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SPOILERS: Member Reviews of Carte Blanche


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Poll: What did you think of Carte Blanche - having read it?

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Having read it...

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With which of the following statements would you agree?

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On a rating of 10 to 0, 10 being deliciousness and 0 being a bit like having one's face levered off with a claw hammer, I rate CARTE BLANCHE

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Were Jeffery Deaver to write another one, I would say...

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#1 Jim

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:58 AM

Hello

As Carte Blanche starts appearing in the shops or landing on doorsteps (or collected from Post Offices due to hopelessly irregular postal delivery times... I digress), we'd be grateful if you'd put your observations and reviews on the book into this spoiler thread rather than starting new threads (potentially with spoilerific titles, however unwittingly) that might proliferate and all get a bit frilly.

Helps those who won't be reading it for a while steer clear*

*admittedly this is not totally altruistic - I doubt I will get around to it for about a fortnight or so.

Ta, muchly.

#2 Jim

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:37 AM

My copy minty fresh and staring at me - but won't get around to reading it yet. Work. Nggg.

Do post your reviews here and I will cope with the resistance of temptation.

#3 chrisno1

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

Very surprised to find this as cheap as £5.00 in my local Tesco. This is cheaper than the likely paperback price! Rather glad I didn't purchase online or pre-order. £5.00 - I'm still in shock.

#4 Leo R.

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:43 PM

Ha, finally can reveal my secret: I already read Carte Blanche months ago, as I was proofreading a translation of it. It was great fun to see you guys all wondering what the new Bond novel would be like, but unfortunately I signed a contract that swore me to secrecy...until now. And I'm not kidding.

I'm very curious what you guys will think of the novel.

#5 007jamesbond

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:46 PM

Ha, finally can reveal my secret: I already read Carte Blanche months ago, as I was proofreading a translation of it. It was great fun to see you guys all wondering what the new Bond novel would be like, but unfortunately I signed a contract that swore me to secrecy...until now. And I'm not kidding.

I'm very curious what you guys will think of the novel.

could you do a review of the novel?

#6 Loomis

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:31 PM

Well, I've just finished CARTE BLANCHE. Here are my initial thoughts:

It's a much better book than DEVIL MAY CARE, but that isn't really saying much.

Deaver and IFP seem to have rather sat on the fence when it comes to the question of whether CARTE BLANCHE is (in effect) an origin story, or a yarn about The Bond We All Know And Love™. For the most part, Bond does come across as something of a young rookie (albeit a very competent one), but his characterisation is somewhat inconsistent. We're told at one point that he's only been in the Double-O game for three years, yet this jars with his long-established and deeply-trusting friendships with Leiter and Mathis (who appear in Fleming-box-ticking cameos).

Bond's much-discussed-and-derided-in-fandom "Pakistanian maid" fails to appear. Instead, our old friend May is back. Not to attach undue importance to our scribblings here, but I wonder whether this was a change made after negative reactions to the proposed new character on forums like this one. Probably not, though. More likely that it's just another instance of ticking off items on the Fleming checklist (likewise, Ronnie Vallance is mentioned - uselessly).

The book is extremely light on action (which suited me just fine). It's a very down-to-earth and back-to-basics outing that almost makes DEVIL MAY CARE look as OTT and zany as DIE ANOTHER DAY by comparison.

The emphasis throughout is on tradecraft. Bond does an awful lot of spying, just like, well, a real spy (that said, there's often the feeling that Deaver is simply inserting him into unfolding events rather than making him make things happen). Much of what 007 and his colleagues do and how they do it reads very convincingly. We're given a wealth of detail on various tricks of the espionage trade, and it's obvious that Deaver really did his research here.

Dubai isn't brought to life particularly well, although South Africa is drawn very vividly and was obviously another element that Deaver did a good deal of research on.

Bond is a fairly engaging character, although he doesn't resemble Fleming's Bond, or indeed any other interpretation of Bond I know of in any of the books or films (not that this should automatically be a bad thing, of course - indeed, I'd very much hoped to see Deaver put his own unique stamp on the character). However, and in an odd way that I can't quite put my finger on, Deaver's Bond seems a little too.... well, nice. There's little darkness or edge him to here (and the episode with the "hoodies" in London is extremely unconvincing).

