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Did Gardner dislike Bond?


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#1 DavidJones

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:15 PM

After reading/hearing a few interviews with John Gardner, I couldn't help but get the impression that he was beginning to dislike being associated with him. He said things like once he'd written them, he forgot about them totally. Also, he said that he hoped he wouldn't be remembered just for Bond.

What does everyone make of this?

#2 zencat

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 06:05 PM

I don't think he disliked Bond per se. But I think he did come to resent/fear that Bond would ellipse his other work and tried to keep a distance. I'm sure he was proud of his books, but I don't think he went into it because he had a great passion for James Bond. It was a job for hire.

#3 David Schofield

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:07 PM

I'm with Zen on all he's said.

Further, I think had "we" - the Bond fans of the 80s - been a bit kinder - okay, we know NOW he wasn't Fleming - and had the contract not lunaticly insisisted on, more or less, a book a year, he'd have been far happier.

In a world of diminshing returns, he was in a different class to Benson. And a writer of the repute of Faulks. And possibly Higson.

But like a deceased relative, we never got round to telling him.

So, cash apart, he had much to be unhappy about.

#4 Trident

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:37 PM

I don't think he initially disliked Bond. After all Gardner was recognized as a thriller writer first for his Bond parody Boysie Oakes, essentially pulling the trick Fraser Macdonald pulled with Flashman, making his hero the coward.

Reading those first few Gardner Bonds, especially the ones when he still cared to include an authors note, I have little doubt that Gardner quite enjoyed the task, up to a point. Read his note for FSS, where he mentions the rave his SAAB decision set loose. Or the note for IB, mentioning his research in Finnland and his adventures in the Arctic Circle. My impression is he really liked working on the Bonds during that time and made the most of it.

Plotwise, one has to say Gardner maybe fell for the same trap Faulks did recently, completely disregarding logic for Bond, instead going for a 'by-the-numbers' approach, chase scene/fight scene/torture scene. But at least until ROH Gardner didn't seem to mind much and, for what it's worth, I daresay he also wasn't hired to deliver anything else; certainly not the big lit-Bond revolution. Gardner's task was to deliver a new entry per year and apart from that there wasn't really much desired it would seem to me.

I don't know what exactly went wrong with the Gardner-Bond Connection. I heard about a particular hard time for him during 'Scorpius' but in my opinion the rot set in much earlier. It would seem Gardner became increasingly more unsatisfied with being stuck with a series that wasn't his own, something I can actually understand perfectly well. Gardner apparently had several ideas, some of them really intriguing IMO. But the effect of his efforts turned out to be rather half-hearted with nothing really changing, no real consequences. I don't know if this was intentional, and if so, to what extent, but in my view there isn't much doubt that such a situation was essentially bound to give a growing sense of frustration to all concerned parties.

From what information one can gather today on Gardner's feelings during that period, it would seem he felt a lot of unfair criticism coming his way for certain details in his books. I often wonder what the situation would have been had Gardner already had the interweb? In my view Gardner often didn't grasp the core of this criticism, perhaps for real lack of information on Bond. Apparently he was set on gently updating the character and depict him more rooted in real intelligence work. What he obviously didn't care to deeper examine is the real character of Fleming's originals. Fleming didn't write spy novels, he wrote adventure novels set in spy background. That's a huge difference and while Gardner's first few attemps did try to cater to this market he really couldn't even come close during his later years.

I suspect Gardner's true love may also have been the 'serious' spy novels leCarré got so much praise for during just this time, while Gardner himself was stuck with a task he perhaps more and more saw as compulsory labour? At any rate the number of repetitions of elements, boring-to-death hotel room scenes and save-the-POTUS plots became embarassing to the point of absurdity. Gardner made one really bold and daring effort to break the paralysis with TMFB. Unfortunately, it's also the book Bond is next to nonexistent in, with a tenacius tale, a rushed end and a terribly weak cast. I give him credit for trying damn hard, but it would seem Bond himself was the obstacle Gardner couldn't take with the ballast of his aspirations in tow.

Nonetheless he tried once more with NSF to take Bond to new terrain. While the book is considered by some of us fans to work within its given premise, the hunt for a serial murderer, personally I think it's even more of a let down. Gardner had decided to abolish even the most common logic in his plots and this is a severe hindrance in a murder mystery, which per definition usually relies on logic. The 'surprise' towards the end of the affair actually wasn't much of one and several ludicrous characters and twists were not much more but a downright nuisance in my book.

