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Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks

Devil May Care

by Sebastian Faulks

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Having been an avid reader of the 007 books by Gardner and Benson, I can't help but be disappointed in this entry. The first 007 novel in some time, the idea of a story set in the Cold War neutralized most of the tension in this adventure, although Faulks does capture some of nuances of Fleming's style. He earns point for use of the Soviet EKroncraft (I'm surprised this cool piece of tech has not shown up in a movie before) but much of the novel plays out like a pastiche on Fleming's Bonds instead of something with a life and style of its own. Dairus is a stand-in for Kermin Bey and we are treated to a return appearance by Leiter (but without a pairing up with 007). The central villain is a bit OTT even for a Bond foe (a monkey paw, honestly?) and his last minute switch in diabolical plans from drugging all of England to precipitating war seems like Faulk suddenly felt this book needed a bit more action. The tennis match between Gorner and Bond is a too obvious homage to Goldfinger.Not very exciting but I suppose worth a read for the completionest. I think the way to go is to bring back Benson and keep the modern Bonds going. ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
"You look distracted, James."
"I'm sorry. Do I? I blame the two Bs."
"And what are they?"
"Brainwashing and bereavement."
"Goodness. Tell me more."

That is a concise summary of the last three Bond books by Ian Fleming! This one follows those, and could very well have been titled, "The Man With the Monkey Paw"! Pretty standard bad guy stuff in here, though his plan switches rather dramatically - from a heroin based one, to a "let's-get-some-nukes-and-blow-shit-up" one, without any real reason or explanation for the change. The writing is decent enough, but a tad slow at times. The tennis match was very dull reading. As was the trek across Russia.

Still, it's 007, and a worthy entry into his world, even if it didn't blow me away. I would, however, like to read more, especially about 004! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Aug 3, 2016 |
Racist, sexist and anti-hippie, this is a book I would have expected to be written twenty-thirty years ago. It wasn't bad for a James Bond novel, but it wasn't great either. meh. ( )
  gaveedra | Jan 8, 2016 |
James Bond is such a phenomenon that even after the death of his creator, Ian Fleming, he lives on. Sebastian Faulks, author of the wonderful Birdsong, has created another adventure for Bond and it seems as good as Fleming's creations. Wonder if it will be coming to a theatre soon?

This adventure is set in 1967 and starts out with Bond recuperating from injuries sustained in The Man with the Golden Gun. Soon Bond is recalled from leave to interfere with the machinations of a Dr. Julius Gorner who is plotting something that will devastate Britain. Gorner is in Persia (now Iran) and Bond goes there to find out what he can. He is also on a private mission to save Poppy Papava who is being held by Gorner. Poppy's sister, Scarlett, had pleaded with Bond to save her. The usual high stakes adventures ensue but, it will come as no surprise, that Bond survives. The details of how he outwits Dr. Gorner and his evil sidekick Chagrin are what makes the book worth reading. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 21, 2015 |
Sebastian Faulks is widely accepted as one of our leading literary novelists, and regular listeners of BBC Radio 4's "The Write Stuff" will be familiar with his great ability to mimic other writers' styles. In this "authorised" addition to the James Bond canon he clearly mimic's Ian Fleming's style, though I imagine it must have been difficult for an author as fine as Faulks to lower himself to that extent.

I recently read William Boyd's contribution to the Bond oeuvre and although that also fell beyond Boyd's normal high standards, it was still more coherent as a book thgan Faulks' offering. I was decidedly disappointed by this novel - it just seemed too much like Fleming's originals which, to be fair, I enjoyed when I was fourteen Still, I enjoyed 10cc and Queen then too, though I am glad to be able to say that I have grown out of them now. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Nov 4, 2013 |
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To the memory of Ian Fleming and to Fali Vakeel who, when he and I were schoolboys, first introduced me to Bond
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It was a wet evening in Paris.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385524285, Hardcover)

A Quiz

Q: Although James Bond is regarded by many as the quintessential English hero, he is actually not English. What is his nationality in the books?
A: He is half Scottish and half Swiss. He also hates that most English of drinks, tea--and describes it as 'mud'!

Q: Bond has had many famous incarnations on the big screen but, prior to these, he was first played on the radio by which British actor and game show host?
A: Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame

Q: Which Bond villain shares a birthday with his creator?
A: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908. Ian Lancaster Fleming entered the world on the same day at 7 Green Street in London.

Q: Which American President was a big fan of the Fleming novels?
A: President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was known to be a big fan of Fleming and listed From Russia With Love as one of his top 10 favourite books. Bizarrely, both Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are believed to have been reading Bond novels the night before Kennedy was killed.

Q: Which famed children’s author helped Ian Fleming adapt his children's adventure story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the big screen?
A: Roald Dahl

Q: Where did Fleming write all his Bond books?
A: At Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. Although now part of a luxurious holiday resort, the house was very basic in Fleming's time--so much so that his friend and neighbour Noel Coward referred to it as Goldeneye, Nose and Throat!

Q: Although Ursula Andress wears the most famous bikini in cinema history in her iconic performance in Doctor No, in Fleming's novel of the same name the character Honeychile Rider wears even less. What does she wear?
A: She is naked save for a knife-belt.

Q: The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, originally had a different title when it was published in the US. Under what title was it initially published here?
A: The initial title here was You Asked For It.

Q: What is James Bond’s favorite meal?
A: Breakfast. He has a particular penchant for scrambled eggs, and the short story 007 in New York even includes his own recipe for them.

Q: Who is Miss Moneypenny named for?
A: Miss Moneypenny was named after a character in an unpublished novel written by Ian Fleming's brother, the travel writer Peter Fleming.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Set in the Cold War, and follows the action of Bond across two contintents and exotic locations after he is assigned to shadow a mysterious, power-crazed pharmaceutical magnate with an interest in opiate deriviates.

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