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Trigger Mortis: Member Reviews (with poll)


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Poll: Trigger Mortis - Member Reaction

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Out of ten, insofar as that's a credible measure for an artistic endeavour, I think it's a solid...

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Where this stands insofar as Bond continuations go...

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Given that it can't really stand isolated and uncompared to other continuation Bonds, although as they've all written different books this is a redundant exercise, it's (multiple choices graciously allowed)...

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#1 Jim

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 01:40 PM

In readiness for this to start gaining our attention over the next week or two... poll added



#2 glidrose

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:52 PM

Thank you for the better/worse options. Really is a brilliant idea. Of course what if someone thinks it's better than Fleming? Bond to be someone, somewhere. After all I seem to recall two British reviewers saying that Faulks & Deaver were better than Fleming.



#3 Orion

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:42 PM

Thank you for the better/worse options. Really is a brilliant idea. Of course what if someone thinks it's better than Fleming? Bond to be someone, somewhere. After all I seem to recall two British reviewers saying that Faulks & Deaver were better than Fleming.

Im sure they really enjoyed the breakfast suggestions Faulks made.



#4 Guy Haines

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 08:44 AM

Another day, another review, this time from The Guardian. Not quite 100% favourable - except for the "Fleming" part. I wouldn't be at all surprised if one or two more reviewers go down that route.

 

(I had put a link on this post, but I can't get it to work, but if you go to the online version of The Guardian, you'll find the review, there's a link at the moment on the home page, next to a photo of Sean Connery and Honor Blackman)



#5 Dustin

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 11:07 AM

Let's see...

http://www.theguardi...itz-review-bond
There it is.

#6 Major Tallon

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:40 PM

We once had a fairly frequently invoked saying around here:  "Stop getting Bond wrong!"  It is a dictum that Ms. Ditum (really?) should take to heart.  Acknowledging Ian Fleming's talent as a prose stylist, and further acknowledging that certain criticisms of his work are cliché, she nevertheless richly indulges in those clichés for herself.  We may, and properly do, acknowledge that Bond's attitudes toward women and non-British people disturb our present-day sensibilities, but I dispute that Bond's world is "infused with viciousness," and I particularly dispute her claim that in Fleming's world "anyone non-white and non-anglophone is definitively sub-human."  She apparently feels that she learned all she's needed to know about Bond from the first few pages of Casino Royale.  Pity she didn't at least finish the book and try another one or two.  She might have learned something.

 

Just as an example, she notes Bond's ruminations about death-dealing in the first chapter of Goldfinger, but appears to lament his failure to show a "genuine respect for human life that intercedes in acts of violence."  Perhaps Ms. Ditum might look at chapter 25 of Diamonds Are Forever, where Bond, with orders to close the diamond pipeline and seeing the kingpin escaping in a helicopter, only reluctantly deals the killing stroke.  "The movement of his hand was reluctant.  Now it would be certain death.  He was gong to have to do it again."  Bond has a conscience, and it's on display again and again.  Obviously, he's not one of the great characters in literature, but rather an action-adventure hero, with the inevitable shallowness of characterization that that inevitably involves. 

 

Still, he deserves better treatment than this.  Stop getting Bond wrong!



#7 Single-O-Seven

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 06:37 PM

Didn't Alan Partridge insist that people "stop getting Bond wrong"???

Your point is well made. With every new film, book or retrospective, the same cliches come up. Many critics seem to refer to a handbook on Bond critical cliches as opposed to researching the original material for themselves. But I suspect the same is true of any long running and popular franchise. Somebody has to take the wind out of the sails. Too bad some of the good stuff we fans appreciate gets overlooked in the process, and quite likely remains lost on a general population who take the criticisms as gospel and feel it would be a waste of their time having a look for themselves.

#8 Dustin

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 07:40 PM

Actually I found this to be a relatively positive review, both of Fleming's body of work and - up to a point - of Horowitz' effort. Perhaps we have to keep in mind these pieces are not written to preach to the converted. Isn't it intriguing how the version for young adults supposedly is more satisfying than the real deal? Probably says something about how difficult the task actually is.

#9 AMC Hornet

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 07:32 PM

I'm just settling down to read my copy of Trigger Mortis.

 

I'll letcha know what I think later...



#10 sharpshooter

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 03:29 AM

Anyone willing to make predictions before they read and vote?

 

For me, I'm guessing perhaps a final score of 8 or 9. I think it'll be better than Faulks, Deaver and Boyd's novels and on par with Amis, Pearson and Higson.



#11 Major Tallon

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 11:27 AM

I'm with you, sharpshooter.  I've high hopes for this one.



#12 sharpshooter

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 12:17 PM

I'm with you, sharpshooter.  I've high hopes for this one.

