Looking Back: Role Of Honour
Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:27 PM
If Gardner had kept going with Nena Blofeld for ROH and NLF, the natural next step would have been to bring in Bond's son: Bond and Blofeld fighting a proxy war through their children, the idea of how a war can span generations, etc (and suddenly the title No Deal's Mr. Bond is clever; it refers not to James Sr, but his son).
There's you're alternative universe Bond waffle for the day. :)
Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:27 PM
The idea of having a new Blofeld bugs me immensily since I never got an impression from Fleming that Blofeld could have had an intimate physical relationship with anyone, much less with a french prostitute. SPECTRE in Gardners novels felt bland (unlike in TB and OHMSS) and could have been called anything. In my opinion the NSAA in Icebreaker was much more "potent" organization.
Despite how serious and personal to Bond Gardner says they are, I just didn't feel SPECTRE in ROH. I think the return of the new Blofeld, given the events of FSS, would have given that extra dimenion to the book.
Yes, but where did he get the badge of tertiary syphillis from in OHMSS? A toilet seat (as Kingsley Amis surmised in TJBD) or a French prostitute addled with the disease, from where Nena Blofeld was conceived? One wonders, although he was supposedly asexual in Thunderball, meaning he should have been above such sexual capers. A new Blofeld and Cedar Leiter smacked of James Bond Jnr. a bit to me. What do other members here think? I intend to review For Special Services on my The Bondologist Blog in the near future.
I'm also much interested in the notion that Dr Jam Autem Holy presaged Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Very interesting observation,. as I'm currently writing about ROH at the moment. It's certainly the weakest of his early Bondian efforts - it reads like an unfinished film sreenplay draft, although there are reasons for its underwhelming nature, as I shall explain in time on my blog.
A careful reading of the Blofeld chapter in TB shows that Blofeld is a mass (and mess) of contradictions. Literary scholar John Sutherland did an article about this somewhere. Lemme see if I can dig it up. Nope, can't. I think it's in the book "Novels and Novelists", ed. Martin Seymour-Smith.
Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:57 PM
I quite enjoyed ROH. It dragged a little during the computer training chapters but soon picked up. I also liked the SPECTRE link but thought it could have been used a bit better. All in all I'd give ROH a 5 out of 10.
Posted 14 March 2014 - 08:02 PM
It's certainly the weakest of his early Bondian efforts - it reads like an unfinished film sreenplay draft, although there are reasons for its underwhelming nature, as I shall explain in time on my blog.
It's got the weakest story of the first four, and when you consider that the logic free-zone known as FSS is book #2, that's really saying sumpthin'.
Gardner as I'm sure we all know, was ill when he wrote the book, was pressured into writing it when he thought he'd get a year off and found that he couldn't write the novel according to his original outline and to - some degree or other - had to wing it, it's not surprising how flawed this book is. Of course a plot where Bond seemingly joins Spectre is doomed to fail. Hey, why not write a George Smiley continuation novel, where George defects to the Russians meets up with Bill Haydon whose death was faked and have it turn out to be a British disinformation mission late in the day.
I think it was our own grumpy Jim who admired the French scene-setting early on in the book. My own theory is that this was Gardner trying to address some criticisms Kingsley Amis hurled at him in that legendary FSS review.