"My novel is meant to stand in the line of Fleming's own books, where the story is everything." said Faulks, "In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkelling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in late afternoon, then more Martinis and glamorous women.
In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkelling."Picking up from where Fleming left off in 1966 with The Living Daylights / Octopussy, Faulks has written the perfect continuation of the James Bond legacy.
Devil May Care is set during the Cold War and features all the glamour, thrills and excitement that one would expect from any adventure involving Bond... James Bond.
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"Jeremy Northam's accents intensify the book's 1960s atmosphere nicely, but we soon realise that there is purpose as well as fun here. The Iran-set novel reminds us of how much damage our colonial past has done to our present. Its evil mastermind had a scheme to saturate British cities with heroin, and another to acquire The Times and other newspapers to destroy the credibility of British politics. Older, less lascivious, and beginning to creak at the joints, Bond is feeling his years. But he is still a man of infinite resource and sagacity and now likes pepper - cracked, not ground - on his scrambled eggs." (The Times)
Fantastic book, and having only ever watched Bond movies (and being a great fan of them) I was delighted with this book - it was true Bond and with the excellent narration, it almost made me miss my bus stop several times I was so involved in the story. The pace was great and I could truly imagine all the great Bonds in the role and more realisticaly Bond was showing his age in 1960's London but still managed to show what he was capable of in the worst of situations (typically far-fetched in Bond fashion but then that is true Bond). My only regret is that the book finished too soon, it was so easy to listen too.
The story is quintessential Bond, in fact so much so that you recognise scenes lifted from earlier stories albeit the movies rather than Fleming's novels. They're pasted together in a fairly workmanlike manner with no anticipation other than to see if you've correctly guessed the outcomes. You have.
It's lightweight and farcical but entertaining enough. Howevert - given that my expectation was high - a huge disappointment. There was an opportunity here to reboot the Bond franchise but what we get is just an old boot.
I found the plot quite difficult to follow. There was a whole chapter of Bond playing a blow-by-blow tennis match with the villian of the story, which was gratuitous and seemed to be the chapter Faulks was most interested in. After this it was difficult to take the novel seriously.
Not if I can help it. I wouldn't have thought anyone could make a James Bond story boring.
I think the narrator did a good job, although perhaps he could have differentiated between the characters' voices a little more.
I was disappointed by this book.
I wouldn't recommend this book. Perhaps the original Ian Fleming stories are better though - maybe give those a try instead?
Tell me a story...
Very entertaining with everything you would expect from a Bond story. It does fizzle out a little by the end and looses momentum but you can forgive that.
OK plot. Suitably mad physically and morally flawed villain and evil sociopath sidekick. Suitably impossibly complicated mad plan to destroy England.
Lots of satisfying references to the Fleming canon - he has obviously read them all (good start), and he has the style down.
No sharks or crocodiles. Sad face.
About twice the length of some of Fleming's Bond novels. There were points it never seemed to end.
No apparent reason for/reference to the meaning of the title - there usually is.
OK. Worth a credit. Wouldn't pay full whack though.
Jeremy Northam reads it well as Bond.
Really enjoyed this novel. I've never read a Bond book before but with the new films with Daniel Craig being worth a watch i gave it a go.
Faulks brings a true feel of a time hardened spy with high tastes, rather than gadget toting pretty boys I remember from the old films.
Nicely placed in the 1960s, but a great story from the start, and a great ending. Good characters, easily distinguishable, and an exciting story that swept you along.
It has to be Bond, James Bond ... shaken and slightly stirred.
the characterisations were good (although the women all sounded a bit dippy with his "girlie" voice!)
Loved the style, it's very much in the vain of Ian Fleming and catches the essence of the early Bond stories.
Haven't listened to any other of his performances.
""Old School" Bond is back"
Being a long time Bond fan - I had quite high expectations.. I have listened to some of the original titles.. even tried Silverfin, from the Young Bond series to feed my appetite..
I am quite particular about the narration - so was pleased with Jeremy Northam's reading - it's crisp clear.. and sometimes a little... old school, especially when he does the foreign accents - put a smile on my face.. (He's the chap from that brill BBC series The Tudors and twisted sci-fi Cypher) - and he could even make a convincing Bond...
The author is definitely what some people would say "writing by numbers".. and so faithfully brings Bond back. If you were expecting something different then this may disappoint you.. if like me, you were looking for more of the old school.. then step right up. Brilliant..
To put this in perspective: I see this book more a Sean Connery's Bond.. classic cars.. tennis whites.. a little flawed.. the descriptions of these are wonderful..
Bond is DEFINITELY back..
"This is not an evolution"
James Bond. He is the icon of all the spies. Everybody knows the gadgets, the style and the womanizing charm. Author tried to continue in Fleming's novels and this try is successful. The thing is that there is nothing new. When you read this book you understand the approach of the moviemakers. Move Bond to 21st century is a clever way how to keep him alive. This book is a residue of ancient times. It is a visit of the Cold war but from today's perspective all the described Russian - British problems look a bit distant. If you look for a sequel of Fleming's work it is book for you. If you search for a modern spy thriller look another direction.
"Sebastian Faulks,shaken, not stirred!"
I have read all Sebastian Faulks' other works and love his writing. It was interesting to see his take on the Ian Fleming style. The narration by Jeremy Northam was just right in tone and expression and did not intrude on the listener's imaginative interpretation too much.
I look forward to more work by Sebastian Faulks and would be pleased to listen to Jeremy Northam again.
I would recommend Devil May Care to all those interested in finding out what a writer whose strength lies in his portrayal of the inner life of his characters makes of a more plot-driven genre.
I have not heard any other of Jeremy Northam's performances before but found that his rendering of this novel allowed me to engage fully with the author's words without intrusive overacting and excessive interpretation.
"Worst sort of Potboiler"
The author tries to cash in on the popularity and formula of the Bond mystique but fails badly.This bond is not too bright, not witty nor very brave.The story did not follow logically from a start to a middle to an end an quite frankly I did not much care, and could not wait for it to be over.Towards the end I only listened with half an ear. Really bad story , no glamour and not much else to reccommend it.Also too much gratuitous violence for my liking.
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