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I think only one or two of the bookstores listed on Amazon.uk.com ships to Norway. Why should people like you and me be descriminated against just because we are centrally placed in nowhere?  ajb007/lol

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American here, just got his copy 10 days from publication. ajb007/smile

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I've just finished Forever And A Day and here's my brief, no spoiler review:

I agree with what TP said! https://www.ajb007.co.uk/post/922096/#p922096

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I finally got my hands on the book today. I will post a review when I have finished it, but so far I have only read the first two chapters. The second chapter deals with the second assassination that gave Bond his 00-agent status. Since most of us know the victims was a Norwegian and it happened in Stockholm I think I can comment on it here, especially since I know a bit about the events that most likely inspired the author. Some might see the rest of the post to be spoilers!

Bond's target is Rolf Larsen. He is described as a member of Kompani Linge during WWII. It's strange how the author fails to mention the fact that the unit was a part of Special Operations Executive since he mentions SOE in the first chapter. Larsen later joins the real Kompani Linge sub-unit known as Oslo Gang, a highly successful SOE sabotage unit led by Gunnar "Number 24" Sønsteby. Larsen is involved in a real sabotage mission, Operation Mardonius. The operation took place in Oslo harbour, where agents used canoes to attach limet mines on ships. This operation is shown in the movie "Man of war/Max Manus". There is also a mention of sabotaging a factory producing airplane parts. The Oslo Gang blew up a facility like that, but not the one named in the novel.

Operation Mardonius in the movie "Man of War":

https://voxpublica.no/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/maxmanus2.jpg

https://img.gfx.no/1783/1783028/Hovedbilde_2_Max_Manus_Filminnspilling_FOTO_TROND_HEGGELUND%201240804211846.jpg




Rolf Larsen is also involved missions involving "troops leaving the Shetland Islands on fishing boats, penetrating the fjords under cover of darkness and fog." This must be a reference to The Shetland Gang/Shetland Buss, another Norwegian unit in the SOE. The best known Shetland Gang captain was Leif Larsen, the most decorated naval officer in WWII of any country. The Rolf Larsen in the novel betrays agents put on shore in Northern Norway. The agents are killed.
This remind me of Operation Martin Red, where Kompani Linge agents were sent using the Shetland Buss to sabotage German Luftwaffe bases in Northern Norway. They were betrayed by a local civilian and all but one were executed by the Gestapo. The escape of the one surviving SOE-agent (Jan Baalsrud) is described in David Howart's book "We die alone" and the 2017 movie "The 12th man".

The real Shetland Gang:

https://bt.mnocdn.no/images/1fa7b932-e15e-48aa-b2e6-91524ac6935d?fit=crop&h=810&q=80&w=1440



From the movie "Shetlandsgjengen"(1954), featuring many SOE operators playing themselves:

https://images.underskog.no/versions/650/666241.jpeg

I have written more about these units and men in the SOE thread if anyone is interested.

Small niggle: Bond steals "300 krona" from Rolf Larsen's wallet. But "krona" is the singular form of the currency. It should say "kronor".

Last edited by Number24 (21st Jun 2018 13:04)

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I think it's also interesting that a leading member of the Norwegian resistance was murdered in Stockholm right after the war ended. Kai Holst had to escape to Sweden in 1943 because the Germans were getting too close and he continued working from the neutral country.
When the war ended he started searching the POV camps in Norway for German war criminals. He worked for the Norwegian government in London and in co-operation with MI6. At the same time the CIA and Swedish Säpo (Security Police - their MI5) were searching the same prison camps for Germans who could be used as sources and in other ways against the Soviets in the cold war. In some cases Holst may be looking for the same people and this could be a conflict of interest. We don't know what happened, But Kai Holst was shot outside his apartment in late June 1945.

Last edited by Number24 (20th Jun 2018 19:08)

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FaaD was in first place for its debut week, but sold 40% less that first week than Trigger Mortis did, and 22% less than Solo...

