn't get what would have been a total rewrite, thanks to Peter Janson-Smith.

Peter's editing technique was not always interpreted correctly. I was amazed to read recently, in Kingsley Amis's letters, that Kingsley was convinced I was absolutely no good at producing a thriller of drama and tension. In fact he had commented to Philip Larkin that Peter Janson-Smith had thrown the manuscript of Licence Renewed back at me because it was so bad. This, of course, never happened except in the sense that I would take every manuscript back to do the necessary work to make a better book and comply with those changes I had accepted from the editor.'

Several points come into my mind about this passage.

Firstly, I find it an odd criticism of Amis' that Gardner had to rework - I think that was and is pretty standard. Novels go through several edits, usually, sometimes more radically than other times. The writer often has to work a lot to get it right. And if one were being brutal, one could point out that Amis' one attempt at a Bond novel could have benefited with a lot more editing, and that much of it is seriously lacking in drama and tension. But I won't do that. :tup: Amis did totally redraft some of his books, though, and abandoned a couple - there's no shame in that.

That said, it goes without saying that Richard Cohen would not see things the same way as Gardner did! I suspect brilliant editors are often control freaks, for obvious reasons: their job is to nitpick. And just because the author has rejected a path does not mean it is not still worth pursuing, or that the editor should keep 'within the book as it was written'. I have read several novels by well-known thriller-writers published by big houses that had not been edited properly, and did need complete rewriting. Gardner's Golgotha, in my view, is an interesting idea that could have been a huge best-seller, but it's a complete mess of a book. To put another complexion on Cohen's work: in an article on Jeffrey Archer in The Independent in 2001, Will Self observed:

'In the early 1980s my mother was a fiction reader for Century Hutchinson, at that time Archer's publisher. According to her, it was widely understood throughout the publishing house that the manuscripts Archer submitted were so illiterate that his then editor, Richard Cohen, should by all rights have had their eventual, finished form attributed to him.'

If true, one hates to think what they must have read like before! But my point is: an editor can make or break a book. They're not just wonderful when they say things you like: they can be wonderful for pointing out that large chunks of your book make no sense, or that you used that plot twist in nine of your previous books. For instance. :tup: I don't think I'm being too provocative to say that some of Gardner's novels could have done with very radical editing. I've read Cohen's own book, By The Sword, which is a history of fencing published in 2002: it's brilliant. He's a much better prose stylist than Gardner ever was, by that evidence, although naturally it's a very different beast from a novel, and a thriller, and a Bond novel at that. (Sebastian Faulks gave it a very favourable review, incidentally.) I've also had an email correspondence with Cohen about an article I wrote, and he gave very sharp but very valuable feedback.

Later in Gardner's article, he stated:

'The only thing that I remain in any way bitter about is the canard - invented by Glidrose who had supported me since the first book - that the public were not ready for the changes I had made. This is a gross distortion of the facts and was said many times as I know from the tapes of BBC radio shows plugging the first Benson book.'

It seems to me that Gardner was missing the point here. Glidrose may well have backed all the changes he wanted to make at the time - but when they were plugging Benson years later, they said the public hadn't been ready for it. Okay, that might well have injured his ego, taking him down to promote the new chap, but I fail to see how it was a canard, really. The first few Gardner novels sold well, and then they didn't. One plausible reason is that the public were indeed not ready for the changes he made. And that is rather more polite than saying that they were repetitive, poorly plotted, badly written and not terribly exciting, for example. But I doubt anyone would call it a canard if Barbara Broccoli were to say the public weren't ready for the changes they made with Timothy Dalton as Bond (in fact, I seem to remember that several people at EON have said just that). But there are no 'facts' distorted here: I don't think Glidrose invented anything. They hypothesized as to why the books weren't a massive success - which they weren't. (That said, I'd have to check the tapes Gardner referred to). But what we have seen with Charles Higson's work already seems to show that Gardner's idea of success was somewhat wide of the mark; Sebastian Faulks may be about to put that in even greater relief.

#10 doublenoughtspy

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:47 PM

I agree that Amis' criticism is odd, he must have worked with dozens of editors throughout his life.

