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Topic: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

This is the thread to review and discuss Anthony Horowitz' "Forever and a day" (FaaD? ) completely freely. If you haven't read the book yet I strongly suggest you read the other FaaD thread instead.

I have just finished reading the novel, so these are only my first impressions. The plot and writing is really good and I enjoyed reading the book. About midway I missed action and fighting. I enjoy reading about the food, people, places etc. of Bond's world, but the story might gain from a stronger sense of danger and threat in the first part of the novel. But the later chapters were so full of it, in many ways it makes up for the calmer start.

The French Riviera has been the setting of Bond novels before, but Horowitz has found new locations there and makes it fresh and interesting. Stockholm and Sweden is new for Bond, so that's good. I have commented on Rolf Larsen's backstory in the other FaaD thread, so I won't do it here.
Scipio and Wolfe are interesting villans, Scipio being the most colourful. Their plan isn't the most original or complex, but it doesn't have to be - It works. I see to remember reading somewhere that Scipio tortures and kills people by sitting on them, simply crushing them by his enormous weight. He doesn't, but that's just as well.
Sixtine is a more interesting Bond "girl" than most, I liked her and her story.
In my opinion Bond was sometimes too "modern" in his thinking, even PC, at times in Trigger Mortis.
In Faad Bond kisses Sixtine forcefully and without invitation, just like Fleming's and Connery's Bond did. Good for him. But Sixtine says: “I want to make it clear that you are never to touch me again without asking.” Perhaps too Meetoo# for some, but it works for a character like Sixtine.

What didn't I like? The military isn't Horowitz' strong suit. Wolfe's sons were Marines who were killed on Omaha beach, but the US Marines didn't fight there. As far as I know the USMC didn't fight in the European theatre at all. All the guards at Wolfe's factory seems to be carrying light machine guns. That's a bit much. Even elite military units in the 1950's weren't that heavily armed. Rifles, carbines or even submachine guns would be more realistic.
Sixtine's death is explained with her saying "something hit her" when they jumped ship seems like lazy writing to me. It should be "300 kronor", not "300 krona" Bond steals from Larsen. All minor stuff.
Generally I think "Forever and a day" is one of the best continuation novels, up there with Trigger Mortis and Colonel Sun.

Last edited by Number24 (25th Jun 2018 10:36)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

What do you think of Sixtine being behind "shaken, not stirred", the lighter and the Moreland sigarettes?
I didn't mind. Those habits had to come from someone, and it makes sense that it came from an experienced and complex person like her.

I also like the start of FaaD. The first 007 dies, Bond meets M for the first time and Bond decide to take up the 007 number. It's nice.  ajb007/bond

While I think the guards at Wolfe's factory are almost ridicolously heavily armed, I liked the poisonous nettles. it's a very Bondian touch.
The nettles are a hint of the Garden of Death, but not too heavy-handed.

I also like the name Sixtine. It echoes (or foreshadows) the numerical names of Le Chiffre and 007 himself without being obvious. Making it Joanne Brochet's codename while she was an SOE agent in WWII makes sense. I'm pretty knowledgable about SOE's activities in Norway during the war, not so much when it comes to other occupied countries such as France. Because of this I don't really know if SOE really sent agents to France knowing their cover was blown like Sixtine claims. Can anyone enlighten us?

Last edited by Number24 (25th Jun 2018 11:06)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I wasn't overly happy with Bond having his drink shaken not stirred because of an old girlfriend, rather than
Another of his strictly held beliefs ( like the perfect time for a boiled egg ) but I'll let it go. The story is good but
Very familiar to Bond movie fans.  It has a few obvious twists, so not many surprises. I did enjoy it though and
Hope he gets a few more opportunities to write more adventures.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I really enjoyed it just three things seemed out of place to me, the light machine guns, I have no doubt it was intended to be sub machine guns but I kept picturing the goons walking round with Bren guns not MAT-49s as probably intended, the guard with a walkie-talkie on his belt, have you seen the size of 1950 walkie-talkies ! His trousers would be round his ankles, and the remote control for the gate, really in 1950?

