Devil May Care (James Bond)

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Description

Bond is back. With a vengeance.

M has summoned agent 007 to London. It’s the swinging Sixties and a flood of narcotics is pouring into Britain. Sinister industrialist Dr Julius Gorner is identified as the source and James Bond is dispatched to investigate.

The trail takes Bond to Paris and then Persia – where the beautiful and enigmatic twins Scarlett and Poppy lead him to Gorner’s secret desert headquarters. Here, Bond uncovers Gorner’s cold-blooded plans for world domination.

Only by playing Gorner’s twisted game can Bond stop him . . .

Quite a few authors have written 007 novels since the death of Bond’s author, Ian Fleming — and the results have been mixed, to say the least. As ‘Robert Markham’, Kingsley Amis penned the very first post-Fleming Bond, and this attempt by a novelist better known for his ‘literary’ work was judged a success. Now, after a decade of less successful entries by such writers as John Gardener, we have another serious author, Sebastian Faulks (creator of such acclaimed novels as Birdsong), taking up the challenge.

Devil May Care has already collected a jaw-dropping amount of publicity, with even the Royal Navy helping to put the book firmly at the top of the best-seller charts (Bond is, of course, a naval commander), and few books have had such wind under their sails (the relaunch of the movie franchise with the re-make of Casino Royale and Daniel Craig’s second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is all part of the ever-accelerating momentum). Of course, this also gives the book farther to fall if it misses the mark.

Faulks’ creator credit on the book (‘Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming’) is both revealing and encouraging – the creator has reportedly said that he undertook the task with total seriousness, and he has tried to work within the parameters of the Ian Fleming formula (Faulks re-read the entire extant Bond novels and stories) slightly than the more glossy film incarnation. Among several very canny moves by the creator is his decision to keep his 007 in the 1960s slightly than catapulting him into the 21st century (as other ersatz Fleming novels – and, of course, the films — have done. So how successful are the results?

Fleming aficionados can calm down – it is a sterling job of recreation, and a novel that functions with total authority in its own right. The evocation of time and place (or places, notably Paris and the Middle East) is impeccable, as are the plotting and detail (as colourful and violent as anything in Fleming); there is a satisfyingly unpleasant larger-than-life villain, Julius Gorner, with a grotesque deformity of the kind Fleming regularly gave such characters (the chapter ‘The monkey’s hand’ gives this away) and grandiose, evil ambitions. Best of all, this is Ian Fleming’s James Bond – not a superman — worried about his health and his physical powers (which he fears may be on the wane). Delicious stuff if truth be told. Now… can Faulks be persuaded to write another such novel? —Barry Forshaw.
Quite a few authors have written 007 novels since the death of Bond’s author, Ian Fleming — and the results have been mixed, to say the least. As ‘Robert Markham’, Kingsley Amis penned the very first post-Fleming Bond, and this attempt by a novelist better known for his ‘literary’ work was judged a success. Now, after a decade of less successful entries by such writers as John Gardener, we have another serious author, Sebastian Faulks (creator of such acclaimed novels as Birdsong), taking up the challenge.

Devil May Care has already collected a jaw-dropping amount of publicity, with even the Royal Navy helping to put the book firmly at the top of the best-seller charts (Bond is, of course, a naval commander), and few books have had such wind under their sails (the relaunch of the movie franchise with the re-make of Casino Royale and Daniel Craig’s second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is all part of the ever-accelerating momentum). Of course, this also gives the book farther to fall if it misses the mark.

Faulks’ creator credit on the book (‘Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming’) is both revealing and encouraging – the creator has reportedly said that he undertook the task with total seriousness, and he has tried to work within the parameters of the Ian Fleming formula (Faulks re-read the entire extant Bond novels and stories) slightly than the more glossy film incarnation. Among several very canny moves by the creator is his decision to keep his 007 in the 1960s slightly than catapulting him into the 21st century (as other ersatz Fleming novels – and, of course, the films — have done. So how successful are the results?

Fleming aficionados can calm down – it is a sterling job of recreation, and a novel that functions with total authority in its own right. The evocation of time and place (or places, notably Paris and the Middle East) is impeccable, as are the plotting and detail (as colourful and violent as anything in Fleming); there is a satisfyingly unpleasant larger-than-life villain, Julius Gorner, with a grotesque deformity of the kind Fleming regularly gave such characters (the chapter ‘The monkey’s hand’ gives this away) and grandiose, evil ambitions. Best of all, this is Ian Fleming’s James Bond – not a superman — worried about his health and his physical powers (which he fears may be on the wane). Delicious stuff if truth be told. Now… can Faulks be persuaded to write another such novel? —Barry Forshaw.

Bond is back. With a vengeance.

M has summoned agent 007 to London. It’s the swinging Sixties and a flood of narcotics is pouring into Britain. Sinister industrialist Dr Julius Gorner is identified as the source and James Bond is dispatched to investigate.

The trail takes Bond to Paris and then Persia – where the beautiful and enigmatic twins Scarlett and Poppy lead him to Gorner’s secret desert headquarters. Here, Bond uncovers Gorner’s cold-blooded plans for world domination.

Only by playing Gorner’s twisted game can Bond stop him . . .

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