His novels aren't too bad, but I feel that he relied too heavily on OHMSS and YOLT to carry his contributions. Granted IFP gave him permission to do whatever he wanted but I think he just went too far in some instances.
Take Never Dream of Dying. We're supposed to just take it at face value that a certain someone would want revenge over circumstances that weren't totally in Bond's control 38 years prior? Just because Benson states that "He's a criminal and he'd naturally want to get even" doesn't actually make it true.
I have a big problem with this because in all actuality it doesn't make sense and it it's erroneous in many ways.
The first and (to me) main concern being that Bond and the this person are united through a holy union. Regardless of what happened...REGARDLESS this person would have known that Bond wasn't at fault and if Ian himself would have gone into more detail, Fleming probably would have this character understand and then find his own independent means of finding the culprit and possibly working alongside Bond in YOLT.
The very least: the character in question just ceases all contact with Bond and tries to go on about his life. He's there for James in a supporting manner from time to time, but keeps Bond at a distance because he knows the life James lives and doesn't wish to get involved.
I can say this with some expertise: If you marry into an Italian family and are either divorced or widowed, you are still a member of that family regardless. Benson's vendetta angle doesn't fly, nor is it even plausible. It would only be contrary if Bond was directly involved with his own bare hands.
But unfortunately, Fleming concentrated solely on Bond's grief and need for revenge and Benson, trying to prove to everyone that he's the ultimate Bond fan, tries to give us an interpretation that we're lead to believe at face value simply because of his 'reasoning.'
Well sorry Raymond, you failed and your Union trilogy suffers from your take on past events. You should have known better.
I apologize if this appears to flogging a dead horse, but some characters should have been left alone. I'm certain Benson could have thought up a much better subplot than the one we're given in the novel.
I'm so very glad he's not writing Bond anymore, in retrospect I now wonder if he was the right person to take after Gardner in the first place.
Edited by TheREAL008, 14 April 2011 - 07:27 PM.