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'Devil May Care' After Action Reports


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Poll: 'Devil May Care' After Action Reports

How do you rate Sebastian Faulks' centenary novel?

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#61 FlemingBond

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:38 PM

i've only read Fleming's Bond novels, and not sure about getting this one. the reviews aren't encouraging.

#62 Trempo

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:49 PM

Extremely disappoined. Littered with errors. Clearly, a case of Faulks slumming it, and not taking the project seriously. Wouldn't have mattered had this not been sold as "writing as Ian Fleming". This is Faulks writing as Raymond Benson. Anyone who thinks this style recreates Fleming, or is evocative of Fleming, hasn't read Fleming. Still, its done what IFP hoped, I guess: loads of publicity and a, probably temporary, bestseller.

Sure, it is better written than Benson (though not as well plotted). But it is not in the class of Amis, Wood, Pearson and early Gardner. But ALL the continuation authors benefit by comparison with DMC.

One observation I would add that doesn't seem to have been made is that Faulks continually has Bond absent from passages, a constant failure of the continuation novels. Fleming's books were ABOUT James Bond - how many passages was he missing from? Little occured that Bond was not involved with (if you exclude the obvious intros of FRWL and TSWLM). Like most continuation authors (excluding Amis and Wood) Faulks seems afraid simply to WRITE about JAMES BOND!! Chuck out the aimless first chapter (shock horror - we learn drugs involves nasty people who come to bad ends, Chagrin's a nutter, Mathis has a mistress!) and go straight in with Bond. Take out the pointless Leiter, CIA, Persian chap (so unmemorable I can't recall his name!) subplot and the book is shorter and more taught. And, of course, have the book proof-read by someone who knows Bond (rather than can just spell). And about Bond.

But the one thing one does learn about DMC is that Ian Fleming was a better writer than Sebastian Faulks is. How does that sound, literary set? :tup:


David,
I totally agree with you.
I had the feeling Bond was only a little part in the story. As if he was floating through the things that happened.
Even the trip through Russia. Everything was so easy, like a walk in the park. There was also no mention, that he was brainwashed there. And the writing was definitely not like Ian Fleming.
In my opinion the Amis, Wood and early Gardner are much better than DMC.

#63 SecretAgent007

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:42 PM

OK, I took a few hours last night and re-read this thing to see if it is as bad as I first thought. Here is my stream of consciousness thoughts on my second reading :tup: And...yeah it still sucks. It's better than Benson (just). And I would put all but the last few Gardner novels ahead of it, along with C. Sun. I had trouble finding any plot elements that were fully developed. Having Leiter in the book was a complete waist of time. I still can't see Bond playing tennis. The monkey hand was unimaginative. The references to past Fleming was even more annoying the second time around. A lot of the description of the action and geography was choppy. The girl turning out to be her twin and 004 was very (bad) Gardner. Any why would SIS make this girl a "00". She seems pretty inept, other than being able to shoot out a light with a 1911, which my wife could do and she is not a "00". The whole 004 sub plot was a waist. Her portrayel was weak. Bond never seems to be in real danger. The trip through the USSR was pointless. What really gets me with most of the continuation novels is all of the double crosses (see every Gardner novel) and subplots. What is so wrong with just writing a fluid narrative as, oh I don't know, Ian Fleming did? I don't think my opinion would be any different if it was not a Bond novel.

Still 2 stars.

#64 MarkA

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:04 AM

But the one thing one does learn about DMC is that Ian Fleming was a better writer than Sebastian Faulks is. How does that sound, literary set? eek.

#65 neversaynever

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:06 AM

The Devil May Care, but I sure as hell don't.

That pretty much sums up my attitude towards this book. It was an overwhelming disappointment. I agree with some of the previously-made comments that the early chapters were a good read (with the exception of the pointless first chapter - having finished the book, the inclusion of the Paris scene in chapter 1 just doesn't make any sense at all - except to introduce us to the grotesque use of the pliers, but it's an unnecessary amount of detail just to introduce us to the henchman's modus operandi). And there were some witty moments (Bond liking his peppet "cracked, not ground"). But once Bond made it to Persia, and as soon as he started investigating the Ekranoplan, I just felt like dozing off. The story took a nosedive from that point and never recovered. I had to force myself to finish reading. It was boring and tedious, and often I didn't actually understand who was where and what they were doing: action and scenes are just poorly described. I never thought I'd say this, but I honestly feel that Benson did a better job.