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My Spoiler Review of Forever and A Day

First, the negative
1. We get the Double O kills, and they are perfect. However, the two mysteries that I wanted addressed going into a prequel of Casino Royale are both un-addressed. First, I wanted the origins of the scar, although i respect the decision that it is left as a mystery. Secondly, I wanted to see Bond's first encounter with Mathis. Upon hearing that it was to be set in France I was sure that Horowitz was leading us down this route, but nope.
2. The 2-3 mysteries we do have answered, I don't believe many have cared to ponder. 1) The origin of the Vesper Martini, The vesper is all fine, as I believe Bond even says he has had the drink for a while and has been waiting to think of a good name. 2) 'Shaken, not stirred' For one thing, Fleming said that he found out vesper martinis suck a few weeks after he published CR. Also, Bond quips that it tastes the same shaken or stirred. Videos i have seen claim that shaking it is borderline stupid and just makes the drink come out foamy. 3) The origin of Bond's cigarette brand of choice, plus his gunmetal cigarette case - This one is somewhat interesting, as the device saves Bond's life on one occasion which I will not spoil for anyone who hasn't read the original Fleming.
3. In Casino, Bond harbors a grudge with working with a woman, but is fine and happy to work with the CIA. After the events of FAAD, shouldn't it be vice versa? I dare say that Sixtine is one of the most effective Bond girls in the series. She even suffers from what I'd call Mad Max Furiousa-Syndrome (i.e.: She is arguably more effective than Bond!). Her kill count is double Bond's. She shoots ten men dead, often with single shots (three men in the evil lair, two bikers escaping, snaps two unconscious men's necks which is very impressive for a lady but much more tactical than Bond's idea to tie them up, and shoots two more in the boiler room, plus Scipio's translator). Bond kills six men (His two Double O's, two shot dead aboard the Marianne, Scipio drowns, and Reed Griffith). Not to mention her ingenious makeshift tournakit she learned while working as a candy girl. A much better character and name than Jeopardy Lane. This woman should have left an impression on Bond's heart and on his psyche, that women can be effective at aiding his mission.
4. The Felix Lieter archetypal precursor Reed Griffin. If anything, Bond would feel skeptical at least about working for the CIA again.
5. Horowitz is still using a phantom template from Trigger Mortis.  1) sabotage mission fails--Capture, 2) lengthy dialogue from villain about origin, followed by plan, 3) elaborate torture/death, 4) escape, 5) second successful sabotage, 6) Just when you thought it was over, a second extra bit of action. This is the Bond formula, but it can be disguised better.

Now the positive.
1. The Double O kills are great and I couldn't ask for a better first two kills. However this time, this first is easier and the second is harder, in contrast to the Casino Royale film.
2. Although Wolfe is a lackluster villain, Scipio is another stylish archetypal hero, and the Dr. No syndrome that plagued Mr. Sin isn't as prevalent here. Scipio has a plan and a reason for leaving Bond alive... twice. And those reasons are justified. With the mysterious Scipio speaking Italian and his translator translating, I think would translate very well to film. Something about the two-way inference between Scipio the translator and Bond allowed for darkness to brood, and allowed Bond to get some one liner quips to the middle man as well.
3. Twice over Horowitz made me fear for Bond. My knowledge that Bond was invincible and that he has further adventures beyond this one was completely suspended, first as Bond encounters the acid test, and secondly, as he faces an even worse fate. In all my digestion of the Bond mythos, it never occurred to me a scenario in which James Bond could become a willing sex slave, but here it was on paper. Horowitz went a step further from what Skyfall was too squeamish to do with Silva and his sexual advances. We don't get a thigh rub, we get fingers in lips, and the vixen is in the room to witness this as well (in order to create more uncomfortability), instead of being tied up outside after sharing all of a drink and a 5 minute shower of character development.  You see the acid hit and feel it burn... It happens, at least on paper, and at least to Bond's knowledge. And again, you see the needle penetrate and think how he will get out. A storyteller  who was worse at suspense would put a deus ex machina right before the acid hits, and right before the needle penetrated, but the fact that we witness it and Bond witnesses it is very crucial to the suspension of disbelief.
4. Horowitz goes for less action, more Noir this time around. Despite the story sagging in the middle, it is thoroughly engaging if you like the more noir. Don't expect anything like a motorcar race, or a Gatling gun firing at a hotel complex. This is a very inexperienced Bond trying to do his job while as a secondary objective, remaining alive.