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I never picked up on the walkie-talkies and remote controls. You're right about them.

I remember an episode of Foyle's War that was about SOE agents being sent to France even though the bosses knew their cover as blown. This was in the season set after the war, when Foyle was working in MI5. The brother of one of the agents killed SOE bosses. Of course Foyle's War was written by Anthony Horowitz.
It's also worth mentioning that the car Sam drives Foyle around in has suicide doors. Of course the car Bond and Sixtine uses to get into Wolfe's factory has suicide doors and the chapter is titled "suicide doors".

Last edited by Number24 (25th Jun 2018 16:20)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I did enjoy the interrogation  scene, I was worried for 007
In that one. The thought  of how that would leave a person
Was horrific.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

The heroin was scary and a completely new way to torture Bond. One should that was impossible to find after all those times Bond has been tortured, so cudos to Horowitz for that.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Yes, the thought of being reduced to a zombie willing to
Do anything for your next fix.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

That rate would perhaps Bond's worst nightmare.
Bond's thoughts when he is under the influence of the drug can be said to be a version of what he has to will himself to think when does some of his daredevil acts. A cynic might even say the Bond of the heroin high is the 007 of many Bond movies.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

That is how heroin  got it's name as it made you feel heroic.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

sniperUK wrote:

I really enjoyed it just three things seemed out of place to me, the light machine guns, I have no doubt it was intended to be sub machine guns but I kept picturing the goons walking round with Bren guns not MAT-49s as probably intended, the guard with a walkie-talkie on his belt, have you seen the size of 1950 walkie-talkies ! His trousers would be round his ankles, and the remote control for the gate, really in 1950?

I can't find anything about the guards carrying walkie-talkies in their belts. In chapter 15 a guard carries a radio transmitter, but  I don't think it says it's in the belt. It could be elsewhere in the book, I guess. The most modern walkie-talkies were AN PRC-6, best known from photos from the Vietnam war (developed in the late 40's, but they were I use in the 60's). Those were carried over the shoulder. If a drug lord could get hold of several of them when they were almost new is a different question.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

How do you feel about the locations in the novel?
There was essentially only two locations outside of England, the south of France and Stockholm.
Mediteranian France has been used before in Bond novels. Stockholm was only in one chapter and the city wasn't described that much. Strangely I've never been in Stockholm (or France, but that's less surprising) so I can't say how well Horowitz captured the city.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Number24 wrote:

How do you feel about the locations in the novel?
There was essentially only two locations outside of England, the south of France and Stockholm.
Mediteranian France has been used before in Bond novels. Stockholm was only in one chapter and the city wasn't described that much. Strangely I've never been in Stockholm (or France, but that's less surprising) so I can't say how well Horowitz captured the city.

Just finished the book. I enjoyed it very much. I can't comment from experience on how well the location was captured, but I did like how the quaint and picturesque descriptions of the towns contrasted with the underworld of crime. The small bakery and local café and then the secluded industrial plant or the ship hiding secrets.

I also enjoyed how Bond shows a transformation from the beginning when he takes out Rolf Larsen and ponders it in the moment and after the fact versus the end when he kills Griffith and "felt nothing". He has become the true 007.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I quite enjoyed the book and would be pleased if Horowitz had another go, although I’d also like to see the literary Bond return to the present.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Imho this is by far the best of the literary Bonds set in Fleming's time and world, surpassing Horowitz's own Trigger Mortis. A large part of the 'Fleming effect' is intact but with some judiciously subtle allusions to the movies worked in, as well, in a way which doesn't distract. The image of Sixtine's death by drowning is described in a way that recalls Eva Green's performance of Vesper's death in CR, the business of a donkey bearing a melon cart obstructing the car chase is a nod to innumerable comedy Bond movie chase sequences but described in a way that sidesteps the broad humour, and even the chapter heading 'Down To The Wire' could be taken as a nod to a lyric in aha's 'The Living Daylights'. Best of all, the highly effective final twist reflects the compromised US/UK 'special relationship' which was a theme in Quantam of Solace and especially topical in more recent times, real-life. There are many ways in which the novel is true to Fleming. Wolfe is as barmy as Drax and Scipio is worthy of any villain in Fleming's 'hoods' convention' of grotesques. I'd love to read more period Bond novels in this style, written for insertion into Fleming's continuity.

