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My Devil May Care review


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#1 DaveBond21

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 11:44 PM

I finally read this, during the week, on my train trip to/from work. I get through a lot of books on my daily commute to Sydney.

 

I really enjoyed it. I would love to see this made into a period Bond film. There was the Cold War atmosphere, the wonderful descriptions of food, the characters (I especially enjoyed Darius, who reminded me of Darko Kerim, and Kerim Bey), action scenes - especially on the plane. I also liked the villain even though his motives are unclear.

 

I felt transported to places like Paris and Tehran, and it was a fitting tribute to Ian Fleming.

 

 



#2 AMC Hornet

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 04:23 AM

Be prepared for the onslaught of counter-opinions...



#3 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 04:25 AM

I finally read this, during the week, on my train trip to/from work. I get through a lot of books on my daily commute to Sydney.
 
I really enjoyed it. I would love to see this made into a period Bond film. There was the Cold War atmosphere, the wonderful descriptions of food, the characters (I especially enjoyed Darius, who reminded me of Darko Kerim, and Kerim Bey), action scenes - especially on the plane. I also liked the villain even though his motives are unclear.
 
I felt transported to places like Paris and Tehran, and it was a fitting tribute to Ian Fleming.

I agree with you Dave. Never understood the criticism.

#4 AMC Hornet

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 04:36 AM

Fleming never went to such effort to say "See, this story takes place in 1967. All the topical references are there, right down to Disney's paddlewheeler in Paris, not to mention events in the middle East and how they parallel Vietnam!"

 

And after setting up the existence of the Ecranoplan, Faulks puts Bond on an areoplane for a sequence more than reminiscent of the end of Goldfinger.

 

And after Doubleshot, you'd think an author would shy away from twins for a while.

 

And since the point of the mission was supposed to be 'is 007 fit to continue?', nothing is said at the end (sure it's a foregone conclusion, but if this were the 'latest' story in 1967, something would have been said).

 

Not to worry - if Trigger Mortis turns out to be a dud I'll probably look more kindly upon this effort.

 

NB: At least Faulks didn't have Bond drinking like an alcoholic fish and suffering from an irrelevant sore throat for half the book, like in SOLO.



#5 danielcraig007casinoroyale

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 02:33 PM

Pesonally my favourite continuation novel.Light years better than any other.Read it three times since publication date.

Faulks has caught Bond to a T

Bemused why this book has been criticised.



#6 AMC Hornet

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 06:47 PM

It has a lot to do with Faulks making no more effort to duplicate Fleming's writing style than any other continuation author, yet being billed as 'writing as Ian Fleming'.

 

This was a misstep on IFP's part, and may have led a lot of readers to expect something more classic than what they got. Perhaps they should have settled for 'writing as Robert Markham', which everyone who cares already knows is a pseudonym.

 

I have no problem with the concept of new period Bond novels, but I'm still waiting for someone to get it right. I (currently) have hopes for Anthony Horowitz.



#7 DaveBond21

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:40 PM

 

I finally read this, during the week, on my train trip to/from work. I get through a lot of books on my daily commute to Sydney.
 
I really enjoyed it. I would love to see this made into a period Bond film. There was the Cold War atmosphere, the wonderful descriptions of food, the characters (I especially enjoyed Darius, who reminded me of Darko Kerim, and Kerim Bey), action scenes - especially on the plane. I also liked the villain even though his motives are unclear.
 
I felt transported to places like Paris and Tehran, and it was a fitting tribute to Ian Fleming.

I agree with you Dave. Never understood the criticism.

 

 

 

Thanks. I haven't read any criticism, actually. Apparently the book was successful and mostly well received.

 

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#8 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 06:48 AM

I don't know if this needs to have a potential spoiler alert posted since the book is 7 years old but if you don't want to be spoiled than stop here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was enjoying Devil May Care almost up to the end and then it just fell apart. There were some good things there, chiefly among them the ekranoplan. But two things severely hurt it in my eyes. 1) the anti-America slant of the writing from a clearly leftist/liberal point of view (something that doesn't belong in a Bond novel) was a big turn off, but ultimately not a deal breaker. 2) But having Scarlett admit she made up Gorner's motives was just too much. It totally brought the whole story down like a house of cards. Her initial overview was very believable even if it may have had some holes (but then no intelligence agency is going to be able to fill in every gap). But then by having her admit her story was made up and that there were no explanations for Gorner's true motives is too much to stomach. (I guess he's just a really bad guy.) As a result, I find it one of the lesser continuation novels, but I did like it better than Solo which I found virtually pointless and boring.



#9 glidrose

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 06:19 PM

It has a lot to do with Faulks making no more effort to duplicate Fleming's writing style than any other continuation author, yet being billed as 'writing as Ian Fleming'.

This was a misstep on IFP's part, and may have led a lot of readers to expect something more classic than what they got.


I think this is one of the most misunderstood points in the whole enterprise.

"Writing as Ian Fleming" wasn't necessarily meant to entice the fanboys. It also meant that the book wasn't a real Sebastian Faulks novel and should not be be assessed as such. The cynical might (mis)interpret that as the author implying "Hey, I'm just slumming."

I believe that Faulks' next two books did not mention DMC on the "also by the author" page. (The Jeeves book does, tho'. Even mentions his long-since-disowned and increasingly difficult to find first novel "A Trick of Light".)

 

UPDATE: Stromberg's post below has made me rethink my post; I've slightly modified it accordingly.



#10 stromberg

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 07:54 PM

 


I think this is one of the most misunderstood points in the whole enterprise.

"Writing as Ian Fleming" wasn't meant to entice the fanboys. Instead it meant that the book wasn't a real Sebastian Faulks novel and should not be be assessed as such. The cynical might (mis)interpret that as the author implying "Hey, I'm just slumming."

I believe that Faulks' next two books did not mention DMC on the "also by the author" page. (The Jeeves book does, tho'. Even mentions his long-since-disowned and increasingly difficult to find first novel "A Trick of Light".)

 

If was really meant that way, it was even a double misstep. They simply shouldn't have chosen this label which seemingly needs to be explained and explained and explained. And they did nothing to clear up this "misunderstanding" and instead marketed the book on "Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming" and not on "Sebastian Faulks not writing as Sebastian Faulks". Faulks even described how he mimicked Fleming's daily routine. It was all over the campaign. The were aiming at the fanboys with this and not trying to warn some irritated Faulks readers.



#11 glidrose

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 11:27 PM

Let me backtrack somewhat. You are right in a way. On one hand it definitely can be taken to mean that Faulks is mimicking another writer's style. However, it also implies that this isn't a standard Faulks novel.

 

The problem with interpretation #1: Faulks sets himself up for considerable backlash if readers decide it doesn't measure up to Fleming or imitate Fleming's prose and voice. Going by the response on these boards, I'd say that's exactly what happened. On top of that, would Bond fans not know whose prose style the author sets out to imitate unless it were spelled out for us on the cover?

 

As for interpretation #2, those readers and reviewers who wonder why Faulks's prose "changed" have their answer on the front cover. A literary reader who has read Faulks' work may stop after the first few pages and say "WTF?"

 

If you're asking yourself which interpretation was closer to the author's heart, consider this: Faulks was and is a best-selling, award-winning literary author. I suspect he was more concerned about his reputation & reviews than he was about Bond fans.






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