A curious thing about CARTE BLANCHE is Deaver's habit of referencing things as though fairly shouting at the reader: "LOOK! MY BOND HAS BEEN DRAGGED INTO THE WORLD OF 2011!" Everyone from Kate Winslet and Depeche Mode to Guy Ritchie and Harry Potter gets namechecked (heck, Harry Potter is mentioned twice).

CARTE BLANCHE often reads a lot like a serial killer thriller or police procedural. The villain's fetish for death and decay may be an attempt to incorporate a Flemingian element of the bizarre (a la Blofeld's garden of death), but it doesn't quite work, and neither does this bad guy. His scheme - world domination through waste management - seems rather prosaic and small-time, and, besides, Bond villains (even in the novels) belong in luxurious surroundings and/or elaborate lairs. They don't hang out at landfill sites and recycling plants waxing lyrical on such topics as the difference between the terms "garbage", "trash" and "refuse" (no, I'm not making this up - sadly).

With the exception of a stern South African policewoman who behaves towards Bond like Judi Dench's M (she thinks he's a blunt instrument who hotheadedly does his own thing and won't follow rules [yawn]), the characters are rather flat and dull.

As CARTE BLANCHE progresses, red herrings and so-called twists pile up with the tedious inevitability of unloved seasons arriving all at once. By the time it's finally revealed that the villain's plot isn't the villain's real plot, and that the villain isn't actually the villain anyway, or at least not the only villain, and the real plan is to do something else, or, wait, maybe it's actually this.... well, by that point it's hard to really care any more.

There's a subplot involving Bond's parents that may excite and divide certain sections of fandom, but it ultimately ends up feeling a bit cutesy and silly, not to mention tacked-on.

CARTE BLANCHE is never boring, but it's also never more than a so-so timekiller. It never really takes off. Deaver's authorial "voice" is frequently entertaining (there are some interesting descriptions, observations and nuggets of info), but sadly his characters are not, and his story never really catches fire. One reads on just to see how the story resolves itself, and not because one is truly gripped.

MAIN STRENGTHS: Wealth of authentic-seeming tradecraft detail. South Africa scenes.

MAIN WEAKNESSES: Dull characters. Contrived and overcomplicated plot with twists that are predictable, unexciting or both.

RATING OUT OF TEN: Five.

#7 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:51 AM

I'm about 200 pages in so far; I just started the section on Wednesday.

I like it. I admit, I did struggle with the Dubai scenes a little, and I'm not a fan of Deaver's habit of making Bond out to be very good at his job by writing other characters as completely incompetent. He also tends to layer exposition a little heavily in places - particularly in recounting how Bond got placed in Serbia. The train derailment and shoot-out would make a great PTS in a film without being too over-the-top, though I'm a little baffled by how an engineer like Dunne could have missed the fact that the MIC containers were virtually impenetrable. That said, I'm still trying to piece together everything - Steel Cartidge, Gehenna - and work it out before Bond does, which is always good fuel for the narrative fire. Perhaps the highlight so far was Bond's first meeting with M; it was very easy to picture Bernard Lee in the role. I also like the way Hydt comes across as a real Nosferatu; the fixation with death, the long fingernails and the unsettling personality really induce the image of Count Orlok. I don't want to sound racist here, but his Dutch heritage also contributes; I find Dutch to be a very difficult language, less guttural than German, but more awkward. Deaver seems to have based him on a vampire without actually giving him any vampiric traits. He's also shaping up to be a real psychotic, killing thousands simply so he can revel in it rather than for political purposes. So I'd say he's probably closest to Max Zorin (with Dr. No's metal hands) in terms of where he falls on the villain scale. The way Hydt was described in particular makes me think that Deaver didn't have anything to do with the awkward description of Bond.

#8 Simon

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 10:04 AM

RATING OUT OF TEN: Five.

Nice review.

But, if CB is better than DMC, what score out of 10 did you assign to DMC?

#9 Loomis

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

I'd probably give it one or two.

