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Is it a good read?


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#1 Mr.Stamper

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 02:51 AM

Is Devil May care a good read? I have had it for a while and am planning to start reading it soon.

#2 Jim

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:21 AM

How much planning does reading a book take?

S'alright, but worth drawing your own conclusions.

#3 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:40 AM

I enjoyed it. Quite a bit in fact. I wouldnt read the reviews for it here first. Read it first, digest it, then open up the reviews here and see what you make of it all. Or just read it and give the reviews a big skip at the end. Or add your own review.

Edited by DAN LIGHTER, 12 October 2009 - 03:16 PM.


#4 Conlazmoodalbrocra

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:21 AM

I just finished it last week. A poor read in my mind, but each to their own and all that.

#5 DavidJones

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:14 PM

I thought it was OK, not as good as Gardner's early Bond books, however.

#6 Loomis

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:30 PM

I liked the political references to Algeria and Indo-China...the problems with the Muslim slums outside of Paris...I thought the idea of writing a Bond thriller firmly planted in the social upheavals of the 1960's, comparing Bond as a man in his mid-40's with the druggie, hippie youth of 1967, but with the knowledge of 40 years of history behind you when writing it, to be an excellent angle on which to write 007 stories.


Yes, there's some interesting stuff in DEVIL MAY CARE (much of which Faulks had touched on much more memorably in his other books), but none of it is developed remotely well enough, and the prose (which sizzles and dazzles in the other Faulks novels I've read) is resolutely flat and dull throughout.

Like some of the Bensons, DEVIL MAY CARE reads like a first draft that was barely polished, but what's so deeply disappointing about Faulks' Bond outing is the knowledge of what a truly brilliant writer he is and what a vibrant and captivating novel this could and should have been. Here, Faulks is working to - at best - about a tenth of his usual standard. It's obvious that his heart wasn't in it at all.

And don't get me started on all that guff about "writing as Ian Fleming". DEVIL MAY CARE never feels even remotely like something Fleming might have written. Heck, even Benson sometimes nailed the soul and spirit of Fleming's novels to a far greater degree than Faulks ever stirred his pasty white limey [censored] to do.

#7 zencat

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:09 AM

As this thread was created a year ago, maybe we should ask MrStamper what he thought?

#8 Single-O-Seven

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:21 AM

As this thread was created a year ago, maybe we should ask MrStamper what he thought?


Unless he's still in those deep planning stages.

#9 zencat

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:23 AM

Maybe it's a 5 year plan. :P

#10 OmarB

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:52 AM

If I knew then what I knew now, I would have stayed in the planning stages for DMC too. LOL

#11 Guy Haines

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:04 AM

On the positive side, DMC is well written, as one would expect from an author such as Sebastian Faulks. And it takes Bond to some places he's not been to before. And it re-introduces old friends such as Felix Leiter - I was amused by what he was doing in the novel before being re-called to CIA duty.

However, the villain's plot starts off in one direction, and then over half way through veers off somewhere else. Suffice to say that Julius Gorner, the bad guy, invests a lot of time and trouble trying to undermine Great Britain one way, before revealing a more spectacular method in the book's second half. My first thought at that point was "well why did he bother with all that in the first half, when he's planning all this?" I'm trying not to spoil it too much for you, Mr Stamper, except to say that Gorner's second half "bonkers plot" seems more like something from a Bond film than a Bond book.

Also, Gorner has a king sized case of anglophobia which is never properly explained - the reader is told one thing earlier on, only for it to be undermined later in a rather casual way. I would have liked to have had the real reason for Gorner's hatred of Great Britain, just as we knew why, in the novel Moonraker, Hugo Drax hated the country he had infiltrated.

Edited by Guy Haines, 13 August 2010 - 08:57 AM.


#12 Righty007

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:19 AM

Maybe it's a 5 year plan. :P

"Hey, I stopped smoking cigarettes. Isn't that something? I'm on to cigars now. I'm on to a 5-year plan. I eliminated cigarettes, then I go to cigars, then I go to pipes, then I go to chewing tobacco, then I'm on to that nicotine gum." - Uncle Buck

:P

#13 volante

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:39 AM

The only book I ever planned to read was "River God" by Wilbur Smith.
I had the pleaseure of reading the excellent novel during a cruise down the Nile.
It made Kom Ombo quite a scary trip.
The actual book still sits in my library.

Devil May Care; well that can be used to prop my door open. in my humble opinion.

#14 Santa

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:34 PM

Does anyone on this board, in real-life, use expressions like "My love" and "My darling" to your wife, husband, or the guy/girl you just met last night and have already had sex with?

In English, never. In Spanish, all the time.