Now let's talk about a few major irritations:
- the title: "Devil May Care". Possibly the most awkward title in Bond history - it has no significance to the story, and one feels that Faulks just picked a clich

Edited by neversaynever, 05 June 2008 - 02:06 AM.


#66 Johnboy007

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:24 AM

I think you make a good point about that. I suppose James Bond could be a little rusty, but he seems awfully careless and lazy throughout a lot of the book.

#67 whiteskwirl

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:41 AM

[quote name='neversaynever' post='876984' date='4 June 2008 - 20:06']- the title: "Devil May Care". Possibly the most awkward title in Bond history - it has no significance to the story, and one feels that Faulks just picked a clich

#68 neversaynever

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:54 AM

Another thing: I think there is actually a glaring editing mistake. On page 46 (I think - I don't have the book with me now), when Scarlett 'reveals' that she knows Bond is looking for Gorner. She actually refers to helping him find Gorner before she says that she knows he is looking for Gorner. The text seems to have been placed in the wrong spot: she says "I can help you find him" (or something like that) and it just doesn't make sense at all. Why is Scarlett talking about Gorner? Then further down the page she reveals she knows Bond is looking for Gorner. It's backwards.

I will find the exact text tonight and excerpt it - but it's a pretty obvious mistake.

Edited by neversaynever, 05 June 2008 - 01:54 AM.


#69 sharpshooter

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:55 AM

But once Bond made it to Persia, and as soon as he started investigating the Ekranoplan, I just felt like dozing off. The story took a nosedive from that point and never recovered. I had to force myself to finish reading. It was boring and tedious, and often I didn't actually understand who was where and what they were doing: action and scenes are just poorly described. I never thought I'd say this, but I honestly feel that Benson did a better job.


I wholeheartedly agree.

#70 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:48 AM

I don't think Devil May Care is as bad as most members have said it is, but it is definitely not among the best of the 007 novels. The best thing about it is that Bond is back and that is a very good and welcoming thing.

Posted Image
Good things about DMC: Faulks does a good job with 007 himself. He captured Bond's character really well. Personally, I liked Scarlett Papava. I thought she was suitably alluring and was a good Bond girl. And while I didn't see her inventing the character of Poppy, I did tumble to the likelihood of her being 004 when she reappeared in France with a new name and Bond had yet to meet 004. I also greatly enjoyed Darius Alizadeh. Yes, he is a Kerim Bey clone but the mold still works. In fact, I think he is one of the best faux-Kerim Bey's that we have had. He's probably my favorite character (excluding Bond) in the novel. The villains are also good. Julius Gorner and particularly Chagrin are suitably nasty. I also liked Hamid and the fact that Bond's mission took him to a new country--Iran/Persia.

As for negatives, there are a few. 1) While Fleming always described in detail what Bond ate, here Faulks has Bond eating all the time (along with the detailed descriptions) and to me it seemed too much.

2) As others have mentioned, it would have been nice to see Bond fighting to the death on the strange Ekranoplan instead of the VC10.

3) While it was nice to see Felix Leiter and Rene Mathis again, they are virtually unused/unneeded. Mathis does little except carry on with his affair and Leiter is practically worthless. Granted, he does have a steel hook for an arm, but that never stopped him from being a beneficial ally before. On top of that Faulks points out that Leiter has to shoot a weapon with his non-gun hand, which is ridiculous. This story is set in 1967. Leiter lost his arm some 15 years before. Surely, he would have taken many stints at target practice between now and then to get at least capable with his aim in his one good hand.

That brings me to 4). Leiter is useless in this book. Not only can't he fire a gun, but he is so distracted by a dead agent that he drops cover without clearing the scene to check out Alizadeh leaving himself vulnerable to attack and then having to be saved himself. I would have much rather have had Leiter arrive too late to stop Alizadeh from being killed but in time to kill Silver in revenge.

And that brings me to 5). Faulks does an unnecessary plot switch to make Silver/the Americans seem either corrupt or inept. Normally, that wouldn't bother me to much (creative license and all), but in this case by using the Vietnam War as the background, it seems like a liberal jab at current American politics regarding the War on Terror just to make a personal point which, in this case, I take exception to. Silver's treachery comes right out of left field and is totally unnecessary and gratuitous. On top of that, his motives for doing so aren't made clear and lack sense.

6) Bond's initial observation of Gorner is overly coincidental and unbelievable.