#10 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:32 PM

I just finished it. These are my thoughts:

- I loved the twist about the derailment in Serbian being about the scrap metal and not the methyl isocyanite. I commented on it earlier when I said I didn't understand why Dunne was trying to leak the chamical when he had to know the containers were virtuall impenetrable. Deaver pulled this twist off quite well.
- However, I didn't like the revelation that Willing was the Big Bad. Not because I didn't like the idea of her being a villain, but because I felt the whole subplot was wasted. There was a lot of potential in that storyline, but the ending felt a little bit "Murder She Wrote" with Bond explaining everything at the end. I think it would have been better if Deaver had given us a reason to suspect something was wrong with her, and if he'd spent a bit more time on that plot thread and less with Hydt.
- I felt Hydt broke character at the end when he went from sociopatic to hired gun with the revelation he was being paid to detonate the Cutter. Speaking of, such a nightmarish weapon should have been given a little foreshadowing in the plot.
- I get that one of the themes of the novel is that intelligence can be misinterpreted, but the Willing and Hydt subplots were too disjointed. There should have been more of a connection between them. Like Willing using Dunne to get the Cutter for Sudan to use in their war with the rebels.
- Felix Leiter's presence felt like fan service. If you're going to include him, give him something to do.
- I didn't like the Steel cartridge subplot. I feel it undermines Bond's character, because the idea of getting revenge for his parents undermines his entire reasons for doing everything that he does. Still, props to Deaver for setting Andrew Bond up as a spy and then a traitor and then revealing that Monique Delacrox was the real spy(-hunter) all along. And on that note, were we supposed to think that the "Sir Andrew" who talks with M was Andrew Bond?
- Bond's actions in defending the schoolboy seemed forced and out of character. The whole thing seemed to have been created to give Bond a way to get to dubai on time without attracting Osborne-Smith's attention, and I don't think it's something Fleming's Bond would have done.
- Why is Bond's success so frequently portrayed as a direct result of everyone else's incompetence?
- And why so many references to Formula 1? I know it's my favourite sport, but I could at least four references (Moneypenny can blink faster than a Formula 1 car can change gears, Bond/Philly can drive like Michael Schumacher, Philly thanks Bond for the chance to "play Formula 1" and Bond likes the newspaper in Dubai because of the Formula 1 coverage).

Overall, CARTE BLANCHE was pretty strong, but never made good on its potential. The first half of the book is clearly the strongest; elsewhere, it suffers from AVTAK Syndrome (so named because the locations in that film gradually downsized from Siberian snowfields, the Eiffel Tower and Zorin's chateau to an empty house outside San Francisco - they gradually got smaller and less Bondian).

#11 Loomis

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:57 PM

Agreed with pretty much all of that, Captain.

Speaking of, such a nightmarish weapon should have been given a little foreshadowing in the plot.


Along with a few other things. The twists seem contrived and to come out of nowhere. Although Deaver did have me going with the whole "Dunne is gay" red herring.

I didn't like the Steel cartridge subplot. I feel it undermines Bond's character, because the idea of getting revenge for his parents undermines his entire reasons for doing everything that he does. Still, props to Deaver for setting Andrew Bond up as a spy and then a traitor and then revealing that Monique Delacrox was the real spy(-hunter) all along. And on that note, were we supposed to think that the "Sir Andrew" who talks with M was Andrew Bond?


Well, here's how the character is described: "'Sir Andrew' prefaced the man's surname and those two words were in perfect harmony with his distinguished face and silver mane." The surname is deliberately withheld, and the description is of a handsome, elegant older man who still has a full head of hair - definitely how Bond, Sr. would look.

Then again, "Sir Andrew" is also described as one of "two ministers who sat on the Joint Intelligence Committee". It would be absolutely ridiculous for Bond's father not only to have survived his "climbing accident" but to have gone on to get a knighthood and be serving as a government minister with regular interactions with M.... and Bond himself knows nothing about this? Nah. Unless Deaver and IFP have total and utter contempt for their readers' intelligence, the character is not meant to be Andrew Bond.

But, yes, the whole subplot plays out rather unconvincingly before petering out into irrelevance. And why would Bond be shaken to the core by the idea that his father had been a spy? After all, he's one himself!

If this subplot had to be used, I think it would have been much better for Andrew Bond (or Monique Delacroix) to have indeed been a traitor spying for Russia. It would have been a ballsy move on Deaver's part, but would have planted the idea that Bond feels that on some level he must atone for the sins of his parents, giving 007 an extra layer of guilt and motivation.

Bond's actions in defending the schoolboy seemed forced and out of character. The whole thing seemed to have been created to give Bond a way to get to dubai on time without attracting Osborne-Smith's attention, and I don't think it's something Fleming's Bond would have done.


Indeed. It's very silly. And Bond's buddy the wealthy Arab playboy is a massive cliché.

