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Devil May Care (James Bond) [Paperback]

Sebastian Faulks
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

28 May 2009 James Bond

Bond is back. With a vengeance.

M has summoned agent 007 to London. It's the swinging Sixties and a flood of narcotics is pouring into Britain. Sinister industrialist Dr Julius Gorner is identified as the source and James Bond is dispatched to investigate.

The trail takes Bond to Paris and then Persia - where the beautiful and enigmatic twins Scarlett and Poppy lead him to Gorner's secret desert headquarters. Here, Bond uncovers Gorner's cold-blooded plans for world domination.

Only by playing Gorner's twisted game can Bond stop him . . .


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141035455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141035451
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. His French trilogy - The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) - established him in the front rank of British novelists. UK sales of Birdsong exceed 2,500,000 copies, and for this novel he was named "Author of the Year" by the British Book Awards in 1995. It is regularly voted one of the nation's favourite books. Charlotte Gray has also sold over a million copies and was filmed with Cate Blanchett in the main part.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A variety of authors have written 007 novels since the death of Bond's creator, Ian Fleming -- and the results have been mixed, to say the least. As 'Robert Markham', Kingsley Amis penned the very first post-Fleming Bond, and this attempt by a novelist better known for his 'literary' work was judged a success. Now, after a decade of less successful entries by such writers as John Gardener, we have another serious writer, Sebastian Faulks (author of such acclaimed novels as Birdsong), taking up the challenge.

Devil May Care has already collected a jaw-dropping amount of publicity, with even the Royal Navy helping to put the book firmly at the top of the best-seller charts (Bond is, of course, a naval commander), and few books have had such wind under their sails (the relaunch of the movie franchise with the re-make of Casino Royale and Daniel Craig's second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is all part of the ever-accelerating momentum). Of course, this also gives the book farther to fall if it misses the mark.

Faulks' author credit on the book ('Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming') is both revealing and encouraging – the author has reportedly said that he undertook the task with total seriousness, and he has tried to work within the parameters of the Ian Fleming formula (Faulks re-read all the extant Bond novels and stories) rather than the more glossy film incarnation. Among several very canny moves by the author is his decision to keep his 007 in the 1960s rather than catapulting him into the 21st century (as other ersatz Fleming novels – and, of course, the films -- have done. So how successful are the results?

Fleming aficionados can relax – this is a sterling job of recreation, and a novel that functions with total authority in its own right. The evocation of time and place (or places, notably Paris and the Middle East) is impeccable, as are the plotting and detail (as colourful and violent as anything in Fleming); there is a satisfyingly unpleasant larger-than-life villain, Julius Gorner, with a grotesque deformity of the kind Fleming often gave such characters (the chapter 'The monkey's hand' gives this away) and grandiose, evil ambitions. Best of all, this is Ian Fleming's James Bond – not a superman -- worried about his health and his physical powers (which he fears may be on the wane). Delicious stuff in fact. Now... can Faulks be persuaded to write another such novel? --Barry Forshaw. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Vintage Bond' The Times 'Everything a thriller should be' Front Row, Radio 4 'Races along ... gets better and better' Economist 'Smart and enjoyable' Guardian 'The read of the summer' Sunday Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bootleg Bond 6 April 2009
By DAZ VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I've only recently read the Ian Fleming novels and was pleased to see this book released - a chance to read another James Bond adventure and see Sebastian Faulks' take on the James Bond legend. The book makes a good first impression with a great title (hopefully a film will use it in future) and cover.

Faulks is credited as 'writing as Ian Fleming' and has done a very good job of imitating Fleming's writing style. The book definitely feels like one of the originals in style and follows on from the last Fleming story ('The Man With The Golden Gun'). Unfortunately this is the book's main weakness - it feels too much like a tribute and lacks any originality. In order to achieve such a likeness to the original novels, Faulks has lifted so much from them that it feels like 'Bond by Numbers' - all the usual suspects are here: a train ride, fight on a plane, underwater scene and a mad villain's secret plan to bring down Britain together with the expected girls, alcoholic drinks and foreign locations. The characters, plot and locations all have certain deja-vu feel to them that makes the story feel formulaic. Goldfinger and Moonraker are the books that spring to mind most often when reading this.

There are also far too many nods and references to the previous books - it's almost as if Faulks is trying to prove that he's read them all. It was nice to see Rene Mathis and Felix Leiter appear again, but their presence didn't seem to add much to the plot and I was left feeling that they were just there for the sake of nostalgia.

Having said all that, the story is enjoyable and it is nice to be able to read one more James Bond adventure. It could have been a lot worse, but it felt like an opportunity was lost. It's like going to watch a tribute band such as the Bootleg Beatles - they do a great job of impersonating a band that you can't see any more ... it just doesn't feel quite the same.
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72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Mr Bond 29 May 2008
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this at 11 yesterday morning and went to bed at 3 this morning. Forget Raymond Benson and John Gardner, this is vintage James Bond, you can feel Fleming's ghost over your shoulder, it reads like the best of his books with a fast moving plot bags,of gourmet food and drink with a cracking villain. I always liked the early Bond books never liked the films, the Bond in the books was toally different darker and more vulnerable, and if you are expecting the Bond of the movies you will be disappointed. Sebastian Faulks has captured this brilliantly. I hope he writes another, I think Bond does for the fifties and sixties what Sherlock Holmes has done for the Victorian and Edwardian age the early books are becoming classics (my old english teacher will role over in his grave)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very, very bland 19 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback
This is so very disappointing. I suspect that some of the critics didn't read it prior to making the breathless, over-effusive comments which appear on the cover. Its an immature, shallow book which consists of plots and characters copied from Fleming originals (Goldfinger, Dr No, From Russia With Love, Moonraker)and thrown together in a disjointed, un-integrated manner.