Yes, by this time I think it's safe to assume Gardner wasn't too fond of his Bond commitment, to say the least. But then one also has to consider the extent of his assignment. Gardner was the Bond author for a full 15 years, longer and with more books than Fleming himself. And it wasn't his original creation. So when we regard his work on the series it's just fair to imagine being in his shoes for a moment. I bet a lot of us here would give a leg for the chance of being in Gardner's situation in 1980, pick up Bond, write the continuations, update the character, so on. But who of us would have wanted the consequences? Sixteen years of work on essentially another's creation, getting constant flack from both the fanbase and the critics? Never coming even close to the recognition any author craves (not to speak of the hype Fleming got!)? And, while Bond certainly paid some bills in Gardner's household during those years, he surely never paid them as lavishly as one would wish for as an author.

So on balance I would say Gardner simply grew bored of the task and the character. Not an outright dislike from the start, but perhaps the feeling it wasn't actually such a good decision to say yes to Glidrose back in 1980 (or '81?).

#5 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:00 PM

A good sum up Trident. You have picked an interesting topic DavidJones. It's one that I am very interested in. I thought I recalled John Gardner being upset that even the titles got choose by the Board. They didn't get marketed properly and the die hard fans had problems with Bond being moved into the 80s. Now I guess he brought Bond into the 80s so research wouldn't be such burden?

Being a Bond Continuation author doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs. Other Authors dont seem to offer support to each other. Kinglsey ripped apart LR in the Times. Gardner not was not surpportive of Benson, and I have no idea what Benson thinks of Faulks stab at it? Maybe he bucked the trend and liked it?

John Gardner said his favorite Bond book he did was The Man from Barbarossa, now did he dislike Bond? No I dont think he disliked Bond, more the pain that came with it. At the same time I dont think he was ever a big fan of Bond.

#6 zencat

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:10 PM

I'm with Zen on all he's said.

Further, I think had "we" - the Bond fans of the 80s - been a bit kinder - okay, we know NOW he wasn't Fleming - and had the contract not lunaticly insisisted on, more or less, a book a year, he'd have been far happier.

In a world of diminshing returns, he was in a different class to Benson. And a writer of the repute of Faulks. And possibly Higson.

But like a deceased relative, we never got round to telling him.

So, cash apart, he had much to be unhappy about.

I did my best to tell him. His books were as important to the formation of my Bond fandom as the movies and I looked forward to each and every one.

One regret is I didn't try and interview him for CBn. I did exchange emails with him once, and this was during the time I was doing CBn Interviews, but I was afraid to ask. I sensed that maybe he didn't want to do another interview just about Bond, which is what it would have been.

#7 Trident

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:23 PM

I'm with Zen on all he's said.

Further, I think had "we" - the Bond fans of the 80s - been a bit kinder - okay, we know NOW he wasn't Fleming - and had the contract not lunaticly insisisted on, more or less, a book a year, he'd have been far happier.

In a world of diminshing returns, he was in a different class to Benson. And a writer of the repute of Faulks. And possibly Higson.

But like a deceased relative, we never got round to telling him.

So, cash apart, he had much to be unhappy about.

I did my best to tell him. His books were as important to the formation of my Bond fandom as the movies and I looked forward to each and every one.

One regret is I didn't try and interview him for CBn. I did exchange emails with him once, and this was during the time I was doing CBn Interviews, but I was afraid to ask. I sensed that maybe he didn't want to do another interview just about Bond, which is what it would have been.




Aw, truly a shame, you would have done a terrific job.

But on the other hand I suspect you may have been right, Bond as a main topic most likely wouldn't have interested Gardner any more. Perhaps with a twist on Herbie Kruger, the Secret Houses and Moriarity? Solely Bond might not have met with Gardner's enthusiasm.

#8 David Schofield

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:24 PM

I'm with Zen on all he's said.

Further, I think had "we" - the Bond fans of the 80s - been a bit kinder - okay, we know NOW he wasn't Fleming - and had the contract not lunaticly insisisted on, more or less, a book a year, he'd have been far happier.

In a world of diminshing returns, he was in a different class to Benson. And a writer of the repute of Faulks. And possibly Higson.

But like a deceased relative, we never got round to telling him.

So, cash apart, he had much to be unhappy about.