7) Gorner's death is anticlimactic. For such an evil character, he needed a better death.

8) Speaking of Gorner, the motive behind his scheme is mystifyingly altered at the end of the novel. All throughout DMC we're told Gorner is getting back at Britain for past perceived humiliations regarding his monkey paw. Okay, I can accept that. But for Faulks to then say the motive was only an excuse by Scarlett to get Bond involved and then leaving the real reason for his hatred of the U.K. floating in the air unanswered is simply unfair. Faulks should have just let Gorner's reason for attacking Britain be and left it as he had previously stated throughout the book.

And 9) perhaps my greatest displeasure of the book (along with #8) is that once Bond arrives in Helsinki after stopping Gorner's plan, he doesn't immediately head back to the Iranian desert to rescue Poppy. Granted, she doesn't exist, but Bond doesn't know that. Remember, he had promised Scarlett that he would go back for her sister once he had escaped from Gorner's clutches. Instead, of doing that, he travels to Paris and books a room for the following day(s) and then takes a shower and a 12-hour nap. Where's the sense of urgency to rescue his soon-to-be lover's sister who's supposedly in danger? It makes no sense. Bond has never been so self-centered, uncaring, and oblivious toward damsels in distress.

But despite these criticisms, they weren't enough to keep me from enjoying the novel. Regardless of Devil May Care's faults, it's great to have (adult) Bond back again. Hopefully, he returns soon.


Devil May Care score: 3 out of 5.

#71 neversaynever

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:13 PM

^^ I agree with your number 6. It is, as you say, overly coincidental, unbelievable, and also unnecessary. There is simply no need for Bond to have encountered him before.

#72 David Schofield

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:17 PM

^^ I agree with your number 6. It is, as you say, overly coincidental, unbelievable, and also unnecessary. There is simply no need for Bond to have encountered him before.


Though I think Faulks isn't worthy of wiping the :tup: of Fleming's shoes, I should remind you that Bond's meeting with Goldfinger is equally coincidental.

#73 Trident

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:54 PM

^^ I agree with your number 6. It is, as you say, overly coincidental, unbelievable, and also unnecessary. There is simply no need for Bond to have encountered him before.


Though I think Faulks isn't worthy of wiping the :tup: of Fleming's shoes, I should remind you that Bond's meeting with Goldfinger is equally coincidental.


Agreed. But: In 'Goldfinger' the first encounter

1) is far more detailed, almost to the point of making an entire sub-
plot itself.

2) serves to describe practically the complete character of Goldfinger;
although we learn later that he's SMERSH' paymaster, smuggles gold
and generally is up to nothing good, none of this comes as a
surprise. Bond already uncovered him as a ruthless cheat. Only the
scale on which he operates is unknown.

#74 zencat

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:54 PM

Lovely jet lag is giving me time to read the book guilt free for a few early AM hours. I'm just over 100 pages into it...and I'm getting a little worried. I'm worried because I'm LOVING it. I've picked up on some of the mixed reactions and I was expecting I would finally have an opportunity to prove I'm not a slobbering kiss :tup: fanboy who, as John Cork once said, "pretty much only requires that the main character be named James Bond." After reading the excerpts, I was expecting to artfully explain how Faulks fell into classic traps of patchise and that his experiment in style added up to a distracting Rich Little-like "impression" of Fleming...yadda, yadda...

But now that I'm into the book, for the life of me I can't drag out a single eloquent criticism (my only complaint might be that I want some freaky sex in this book and I want it soon!). Thus far, DMC is everything I want in a Bond novel. I'm enjoying the style and the flow and I'm loving the travelogue details. I really dug the tennis match (although I instantly caught onto how Gorner was cheating and wondered why Bond didn't), and I've always wanted to see Bond travel to the Middle East, so this is a dream come true. And Bond feels like Bond to me. There's a bit of the Fleming "bastard" there that no other continuation novelist has captured, although Faulks' Bond is much less dark. What can I say? I don't know. Call me fanboy, but I'm loving it!

I was also very surprised to spot a Young Bond reference. Did you spot it?

I'll report back.

#75 wattenscheid09

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

...but then, zencat, you're only 100 pages in. I was still somehow optimistic at page 100. The trouble hasn't even STARTED:).

But seriously, folks, dissenting voices or people who like it are OK for Penguins Nr 1 all time smash hit selling success.

