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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Polar Bear 0007 wrote:

That's the point I'm making- Deaver takes liberties on Bond's "political outlook". 

I am not trying to cause pointless trouble, but I always laugh when I read how happy and glad people are that Bond is not the person Fleming invented him to be!  Proves the point I am making (rightly or wrongly) that this is not Bond!  Probably also explains why they are so afraid to let someone freely write a new novel in the Fleming era and give a writer the freedom to write unabashed like Fleming!  Don't dare offend anyone, the politically correct Gestapo will hunt you down.  No, instead we get this bland drivel as Bond.

So you think being racist was a fundamental part of the make-up of Fleming's Bond? I always found it rather incidental, and in jettisoning it, nothing of the character really changes. Do we really want a 21st century Bond commenting about how Koreans are sub-human?

—Le Samourai

A Gent in Training.... A blog about my continuing efforts to be improve myself, be a better person, and lead a good life. It incorporates such far flung topics as fitness, self defense, music, style, food and drink, and personal philosophy.
Agent In Training

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

YOU are the one talking about racism, not me.  It just proves my point.

Don't accuse Fleming of being a racist, he was a man of his time.  According to you, we should simply leave Fleming's Bond (warts and all) in the past.  So be it, but don't call this Deaver book a Bond book.

This is where we leave you Mr. Bond. (Pilot, Apollo Airlines)

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Polar Bear 0007 wrote:

YOU are the one talking about racism, not me.  It just proves my point.

Don't accuse Fleming of being a racist, he was a man of his time.  According to you, we should simply leave Fleming's Bond (warts and all) in the past.  So be it, but don't call this Deaver book a Bond book.

What point did I prove?

I'm sorry, I'm really not trying to be argumentative, just to understand your initial argument. What exactly was so PC about Deaver's version of Bond? That seems to be an issue with you, and I'd like to hear some concrete examples. All I could think of was his dislike of apartheid and the term 'colored.'

As for "According to you, we should simply leave Fleming's Bond (warts and all) in the past," please don't attribute things to me I never said. I believe Bond's racism should be left in the past, as it does nothing to improve the character and is rather incidental to his personality. I have no problem with Bond's other myriad of flaws--borderline alcoholism, bouts of depression, etc--still being part of his make-up. And I would agree with that Deaver's Bond should have had some more of these darker traits.

And I don't accept the "man of his time" excuse for Fleming. Many of his contemporaries in the thriller and mystery genres managed to create characters who didn't express racist views ala Bond in the novel GF.

—Le Samourai

A Gent in Training.... A blog about my continuing efforts to be improve myself, be a better person, and lead a good life. It incorporates such far flung topics as fitness, self defense, music, style, food and drink, and personal philosophy.
Agent In Training

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Having picked up a copy of this novel for £2.00 from a charity shop -I am now at long last reading it. So far I quite like it. But then again any new Bond story always reinvigorates my interest in the literary 007. Hydt's character is creepy and horrible so far - as his taste for the dead is revolting. Maybe not a typical Bond  Master Criminal -but one who ticks boxes with his depraved tastes and his lust for success and power. Whether the tale continues in a satisfactory way I will have to see. As for Deaver's style and prose -maybe it lacks some of Fleming's panache but it does give us a tale that is more suited to todays audiences . For me so far it is an interesting addition to the Bond cannon, and definitely not the worst I have read.  ajb007/martini

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Having watched the watchable but rather insipid Alex Ryder movie on telly, I was annoyed to see Deaver's whole 'what happened to my father, how did he die?' angle was ripped off that, not impressed.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Just finished Carte Blanche and yet again I am disappointed with a continuation novel.  Suppose I always will be as no one can touch Fleming's unuque style.

Most of the points of why CB doesn't work have been covered, but for me:

1.  Why the change of Bond's organisation from MI6 to ODG.  This story would have worded exactly the same with the 00 Section being part of SIS.
2.  No real main Bond girl in the traditional sense. 
3. Hydt an ineffectual villian.  He had the required foibles that any Bond vilian should have, but he reminds me of Dominic Greene in QOS, too lightweight.  Seems to rely too much on Dunne who seems superior rather than a subordinate.
4.  Naill Dunne is a Grant clone but without the menace.  Just how do you pronounce his surname - is it done as in finished, or dune as in sand.
5.  No real major plot as in robbing Fort Knox or nuclear blackmail, but a number of small one's none of which make much sense or add up to much.   
6.  To many subplots.  Fleming didn't do subplots, these were an irritation that was introduced by John Gardiner.
7.  Re writing the Bond family history, what was the point of that.

Basically no real sense that you were reading a Bond novel, rather than just a standard thriller where the hero could have been called anything.

