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Icebreaker (James Bond 3) Paperback – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135647
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'.

About the Author

After Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner was the next writer to be asked to write further adventures of James Bond. He wrote, like Fleming, fourteen Bond books, plus novelisations of the films GoldenEye and Licence to Kill, from 1981 to 1996.

Before becoming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer, a journalist and, for a short time, a priest in the Church of England. 'Probably the biggest mistake I ever made,' he says. 'I confused the desire to please my father with a vocation which I soon found I did not have.'

In all, Gardner had fifty-five novels to his credit - many of them bestsellers. John Gardner died in 2007.

For more information about John Gardner and his non-Bond works, visit his website.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amon Avis on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
After the solid Licence Renewed and the cracking For Special Services proved bestsellers, an emboldened Gardner took a risk: he ditched the 'secret agent chases super villain across exotic locations' formula for a twisty spy whodunnit set largely in one location (Finland). Does it work? Not quite, but it's a brave misfire and a surprisingly fun read.

Score: 7/10. After a 'pre-credits' chapter with terrorists on a dry run in Libya, we find 007 looking up an old flame while away on winter training. Called back to London in barely one piece, Bond is to provide the British contingent for a joint MI6, CIA, Mossad & KGB(!) operation against an army of neo-Nazi terrorists on the Finland/Russia border. It's a great start and was Gardner's favourite of his early Bonds. M's withholding information, no one can trust anyone and the mission starts to go badly wrong- elements that recur in his subsequent novels.

The various national agents are memorably characterised and there's plenty of fun guessing who's on whose side- another Gardner trademark. Bond himself is still the tougher, smoking and drinking, early 'Gardner version' (more like Fleming's man than we get later) very at home amid the winter sun and luxury of Reid's hotel. His best independent effort leads to the great snow plough set piece and the Saab's finest hour, showcasing Gardner's skill with technical detail. The fights are pleasingly vicious, there's plenty of gunplay (this time 007 opts for the neat H&K P7) and the torture scene is painfully vivid. The star is the arctic setting itself, as exotic as any encountered in the canon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Crossman on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
But still entertaining enough.
Gardner clearly felt at this time that he was ready to make Bond his own. Consequently James Bond is absent for large parts of the book.
There are twists and turns as the CIA, KGB and Bond are all after the same thing and the whole plot gets tangled up but neatly untangled at the end.
A lovely re-issue by Orion books.
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Format: Paperback
John Gardner's third outing as Bond author brings us a novel that has a slightly more cinematic feel to it, in which Bond is invited to join with counterparts from foreign powers to counter a neo-nazi terrorist group.

While the plot does feel like a Roger Moore movie, there are moments, particularly at the beginning, where Gardner seems to start trying to emulate some of Ian Fleming's writing style. I'm not sure whether this comes across successfully or feels more like a parody.

For the most part the plot is plausible and the sequences in the snowy outdoors feel well written. It seems clear that the author knows here exactly what he's talking about. However there are other aspects, particularly regarding many of the guest characters, which (without spoilers) over-complicate things and make the book feel like it is taking the mickey out of the spy genre.

In many places I found the book hard going, my eyes would glaze over and my mind wander, and I would have to go back a page or two to find out what was going on. I'm afraid I still haven't found Gardner's writing up to the standard that I loved in Fleming's books.
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Format: Paperback
For me, this is probably the best of John Gardner's Bond novels. There's a few double and even triple crosses too many though, but I guess this is par for the course in spy stories.
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By Paul Niedernhofer on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not own a complete set of the John Gardner Bond books. All the titles are not available in the US, so a matched set from the UK was just what I needed.
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By MR R MEALOR on 17 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book John Gardner has really captured how Ian Fleming wrote his Bonds but also added a little more a really excellent read.
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