Along with SNF's editorial example - a funny instance from my own newspaper career - it was amazing how many bad reporters would be saved by good copy editors. When these reporters would move on to other publications, they would take their example stories, their "clips", and it made them look like super stars, so they'd be hired.

Of course, reality would set in at the new job - and we'd get calls about how bad some of them were without their editor safety net.

While I see your point SNF, I think it's just standard operating procedure for Bond rights holders (Eon or IFP/Glidrose) to throw the previous era under the bus.

Regardless of one's feelings toward the quality of Gardner's work, he was the most prolific James Bond author in publishing history. Did Glidrose wake up after the 16th book and suddenly discover fan discontent? Doubtful.

I am sure that DMC will put sales figures for the Gardner era to shame. But could you say the same for the 8th, 11th, or 16th Faulks Bond novel should he deem to write them? I would doubt it.

#11 ACE

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:08 PM

Great post SNF :tup:

Nice work, doublenoughtspy. Interesting thing about journalistic editing. Thanks.


That has all changed now and I think the current way IFP are running things is spectacularly good.

I agree. And one of the first things they did was ... put the franchise into the hands of proper writers. And boy has it improved.


Some questions, MarkA:
1 Have you read all of the Gardner novels?
2 Have you read all of the Benson novels?
3 Of the ones you have read, which ones do you like?

#12 Trident

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:32 PM

Firstly, I find it an odd criticism of Amis' that Gardner had to rework - I think that was and is pretty standard. Novels go through several edits, usually, sometimes more radically than other times. The writer often has to work a lot to get it right. And if one were being brutal, one could point out that Amis' one attempt at a Bond novel could have benefited with a lot more editing, and that much of it is seriously lacking in drama and tension. But I won't do that. :tup: Amis did totally redraft some of his books, though, and abandoned a couple - there's no shame in that.



Perfectly true. While one is up to ones ears in some work, novel, article, whatever, usually there's no room left for a broader view and the danger to stray off the mark is increasing with every paragraph. Having somebody to point out the major and minor flaws, the rough edges and the way to make the whole thing better is truly a heaven-sent help. Taking advice to get a better book is surely a sensible thing to do.


To put another complexion on Cohen's work: in an article on Jeffrey Archer in The Independent in 2001, Will Self observed:

'In the early 1980s my mother was a fiction reader for Century Hutchinson, at that time Archer's publisher. According to her, it was widely understood throughout the publishing house that the manuscripts Archer submitted were so illiterate that his then editor, Richard Cohen, should by all rights have had their eventual, finished form attributed to him.'

If true, one hates to think what they must have read like before!


Oh, haven't heard about this before. But then I haven't read any of Archer's books. But it seems I haven't missed out on anything.



Later in Gardner's article, he stated:

'The only thing that I remain in any way bitter about is the canard - invented by Glidrose who had supported me since the first book - that the public were not ready for the changes I had made. This is a gross distortion of the facts and was said many times as I know from the tapes of BBC radio shows plugging the first Benson book.'

It seems to me that Gardner was missing the point here. Glidrose may well have backed all the changes he wanted to make at the time - but when they were plugging Benson years later, they said the public hadn't been ready for it. Okay, that might well have injured his ego, taking him down to promote the new chap, but I fail to see how it was a canard, really. The first few Gardner novels sold well, and then they didn't. One plausible reason is that they weren't ready for the changes he made. And that is rather more polite than saying that they were repetitive, poorly plotted, badly written and not terribly exciting, which may be closer to the truth. But I doubt anyone would call it a canard if Barbara Broccoli were to say the public weren't ready for the changes they made with Timothy Dalton as Bond (in fact, I seem to remember that several people at EON have said just that). But there are no 'facts' to distort here: I don't think Glidrose invented anything. They hypothesized as to why the books weren't a massive success - which they weren't. (That said, I'd have to check the tapes Gardner referred to). But what we have seen with Charles Higson's work already seems to show that Gardner's idea of success was somewhat wide of the mark; Sebastian Faulks may be about to put that in even greater relief.


The public's supposed missing readiness for Gardner's changes would also imply that there ever would/could/should be a time, however far in the future, when the public would finally reach this point of readiness. I honestly hope this will not be the case.

