SOLO is more of an insult as it portrays 007 as a well fed, boozing and smoking representative of Great Britain in Africa. His role turns out to be NO better in a post colonial era than that of the psychopatic mercenary in the end. And if that is the massage that Boyd did try to portrait I can only say FU.
Really? I'm a bit astonished since Bond IS a well-fed, boozing and smoking representative of Great Britain, regardless if in Africa or elsewhere on the globe. Arguably the question would only be what he is beyond that. How you arrive at the sentiment his role was not better than the mercenary's I can't really follow. I must have missed the parts where Bond pulled corpses up the trees...
For me Bond represents the British Empire and their interests, he keeps eating, boozing all through the book (boyd loved writing about that) his role in Africa is more of a spectator than really participating, only in sense of a military adviser towards corpse hanging mercenary. He is hanging about to actually defend the British interest in natural resources and does really nothing at all. A nice view on post colonial African interests of the British empire
He goes to the US where indeed the US has to safe the day and 007.
He is a peeping Tom, shags the lady and dumps her with some dodgy reasoning which does represent the British Empire in decline through the role of 007.
Would Boyd be using this book to have 007 represent the state of affairs during those post colonial years in Africa, where the role of the UK became much smaller even if it really did not want to.
The little critism by Bond at the end of the book (finaly some critical thoughts from 007) on what had happend and his role was were he openly doubted his part.
And as for the mercenary, he did his job albeit with a little too very much gusto but he had a similar agenda as Bond only he stood more for a corperate interest.
These are some thoughts I have about Boyds book, henaturally has a different view on Africa having lived there. So I can see him working in some critism through the various parts in this book, the man is a very good writer after all and SOLO was by no means close to his best work imho.