I did my best to tell him. His books were as important to the formation of my Bond fandom as the movies and I looked forward to each and every one.

One regret is I didn't try and interview him for CBn. I did exchange emails with him once, and this was during the time I was doing CBn Interviews, but I was afraid to ask. I sensed that maybe he didn't want to do another interview just about Bond, which is what it would have been.


Sorry, Zen by "we" I didn't mean the Royal "we".

I meant all those of us who read Gardner in the 80s and were critical simply because he was not Fleming (I am only SLIGHTLY younger than you, Zen!).

That said, he was the one who accepted the terms of his contract and, I guess, invited much of the criticism.

Personally now, I am more resenful of the changes to Bond's character - cutting back on the booze and fags, the conservative car - than I am of the difference in his writing style and novel sturucture from Fleming.

#9 DavidJones

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

That's a fasinating piece, Trident - and I largely agree.

In this interview, graciously linked by zencat in another thread, his then-new series of crime novels were prominently mentioned, but concerning Bond, Gardner's answers were very clipped and blunt. I wouldn't got so far as to see he came across as unpleasant, but not exactly a bundle of joy as far as 007 was concerned.

http://www.universal...interview.shtml

Gardner was, in himself, a very accomplished writer. When I first encountered his work in Licence Renewed, I was struck by his magnificent prose. I suppose he would be glad that we still read his books. He never 'aped' Fleming, was a considerably gifted writer whose writing career stretched back decades.

Maybe, should the continuation novels be resumed, a given writer should pen three or four and then stop. For me, despite my liking 'Role of Honour' and 'Nobody Lives Forever', he drops the ball with 'No Deals, Mr Bond'. The abysmal twenty-plus page hotel around page 150 was quagmire I felt forced to wade through. Thankfully, the pace subsquently picked up in that novel, but the writing was still firmly written on the wall.

It should be noted that during the last five years or so of his life, his Suzie Mountford wartime murder-mysteries found him a whole new fanbase of traditional crime fiction devotees. A look on the Amazon reviews of these books suggest that women - who traditionally don't read Bond - found the Mountford novels particularly enjoyable. His final book of Moriarty was a critical success.

Perhaps if he had been a bigger fan of Bond, instead of remainly mostly detached, he would have understood his fan-critics more and maybe have treasured the affection many of his Bond novels awarded him.

Edited by DavidJones, 24 January 2010 - 08:35 PM.


#10 Trident

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:44 PM

It should be noted that during the last five years or so of his life, his Suzie Mountford wartime murder-mysteries found him a whole new fanbase of traditional crime fiction devotees. A look on the Amazon reviews of these books suggest that women - who traditionally don't read Bond - found the Mountford novels particularly enjoyable. His final book of Moriarty was a critical success.

Perhaps if he had been a bigger fan of Bond, instead of remainly mostly detached, he would have understood his fan-critics more and maybe have treasured the affection many of his Bond novels awarded him.


It may really be as simple as that, a general feeling of fatigue with the theme, on top of which came no real chance to change the basic conditions he was working under.

#11 dlb007

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 05:56 PM

I never got the impression that Gardner disliked Bond; I feel he just didn't want to be known as "the other guy that wrote Bond novels." He wanted to be known for that and his own work, and I respect that. If he had hated Bond, he would have refused to continually extending his contract. We must also remember that he dealt with multiple surgeries, the death of his wife, and severe illness, and yet was expected to churn out a new novel every year without break. Considering that, I think he did a hell of a job. I for one have always appreciated what he did with Bond; he made it his own instead of simlpy copying Ian Fleming. That took a lot of guts. I like Ian Fleming and when I want to read a Fleming Bond, I'll pick on up; likewise, if I want to read a Gardner Bond, I can. I don't want somebody to mimic another writer. Obviously, Gardner didn't have the same connection with Bond that Fleming did, as he created the character, but I think Gardner liked his version of Bond, and so did I.

#12 Jim

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 06:33 PM

Interesting points, all. If the question is whether Mr Gardner liked James Bond, the suspicion on reading is that he found Bond a rather limited character (only my conclusion, happy to be proven wrong). And, "as we all know", Bond being a fantasised extension of another human being, must have been quite a challenge to get Ian Bond right more often than not.

