Licence To Kill
The first of Gardner's two novelizations. Finished it not long ago. Strong familiarity with the source material assured a nice easy read. He did a pretty good job of capturing the feel and tone of the film and I appreciate his efforts by altering certain elements of the story to place the story into the continuity of the books rather than the films.
However, doing this led him open to criticism I feel. By referencing the Fleming book Live And Let Die he had us believe this was a SECOND shark attack on Felix Leiter. That asks us to suspend disbelief as a reader - and is admirable. However, he made no attempt to address why Milton Krest was in the story (the character having appeared and gruesomely dispatched in Fleming's excellent short story The Hildebrant Rarity).
I think it would have been more prudent for Gardner to rather than try and tie it into book continuity he should have began the book with an explanation saying that this tale is within the film series continuity and asking the reader to just go with it. Cause all the good work he did explaining the Leiter situation was ruined by the inclusion of Milton Krest. There's just no way to have the best of both worlds in a situation like this. Maybe he could've created a new character in place of Milton Krest? Or made this guy Milton Krest Jr? Even throw in a line from Our Man saying "I knew his old man and he met a very fishy end?"
Oh well. I suppose it's very easy for an armchair critic to poke holes in these things.
I'm usually pretty sniffy about adaptations and generally don't regard them with much literary merit. However with my journey with the Bond books I have an "in for a penny, in for a pound" attitude and have broken my usual rule to avoid them like the plague. You'll see in my Christopher Wood thread I DID enjoy HIS novelizations and I guess I enjoyed this one. I must admit - I am now left curious to see how he handles Goldeneye. But all in good time!
Where is everyone by the way? I was expecting at least one response to my Win, Lose Or Die critique. Shape up people!