#15 Matt_13

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:56 PM

A crushing bore. I haven't read any of Faulks' other pieces, but DMC is a literary folly of the highest degree. A top notch marketing campaign saved this book from falling off the grid, because there's close to nothing appealing about this work. The main character certainly wasn't James Bond, let alone Fleming's James Bond. I don't know how I'll act in 25 years, but I do hope that I'm not nearly as goofy as Commander Bond is here (probably will be :P ). Tonally the book is inconsistent, straying from the opening darkness that could be welcomed into the literary cannon and opening into a work that strips its ideas from the movies (without shame). The dialogue is contrived and cliche ridden, failing to even closely resemble proper conversation. The big twist with the Bond girl is cheap and can be seen a mile away, with the ending featuring Gorner appearing next to Bond on the boat just coming across as silly. I have very high hopes for Deaver, whose heart is clearly very much into it. Faulks is no doubt a talented writer, but even my history paper on early modern European smuggling has more depth than this letdown.

#16 dlb007

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:27 PM

No. It was a massive disappointment. Though, thinking someone like Faulks could actually right a quality espionage/thriller featuring James Bond was actually quite stupid. It isn't Faulks' cup of tea, and it clearly showed. He considered himself to be above the material he was writing, clearly thinking of himself and not the fan base that would actually read the drivel he produced. He simply read one novel by Ian Fleming, and created a horrible caricature of it. This actually hurt my opinion of Mr. Faulks; if he is truly a brilliant writer, shouldn't he have been able to write something as simple as a James Bond novel? Eh, my rant is at an end.

#17 Loomis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:03 PM

I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.

#18 Guy Haines

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:41 PM


I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.


He didn't so much adopt Ian Fleming's style as his working routine - so many words per day, over a set period per day, over a couple of months (Fleming used to spend January and February writing his Bond books). At least that's what I recall reading in one of the many interviews with Sebestian Faulks around the time of DMC's publication.

#19 The Shark

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 07:05 PM



I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.


He didn't so much adopt Ian Fleming's style as his working routine - so many words per day, over a set period per day, over a couple of months (Fleming used to spend January and February writing his Bond books). At least that's what I recall reading in one of the many interviews with Sebestian Faulks around the time of DMC's publication.


Yes, maybe so. But one must also remember that Fleming had an enormous back-catalogue of wrtime memories, and achived news articles, which he later utilised and modified to his will. In contrast, it seems like Faulks just spent some time surfing Wikipedia. It reads like it was written in a vacuum.

#20 Santa

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 09:04 PM

I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

There were odd moments while reading it when I felt he had successfully grasped Fleming's style but by the end I came to the conclusion that he managed to capture only Fleming's vices and none of his virtues as a writer.

#21 Loomis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 09:20 PM



I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.


He didn't so much adopt Ian Fleming's style as his working routine - so many words per day, over a set period per day, over a couple of months (Fleming used to spend January and February writing his Bond books). At least that's what I recall reading in one of the many interviews with Sebestian Faulks around the time of DMC's publication.


Okay. Although I think it's still a cheat to advertise it as "writing as Ian Fleming", if all we're talking about is things like daily wordcount and working hours logged. And even then it's inaccurate. I mean, he didn't write it in Jamaica, breaking off to have lunch with Noel Coward, and I'll bet he didn't drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney while writing it.

#22 Single-O-Seven

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:00 PM




I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.


He didn't so much adopt Ian Fleming's style as his working routine - so many words per day, over a set period per day, over a couple of months (Fleming used to spend January and February writing his Bond books). At least that's what I recall reading in one of the many interviews with Sebestian Faulks around the time of DMC's publication.


Okay. Although I think it's still a cheat to advertise it as "writing as Ian Fleming", if all we're talking about is things like daily wordcount and working hours logged. And even then it's inaccurate. I mean, he didn't write it in Jamaica, breaking off to have lunch with Noel Coward, and I'll bet he didn't drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney while writing it.



Not to mention he very likely didn't screw around behind his wife's back with his mistress from down the beach. Now if he HAD done all of those things....

#23 Guy Haines

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:20 AM





I don't understand the credit "Writing as Ian Fleming". Why did they go with that? None of the previous continuation authors had that sort of credit, did they?


It was all part of the centenary year hype.

As far as "writing as Ian Fleming"...clearly they didn't write the same way, but that doesn't bother me.


Well, it's false advertising. I was led to believe that Faulks would be deliberately adopting Fleming's style. He certainly had the talent to pull it off. And didn't Barbara Broccoli make some remark about reading DEVIL MAY CARE before publication and feeling that it was as though someone had discovered a hidden Fleming manuscript in a drawer?

