Gardner's The Liquidator to return
Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:44 PM
Can the Bond books be far behind?
Posted 27 April 2010 - 07:57 PM
Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:32 PM
If the Boysie Oakes books are reprinted, do you suppose that would inspire a reissue of the Liquidator movie? I haven't seen it in years, and it's the last film I need to consider my video collection complete.
Posted 25 October 2016 - 09:15 PM
I remember coming across the last of this series, A KILLER FOR A SONG, back when I was 13 or so. I mainly bought it because of a suggestive cover and a blatant tagline invoking images of action, sex and violence - in other words the Bond staple. I didn't even know then Gardner would get to write Bond continuations, or I would certainly have chased down the entire series. As is I wasn't too impressed and today I remember next to nothing of the book (which allegedly is supposed to be the weakest of the series, according to fans.)
Chances are I would not have bothered myself with more of Boysie Oakes if it hadn't been for Amazon's Kindle offer. Recently THE LIQUIDATOR popped up in the category where they suggest stuff you are likely to be interested in. And I discovered a remarkably entertaining read for a satire approach to the spy genre.
In Jim's 007th Chapter series he dissects Gardner's Bond efforts from all angles the respective titles and chapters offer. Often the result of this analysis is less than forgiving. But in his essays Jim is also often looking for explanations to his findings. Various theories exist already; the one Jim most often comes back to is the suspicion Gardner indeed had a colossal laugh at Bond. Having read THE LIQUIDATOR I'm inclined now to subscribe to it.
Boysie is a veritable dork, intellectually challenged by anything more demanding than his rather naive worldview calls for. His main interest - apart from a certain vanity - are women. He has no stomach for the duplicitous world of espionage and much less for the kind of wet work his boss Mostyn thinks he's cut out for. Mostyn regards Boysie as a coldblooded killer; the truth is he's an average guy with a number of neuroses, can't see blood, can't stomach violence, is afraid of flying and many more things. Boysie is the antithesis to Bond right down to the manner the luxury props come with an air of vulgarity since the working class country boy relishes them so much.
He's deeply afraid his masters will find out one day that he subcontracts his kills - showing a remarkable vision in doing so - but at the same time he's much too fond of the lifestyle his position allows him. In this way Boysie Oaks is a relatable and even likeable character. Perhaps especially because he's not a psychopath longing to spill blood, torture and maim. Much of the time he's a bit helpless in the face of things the plot throws at him. He could be a relative of Flashman, only he entirely lacks Flashman's mean side. For all of Boysie's weaknesses and cowardice, he's still basically a good one. Not a bright guy exactly - none of the characters seem to be - but all the more interesting for it. How is this guy going to find his way out of this mess? we constantly wonder.
About in the middle of the book there is a nicely sarcastic scene between Mostyn (a mix between M and Tanner and probably closer to Fleming altogether) and this series' M-figure, the boss of the Department of Special Security. This man (forgot the name; something washable with Sirorother) suggests to his Number Two to make the whole of their work (counter-espionage, one assumes) so much easier by just handing their confirmed enemy spies over to the care of a really dedicated henchman.
The entire tone of this brief exchange, with its instigator washing his hands off right after he briefed Mostyn, is so hilarious, cynical and - for all we know - authentic it's hard to believe this wasn't written by Jim. And there are definite echoes of the many scenes between M and Bond that would come later.
Other familiar tropes, too, raise their heads. But here they seem still relatively fresh, if perhaps somewhat short. From the book you can actually interpolate how a lot of the continuations would later shape up, only in an inverted way. For me it's easy to see how Gardner was poking fun at the likes of Bond.
Was then having Bond at his hands for real perhaps a cruel twist of fate?
Posted 28 October 2016 - 01:58 AM
Boysie Oakes certainly makes for an interesting character. Were a film tried again might it go deeper into the psychological aspects ? Of course, they were addressed in the 1966 film.
As for Gardner, a while later, actually Bond novels himself, there was already a hint of what could occur. Rod Taylor's co-star in 1966, Jill St. John, appeared in an EON Bond, DAF, just 5 years later. No doubt that most DAF film-goers had no idea of that.