"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.
Kildonan by the sea
This is a book that captures the time and places it depicts, while recreating the Character and idiosyncrasies of its creator, plus all the expected set pieces and a faithful representation of the expected plot.
For a book created in six weeks by Faulks, with a certain disdain for not being real writing it achieves the necessary amounts of entertainment and creativity.
The formula works especially when delivered by a master. entertaining and well paced with a great understanding of the genre.
I very much enjoyed listening to this book. Sebastian Faulks has done a good job of capturing the essence and style of Ian Fleming's books without sacrificing his own distinct way of writing.
My only criticism is that I thought that he was running out of steam towards the end of the book, and whilst it is always easy to listen to and absorbing, the tension distinctly slackened towards the end - at least compared to the original books. I think, for example, that they would struggle to make a good movie out of the book, as is, without adding quite a lot more action and thrills! Hence four stars rather than five for me.
A real plus point for me was the truly excellent narration from Jeremy Northam - I hope he is signed up by someone else to do more because he is top class.
Overall though, recommended.
Considering the hype surrounding the release of this book, and the author's undoubted credentials I was expecting something pretty special with 'Devil May Care'. Instead this book is a poorly-written rehash of just about every Bond story you can name.
Okay, I appreciate that my background in Bond is based upon the films which were generally set in the present, whereas the books were mostly written in the late 50s early 60s, and therefore the authors' constant reference to other stories 'Bond thought back to his encounter with Scaramanger/Goldfinger/Drax' (no really, they're all mentioned) adds nothing to the narrative except confusion.
Which is a shame because the general premise of the story is a good one. It is set in the mid 60s. The USA is embroiled in the Vietnam War and is looking to the UK to join them. The UK refuses and the USA are angry at this, as they consider they saved the UK's bacon in 2 world wars (gotta love those boys). An evil mastermind with a deep hatred of the British and their colonial history cooks up a plan to bring the UK to its knees. He will engineer a conflict with Russia which the UK will have no chance of winning. The USA will not come to the UKs aid, and the UK will become a 3rd world country. Like I said, a pretty sound premis for a plot.
But it's in the telling of the story that everything goes wrong. The narrative is basically clumsy, and with a plot twist that you will guess about 2 pages after the character appears. The set pieces are pretty much all taken from previous Bond films; the tennis match where the Bad Guy arranges for the net to raise every time Bond serves (the steeplechase fences in View To A Kill); the henchman who gets sucked out of a plane when a gun goes off (Goldfinger); the fight aboard the tourist boat in Paris (View to a kill again); the close combat fight in the moving train (Spy who loved me) and so on and so on.
This book should've been called 'For Old Rope'.
most probably the best bond story since the originals by fleming.
a good absorbing listen. i would recommend it to all members bond fans or not
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.
Certainly love Faulks he is one of our most talented writers. And Jeremy's narration is excellent.
The story however is a very poor pot boiler made of Ian Fleming set pieces. Fleming was one of our great novelists, but did write a couple of JB pot boilers himself. If this was his it would be his worst. However, the style while it tries to be IF is a long way from it, the plot is poor and the set pieces (tennis match etc) very poor.
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?
I had such high hopes for this book and I suppose it is not so bad as long as you don't think about it. But the moment you stop to think the plot holes swallow you up.
This book was clearly written with the hope that it will be made into a film. It won't be a good one. If you have read Fleming's books you will listen to this and realize you have a strange experience deja vu, time and time again, as this pastiche of a story unfolds.
But the bigger question is, why is Bond even in this story? Other characters have done all the work, have all the answers, then along comes Bond who knows nothing and doesn't really want to be there. He is clearly being manipulated all the way through the story but he blunders through regardless. At the beginning of the book Bond was thinking about leaving the service, by the end of the story why would he stay?
And the twist at the end could not have been more obvious if it was painted on the side of a large plane and flown up the Vosporos. One bit of good news though. In Casino Royale Bond, famously, lit his 80th cigarette of the day. In this book he has "excellent lung capacity". You have to smile.
""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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