Last edited by Shady Tree (3rd Aug 2018 08:58)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

That's an ace review Shady Tree, nice succinct fluid writing...

I will post my review, I'm just taken up with my current addiction to heroin, well, I thought after reading this book it sounded pretty good, much better than a vodka martin.

It might take a day or two.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

After Bond has killes Rolf Larsen in Stockholm he throws some valuables he has stolen from the apartment  into the water: "It hit the surface and Bond saw the ripples, a series of circles - zeroes, perhaps -  closing in on themselves...".  Since this is the last of the two assassinations that makes him a 00-agent, is this a nice touch or too heavy-handed? I haven't quite decided yet.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Number24 wrote:

After Bond has killes Rolf Larsen in Stockholm he throws some valuables he has stolen from the apartment  into the water: "It hit the surface and Bond saw the ripples, a series of circles - zeroes, perhaps -  closing in on themselves...".  Since this is the last of the two assassinations that makes him a 00-agent, is this a nice touch or too heavy-handed? I haven't quite decided yet.

Heavy handed  ajb007/cool

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Arbogast777 wrote:
Number24 wrote:

After Bond has killes Rolf Larsen in Stockholm he throws some valuables he has stolen from the apartment  into the water: "It hit the surface and Bond saw the ripples, a series of circles - zeroes, perhaps -  closing in on themselves...".  Since this is the last of the two assassinations that makes him a 00-agent, is this a nice touch or too heavy-handed? I haven't quite decided yet.

Heavy handed  ajb007/cool

Agreed. He could have left the metaphor without "zeroes, perhaps" and the reader would not be insulted.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

If you're interested in organized crime in Marseille, "the Chicago of France" , I can reccomend the movie "La French" from 2014. It's a really good thriller. The English title is "The Connection". It's set two decades after the events in "Forever and a day" and is based on real events. It is a directly connected to the events shown in the famous movie "The French Connection". The classic movie is really the American side of the same network La France is about.
The lead in "La French" is Jean Dujardin, known for playing a comic agent in two OSS-117 movies.

Last edited by Number24 (17th Aug 2018 22:18)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Number24 wrote:

If you're interested in organized crime in Marseille, "the Chicago of France" , I can reccomend the movie "La French" from 2014. It's a really good thriller. The English title is "The Connection". It's set two decades after the events in "Forever and a day" and is based on real events. It is a directly connected to the events shown in the famous movie "The French Connection". The classic movie is really the American side of the same network La France is about.
The lead in "La French" is Jean Dujardin, known for playing a comic agent in two OSS-117 movies.

And for that matter The French Connection 2 as well. That went to Marseille for the French side of that network. Decent flick.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

There seem to be more than one real-life case that might be the inspirator to Bond's second assassination in Stockholm in '45. I've already mentioned Kai Holst. He was a regional commander in the Norwegian resistance before he had to escape to Sweden where he continued working for the resistance. Stockholm, like Zürich in Switzerland and Casablanca in Marocco, was full of spies working for all the major players. He was "suicided" just after the war and the Germans seem to be the only ones not suspected of being behind it. His file in Säpo has mysteriously vanished. This looks a lot like what Feleming wrote about in CR, other than the fact that Kai Holst wasn't a double-agent.


