Now available. Anyone read it?
Producer Jeff Kleeman provides an afterword.
One amazon reviewer says it's like "Robert Ludlum on Angel Dust."
Publisher's Weekly review - https://www.publishe...8-1-78565-423-7
"Credible characters and tangible suspense distinguish this highly readable thriller, which is longer and more complex than most of Westlake’s work."
Kirkus reviews - https://www.kirkusre...er-and-a-death/
"[A] novel based on a treatment for a 1997 James Bond movie that the Chinese government’s displeasure prevented from going into production. [...] What’s most fascinating here, in fact, is watching Westlake thriftily remix the ingredients he originally assembled for a franchise entry into a stand-alone that’s all his. Not as tough as Westlake’s Richard Stark stories about Parker, not as humorous as his tales of the hapless thief Dortmunder, but a posthumous bonus fans will cherish anyway."
Book Reporter - http://admin.bookrep...ver-and-a-death
"What follows is a bit of predictable but nonetheless entertaining derring-do, with Manville trying to save his own life as well as that of the environmentalist (a competent and fetching young woman named Kim Baldur) and somehow thwart Curtis’ plan, which, over the course of the book, proceeds as scheduled. There are a whole room full of ticking clocks here, and you will hear every one of them as Westlake reaches his enigmatic and haunting ending. FOREVER AND A DEATH is worthy of an audience beyond Westlake completists. Even if Westlake is treading in somewhat unfamiliar waters here, his trademark setups are present, and frequently so. One of my favorites occurs in the first quarter of the book, when Manville, who is unfamiliar with pistols, uses his engineering skill set to locate the safety and figure out how to disengage it. It’s a great scene in a book full of them. Westlake and Hard Case Crime are marvels, and FOREVER AND A DEATH is one reason why the term applies to both."
The June 1st issue of Library Journal has a review but it's not yet online.http://georgekelley.org/robert-bloch/
"Curtis’s convoluted plan takes over 400 pages to accomplish. That’s one problem. The other problem with Forever and a Death is that there really isn’t a protagonist. George Manville, an engineer, starts out in that role but then disappears for large chunks of the book. Henry James called novels like this “loose, baggy monsters” and just about fits. For a more positive review, you can check out Bill Crider’s take here. GRADE: B-"http://billcrider.bl...e-westlake.html
"Forever and a Death is a long book, well over 400 pages, not my usual thing, but I found myself reading right along by Westlake's craftsmanship and storytelling. It might not be top-shelf Westlake."http://www.bookgasm....er-and-a-death/
"In the mid 1970s [sic] the producers of the long-running James Bond movie franchise hired crime novelist Donald E. Westlake to come up with a story for the next Bond movie. [...] And thanks to Westlake’s masterful skills at completely delineating characters with only a few lines, we come to know and understand each character regardless of their intended role. Yet the majority of the focus stays with Curtis as he continually dodges attempts to derail his plans, using every scheme and manipulation at his disposal. Westlake livens things up with an almost countless supply of unexpected plot twists. And while Westlake fans will no doubt miss the humor that distinguished most of Westlake’s best-known works, they will nonetheless find themselves wrapped up in the suspense as the story advances to its inevitable race against the clock."http://www.seattlemy...k/9781785654237
"The book is fun and engrossing, and was perfect for a round-trip flight to the Great Plains. It’s got glitz and grime, really bad bad guys and really good good guys. It uses Southeast Asia well, moving from open ocean to islands, Australia to Hong Kong, it doesn’t shy away from killing off significant characters – that adds to the suspense – and it’s fun watching the heroes put the pieces together to stop the disaster."http://anthonycardno...er-and-a-death/
"Four out of five stars. Anyone diving into this book expecting a straight up Bond pastiche based on the back cover copy might feel a bit disappointed at first. [...] And that, to me, is what makes this an excellent adventure novel accessible to anyone instead of just another James Bond adventure, of which there are dozens readily available. Another great thing about the way Westlake has crafted the book is that even the secondary characters (the Australian, Singapore, and Hong Kong cops the heroes deal with, and Curtis’ henchmen) all have distinct personalities and backgrounds that influence the proceedings. [...] But the most compelling character in the book is Richard Curtis. His history, his motivations, his narcissistic personality, drive the book from start to end. Literally, as the first and last scenes hold him as the focal character. Curtis is a villain worthy of Bond, no doubt, both in personality and in the plan he’s so determined to enact. The fight scenes are dynamic as well, full of little details that immerse the reader in each fistfight, gun battle, and foot chase. The description of the first, legal, activation of the soliton wave, and an early cat-and-mouse chase aboard a dark yacht were my favorite action sequences. Full of interesting characters, engrossing action scenes, and a solid tie to an actual recent historical event, Forever and a Death is definitely worth seeking out[...] whether you’re a Bond fan or not."http://www.seattleti...fiction-titles/
"Shamelessly escapist fun[.]"https://www.criminal...ver-and-a-death
Not a review, but the author "claims" that "Kingsley Amis wrote one of the best continuations, Colonel Sun (1968), which was briefly considered for a film
[sic] but then dropped.
Hard to fathom that a character-driven plot with blistering action like Colonel Sun would have been passed over for the cartoonish drivel of Moonraker (1979) or A View to a Kill (1985)." https://thewestlaker...er-and-a-death/
"His failures often tell us more than his successes. But this, I would say, is neither. Or maybe it’s both. Somewhere in between. [...] Westlake’s original 610 page manuscript has been trimmed down by about 10%, according to Ardai–mainly repetitive material, descriptions of restaurants, some local history relating to the various settings. Things that needed to be more fully digested into the narrative as a whole, and probably could have been if Westlake hadn’t been discouraged from doing any more work on the book, and if he’d had a sympathetic editor to work with. [...] I read the early chapters with a slight sense of disappointment. Then the pace began to build. I found myself turning the pages faster, needing to know the outcome. I felt the book was out of balance in some ways, but I wondered if maybe that was the point. There are many protagonists here, some more interesting than others, none entirely good or evil, all imperfectly knowing themselves, though the two most clearly heroic characters both end up knowing themselves better as the story goes on. [...] Well, there is no comic relief this time. [...] There is an Oddjob, though. That was maybe the thing I found most fascinating. We spend quite a lot of time in his head. Westlake must have really liked Goldfinger. Essentially, the improbable and largely mindless henchmen one finds in a Bond story are rationalized here, given souls and motivations and inner lives, comprehensible pragmatic reasons for their loyalty to the main villain (who feels no loyalty to anyone but himself). "