If by "Bond" it's the exaggerated trappings of Fleming's world - the gambling (were there that many gambling scenes / references in Gardner?), the consumption (and having read Spin the Bottle, not surprising), the utter fantasy - I think it comes across again that this wasn't high on the agenda either.

The success of Mr Gardner is in seeking to give us James Bond stories in a Smiley world. An interesting challenge well met - Fleming's tradecraft is nowhere near as detailed, preferring to hurry that along.

As said above, some fantastical elements aside, the Gardners are spy stories with adventure elements. Viewed that way, substantial success.

#13 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 07:20 PM

I never got the impression that Gardner disliked Bond; I feel he just didn't want to be known as "the other guy that wrote Bond novels." He wanted to be known for that and his own work, and I respect that. If he had hated Bond, he would have refused to continually extending his contract. We must also remember that he dealt with multiple surgeries, the death of his wife, and severe illness, and yet was expected to churn out a new novel every year without break. Considering that, I think he did a hell of a job. I for one have always appreciated what he did with Bond; he made it his own instead of simlpy copying Ian Fleming. That took a lot of guts. I like Ian Fleming and when I want to read a Fleming Bond, I'll pick on up; likewise, if I want to read a Gardner Bond, I can. I don't want somebody to mimic another writer. Obviously, Gardner didn't have the same connection with Bond that Fleming did, as he created the character, but I think Gardner liked his version of Bond, and so did I.


Well said. It took me a while to understand that it's Gardners Bond after reading Flemings, but once you go with it and enjoy the ride, well, so far in for me he did a more than brilliant job.

Whilst the history of John Gardner's time writing the books is a intresting one, I personally like to remember his time by what he wrote in the opening Acknowledgment page in 1981 License Renewed. He was fresh and excited by the challange and also felt it a honer to have been chosen to pen his first Bond book. Happy and exciting times!

#14 Simg

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 07:33 PM

Just wanted say the different takes on my father's like or dislike for Bond made fascinating reading. All in all I think on any given day during and after his time with Bond each and everyone of you could have got it right... If you get my drift? As for the uneversalexports interview which I had glanced through but not read in any real detail, Boy did they get him on a BAD DAY!!!!!

SRJG

#15 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 07:39 PM

Just wanted say the different takes on my father's like or dislike for Bond made fascinating reading. All in all I think on any given day during and after his time with Bond each and everyone of you could have got it right... If you get my drift? As for the uneversalexports interview which I had glanced through but not read in any real detail, Boy did they get him on a BAD DAY!!!!!

SRJG


I get your drift Simon. Must be weird reading peoples views on what your Dad felt towards Bond.

#16 Syndicate

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 09:52 PM

I'm like most of you, and have to say Gardner did not dislike Bond. He just grew tired of writing the novels. 15 years is a long time on writing something one did not create at all. I think as time went, he stuff of his own he wanted to write about. Maybe he has some characters that he created that are either super spies or the close to the real world type, that he wants to write about and never got to. Maybe if he didn't write that much Bond novels, he would have done that. And he would put out, who knows about maybe like 8-10 novles have them in there. Maybe they could have been bestsellers ones like Clancy, Le Caree, Forsyth Littel, and Higgins's. Now we will never know, since he passed away in 2007. The only way we'll know about it is if he has writen down notes on the ideas and the characters. and someone will bring it out to the public.

Edited by Syndicate, 29 April 2010 - 05:07 PM.


#17 Guy Haines

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:28 PM

That's a fasinating piece, Trident - and I largely agree.

In this interview, graciously linked by zencat in another thread, his then-new series of crime novels were prominently mentioned, but concerning Bond, Gardner's answers were very clipped and blunt. I wouldn't got so far as to see he came across as unpleasant, but not exactly a bundle of joy as far as 007 was concerned.

http://www.universal...interview.shtml

Gardner was, in himself, a very accomplished writer. When I first encountered his work in Licence Renewed, I was struck by his magnificent prose. I suppose he would be glad that we still read his books. He never 'aped' Fleming, was a considerably gifted writer whose writing career stretched back decades.

Maybe, should the continuation novels be resumed, a given writer should pen three or four and then stop. For me, despite my liking 'Role of Honour' and 'Nobody Lives Forever', he drops the ball with 'No Deals, Mr Bond'. The abysmal twenty-plus page hotel around page 150 was quagmire I felt forced to wade through. Thankfully, the pace subsquently picked up in that novel, but the writing was still firmly written on the wall.