A restaging of Kai holst as he was found

https://www.rbnett.no/frapapir/article7263009.ece/BINARY/w980-adaptive/20130317-221856-pic-941145631.jpg

Last edited by Number24 (20th Aug 2018 08:58)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

There is another case, and this time the victim was a double agent. Instead of an embassy the Norwegian exile government in London had a Legation in Stockholm. On the 29th of July 1944 the Swede Claes Bertil Warholm was shot in the military office in the Norwegian Legation. The killers were Arthur Pevik and Odd Sørli, both Norwegian Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents. They had worked in nazi-occupied Norway, mostly with training guerillas. The victim Warholm probably worked as a secret agent for several of the sides in the war. For a period he worked in Trondheim in Norway for the resistance, but he was turned by the Gestapo. A short time after the resistance in the region around Trondheim was hit hard, with many members killed and tortured. An organisation called Sonderabteilung Lola "Special Unit Lola" , led by Oliver Rinnan (a man who could be a good model for a Bond villan) was behind it. Arthur Pevik's brother was arrested, horribly tortured and hanged in his cell. Family members of Odd Sørli were also arrested and tortured. Odd got away, but two members of Sonderabteilung Lola moved into the family home.

The two SOE-agents had lured Warholm to the Legation to get him on Norwegian territory. It was probably not a sanctioned killing since Sørli later critizised Pevik for shooting. After killing Warholm they rolled him into a carpet and drove to the British Legation where the body was dumped. The British understood the Norwegians were behind the killing and asked them to sort out the mess. They sent Ida Lindebrække to make the body ready. She was the secretary at the SOE office at the Norwegian Legation. Her normal duties involved wining and dining agents returning agents from missions at the best restaurants in the city. When their R&R was over she issued them with suicide pils and other equipment before going to the next mission in occupied Norway. Sometimes she also handed the assassination orders from London. She was basically "Miss Moneypenny". After the war she married SOE-agent Max Manus (the movie "Man of War" is about him), and became known as "Tikken" Manus. Then someone drove the body outside the city and dumped it in a bog.

Both Sørlie and Pevik returned to Norway where they worked for the SOE for the rest of the war. Odd Sørli worked for the Oslo Gang, an outfit led by Gunnar "Number 24" Sønsteby and considered to be the best sabotage unit in Europe by the SOE. Rolf Larsen, Bond's target in "Forever and a day" was also described as a member of the group. The Oslo Gang were the personal bodyguard of crown prince Olav when he returned to Norway weeks after the war ended. The German soldiers were still armed, but Sørlie drowe the crown prince's car calmly in the welcoming parade.Odd Sørli led the group that shot Oliver Rinnan after he got the death penalty after the war. It wasn't Odd Sørli who asked for the job - he was there on Rinnan's request.


Odd Sørli driving the king's car during the freedom parade in 1945

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Kronprins_Olav_i_åpen_bil%2C_Mai_1945_%283610415183%29.jpg/220px-Kronprins_Olav_i_åpen_bil%2C_Mai_1945_%283610415183%29.jpg


Arthur Pevik

http://www.spycom.org/WW2/2_ENGLAND/2C/General%20Hansteen%2020.jpg


Ida Lindebrække/"Tikken" Manus

http://gfx.dagbladet.no/labrador/461/461405/4614058/jpg/active/320x.jpg



Oliver Rinnan (in the middle) while he was in prison after the war. The officer with his back to the camera is the SOE agent Tormod Morset. Morset's exact words to Rinnan when the photo was taken were: "Rinnan, you killed my brother". My father knew a younger Morset  brother while they were students who lost an arm as a boy during the German hunt after the Morset Family.

http://selbuboka.no/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bind2arbeidsfil-147.jpg


The restaurant of Grand Hotel in Stockholm. This place was a favourite fro diplomats, spies and SOE-agents during WWII.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_WCmoYBQ8Zg/V7xw0SjmZjI/AAAAAAAAAzk/61KXsWese6cqqN0Y8lHrs2dBbThLgTG8gCLcB/s1600/Grand-Hotel-Stockholm-details.jpg

Last edited by Number24 (20th Aug 2018 08:47)

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

I'm reading the Monte Carlo chapter and it just occured to me that Sixtine reminds me a lot of Modesty Blaise. Both her look and the life style of working in organised crime and inteligence. Modesty went from organised crime to working for MI6 while it's the other way 'round for Sixtine.

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Re: Forever and a Day - reviews and open discussion (spoilers)

Number 24, I really enjoy reading your notes that provide the real-world background that inspired the story. SOE has an interesting history indeed!