I've started reading - I'm up to chapter six. So far, so good. No complaints. 



#13 Guy Haines

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 12:50 PM

I nipped out this morning to my local WH Smith, where the book is being sold at half price. (not being in retail and publishing, I'm not sure if flogging s brand new book at 50% off is a good sign or a bad sign of its prospects, but I wasn't about to turn this down.)

#14 Vauxhall

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:07 PM

I nipped out this morning to my local WH Smith, where the book is being sold at half price. (not being in retail and publishing, I'm not sure if flogging s brand new book at 50% off is a good sign or a bad sign of its prospects, but I wasn't about to turn this down.)

Thanks for the tip. Just been out to Smiths to do the same.

#15 Guy Haines

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:32 PM

I hope your WH Smith is offering the same deal as mine! :-)

Started it this evening and I'm enjoying it so far.

#16 AMC Hornet

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 03:23 AM

Finished.

 

No complaints.

 

And no spoilers:

 

Almost as good as Amis, better than Faulks & Boyd, unfair to compare with Gardner, Benson & Deaver (Of course, Horowitz had the advantage of some Fleming material for a springboard - in much the same way as the scripts for OP and TLD).

 

For one thing, there is drinking and smoking but it isn't overdone the way Boyd did it. The violence is justified (to hell with Ms.Ditum) and the sex suitably coy. The best part of Horowitz's style is he doesn't try too hard; he ticks the boxes without using a sledge mallet.

 

However, I couldn't help but think that it's a little too soon after Goldfinger to have Korean henchmen again, the exposition over dinner reeked of Dr. No and the chief villain reminded me a little too much of one of Amis' characters.

 

Anyway, I hope Horowitz was inspired by something in each of the other four treatments he was shown. In the meantime, I'll have to read this again soon.



#17 ChickenStu

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 06:51 AM

I have chosen not to vote in the poll. I also chose not to start a new thread. This one will do!  

 

I read the book last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Faulks, Deaver and Boyd are no doubt wonderful authors but one gets the feel from them that they try too hard. Not so with Horowitz. He produces a prose that is a satisfying blend of his own unique style and Fleming's. It feels like a totally organic continuation of Goldfinger which I daresay must be a difficult trick for an author who's running with a baton. 

 

The plot was engaging and suitably Bondian. One of my main criticisms of Boyd's Solo was that it was basically like a Bond greatest hits. Trigger Mortis feels like another day on the job for Our Man. That's a good thing. Horowitz doesn't try anything fancy... yet he still injects a surprising dose of humanity into Our Man in the book's final act which comes totally off kilter yet doesn't feel out of place. One wonders if Fleming would have done that - but here it works well. 

 

With a dastardly villain, interesting girl and a great finish - Trigger Mortis may in fact be the best Bond continuation novel out there right now. Horowitz may not be completely successful in aping Fleming - but the book is so damn good - he doesn't need to.   



#18 Guy Haines

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 07:26 AM

Although I'm only about a third of the way through it, I'm already comfortable with this new book, and one reason is that this Bond is set against a familiar backdrop - the late 1950s and the Cold War. And it's got Bond doing some of the things he does best - driving for instance.

I've also had a look at the afterword at the back. The list of books he's used as research is impressive.

I'm looking forward to the remaining two thirds!

#19 Guy Haines

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 06:31 PM

Something else - the racing driver in the book - Lancy Smith - is reputedly based on Sir Sterling Moss. Indeed as I understand it the Fleming treatment actually included Sterling Moss.

With that in mind, why wasn't this thinly disguised fictional character named "Lancy Pound" (Think about it! ;-) )

#20 sharpshooter

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 12:48 PM

Just finished reading. What a fantastic book. It was a pleasure to read right up to the last page. 

 

I am a critical reader and truthfully, I love pretty much everything about Trigger Mortis. I think it was the right length. It didn't wear out its welcome and I also felt satisfied with the plot's conclusion. The overall plot is rather straightforward but that's all it had to be. Horowitz gets the important things right. And that's a whole lot more than previous continuation novelists can claim.

 

I love how Horowitz dealt with Jeopardy Lane, particularly her departure from Bond. That actually affected me. It was quite poignant. Sin was a good villain. I could understand why he had become so messed up, but nonetheless, he was messed up. We get the traditional torture scene here but it's handled a little differently. There's some top notch sequences here.

 

Horowitz gets Bond. I'd love for him to do another. 

 

Easily the best continuation novel since Colonel Sun. 



#21 Guy Haines

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 01:35 PM

No spoiler here, but I'm amused that somebody in the novel understands why President Eisenhower's thinking regarding the "space race" - and I've read from more than one source that it may explain why Sputnik went up before Vanguard and Explorer.