#76 ImTheMoneypenny

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:55 PM

Was up until 3 am reading it. Not necessarily because I was gripped, but because I'd promised myself that I'd read it in one sitting. My thoughts:

Posted Image
The plot is a huge letdown and I imagine I won't be the only one who finds it unimaginative and a bit lazy. A drug dealer who wants to start a war because he really really doesn't like England? Thats it? A 3rd rate rehash of Hugo Drax? Fleming's plots always had a touch of the surreal about them and this is what DMC sorely lacks.
It occurs to me that, whilst Fleming wrote his books in six weeks, for the year before he would be scribbling notes and (probably) planning the book inside his head.
Did Faulks do the same? Probably not. The prose isn't slapdash and lazy (far from it) but I'm afraid the story is. It lacks momentum. Once I got to the Ekranoplan and Bond getting knocked out I found myself beginning to lose interest. I just didn't feel Bond was in any serious bother.
Other quibbles: Faulks is constantly trying to give the story some contemporary relevance: Mentions of a lack of veils in Iran; Helmand Province; what could be achieved by one man dominating much of the media... its nice and I suppose it gives the novel a depth of sorts, but theres too much of it. It gets irritating and in the way of what Faulks should have been trying to do - writing a bloody thriller.
The parts set in Russia are a huge missed opportunity. It doesn't read like Bond. More like Bond suddenly strolling into someonelse's book. Again, even when Chagrin pops up, you don't feel Bond and Scarlet are in a particularly sticky spot.

This all probably reads like I'm taking a :tup: on Sebastian Faulks from a great height. In fact there are a lot of things aboutt this I loved. The opening chapters (prior to the bleedin' Ekranoyawn) are excellent: The noirish parisian opening, the introduction to an older Bond feeling he's lost his spark. Everything in Paris is superb and drips with sophistication and the faded glamour I love about Fleming. The Tehran club scenes accompnied Darius are sexy, suprising and great fun. Obviously modelled on the Kerim scenes in FRWL and, for me, equally if not more memorable. They are also rather contrived and unimportant to the plot, which is no bad thing. Maybe faulks should have donw more of this... move us away from his pedestrian plot and just have a bit of fun.
I also like his interpretation of Rene Mathis as a wily ols Parisian adulterer. Unsuprisingly, as I say, everything Faulks sets in Paris is far more vibrant than the rest of the book.
The 004 "twist" is transparent from the off, but I think Scarlet is a sexy heroine I'd like to see more of. The "almost but not quite" sex scene in the "Trouser" chapter is very sexy, as is the splendid last few paragraphs. The trouble is that this sexual tension isn't consistent throughout, particularly when she and Bond make their escape through Russia. Two people who fancy each other in peril? Surely theyd be all over each other? Too often she and Bond come across as a pair of slightly flirty urban sophisticates, not two people falling wildly in lust.
And so, even when I try and be nice, and despite being one of the few people who went in to bat for Faulks when people slated the extracts, I find myself being critical. But theres plenty to like about DMC and I can't give it less than 3, perhaps even 3 and a half out of five.
Its not Fleming, but then it was never going to be. I wouldnt recommend it to someone new to Bond literature but any Fleming fan should find plenty to enjoy here as well as plenty to be frustrated by. All in all a bit of a missed opportunity.


That pretty much sums up my own feelings about it, though in far greater depth than I could be bothered to go into! :tup:

One thing though:-
Posted Image
We never do find out Gorners' true reasons for the attack; the anti-British thing was largely Scarletts' invention.


You're right! I didn't realise it until you pointed that out. And for me this as well bothered me.

Posted Image
Perhaps I'm just naive, and just don't know many heroin addicts but from what I'd ever seen and heard they have no interest in sex or anything of that sort. They only care about getting another high. If Gorner's men were dropping dead from too much junk, I don't see how they'd be up for (pun intended), being 'entertained' by Scarlett or any other woman. It strikes me as something out of reefer madness, sex crazed dope fiends. But that's just a minor quibble I have. They had to have some threat for her.


In all honesty, I am glad I bought DMC don't get me wrong. It's certainly better than some books I've read. I never felt like chucking this one across the room. And I'd loan it out to the curious especially if it meant people would be inspired to read Fleming.

#77 stromberg

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:54 PM

...but then, zencat, you're only 100 pages in. I was still somehow optimistic at page 100. The trouble hasn't even STARTED:).

But seriously, folks, dissenting voices or people who like it are OK for Penguins Nr 1 all time smash hit selling success.