5. Bond's drinking is in full swing. I actually tracked his addiction:

Day One: Half a bottle of cheap wine
Day Two: One bourbon, two vesper precursor martinis
Day three:  a Haig-and-Haig whiskey, a bourbon, a glass of champagne
Day Four: An Americano, a bottle of Dom Perign'on shared with Sixtine
Day Five: A bourbon
One week later: A Negroni made with Gordon's, one bourbon that I assume Bond went to have without Reed.

I give FaaD a 8/10 and hope to see more, (although different things) from Horowitz Bond.

Last edited by Shatterfang (2nd Jul 2018 11:11)

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Excellent review Shatterfang!

Shatterfang wrote:

Secondly, I wanted to see Bond's first encounter with Mathis. Upon hearing that it was to be set in France I was sure that Horowitz was leading us down this route, but nope.

I was also expecting this, given the setting.

The 2-3 mysteries we do have answered, I don't believe many have cared to ponder.

My feeling is that Sixtine being connected with the Vesper Martini was fine, but her being the origin of Morlands was overkill.

In Casino, Bond harbors a grudge with working with a woman, but is fine and happy to work with a woman. After the events of FAAD, shouldn't it be vice versa? I dare say that Sixtine is one of the most effective Bond girls in the series. She even suffers from what I'd call Mad Max Furiousa-Syndrome (i.e.: She is arguably more effective than Bond!).

My feelings exactly. You've pinpointed why this book, although fine, is not a fully convincing prequel to CR. The Bond of that book would not have had contemptuous feelings toward female field agents if he'd worked with Sixtine in FAD. He's be in awe of them.

The Felix Lieter archetypal precursor Reade Griffith. If anything, Bond would feel skeptical at least about working for the CIA again.

Exactly! Considering how badly Bond was burnt by the CIA, you'd think he would show signs of a very large grudge in CR. But FAD is definitely a post-Cold War and post-Trump Bond novel. It shows Americans engaging in nasty crimes to combat communism and the main villain is a vulgar American millionaire.

I also agree with you regarding the positive aspects of the novel, and that the good ultimately outweighs the bad. The torture scenes are ingenious and would have earned Fleming's approval. So would much of the rest of the book.

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I enjoyed your review, Shatterfang. Good points about women, CIA and trust. I agree that Reade Griffith was a rather flat character, but Sixtine was great. I why you miss Mathis, given the location. Personally I didn't miss him. I think enough was explained in this novel (drink, lighter, Moreland), so I'm glad he didn't explain the scar this time.

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My library finally has FAAD on order and I'm the first in line!

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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FaaD is officially the worst selling of the post-2008 continuation novels. It sold just over 17,000 copies in the first 4 weeks whereas “Solo” sold 25,000...

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arbogast wrote:

FaaD is officially the worst selling of the post-2008 continuation novels. It sold just over 17,000 copies in the first 4 weeks whereas “Solo” sold 25,000...

Maybe if it was actually available for sale in North America some more of us could buy a copy.

Here is the page listing the book from Indigo, Canada's biggest bookstore monopoly, even in Toronto there aren't really any independent competitors left.
Not available til November 6, 2018.
I believe that's the same date for the States (somebody gave the same date upthread, I'm sure).

Given this, either wait until after November to compare sales, or just compare against UK sales for previous books.

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caractacus potts wrote:

Given this, either wait until after November to compare sales, or just compare against UK sales for previous books.

The numbers I posted ARE comparing UK sales for previous books. To be clear and specific, they are comparing the hardcover sales of the various releases, during their first 4 weeks of release, in the UK and Ireland, as reported by Nielsen BookScan UK.