#12 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:14 PM

But, yes, the whole subplot plays out rather unconvincingly before petering out into irrelevance. And why would Bond be shaken to the core by the idea that his father had been a spy? After all, he's one himself!

Deaver is obviously setting up the next book in the series, whether he writes it or not. It's a plot thread that can be grasped.

I think the idea behind Bond being shaken that badly is that, on a certain level, it takes away his free will. He obviously thought highly of his father, but the suggestion that he's following exactly in his father's footsteps really does make it feel a little like predestiantion, and that can be uncomfortable.

If this subplot had to be used, I think it would have been much better for Andrew Bond (or Monique Delacroix) to have indeed been a traitor spying for Russia. It would have been a ballsy move on Deaver's part, but would have planted the idea that Bond feels that on some level he must atone for the sins of his parents, giving 007 an extra layer of guilt and motivation.

My issue with the subplot is not that it exists, but the way it's handled. Bond clearly intends to kill whoever murdered his parents, and it would be an act of vengeance. That's now what Bond stands for at all. In fact, it starts getting a little too Bruce Wayne. He may occasionally go off the rails (or in the case of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, everyone will think he has), but he never strays too far from his path. The idea that he would seek out revenge and abuse his position to see it through is absurd.

Hopefully, if Deaver (or whoever) follows up on this, then Bond will come to realise that the assassin died years ago.

Indeed. It's very silly. And Bond's buddy the wealthy Arab playboy is a massive cliché.

Likewise the CIA asset in Dubai. Cliche all over.

The sequence where Bond calls in is friend's jet actually reminded me of the infamous "Batman On Ice" sequence in BATMAN & ROBIN where Batman slides down the back of a dinosaur. The entire point of this elaborate and outrageous sequence is to have that slide; everything in the scene is built around it. In CARTE BLANCHE, the scene feels like Deaver realised he needed to get Bond to Dubai in time to meet the deadline, and so concocted a way out.

#13 007jamesbond

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 05:10 PM

I just finished it. These are my thoughts:

- I loved the twist about the derailment in Serbian being about the scrap metal and not the methyl isocyanite. I commented on it earlier when I said I didn't understand why Dunne was trying to leak the chamical when he had to know the containers were virtuall impenetrable. Deaver pulled this twist off quite well.
- However, I didn't like the revelation that Willing was the Big Bad. Not because I didn't like the idea of her being a villain, but because I felt the whole subplot was wasted. There was a lot of potential in that storyline, but the ending felt a little bit "Murder She Wrote" with Bond explaining everything at the end. I think it would have been better if Deaver had given us a reason to suspect something was wrong with her, and if he'd spent a bit more time on that plot thread and less with Hydt.
- I felt Hydt broke character at the end when he went from sociopatic to hired gun with the revelation he was being paid to detonate the Cutter. Speaking of, such a nightmarish weapon should have been given a little foreshadowing in the plot.
- I get that one of the themes of the novel is that intelligence can be misinterpreted, but the Willing and Hydt subplots were too disjointed. There should have been more of a connection between them. Like Willing using Dunne to get the Cutter for Sudan to use in their war with the rebels.
- Felix Leiter's presence felt like fan service. If you're going to include him, give him something to do.
- I didn't like the Steel cartridge subplot. I feel it undermines Bond's character, because the idea of getting revenge for his parents undermines his entire reasons for doing everything that he does. Still, props to Deaver for setting Andrew Bond up as a spy and then a traitor and then revealing that Monique Delacrox was the real spy(-hunter) all along. And on that note, were we supposed to think that the "Sir Andrew" who talks with M was Andrew Bond?
- Bond's actions in defending the schoolboy seemed forced and out of character. The whole thing seemed to have been created to give Bond a way to get to dubai on time without attracting Osborne-Smith's attention, and I don't think it's something Fleming's Bond would have done.
- Why is Bond's success so frequently portrayed as a direct result of everyone else's incompetence?
- And why so many references to Formula 1? I know it's my favourite sport, but I could at least four references (Moneypenny can blink faster than a Formula 1 car can change gears, Bond/Philly can drive like Michael Schumacher, Philly thanks Bond for the chance to "play Formula 1" and Bond likes the newspaper in Dubai because of the Formula 1 coverage).