It should be noted that during the last five years or so of his life, his Suzie Mountford wartime murder-mysteries found him a whole new fanbase of traditional crime fiction devotees. A look on the Amazon reviews of these books suggest that women - who traditionally don't read Bond - found the Mountford novels particularly enjoyable. His final book of Moriarty was a critical success.

Perhaps if he had been a bigger fan of Bond, instead of remainly mostly detached, he would have understood his fan-critics more and maybe have treasured the affection many of his Bond novels awarded him.


"Maybe, should the continuation novels be resumed, a given writer should pen three or four and then stop."

Wasn't the use of the name "Robert Markham" intended to allow more than one writer to create a Bond novel without being "typecast". As I recall the idea was for several authors to write a Bond novel each, using the alias Robert Markham. Perhaps continuation authors might have been happier if this arrangement had remained in place?

#18 Syndicate

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 05:39 PM

I think Raymond Benson is happy at what he did, after seven James Bond novels he stopped. Don't know did he look at what happen to Gardner and said no way not going to be like that. I think for any author who write anything that they did not create, they do want write about it for that long. I remember clancy being interviewed on Charile Rose, and he was asked was there a little of him in Jack Ryan, on how he dose stuff and view things and Clancy said yes in some way.
My guess with that authors don't keep on wrting about a character they didn't create. And was just told to contuine and keep it going for fans. They can't even or don't want to put a little of themselves in the character when they did not create it at all.

In the world of animation that hold true it has always been said or well known that their is a little of Walt Disney In Mickey Mouse. There was even a book on Disney, on the cover Mickey looks at himself in the mirror and is able to draw Walt Disney. That cover was done like a Rockwell book.

#19 Doctor Shatterhand

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 06:07 PM

I would also like to offer my interview I did with Gardner nearly 8 years ago. You can find it at this link: A Conversation With John Gardner

He explains the difficulties in writing the novels for Glidrose and even mentions a title he liked that was thrown out.

Enjoy.

#20 zencat

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 06:25 PM

Really good interview. Good questions.

I do have one in reserve which would be a humdinger for Bond but I guess I'll write it with a character of my own once I've completed the series of six books I'm writing now.


Wonder what this plot idea was?

#21 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:12 PM

I would also like to offer my interview I did with Gardner nearly 8 years ago. You can find it at this link: A Conversation With John Gardner

He explains the difficulties in writing the novels for Glidrose and even mentions a title he liked that was thrown out.

Enjoy.


Thanks for this Doctor Shatterhand great interview and I am now off to search "The Killing Zone". Yep thats right. It's the first I have heard of it.

Edited by DAN LIGHTER, 29 April 2010 - 07:12 PM.


#22 The Ghost Who Walks

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:25 PM

I recently discovered a whole stack of Gardner Bond books at my library (very well hidden!). Do they still hold up, or should I try to hunt down more Fleming novels instead to get my Bond fix (with the fate of the new movie undecided, I need a new Bond story soon).

I've owned Devil May Care for about a year, but haven't read it yet due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction here. Damn you, CBNers!

#23 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:35 PM

I recently discovered a whole stack of Gardner Bond books at my library (very well hidden!). Do they still hold up, or should I try to hunt down more Fleming novels instead to get my Bond fix (with the fate of the new movie undecided, I need a new Bond story soon).

I've owned Devil May Care for about a year, but haven't read it yet due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction here. Damn you, CBNers!


The first two LR and FSS are great fun! Dive in!

#24 Righty007

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:50 PM

I recently discovered a whole stack of Gardner Bond books at my library (very well hidden!). Do they still hold up, or should I try to hunt down more Fleming novels instead to get my Bond fix (with the fate of the new movie undecided, I need a new Bond story soon).

I've owned Devil May Care for about a year, but haven't read it yet due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction here. Damn you, CBNers!

I'd recommend reading Licence Renewed but I personally find Gardner and Benson easier to read than Fleming so I'm biased.

#25 Doctor Shatterhand

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:22 AM

Really good interview. Good questions.

I do have one in reserve which would be a humdinger for Bond but I guess I'll write it with a character of my own once I've completed the series of six books I'm writing now.


Wonder what this plot idea was?


I don't think we will ever know. He passed away before he completed his six books.

