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Haven't read these yet, any suggestions?

9 replies to this topic

#1 archer1949



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:39 PM

I am catching up on all the Non-Fleming James Bond books. I started with the Benson books (as an American, these were the ones most readily available to me) as well as the 3 one shots (Colonel Sun, Carte Blanche, Devil May Care) and now I am ready to check out the Gardner books.

Unfortunately, none of them are available at my local library, I will have to buy them. Since I am on a limited budget, I don't want to go into a buying spree blind. I have heard varying opinions on these. Can you guys give me recommendations on the best ones and the ones I can skip?


#2 Klaus_Hergesheimer



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:16 PM

I bought all of the Gardner books on amazon used for about one cent, usually. Not counting shipping of course. You'll pay for quality sometimes, as many of these are old very well loved library books. You can find decent copies on amazon, but if you're looking to buy on the cheap, go the used on Amazon route.

#3 OmarB


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

There is a used bookstore near my house that always has a bunch of the Gardner books somewhere in there. You gotta look though because everything is in a huge pile.

#4 Dustin



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:52 PM

Usually the best option for a budget are the used ones on Amazon.

If you are undecided about which Gardners to buy, well, just start with LR. Most readers seem to regard the run LR, FSS, IB and ROH as the strongest period with some fresh ideas. After that opinions vary as to the quality of the books. Though on closer inspection you can clearly see Gardner tried to introduce a new element or idea with every subsequent book, albeit not always successfully. And it would perhaps have been more rewarding had Gardner explored his ideas a little longer, instead of bringing another one with the next book.

#5 AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän



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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

In my opinion first 5 Gardners are 'essential' to every serious Bond fan, After that they're hit and miss with overall declining quality, Never Send Flowers in my opinion is the absolute low point of Bond literary canon.

#6 freemo


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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:13 PM

Yes, I'd start from the start. Licence Renewed (a very solid, if at times a tad dry, Bond book where Gardner very neatly lays out his intentions for the character) and For Special Services (probably his most "Bondian" adventure) are a neat one-two punch, and his third book, Icebreaker is probably his classic, it's just the right mix of traditional Bond elements with his own style, he really seemed to find his niche as Bond author with that one. I'm not as keen on Nobody Lives Forever, but it's a fan favorite and generally regarded as one his best.

It's funny. Everyone seems to agree that the second half of his tenure is very hit and miss, but everyone also seems to have their own idea as to which one or two were the hits, the exceptions to the Garnder declining second half rule.

#7 AMC Hornet

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

For my money, Scorpius, Win Lose or Die and Brokenclaw make the best consecutive triple-threat.
The other best triple threat is Licence Renewed, Icebreaker & Nobody Lives For Ever (all odd-numbered). I found the even-numbered ones (except for WLoD) to be too padded.

#8 JimmyBond



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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:15 AM

The first three are pretty good, with the third being my favorite. I always intended to continue on (I have all of them) but I never got around to it.

#9 x007AceOfSpades



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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

Icebreaker is my favorite of all time in terms of Gardner, so that's a must-read.

#10 archer1949



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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:16 AM

Thanks. I'll take your thoughts into consideration!