Some reviewer once said 'If Ian Fleming was the Savoy Grill then John Gardiner is MacDonald's.  Enjoyable enough when you are consuming it but instantly forgettable afterwards'  Thats exactly how I feel about this book.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

In one of my post in another forum, I wrote:
If you have not read any of James Bond, is a very good book, but if you read the books Fleming, Gardner .....no, do not look like the Fleming books, and the writer takes many licenses, such as changing the lives of parents of Bond, change the name to Q

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Although I enjoyed the mystery weaving/storytelling of carte blanche, Weaver failed to evoke the thing/experience that is most important about James Bond (in my opinion). "that" in spite the danger "all men want to be James Bond and all women want to be with him" (not speaking for all men of course, hoping you get my drift/) In other words Deaver's rebooted Bond  failed to deliver the "STEELY CHARISMA" of the original.. book, film or otherwise. and as far as the updated parent story,  Deaver's suggested spin (not to spoil)  has been done all over TV and the movies in recent years..

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Weak

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Bodie wrote:

4.  Naill Dunne is a Grant clone but without the menace.  Just how do you pronounce his surname - is it done as in finished, or dune as in sand.

Some reviewer once said 'If Ian Fleming was the Savoy Grill then John Gardiner is MacDonald's.  Enjoyable enough when you are consuming it but instantly forgettable afterwards'

Dunne as in Done.

Nice quote, and to finish it I would add "...and Jeffrey Deaver is a TV Dinner: fills a hole but leaves you unsatisfied."

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Yeah, one of my ex-girlfriends described me that way.   ajb007/frown

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Thanks Domino Effect.  Thought it was pronounced as 'done'.  Not exactly a very Bondian name for a henchman Niall Dunne.  Doesn't exactly rate up there with Donovan Grant or Oddjob.  But it personifies the whole book - doesn't rate with anything Fleming wrote.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

oscar rubio wrote:

In one of my post in another forum, I wrote:
If you have not read any of James Bond, is a very good book, but if you read the books Fleming, Gardner .....no, do not look like the Fleming books, and the writer takes many licenses, such as changing the lives of parents of Bond, change the name to Q


NEW- at Waterstones bookshops they have one copy each of a Trade Paperback of Carte Blanche at £13.99.
It is the same size as the hardback-so may be scarcer in the future. With red title lettering.

It is not the smaller size CB paperback which is due out on May 25th.

Bleuville.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I got Carte Blanche the day it came out.

I still haven't been able to finish it.

That is all.

Founder of the Wint & Kidd Appreciation Society.

@merseytart

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

i thought it was awful..i much prefer "devil may care" by sebastian faulks,, much more proper era,

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I liked it and I didn't like it. I thought that the villian characters were pretty good. Also when I read fiction, I still like to learn-For example, I learned alot about Jamaica from reading Fleming. I feel I learned more about S. Africa and Dubai from reading this.
I don't like Bond's interaction with women in this book. I feel he comes across as too romantic. Too hopeful and needy. To me, Bond should have a very glib, unattached view of females (apart from respect for his work collegues). He likes to get laid, but to him it's all about the mission......He even is described as having a twin bed ! I don't know about the UK, but here in the States, a twin bed is very small....harly sufficient for bedroom gymnastics.....Something massive like Roger Moore's king size bed on a platform in LALD is more suitable.
I did like the description of him having a Bentley GT as his daily driver and an XKE in Brittish Racing Green as his second car....Also that they both barely fit in his garage is cool too.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Having just finished rereading CARTE BLANCHE on the kindle the main issue I have with it, the one that sticks out massively on second read is the recurring habit Deaver has of giving us a chapter from one POV (contacting Mathis for help with the surveillance, chasing the van in the Bentley, meeting Hydt as the south african arms dealer) and then revealing a new piece of information, normally involving Bond having been particularly clever. for me at least, this trait of the narrative just becomes more and more irritating as the story progresses because it means that I spent a lot of my time trying to work out what we weren't being told instead of concentrating on what we were.
this cheat, to artificially ramp up the tension, is something Fleming never used, with each of his stories (Spy Who Loved Me exempt) being pretty much entirely from Bond's Point of View.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I really don't think Deaver understood the character of Bond enough to write this book. In CB he comes over as a very one-dimensional character and though I enjoyed the opening of the book, I lost the will to live by it's end. Far too much texting on his phone for me.

"Thank you very much. I was just out walking my RAT and seem to have lost my way... "

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I think Deaver knew Bond extremely well.  Which is why he didn't concentrate on Bonds character too much in this novel because people who are avid readers of Fleming's work would already be familiar with Bond and he needed no fleshing out at all.  It's always been a mistake when other writers started to explore Bonds character.  Only Fleming could do that with any conviction.  I think Deaver was right not to delve too deeply into Bond himself in his update.  That would have been extremely difficult.  Even Fleming kept Bond's character one dimensional in some of his best works.

Was it Fleming's Bond?  Of course not.  Only Fleming could give us that.  But it was a pretty damned good stab at bringing Bond into the more modern and realistic novel spy genre we have today.  Comparing Carte Blanche to Fleming's work is like comparing Casino Royale to the first four Connery films or Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes to the modern Benedict Cumberbatch's series.  It's very different.  Just enjoy it as a modern take on an old favourite. 