#26 Doctor Shatterhand

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:34 AM

I recently discovered a whole stack of Gardner Bond books at my library (very well hidden!). Do they still hold up, or should I try to hunt down more Fleming novels instead to get my Bond fix (with the fate of the new movie undecided, I need a new Bond story soon).

I've owned Devil May Care for about a year, but haven't read it yet due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction here. Damn you, CBNers!


Fleming is the crown jewels, of course, but Gardner has some hidden gems. I enjoyed the first two but felt they were ripping off the films Goldfinger and Moonraker. However, my favorite of all the Gardner's is NOBODY LIVES FOREVER. But before you read that try to get through ROLE OF HONOR. It re-introduces SPECTRE and its new leader, who comes back briefly in NLF. I found the first four Gardner books hard to get through because I was losing interest, but NLF pumped new blood into Gardner's series and the books got better. Unfortunately, they begin to lose steam around DEATH IS FOREVER. His THE MAN FROM BARBARROSA is unique and a change of pace, but the rest of his series becomes routine and lackluster. Not that they were terrible books, but one feels that Bond was better off in the Cold War than trying to update him to modern times.

Does anyone feel like I do that the last title in Gardner's series just so happens to be called COLD?

#27 Agent Leiter

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:16 AM

I don't think he disliked Bond per se. But I think he did come to resent/fear that Bond would ellipse his other work and tried to keep a distance. I'm sure he was proud of his books, but I don't think he went into it because he had a great passion for James Bond. It was a job for hire.


This is an excellent way to put it, zencat.

In a way, it may not be too much unlike Sean Connery... not to detract any from his legacy, of course, but I believe even Connery got rather tired of being typecast and associated with Bond above all else.

#28 Simg

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:54 PM

[quote name='Doctor Shatterhand' timestamp='1272586920' post='1103503']
[quote name='zencat' post='1103456' date='29 April 2010 - 14:25']Really good interview. Good questions.

Hope you don't mind good Doctor but I am going to post a link to your interview on the www.john-gardner.com site

SRJG

#29 AMC Hornet

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:44 PM

Dear Dan Lighter et al,

Whether or not you have found the text of The Killing Zone posted somewhere, I assume you've already learned the truth about it, but for the sake of any younger members who are hearing of it for the first time (as you did this time last year) I want to repeat what can be found in another related thread:

The Killing Zone by Jim Hatfield is a self-published fanfic of inferior quality. It was NOT published by Charter - Hatfield just put their logo on his homemade dust jackets. Nor did Glidrose commission the work, as he states in his foreword, which he copied - among other things - from JG's Licence Renewed. The 'story' is cobbled together using passages lifted verbatim from JG's first four novels, Fleming's TMWTGG, John Pearson's Biography of 007, KA's Colonel Sun, the scripts of NSNA, AVTAK and Commando, and the novelizations of Magnum Force and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At least those are the sources I recognized upon first reading, and the 'effort' does not warrant a second look.

A better title for Hatfield's project might have been Live and Let Plagiarize, A View to Plagiarize, Licence to Plagiarize, or You Only Plagiarize Fifty-seven Times. Hatfield only had a few dozen copies privately printed, and none were ever sold in any bookstore. If the internet had existed in 1985 he would have posted it there, as many on this and other sites do with their unlicenced work (which they always preface with a disclaimer) and he would have been roundly flamed for his lack of originality and contempt for the characters.

Seriously, people, do not waste your time hunting down this 'forgotten' Bond 'treasure.' It is not a legitimate entry in the published canon. Moreover, it is not only no more valid an entry than any other fanfic writer's, it it actually less valid. There are far better works on this site alone by amateur authors who are at least honest about the origin (and originality) of their inspiration.

(Catches breath) Thank you for your attention. Now go about your business. Nothing to see here, so move along....

Edited by AMC Hornet, 23 March 2011 - 10:47 PM.


#30 TheREAL008

TheREAL008

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 07:47 PM

I think Gardner worked with what he knew concerning the continuation novels. He probably was the right person at the right time and his good Bond novels outshine his not so good ones. It's been about 13-14 years since I've read them but I felt that after No Deals, Mr. Bond his contributions started to improve.

As an aside, I respect Mr. Gardner for the risks he took with Bond. He gave us all a character that somewhat progressed (can I say that?) with every novel. And contary to that snob Benson's comment, Gardner's works weren't like McDonald's at all. ;)

Edited by TheREAL008, 24 March 2011 - 07:48 PM.





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