Overall, CARTE BLANCHE was pretty strong, but never made good on its potential. The first half of the book is clearly the strongest; elsewhere, it suffers from AVTAK Syndrome (so named because the locations in that film gradually downsized from Siberian snowfields, the Eiffel Tower and Zorin's chateau to an empty house outside San Francisco - they gradually got smaller and less Bondian).


what do you rate it out of 10? And is still a good book to read even with some weakness?

#14 David Schofield

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:40 PM

Have got into Day 2 and Bond walking into that silly building in Cambridgeshire. Hey-ho.

But fine, so far. Happy with D's updating, love the none-explosive opening, wonderfully subtle. Don't mind the introduction of Goodnight, but why didn't M and Bond meet at Blades? Like the new "organisation" off Regent's Park, but why has JB moved to a mews house - don't Jeff know what IF meant in the 'ole plane tree'd square??? Like the parants inheritance stuff, too.

Some odd sentences, though, Jeff. And am dreading the intro of Leiter and Mathis. Why??? Have you no courage?????

#15 Loomis

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

My issue with the subplot is not that it exists, but the way it's handled. Bond clearly intends to kill whoever murdered his parents, and it would be an act of vengeance. That's now what Bond stands for at all. In fact, it starts getting a little too Bruce Wayne. He may occasionally go off the rails (or in the case of QUANTUM OF SOLACE, everyone will think he has), but he never strays too far from his path. The idea that he would seek out revenge and abuse his position to see it through is absurd.


Maybe. Then again, the films LICENCE TO KILL and QUANTUM OF SOLACE have arguably prepped us for a vengeful Bond.

In any case, though, the whole "murdered parents" thing is as old as the hills. As indeed is the scene in which Bond - uncover as a South African mercenary - is asked by the bad guys to shoot a criminal in cold blood to prove himself. While we're on the subject of Batman, this old chestnut did, of course, turn up in BATMAN BEGINS.

Some odd sentences, though, Jeff.


Yeah. As with the Bensons and DEVIL MAY CARE, CARTE BLANCHE feels a couple of drafts away from readiness. It reads as though it was written too quickly and under-edited.

#16 Guy Haines

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 10:22 PM

I bought it today and I am part way through it, but I must admit, I am amused at the idea of a man who starts out in life as a dustman ending up as a Bond villain! I wonder, is this a send up of Goldfinger? ("Mr Bond, all my life I have been in love, in love with........rubbish")

That said, I think Deaver is making a better fist of it than some of his predecessors. And at over 400 pages (Fleming never managed that!) you do get your money's worth.

#17 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 11:49 PM

what do you rate it out of 10? And is still a good book to read even with some weakness?

I don't really assign a score when reviewing things. That last paragraph pretty much sums up my thoughts.

#18 Loomis

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 01:56 AM

"Mr Bond, all my life I have been in love, in love with........rubbish"


LOL! That's exactly how the villain of CARTE BLANCHE comes across, though! He pretty much does make a speech to that effect at one point (he has a couple such monologues, in fact).

#19 George88

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 08:55 AM

So far it's more Deaver than Bond, but that may not necessarily be too far off what they wanted. After all, Drivel May Care was nowhere near Faulks and not entirely sure what it was close to, on reflection.

It's entertaining and as "written" as these things are ever likely to be, I suppose.

#20 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 02:53 AM

I have to admit, after scouring the book for clues that Felicity Willing was the Big Bad all along (c'mon, Mr. Deaver, foreshadow things!), one scene does stand out in my mind as being particularly clever: Bond gaining access to the research and development lbs with the fishing wire.

#21 David Schofield

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:13 PM

A couple of observations about two thirds of the way through.

Deaver can certainly write convincingly about an Englishman; that should put to rest the notion that we Brits slagged of Benson simply because he was an American.

I find Deaver's Bond a much more realistic recreation than EON's ludicorously impulsive and stroppy Craig-Bond and Dench's Mother-M. Very similar takes on a 'novice' 007, but Deaver's Bond is the most convincing. Kudos, Jeff, considering the generally very favourable reception the Craig version has received.

Felix Leiter. Good to see Deaver has continued to protray him as an incompetent joke, but surely that joke's worn rather thin? Somebody let me know what purpose calling the character "Felix Leiter" served considering the role he played, other than to show he's a total idiot.

#22 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:20 PM

Um, Deaver's Bond is not a rookie. He's been with the ODG for three years prior to the events of CARTE BLANCHE.