Last edited by Arbogast 777 (12th Jul 2018 21:33)

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caractacus potts wrote:

Jellyfish, does this Waterstones edition you've picked up include the original Fleming material as bonus content at the end, or do they simply mean Horowitz has incorporated Fleming's ideas into his story?

if you look back to pg3 of this thread, post 57, the same store was selling a special edition of Trigger Mortis that included Fleming's original synopsis for Murder on Wheels as a bonus feature, whereas most editions regularly available, do not.

Jellyfish wrote:

I have very sheepishly flicked towards the back of the book (I'm only on page 66), and some of the pages at the end have typewritten pages which have either been photographed or scanned and then printed in the book, so separate from the main story itself. This is the same as my copy of Trigger Mortis, which is also from Waterstones, and has the black cover rather than the standard silver.

And according to the contents page, the bonus Ian Fleming material is called

SpoilerRussian Roulette

did anybody ever accidentally scan or transcribe the Fleming synopsis from the new book?
I will be buying Forever and a Day when it finally shows up in Canadian bookstores (to be precise, it is on my Christmas wish list) … but Canadian editions of Trigger Mortis did not have the Fleming bonus content and I expect this new one will not either.

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I just finished the last chapters of FaaD this morning parked overlooking the rugged California coast.  I made a special detour to do this and the ambiance just made the experience of this book all the more evocative and gratifying, especially for the setting of the final scenes and the poignancy of the rainbow as it for me conceptually relates to the title.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/45468505394_b3a680b3a8_o.jpg

...just as this does too:

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4255/35183231220_821bc8c688_o.jpg

There's a inscription inside the case somewhere, lol ajb007/wink

My brief take; loved the ending chapters, particularly the dark humor and the cool ruthlessness of the characters.  Bond's one-liners actually reminded me of Daniel Craig's, so I don't know if that's good or bad, lol.  Overall, liked this book more than Trigger Mortis, which I really liked, though for me it all boils down to how I enjoy a journey on which a book will take me.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Shatterfang wrote:

The Felix Lieter archetypal precursor Reed Griffin. If anything, Bond would feel skeptical at least about working for the CIA again.

I thought the very same thing, and as soon as I had finished reading Forever and a Day I jumped straight into re-reading Casino Royale, looking for some hint that Bond was sceptical about trusting Leiter. I thought maybe that there was something in CR that Horowitz had picked up on, but didn't find any such thing.

Golrush 007 Fan Art - http://007fanart.wordpress.com/

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I loved your photo. How long did it take you to build that "smoking set?" It is awesome.

Bond: "But who would want to kill me, sir?"
M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors . . . the list is endless."

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Arbogast777 wrote:

FaaD is officially the worst selling of the post-2008 continuation novels. It sold just over 17,000 copies in the first 4 weeks whereas “Solo” sold 25,000...

The one thing I would say is that a lot more people by books on Kindles, iPads and various other devices nowadays conpared to a few years ago. I haven’t bought a newly releases physical book in years. I bought FAAD on iBooks.

Instagram: mybudgetbond
Twitter: @mybudgetbond1

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mpoplawski wrote:

I loved your photo. How long did it take you to build that "smoking set?" It is awesome.

Thank you!  The centerpiece items are the Morland cigarettes (not real) with box, produced by AJB member SFPROPS.  The other items, the large black metal cigarette case and the Ronson lighter came from eBay.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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I read it this week and enjoyed it. The last 15% was very good and brought the rest if the book together.

I'm not sure Fleming would've approved, though. He was one of those Brits who as a real Americanophile (like my father!). The Americans were always good guys

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did anybody ever accidentally scan or transcribe the actual Fleming bonus content from the Waterstones edition?
Fleming's original synopsis for the teevee episode, which Horowitz expanded for chapter 7 Russian Roulette?

I believe that Waterstones edition is the only edition that has the Fleming bonus content, definitely not any edition that has ever shown up in bookstores round here