The literary Bond that we all know and love belongs in the Fifties and Sixties.  You cannot transpose that exact character into a modern environment without changing him quite considerably.  That's something we have to accept.  I think Deaver knew that too and to try too hard would have been a big error.  It is only amongst us die hard fans that he was criticized so much.  To the general reader and passing Bond fan,  Carte Blanche received exceptional reviews.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Thought it was an excellent book, which improves with each re-reading - find it sad that the next bond novel will be a period set book instead of a continuation - and think it's one of the best non - Fleming written books (alongside Colonel Sun and Devil May Care which were both similarly excellent) and far superior to either Gardner or Benson's efforts

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

chris m wrote:

Thought it was an excellent book....far superior to either Gardner or Benson's efforts

Can you expand on that a little, I'm really interested....
And welcome to AJB, btw! ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I think the problem with Gardner and Benson's Bond was the enormous change in his character and behaviour.  Yes, they had Bond set in a more familiar environment with the usual regular characters, but they changed Bond himself too much.  Gardners Bond turned him into a pompous pawn that had an air of superiority within himself, that just didn't seem real.  His quoting of poems and classic literature was certainly not Bond. And Benson's Bond, well, he was lifted directly from the films and had little bearing on the literary Bond in any shape or form.

That is what happens when you lift a period character and plonk him in the modern world.  We know Bond's character and he doesn't need to be expanded on and can work well as a one dimensional character.  Not so much in his own time period, but certainly when surrounding him in a different and more contemporary one.  Deaver was treading this fine line and got it right for me.  I know Bond well as Fleming's work is the bible (or collection of bibles  ajb007/biggrin ) for me.  But that character would be almost imbecilic in todays fast paced hi tech world.  He has to change to work.  It was a bold choice to change almost everything in Carte Blanche.  But it has become one of my favourite Bond novels, which is interesting as upon first reading it, I thought.. MEH!

I encourage anyone to read it again.  To do so slowly and take in the minutiae and details.  It a very well written and structured novel that has been exceptionally well researched and planned.  The changes to Bond's past while go against the grain for some people, but we shouldn't get weighed down in the past.  This is a modern Bond novel and not  Fleming.  A literary reboot.  I'm sad that it isn't being followed up.

Going back to the thought that Deaver didn't know Bond.  I spent quite a bit of time talking to him about the literary Bond, Fleming and the modern intelligent services too.  He definitely knows his Bond as he is very much a huge fan of Fleming's work.  He has a vast knowledge of the British forces too and I was surprised he knew so much about 14 Company and the more intricate side of the UK's intelligence system.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

I am up to the start of the Thursday section and this book is ok... but slow and plodding.  UNLIKE Fleming that had that sweep to his work.

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Well I've finished Carte Blanche in pretty good time. Five days.

Pros:
.It's very well written overall. Deaver did his research and put some thought into it.
.Severan Hydt is a creepy bastard and that makes him a solid villain in my eyes.
.I like the scenes set in Serbia, London, and Dubai. Good locations also.
.I like the Philly character and her banter with Bond. Wish we'd seen more of her.
.I liked seeing Leiter and Mathis.
.Dunne, while underused, was a decent henchman.

Cons:
.Bond as a character is too PC.
.Very slow/bloated during the Cape Town scenes. Could've been about a hundred pages shorter.
.Why have Bond working for that new organization and not MI6? Totally unnecessary.
.Forgettable Bond girls. Especially the South African one. I've already forgotten her name.
.Only Q can be the head of Q Branch. Not the Indian guy. Again I forget the name.
.Didn't like the idea of Bond's parents being spies.

Other:
.There is a sequence in England where Bond has to escape a demolition in three minutes. I instantly thought of SP. Only this was a little more original.
.I think the opening in Serbia would make a great PTS.

Final Thoughts:
While a good spy thriller, I didn't feel like I was reading a Bond thriller. However, with a just a few changes and some tightening this very easily could've been a superb novel and a good movie for 2010. It's definitely inspired me to read the other continuation novels finally after almost nine years of being a Bond fan.
Overall, enjoyable but forgettable.
7/10
ajb007/martini

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby

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Re: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver -- what do you think?

Q is the head of Q branch.  It's just a moniker for Quartermaster.  The was no 'Q' in the Fleming novels, just a Q Branch.

Fleming based Bond's service on SOE, that's why he works for another body separate from MI6, it was Deaver giving a nod to SOE and Fleming's connection with that organisation when he created the ODG.  M was the head of SOE - Gubbins.  As you said, Deaver really did do his research, and to his credit, the SOE connection wasn't as well known as it is today due to the documents being released recently.  Kudos to Deaver for that.

Agreed, it's not like reading a traditional Bond novel.  This Bond isn't born of the early 20th century, but of the 70's.  And couldn't ever be the same as the character Fleming created, or the Bond of the films.  It was a character in development and Deaver should have done two more.  I think it's the best modern Bond.  In fact, it is the only modern Bond, all the other novels have the same Bond but older.  Much older, or period set.  this is the first time Bond has been re-written for a modern reader.  It worked and was very successful.

Last edited by Asp9mm (14th Dec 2017 21:56)

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