#23 David Schofield

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:24 PM

Um, Deaver's Bond is not a rookie. He's been with the ODG for three years prior to the events of CARTE BLANCHE.


Depends if you consider three years makes one "experienced", I guess.

Never used the term rookie, though.

But there is a feeling from the book that Bond is relatively fresh at the ODG, surely, regardless of the time length?

#24 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:37 PM

Certainly more expeirenced than Craig's Bond - CASINO ROYALE was his first mission, and QUANTUM OF SOLACE the follow-up.

#25 David Schofield

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:43 PM

Certainly more expeirenced than Craig's Bond - CASINO ROYALE was his first mission, and QUANTUM OF SOLACE the follow-up.


And yet Deaver's Bond is younger (say, 5 years?) than Craig's 38. I guess that while Craig-Bond may not have been with the 00 section as long as Deaver's, his age and the career record submitted by EON would suggest there was perhaps little difference in career experience and knowledge between the two.

Frankly, Craig-Bond is absurdly naive and emotional for a 38 year old agent, while Deaver Bond is a coolly professional younger man.

#26 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:54 PM

I hardly think Craig is naive or emotional. For one, he was able to work out that Greene was using everyone when the rest of the intelligence community believed that he was legit. And as for emotional, well, his lover was put in a position where she was forced to commit treason and took her own life over it. What would you do differently?

As for Deaver's Bond, well, he's only successful because everyone around him is incompetent.

#27 Loomis

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:58 PM

And yet Deaver's Bond is younger (say, 5 years?) than Craig's 38.


Is he? I thought Deaver gives his age only as "thirties", which means that he could, of course, be 39.

Don't you find Captain Jordaan to be essentially Dench's M in younger form?

#28 David Schofield

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 01:44 PM


And yet Deaver's Bond is younger (say, 5 years?) than Craig's 38.


Is he? I thought Deaver gives his age only as "thirties", which means that he could, of course, be 39.

Don't you find Captain Jordaan to be essentially Dench's M in younger form?


Working on some memory that Deaver says that Bond's parents were kiilled in '89 and Bond was 11 at the time, I added 22 years and got to age 33.

And no, Jordaan isn't Dench-M, yet (though I haven't completed "Thursday", at this time)...

#29 George88

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:52 AM

Feel slightly ambivalent about it, having finished it. Certainly anyone looking for a rip roaring action-fest will be disappointed - perhaps wisely - as great chunks of not-a-lot really happens. The villain twist at the end means that the ostensible baddie is underdeveloped and it's a rushed exposition from the actual baddie who, therefore, also comes across as a bit underdone. Some of the more overhyped stuff - the Bentley, the reboot, the new organisation, Dubai - don't figure much and the parental subplot that will doubtless culminate in a showdown with the dastardly villain who did 'em in has an unfortunate Potter-arc whiff about it...

...however, Bond himself comes across as pretty authentic and a mature character, albeit perhaps quite gentlemanly and kindly, with a practised line in melancholy - he doesn't really need the parent subplot as a driver and it feels a bit tacked on; the riffing on Goldfinger at various points is amusing when it's applied to household waste and there are some neat moments of Bond being pretty clever - albeit, as already observed, almost everyone else seems to have their stupidity accentuated. The cameos for Mathis and Leiter (albeit whole) are daft, and Leiter demonstrates his usual level of cinematic incompetence and subservience to Bond, which is odd as the book character, whilst largely extraneous to most of the plots, seemed to have some spark about him.

It does feel very oddly restrained though, as if Deaver was holding back on some of the more gruey elements - the necrophiliac villain, for example, or the turning mass graves into domestic fertiliser - and the climactic shoot-out reminded one of the end of the (film of) LA Confidential without being quite as impactful.

Credible British idiom though, and some vivid South African detail - and Bond spends substantial time in Africa at last - and certainly pacy and entertaining, let's call it a six out of ten. I was rather expecting something a bit more twisty-turny and, to be frank, a bit nastier. Probably worth another read in a couple of years, but a bit Carte Bland to be honest.

Edited by George88, 30 May 2011 - 08:53 AM.


#30 Jump James

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:39 PM

Most enjoyable so far in.....very good truth be told. Not sure about Bond wearing Oakleys. Mainly because I personally don't associate that brand with style, class etc

Edited by Jump James, 30 May 2011 - 07:55 PM.





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