Well after I did my Fleming marathon last year my Mum bless her tried to get me into the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child which she loves. I considered it (and have already read One Shot and saw the Tom Cruise movie based on it). But my Fleming marathon just left me wanting more. I wanted to continue with Our Man dammit! So I read the Markham book, the Pearson book and two Wood novelizations all the while whilst building a complete collection of the Gardner titles. I wanted ALL of them lined up on a shelf. I bought the Fleming ones in dribs and drabs and was often left having to wait a day or two for Amazon to deliver the next batch. I made no such mistake this time. They are ALL here! (as well as the Benson's and Westerberg's - but all in due course). I've also been collecting ALL the soundtrack albums (am only waiting for Skyfall) now. Bought with the expressed intention of listening to them whilst reading the books. The Fleming thing last year kind of was a spur of the moment thing - this time PLANNING is the key word.
I read this all in one sitting. Finished about half and hour ago. And I LOVED it! Murik was a dastardly villain, as was that Scottish brute who was his henchman and that ROTTER Franco. Dear Tilly was a wonderful Bond girl. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this tale of derring do. Gardner I daresay actually writes in a bit more of an accessible style than Fleming (that's not meant to disparage Fleming though - I liked his stuff). Gone are flowery descriptions - this is all about ACTION DAMMIT!!! Murik's dastardly scheme to bring about a worldwide nuclear disaster was a gripping plot - and the penultimate big action sequence on the crashing plane EXHILARATING!!!
I really, really enjoyed this clear concise and inventive read. Do I have criticisms? Of course. A lot of the time it felt too much like a Bond movie than a book and parts of it really reminded me of Goldfinger with the way Our Man is constantly kidnapped, escapes and is kidnapped again. Ends on a plane... Operation Meltdown sounded quite reminiscent of Operation Grandslam... big nuclear angle...
But still, for sheer entertainment value this one is just a WINNER!!!
Plus I listened to the Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice soundtracks whilst reading that really helped with the atmosphere!
If one day they decide to reboot the movies again - Gardner's first Bond adventure would be a damn good place to start I reckon. I cannot wait to get started on the next one! I sure hope "Q'ute" comes back too. Like what they did there.
A winner. Not as good as Fleming - but DAMN close. For me Spring 2014 is about Bond... Gardner's Bond!
Edited by ChickenStu, 18 March 2014 - 09:01 AM.