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ChickenStu on Carte Blanche


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#1 ChickenStu

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:08 PM

At last! Something a bit different! The big ret-con that places things in a more modern era was a welcome touch. I do believe it was successfully executed. 

 

Deaver did a pretty good job of writing Our Man I think. I don't think I've seen the character presented this way before. Younger, slightly greener... it was refreshing. I enjoyed how he was mostly one step ahead of the game at pretty much all times.

 

To place events in a more contemporary context was a refreshing change of pace. 

Severyn Hydt - GREAT bad guy. His obsession with death and decay made him VERY creepy. Niall Dunne too was an interesting heavy. A complex meeting of both brain and brawn. 

 

I liked Bhana Jansaan. A very interesting sidekick - and Felicity Willing was quite well fleshed out as the love interest. Whilst her arc is nothing really original for a Bond story - Deaver wisely chooses not to dwell on it. 

 

At the end when the final endgame plays out - it's very good stuff. Deaver's writing style is different to what I'm used to but I got the hang of it eventually. He doesn't try once to ape Fleming which was very wise. In fact I'd say this owes a bit more to Tom Clancy. 

 

Criticisms? Well for a start the book is a bit on the long side, and I thought the whole sub-plot about Our Man's parents distracting and superfluous to the story. Otherwise, I quite appreciated what Deaver did here. 



#2 tdalton

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

I had the exact opposite reaction to Carte Blanche. I found it painfully dull throughout, and thought that Deaver did a terrible job in his portrayal of Bond.

#3 ChickenStu

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:50 PM

I had the exact opposite reaction to Carte Blanche. I found it painfully dull throughout, and thought that Deaver did a terrible job in his portrayal of Bond.

 

I can see how a reader would think that. I just thought to myself "This ain't your father's Bond" and just ran with it. Must admit though, I did think it was overlong... and dare I say it a little "padded". 



#4 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

I had the exact opposite reaction to Carte Blanche. I found it painfully dull throughout, and thought that Deaver did a terrible job in his portrayal of Bond.

 

Agreed!



#5 ChickenStu

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:55 PM

Also - I have to say I wasn't a fan of Deaver's prose. Reading it was at times like trying to swim through treacle. 



#6 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:28 PM

I thought it was a well thought out plot, good characters and atmosphere - except Bond! He was the one who felt WAY out of place.



#7 Guy Haines

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 06:37 AM

I'm close to finishing Toby Stephens' audio book of Carte Blanche. For an actor it gives him plenty of opportunity to do accents, from crusty M to the Dutch Severan Hydt, several Afrikaners and Africans and even the odd English northerner (notably the MI6 "asset" Gregory Lamb)

 

As for the story, the expression "barking up the wrong tree" springs to mind because James Bond and others spend a lot of time doing just that, following false trails and completely misinterpreting information - notably when Bond tries to save ninety or more people from death only to find they have been dead for centuries!

 

Hydt is a very peculiar villain, not just in appearance but in his "whole new version of porn" as Felix Leiter describes it - not so much a megalomaniac as a necromaniac, if such a person could exist.

 

It's an odd Bond book to go through to forty chapters before Bond and a lady end up in bed, but I noticed that's how long it took.

 

I'm enjoying the reading, but as with all three of the recent continuation novels, at times it does seem like Bond has wandered into another type of novel than a Bond novel. I suppose it can't be helped - Messrs. Deaver, Faulks and Boyd have their admirers who might be a bit put out if they had produced nothing more than a carbon copy of an Ian Fleming thriller. Indeed it has been interesting to see James Bond through the eyes of two distinguished British writers and a noted American crime writer. One wonders about how a future author would tackle Bond.



#8 Guy Haines

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 06:04 AM

A follow up to my post yesterday, having finished the audio book. I appreciated the "misdirection" theme even more than when I read the book, with the book's other main villain using Hydt as effectively a fall guy - if his plan works all well and good, if it doesn't it's still a diversion from the main plot of using food as a weapon in conflict in Africa.

 

And listening to the character Felicity Willing, revealed as the other villain, she comes across as not so much a typical Fleming Bond villain ("I've been expecting you, Mr Bond") as the type of villain Bond might now be encountering in the real world of amoral money making. Entirely selfish and clearly under the impression she can buy her way out of anything, or threaten the authorities with dire things from people she knows - the old "I know where you live" threat she issues against Bekha Jordaan. One comment Felicity makes sums her up - when the "lovestruck robot" Niall Dunne is dead and Bekha Jordaan says "I'm sorry". "You're sorry? What use is he to me dead!" "Felicity Willful" - certainly lived up to her nickname in the end.

 

As for Bekha herself, I found her as irritating at times as Bond did, until I appreciated at the end the point Jeffrey Deaver was making - that here we have this man Bond, above the law, but in the real world outside government sponsored killing officers like Bekha have to work within the law.

 

As for the final twist in the tale - Steel Cartridge - I saw it coming the first time I read the book!



#9 Trevelyan 006

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 09:03 PM

Curiosity killed the cat, as I just recently picked up a copy of Carte Blanche for about five dollars.

 

I have yet to read, so I won't judge until then. I also have yet to hear anything fantastic about it...

Which is kind of why I grabbed it, to see if it is really that bad.


Edited by Trevelyan 006, 14 July 2015 - 09:03 PM.


#10 Matt_13

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 04:46 AM

I quite enjoyed it. It's my favorite adult continuation novel.

#11 Trevelyan 006

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:33 PM

I'm roughly twelve chapters in. I've enjoyed myself thus far!






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