Gardner's misconception in my opinion is that he thought he further developed Bond where he didn't even have the grasp of the character in the first place. There is the example with the tea and how utterly peculiar Gardner found that he was criticized for letting Bond drink some where in Fleming's books he never did.

This is just plain wrong and shows how little Gardner really understood the material he was working with. Not only did Fleming's Bond not drink tea; he downrightly hated and abhorred it. So the critics rant not about Gardner's Bond doing something Fleming's never did. It's about Gardner's Bond being something Fleming's never was.

The point is that the character was treated (with the growing number of books) with a distinct carelessness, effectively taking the name and stuffing it with an altogether different personality. And this disturbing treatment was not confined to Bond but included M as well, who seemed to have set on a private crusade to kill off Bond by deliberately withholding vital information. It's hard to imagine how one could depict these two characters even further from their origins without drifting into utter caricature.

Edited by Trident, 16 May 2008 - 05:40 PM.


#13 Loomis

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:37 PM

To put another complexion on Cohen's work: in an article on Jeffrey Archer in The Independent in 2001, Will Self observed:

'In the early 1980s my mother was a fiction reader for Century Hutchinson, at that time Archer's publisher. According to her, it was widely understood throughout the publishing house that the manuscripts Archer submitted were so illiterate that his then editor, Richard Cohen, should by all rights have had their eventual, finished form attributed to him.'


Funnily enough, I'm re-reading Faulks' stunning, blackly hilarious ENGLEBY (nothing like some of that Faulks brilliance to stoke one's excitement for DEVIL MAY CARE to fever pitch), and the eponymous antihero encounters Archer and mentions his "childishly written" books. Not that Archer was ever exactly considered good, of course (seems to me that he was and is considered to British literature what Michael Winner was to British film, albeit rather more commercially successful than the mostly bombtastic DEATH WISH director), but one wonders whether Faulks was in on what may have been an open secret in the publishing world.

#14 MarkA

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:26 AM

Some questions, MarkA:
1 Have you read all of the Gardner novels?
2 Have you read all of the Benson novels?
3 Of the ones you have read, which ones do you like?

I have read The Gardner

Edited by MarkA, 17 May 2008 - 09:07 AM.


#15 glidrose

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:27 AM

My secret suspicion/idea/hope was that Gardner perhaps wasn't the only one to be commissioned. But then off course that would have called for a lot of double/tripple-crossing and would have been an idea right out of one of Gardner's own Bonds.


Glidrose commissioned only Gardner.

The very well-known author most likely is Jack Higgins


Er, no. The well-known author was H R F Keating http://en.wikipedia....._R._F._Keating

He is cited as the "Go-Between" in the acknowledgements of Licence Renewed and Gardner has confirmed this in interview.


Bang, there turns my highly speculative idea into a load of confetti. Shame, the Sten MkII/Higgins/'The Eagle Has Landed'-connection would have fitted so well. :tup:

I wasn't aware that Keating had written a WW II novel. Must find out about this some time in the future. Still, it's a bit odd that Gardner mentioned it in this respect.


Trident and Ace are/were talking at cross-purposes. Crying shame this thread got corrupted. Some of the above posts are missing text. Here's what I recall. Trident mentioned a jab Gardner took at the author of a popular WW II novel for faulty and or insufficient research. Weapons I believe. That author was indeed Jack Higgins. Ace misunderstood and thought Trident was discussing the go-between who asked Gardner if he wanted the Bond gig. The go-between was Keating.

What's with all the italics in this thread?

Edited by glidrose, 08 November 2011 - 12:30 AM.


#16 Dustin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:46 AM

I think you're right, discussion was about Higgins' depiction of the noise-suppressed Sten gun in THE EAGLE HAS LANDED which Gardner had hands-on experience with and considered a highly euphemised account IIRC.

Italics probably due to the condensed remains of the thread which messed with the formats.

#17 The Shark

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:22 AM

I miss Trident. Bloody good poster.