#22 Guy Haines

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 01:47 PM

One other point, again I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but I found Chapter Ten a bit disturbing. Worse in its way than Chapter Six of Thunderball.

#23 zencat

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 04:57 PM

Loved it. My review: http://www.thebookbo...ts-mr-bond.html



#24 sharpshooter

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 10:31 PM

Great review.  :)



#25 Guy Haines

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 01:14 PM

Just finished reading it a few minutes ago. It's kept me occupied today because I've felt decidedly under the weather, so I guess it's been a bit of a tonic.

Liked it an awful lot. I think Anthony Horowitz has come closer than most to the Fleming style. It was a good idea to embed the story firmly within the existing time scale of the Fleming novels, imho - maybe having access to that Fleeming source material helped.

I've already made one or two comments along the way - about how I found the tenth chapter a bit disturbing, but maybe that's just me.

There are definite nods to other Fleming books - the most obvious to me being the inevitable villain's wine and dine scene, straight out of Dr No but a villain's backstory intended to elicit rather more sympathy for the devil than that told by Dr No himself.

Jeapardy Lane was an appealing and resourceful leading lady, in some ways similar, but in others certainly not, to the other woman in Bond's life in this story, Pussy Galore. From early on in the story one could see how Bond's relationship with Pussy would end, and I think the author was trying to teach Bond a lesson. As for Jeapardy, well she was not only helpful, but her own backstory came in useful too.

I guess since the action in the second half takes place in the US I was half expecting Felix Leiter to turn up, but maybe he was on well earned leave after the Goldfinger business.

"Jason Sin" - almost like one of those villains from a 1960s imitation Bond film (the character name that is) but an interesting and disturbed individual His method of dispatching failed employees was a nod to another, much earlier episode in Bond's life.

And Bond, uncharacteristically, showing some concern to the "henchmen" - in fact the author doing the same. I was put in mind of the scene in Austin Powers when a henchman dies and we learn of his outside life - but without the laughs.

I hope Anthony Horowitz is commissioned to write another Bond novel - there's scope for him with the various gaps between existing Fleming books, particularly the short stories of FYEO.

Having read the book, I'm now looking forward to listing to the audio CD.

#26 Navy007Fan

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:56 PM

Just finished it, and I liked it! The best part, the pacing. It flowed like Fleming. After trying to get through leCarre's The Honourable Schoolboy, it was a pleasant change.

#27 Capt. Sticky

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 05:39 AM

I thought it was fantastic!  It largely executed the Bond "formula" perfectly, and he was able to set the story in the 50's, as if Fleming had written it, without some of the cringe-worthy non-PC stuff that sticks out when I read the original books.  There were (minor spoilers) a few things that sort of bothered me, like the two characters at the beginning disappearing from the book, and the fact that Bond takes a quick shower before the climax, but for both of these, the pay-off was worth it.  I thought Bond's treatment of P.G. was excellent and true to form, and her resolution righted one of the wrongs of Goldfinger.  I was also struck by how human Bond was in that shower-scene I rebuked above--I think it's one of the rare times we've actually seen some character growth for Bond!  I sincerely hope to see more from Mr. Horowitz!



#28 Guy Haines

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 03:57 PM

I thought it was fantastic!  It largely executed the Bond "formula" perfectly, and he was able to set the story in the 50's, as if Fleming had written it, without some of the cringe-worthy non-PC stuff that sticks out when I read the original books.  There were (minor spoilers) a few things that sort of bothered me, like the two characters at the beginning disappearing from the book, and the fact that Bond takes a quick shower before the climax, but for both of these, the pay-off was worth it.  I thought Bond's treatment of P.G. was excellent and true to form, and her resolution righted one of the wrongs of Goldfinger.  I was also struck by how human Bond was in that shower-scene I rebuked above--I think it's one of the rare times we've actually seen some character growth for Bond!  I sincerely hope to see more from Mr. Horowitz!


Yes, 007 showing a concern that I don't think he had hinted at since the events of Casino Royale.

#29 marktmurphy

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 11:56 PM

Extremely enjoyable. I liked that Solo gave us a slightly different format to the usual Bond novel, and this one is very straightforward to an almost box-ticking extent, but it's a very well-executed and entertaining bit of fluff which is what Bond should be. If he does another (and I hope he does) I'd hope he could stray from the Bond formula a little more.



#30 sharpshooter

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 12:45 AM

There's some similarities to Colonel Sun's plot. 

 

M captured and recovered - Pussy Galore captured and recovered.

Sun - Sin

Leaving bodies to frame Great Britain for a disaster - leaving rocket parts to blame the Unites States for a disaster.

 

There's enough differentiation from Horowitz to make this unique, though. 






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