Faulks is undoubtedly a superb author when one considers Birdsong, Charlotte Grey and others. Unfortunately, he also has Engleby and Human Traces to his name, which could win awards for being so extremely dire. Sadly,in certain ways, Devil May Care is even worse than these, as Faulks clearly tried to create works of literature in Engleby and Human Traces, but one gets the impression that he gave scant thought to his Bond task, cutting and pasting a loose assortment of paragraphs from Fleming's books, and padding it out with pages of irrelevant information.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The style is there, but there's no substance 8 July 2008
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Devil May Care" is a lightweight, enjoyable pot boiler that is highly reminiscent of the Ian Fleming novels and also the Sean Connery 007 movies. I definitely felt that Sebastian Faulks nailed Fleming's writing style. Unfortunately he has been less successful in constructing a compelling plot and characters.

I very much enjoyed the first half the book which vividly recreates the late 60s. Bond's initial confrontation with the villain is over a game of tennis that reads more like a duel and has all the tension of Casino Royale. The love interest, Scarlett, also makes a dramatic entry. However the second half of the book rapidly loses momentum and pace and the overly-complicated plot gets bogged down with lengthy explanations and the introduction of characters (like Felix Leiter) who add little to the story. The villain's motivations are clichés and the book concludes with a final twist that comes as less of a surprise than it seems it was intended to be.

Three stars, because it's still a quick and fun read that captures the essence of Fleming's writing. But it's not what it could have been.
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Racy but ludicrous - just as good as Fleming! 9 Jun 2008
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
"Bond has lost his licence to thrill" proclaimed The Scotsman newspaper in a review in the edition the day after this book was published. A play on words dreamt up months if not years ago, I should think, and having now read the book, one week on, written on the basis of a less than complete reading of it.

I read "Devil May Care" while considering the question "if I did not know that was not written by Ian Fleming (say about1967, when it is set), would I have known?". In short, I think not. Faulks captures Flemings' style brilliantly.

Faulks does allow himself a few nods to the Bond films as well as to the earlier books (Flemings' ones only - even Kingsley Amis/Robert Markham's Colonel Sun appears to have been discounted, not to mention the 23 other Bond novels. (Fleming published 12 novels, plus two collections of short stories.)) The villain, one Dr Julius Gorner, has more than a passing resemblance to Drax ("Moonraker") and appears in one scene "in a tropical suit with a carnation" just as I remember Charles Gray playing Blofeld in one of the films. There are some topical references too: opium poppies are coming from Helmand province in Afghanisatan - which just happens to be where British troops are battling the drugs trade and international terrorism today. Bond is equipped with a gadget by "Q Section" (there was never a man called "Q" in the books, just the films); Bond, however, fails to use it or even mention it again.

The plot's formula follows Fleming's established pattern with only the requisite number of variations. Bond is on a sabbatical, because he is losing his touch and has not quite recovered after the snake bite poisoning from Scaramanga's bullet two years before. He is on the wagon on doctor's orders.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Bought this as Faulks not Bond fan. Not as good as William Boyd's Solo (also a Bond novel) but still a gripping page-turner.
Published 2 months ago by Deadhead Giles
4.0 out of 5 stars in the style of the real Fleming Bond.
This was a good book in the style of the original Ian Fleming Bond books. As anyone who has read these will know, the real ''James Bond'' only bears a passing resemblance to the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Diane E. Cassidy
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Sebastian Faulks can write in any style it seems. This was gripping and very frightening at times.
He kept the feeling of the original Bond very well.
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn Earl
1.0 out of 5 stars a Third Rate Bond
Pretty much a waste of time and money, entirely predictable plot, hackneyed dialogue. Faulks should stick to what he does best, original characters and interesting situations. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Edwin Roberts
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Bond
I defy anyone not to skip through the later part of this very dull Bond story. Angry that i was stupid enough to think Faulks could create an exciting Bond.
Published 4 months ago by C R Gray
2.0 out of 5 stars Has its moments, but felt rushed and incomplete
This is my first Faulks book, and I will read more. He's writing this as Ian Fleming, so taking on another writer's style and cadence, but it doesn't work for me. Read more
Published 5 months ago by shauny2270
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down
Sebastian Faulks is widely accepted as one of our leading literary novelists, and regular listeners of BBC Radio 4's "The Write Stuff" will be familiar with his great ability to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by James Brydon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A good read,in the Fleming style,well written by an accomplished author.Good book to take on holiday,when you have plenty of time to read it.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. J. H. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Bond!
Faulks has captured perfectly the feel of Bond here, right down to the speeding car clipping a market barrow, spilling fruit in the path of his pursuers! Read more
Published 6 months ago by JB Traveller
1.0 out of 5 stars Ian Flemming must have turned in his grave.
I have enjoyed all the Bond books and have great respect for Sebastian Faulks as a writer, but this is dreadful. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Malcolm Harding
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