So, yes, I was expecting a deliberate (and very convincing) xerox of Fleming. That was what we were led to expect, but we didn't get it. Call me naive, but to my mind the claim that someone is "writing as Ian Fleming" literally means that he's writing in a good imitation of Fleming's literary "voice".

Mind you, I would also have been quite happy to have a Bond novel written in Faulks' own "voice" (I'd have preferred it, in fact), but we didn't get that either. Instead, what we have is a halfhearted effort in workaday prose so dull it's absolutely astonishing to those of us who have loved other novels by Faulks.


He didn't so much adopt Ian Fleming's style as his working routine - so many words per day, over a set period per day, over a couple of months (Fleming used to spend January and February writing his Bond books). At least that's what I recall reading in one of the many interviews with Sebestian Faulks around the time of DMC's publication.


Okay. Although I think it's still a cheat to advertise it as "writing as Ian Fleming", if all we're talking about is things like daily wordcount and working hours logged. And even then it's inaccurate. I mean, he didn't write it in Jamaica, breaking off to have lunch with Noel Coward, and I'll bet he didn't drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney while writing it.



Not to mention he very likely didn't screw around behind his wife's back with his mistress from down the beach. Now if he HAD done all of those things....


I added that earlier post about his working routine because it seemed to be one of the few ways you could say he was writing as Fleming. Certainly the style and narrative sweep isn't the same. It would have been more accurate to have referred to "Ian Fleming's James Bond in Devil Mare Care by Sebastian Faulks" rather than claiming the author was writing in the same style as Fleming. No continuation author has ever been able to match Fleming's way of writing, imo, because they all came to writing via different routes, and didn't have the same experiences - some of which, the more colourful ones, you have referred to above. :)

#24 Johnboy007

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:56 AM

Reflecting on it now, it seems silly to have handcuffed Faulks with "write the book as Ian would have written it." It's an impossible thing to pull off without it looking forced or failing miserably. Unless it is a straight-up parody, what's the point? I don't want to read someone writing as somebody else... if I wanted that I would just read the original!

If I somehow had a chance for a DMC do-over I would rather have Faulks writing as Faulks. Maybe the book would not have felt as ridiculous.

DMC has fallen to the level of SeaFire or Never Dream of Dying. They sit on my shelf waiting to be read again but probably never will.

#25 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:44 AM

With Sebastian Faulks so clearly thinking the Devil May Care project beneath him, I tend to think that the line "writing as Ian Fleming" was suggested by him so as to further distance himself, his style, and his other novels from his turn at the Bond series. This "gimmick" also gave him a ready-made excuse were it to fail whereby he could claim that no one is Fleming and that had it been an option, he could have done a better job had it been in his own voice. Ultimately, however, Faulks didn't take the project seriously enough or put enough effort in to make the project as successful as it could have been or had been hoped for by the fans and we are all left with a hollow empty feeling wondering what if such and such had been done differently.

#26 David Schofield

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:35 PM

I guess like many I have softened on DMC since its publication. However...

Faulks will always be the snobbish chancer who had little regard for the project but was excellent at appreciating the financial rewards.

As has been stated above, it would have been better had Faulks simply wrote as himself. Perhaps it would have concentrated his skill to produce a first class Sebastian Faulks book featuring James Bond.

Because it is odd that Jeffrey Deaver is insisting his Project X will be a Jeffrey Deaver novel featuring James Bond. A novel, further, which is taking tremondous risks with the whole James Bond concept, while DMC is unbelievebly slavish and conservative.

Yet, Faulks is a highly skilled literary wordsmith (though I agree, with DMC one is hard-pushed to believe it)

Deaver is at best a well-regarded pulpist.

There seems something a little contrary here!

#27 Mr. Blofeld

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:31 PM

If nothing else, the US cover art design is fantastic... :P

#28 OmarB

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:58 AM

I remember when they announced Sebastian and some of the posters around here were freaking out at how awsome he is. I admit, I've never read any of his books prior and I'm not going to read any of them after. Talk about a bad impression.

Now Deaver, that dude is really impressing me. I read The Devil's Teardrop and Garden Of Beasts last week, intense.

#29 Kreivi von Glödä

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:12 PM

I liked DMC very much and I'd rate it as second best continuation novel after Colonel Sun. I do enjoy early Gardner novels though. In my opinion Faulks emulated Flemings style very well - it might be because I've read all Flemings and DMC in finnish translations, I've only read Dr. No in english but with that limited experience I would say Bond novels are translated really well into finnish language.

#30 Nicolas Suszczyk

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:55 AM

I enjoyed reading it very much! :tup:




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