Seconded. And this is the point where have to draw the awful parallel to DAD. Not that I say that DMC is the literary DAD (it's far from that), but i, too, found it quite nice, but then to be falling more and more apart, a little bit before I was half way into it.
An example for you, zen:
Posted Image
I remember us watching the Youtube movies on the Ekranoplan last week and cheering on the great fantastic possibilities with it. Don't hold your hopes too high - it's totally underused.


In all honesty, I am glad I bought DMC don't get me wrong. It's certainly better than some books I've read. I never felt like chucking this one across the room. And I'd loan it out to the curious especially if it meant people would be inspired to read Fleming.

Seconded, too.

#78 Mister E

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:22 PM

Wow this is pretty sad. I am still buying the book but my hopes have gotten very low. :tup:

#79 ACE

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:18 PM

I was also very surprised to spot a Young Bond reference. Did you spot it?

A gambling establishment from Bond's youth, perchance?

#80 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:13 PM

Yeah, how can Faulks reference the Young Bond gambling scene (which I don't have a problem with, by the way) and yet totally discount/ignore Amis' Colonel Sun. According to Faulks' Devil May Care, we're meant to believe that it is the direct sequel to The Man With The Golden Gun and that Colonel Sun doesn't exist, which is incorrect.

#81 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:29 PM

^^ I agree with your number 6. It is, as you say, overly coincidental, unbelievable, and also unnecessary. There is simply no need for Bond to have encountered him before.


Though I think Faulks isn't worthy of wiping the :tup: of Fleming's shoes, I should remind you that Bond's meeting with Goldfinger is equally coincidental.


Agreed. But: In 'Goldfinger' the first encounter

1) is far more detailed, almost to the point of making an entire sub-
plot itself.

2) serves to describe practically the complete character of Goldfinger;
although we learn later that he's SMERSH' paymaster, smuggles gold
and generally is up to nothing good, none of this comes as a
surprise. Bond already uncovered him as a ruthless cheat. Only the
scale on which he operates is unknown.

Also, it goes with the underlying theme of the book. As Goldfinger tells Bond at one point, "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time is enemy action."

Besides, the idea of Bond observing the villain prior to the story proper has been done another time before--see Gardner's Brokenclaw. And, in my opinion, the Goldfinger and Brokenclaw observations/encounters work much better than in DMC. At least in the former two, there is some interaction involved and both further the character and power of the villains. In DMC, it's just a casual coincidental observation from a good distance away and then it's over. The part could easily be removed and nothing would be affected from the novel.

#82 neversaynever

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:42 PM

I was also very surprised to spot a Young Bond reference. Did you spot it?



I was also very surprised to spot a Young Bond reference. Did you spot it?

A gambling establishment from Bond's youth, perchance?


Far be it from me to blow my own trumpet ( :tup: ) but the Higson reference is discussed here.

Edited by neversaynever, 05 June 2008 - 11:46 PM.


#83 MajorB

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:42 PM

But the one thing one does learn about DMC is that Ian Fleming was a better writer than Sebastian Faulks is. How does that sound, literary set? eek.

Well, he was certainly a better writer of this sort of story than Faulks is. Faulks's other work is pretty well regarded (I haven't read any of it myself). But he doesn't seem to be writing to his strengths with DMC. I suspect that writing a thriller requires a particular set of skills, which Fleming had in abundance and Faulks may not. Plus, having to work in someone else's mold may have restricted his crativity, energy, etc. I don't think we can make that broad a judgment on Fleming vs. Faulks as writers overall.

#84 dinovelvet

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:13 AM

I enjoyed Devil May Care. Perhaps I should qualify that by saying I'm one of those non-snobs who enjoys Benson's books too :tup: , though I'm not really a Gardner fan (I can only pick out 3 or 4 of his that I like).

I agree with a lot of what's been said so far - perhaps too much obvious lifting elements from other Fleming books. I picked up on a strong Dr. No influence that hasn't been mentioned much - a villain named Dr. Julius with a deformed hand, a sequence involving Bond trapped in a tube/pipe, and an overall Crab Key vibe to Gorner's desert lair.

Anyway, it was mostly an enjoyable page-turner for me, and that's all I ask of an adventure novel like this. I was underwhelmed by :

Posted Image
both Gorner and Chagrin being "defeated" in the same way - Bond exposes their deformity, which freaks them out so much that they try to cover it back up rather than kill Bond. Did we need that to happen twice?