#18 Secret Treaties

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:33 AM

Gardner made a deal with the devil, so to speak. It is hard to grasp that he didn't realize changes
in Bond's universe ran the risk of provoking a strong backlash when he agreed to write the novels. I believe
that writing Bond was plagued with compromises and commercial pressures narrowed his artistic vision. He
was always going to be beholden to another man's creation without being allowed free reign to claim it
as his own. I can't imagine that being a comfortable position, long term, for any writer. His anger was
either a little disingenuous or driven by regret. Maybe a little of both. I'm sure he thought about the
books he could have written if he hadn't saddled himself with Bond.

I hope he knew, at the end of his life, that many Bond fans consider his finest novels to be worthy successors
to Fleming and highly entertaining reads in their own right. In the end, that's all that matters.

Edited by Secret Treaties, 16 November 2011 - 01:36 AM.


#19 Simg

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:28 AM

It is good to see my late Father's work is still provoking discussion, whether or not people have actually got their facts right or not.

However one thing in particular stood out. Spynovelfan commented "Gardner's Golgotha, in my view, is an interesting idea that could have been a huge best-seller, but it's a complete mess of a book."

Golgotha was a pretty huge bestseller Spynovelfan

It was a top ten bestseller in hardback in the UK, and a number one bestseller in paperback in the UK, and performed very nicely to rave reviews on the USA bestseller lists as well both in paperback and hard back under the title 'The Last Trump'. Not bad for "a complete mess of a book".
If you are going to make derogatory comments about my Father's work (it is a free country so you are entitled to do so) please get your facts right first.

Also on the subject of Kingsley Amis you have to understand that my father's relationship with Kingsley was extremely complicated and I have always held the belief that Kingsley was extremely annoyed that JG was asked to do the 1980's reboot. Kingsley's ego was badly damaged that he had not been asked, he felt that having done Colonel Sun he should have been first choice to do the reboot. after that Kingsley always seemed to have issues with JG.

My Father tried to keep the whole thing rather humorous and not take it seriously, as I hope comes across in the quote below:

'...I met him at a lunch party Len Deighton gave at the Savoy for Eric Ambler's birthday. Out of devilment I said to him, "Kingsley, you're quite right: the Bond books are terrible hokum. No good at all. Dreadful," - he had reviewed Licence Renewed for, I think, The Times Literary Supplement, and it was a review in which he set about me with a cat o' nine tails, the Rack and the Chinese Water Torture. Kingsley looked at me in bewilderment, spluttering, "Oh no. my dear chap, no! No!"'

Simon R J Gardner

Edited by Simg, 16 November 2011 - 10:30 AM.


#20 Major Tallon

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:08 PM

Also on the subject of Kingsley Amis you have to understand that my father's relationship with Kingsley was extremely complicated and I have always held the belief that Kingsley was extremely annoyed that JG was asked to do the 1980's reboot. Kingsley's ego was badly damaged that he had not been asked, he felt that having done Colonel Sun he should have been first choice to do the reboot. after that Kingsley always seemed to have issues with JG.

My Father tried to keep the whole thing rather humorous and not take it seriously, as I hope comes across in the quote below:

'...I met him at a lunch party Len Deighton gave at the Savoy for Eric Ambler's birthday. Out of devilment I said to him, "Kingsley, you're quite right: the Bond books are terrible hokum. No good at all. Dreadful," - he had reviewed Licence Renewed for, I think, The Times Literary Supplement, and it was a review in which he set about me with a cat o' nine tails, the Rack and the Chinese Water Torture. Kingsley looked at me in bewilderment, spluttering, "Oh no. my dear chap, no! No!"'

Simon R J Gardner

What an amusing story!

#21 Simg

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 01:19 PM

Glad you like it Major Tallon

SRJG

#22 glidrose

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:32 PM

To put another complexion on Cohen's work: in an article on Jeffrey Archer in The Independent in 2001, Will Self observed:

'In the early 1980s my mother was a fiction reader for Century Hutchinson, at that time Archer's publisher. According to her, it was widely understood throughout the publishing house that the manuscripts Archer submitted were so illiterate that his then editor, Richard Cohen, should by all rights have had their eventual, finished form attributed to him.'


Except that Hodder & Stoughton, not Century Hutchinson were Archer's publishers. Believe it or not but Jonathan Cape published Archer's first two novels!




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