I'm also a bit puzzled about Gorner's motivations against Britain. I was expecting The Big Revelation on the Paris boat at the end, but that didn't happen (I was also expecting the title to show up at the end too, perhaps with Gorner saying something like "Typical British bastard, with your Devil May Care attitude!")


So, 4/5 for me. If you can enjoy a Benson/Gardner book, you'll probably like it. If you hold Fleming on a sacred pedestal and are expecting this to be the Second Coming, you'll probably be disappointed :tup:

#85 sharpshooter

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 01:31 AM

...but then, zencat, you're only 100 pages in. I was still somehow optimistic at page 100. The trouble hasn't even STARTED:).


Indeed. My optimism for the book took a battering from that point on.

#86 Simon

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:45 AM

Was hoping to start this, this weekend. Wondering whether to sell it back to Waterstones.

The poor wife, whose literary appreciations include Proust, is probably going to disown me if I advocate interests in such, especially after having read Human Traces.

Maybe I will just figure a way to permanently postpone...

#87 zencat

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:51 PM

...but then, zencat, you're only 100 pages in. I was still somehow optimistic at page 100. The trouble hasn't even STARTED:).


Indeed. My optimism for the book took a battering from that point on.

200 pages in now and my enthusiasm as not diminished one bit. I'm throughly enjoying this book! As I said, it has everything I want in a Bond novel. I also feel utter loathing for the villain and look forward to his slow painful death at the hands of Bond.

Happy to see LA (Santa Monica/West Hollywood) make a brief appearance.

EDIT: Only quibble so far... I am a touch disappointed at the revelation of Gorner's master plan. Very familiar, very movie-like. I really thought his ambition to flood England with drugs was enough. I just don't think you always need to go this big (which is something I really like about the Young Bond books -- the villain's master plans stay in check). There doesn't need to always be a countdown to nuclear annihilation. It's enough to stop a despicable man from living out of life of despicable purpose. Until now, I liked that DMC was going in this direction. But this does give us a way into a "big" climax, which I will save for tomorrow. :tup:

#88 ImTheMoneypenny

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:15 PM

I enjoyed Devil May Care. Perhaps I should qualify that by saying I'm one of those non-snobs who enjoys Benson's books too :tup: , though I'm not really a Gardner fan (I can only pick out 3 or 4 of his that I like).

I agree with a lot of what's been said so far - perhaps too much obvious lifting elements from other Fleming books. I picked up on a strong Dr. No influence that hasn't been mentioned much - a villain named Dr. Julius with a deformed hand, a sequence involving Bond trapped in a tube/pipe, and an overall Crab Key vibe to Gorner's desert lair.

Anyway, it was mostly an enjoyable page-turner for me, and that's all I ask of an adventure novel like this. I was underwhelmed by :

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both Gorner and Chagrin being "defeated" in the same way - Bond exposes their deformity, which freaks them out so much that they try to cover it back up rather than kill Bond. Did we need that to happen twice?

I'm also a bit puzzled about Gorner's motivations against Britain. I was expecting The Big Revelation on the Paris boat at the end, but that didn't happen (I was also expecting the title to show up at the end too, perhaps with Gorner saying something like "Typical British bastard, with your Devil May Care attitude!")


So, 4/5 for me. If you can enjoy a Benson/Gardner book, you'll probably like it. If you hold Fleming on a sacred pedestal and are expecting this to be the Second Coming, you'll probably be disappointed :tup:


The 'tube' portion was so very Doctor No.

#89 terminus

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:24 PM

200 pages in - and thoroughly loving it - the only bit I've skimmed so far is the tennis match (but I also skimmed the gold match in GF and the card game in MR) but, otherwise, loving it.

Got a sneaking suspicion about exactly what Scarlett is doing (and, yes, I know she's 004 -) and surprised nobody else got this vibe too, so will wait to see if it's blown out of the water yet.

#90 MarkA

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:56 PM

200 pages in now and my enthusiasm as not dismissed one bit.

Come on Zencat is there nothing you don't like. I agree with you about Young Bond. Far better than the idea deserved. The Moneypenny Diaries I think are the real thing. But Devil May Care is a pretty mediocre pastiche that has a few well written passages. All it shows to me is how underated Fleming was. Maybe not by us but by the intelligentia at large. For someone who's a screenwriter you must admit the basic plot is a bit thin. In fact it really reminds me of early Gardner. And that is not a compliment. Oh well better than Benson, and that also is not a compliment.


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