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James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels[ JAMES BOND: THE UNION TRILOGY: THREE 007 NOVELS ] by Benson, Raymond (Author ) on Oct-01-2008 Paperback [Paperback]

Raymond Benson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (1 Oct 2008)
  • ASIN: B00EETU3P0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,721,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three of the best James Bond continuation novels 29 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
This year saw the release of new adult Bond novel, Devil May Care, by the celebrated novelist Sebastian Faulks, and the press frequently said it was the first James Bond novel since Ian Fleming. Not true. There have be over a dozen "continuation novels", including six books by Raymond Benson (author of the The James Bond Bedside Companion).

All of Benson's Bond novels are terrific 007 adventures (all set in present day), and he really hit his stride with these three books, which are loosely connected and form a "trilogy" within his series (similar to Fleming's "Blofeld Trilogy"). High Time To Kill is, IMO, one of the very best James Bond novels ever written, taking Bond to Tibet for a high altitude mountaineering adventure. Doubleshot is a bold and experimental Bond novel which finds Bond mentally impaired (due to injuries in the last book) to the point of fearing he may be going insane. Never Dream of Dying is a fantastic book with Raymond's best female character and relationship.

With Benson's Bond novels now all out of print, it's great to have these novels collected. For those who read Devil May Care and are craving more post Fleming 007, this is the book for you.

But what's most exciting about this release for me is that it includes the full and uncut version of "Blast From The Past," Benson's first James Bond short story. This story was only ever published in Playboy, and this full version has never before been published in English.

Here's hoping Benson's remaining Bond novels (and short stories) will be collected as well.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read! 3 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
The Union Trilogy is a terrific start for anybody interested in reading Bond. Just like the films, there's action, women, guns, baddies and intrigue!

In this stellar paperback collection, not only are we treated to a new forward by the author, the brilliant Raymond Benson, but also a marvellous, action-packed short story. But the main attraction are the three novels, placed sequentially, and chronicle 007's adventures against the freelance terrorist organisation "The Union", led by the enigmatic Le Gerant.

The first book "High Time to Kill" draws comparisons with the Sly Stallone flick Cliffhanger, and sees a secret formula made by the British military stolen by a traitor and wind up on the very top of Mount Kangchenjunga - the third highest mountain in the world. The Russian Mafia, the Chinese, the Belgian, and The Union are after it. And so is James Bond. "High Time to Kill" is a marvellous read, and is a thrill ride from the start and onwards.

The second novel, "Doubleshot", finds James Bond weary and wounded after the events in the previous book, and he wants revenge from The Union; and they want revenge from him too. Framed for the death of lady friend, and a searing head injury inducing frequent black outs, Bond goes rogue and follows the trail to Spain, where he meets the evil and deranged former matador Domingo Espada, who wants to see Gibraltar taken from Britain and returned to Spain. Under the vicious undercurrent of evil and the blistering Spanish sun, The Union are drawing 007 into a trap, and have also surgically crafted a double for Bond; who naturally wreaks havoc around Gibraltar, murdering innocent citizens and forcing M16 to believe that Bond is now working for the enemies.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flemming must be turning in his grave 28 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this to read during the summer, while my wife was reading the kindle. So far the summer has been good but the book is terrible.
If it were not for the sex, these stories would be more suitable for a "Boy's own paper."
Benson thinks that sex (too explicit) and action characterises Bond. Fleming's bond was a rounded and believable character; Benson's is, by comparison, a cardboard cut out.
Apart from Paris, I have not been to the locations described in the book and cannot say if Benson has done his research. He certainly has not researched the weaponry, I have detected several mistakes.
Bond does not live comfortably in the 21st century; he should have died with his creator .
If you want a good action yarn with a plot (in fact several interweaving plots) read Clive Cussler's "Ghost Ship"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift! 19 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My grandson was delighted with this book, he is a great 007 fan.. well worth the money and an excellent buyer to do business with I received good customer service.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blast From The Past 15 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
I agree absolutely with the majority of reviewers here that these 3 novels are the best of Benson's 007 output. A more assured writer by his 3rd novel, the plots here are imaginative and the style more varied than simple Fleming pastiches, while Bond's character is both faithful to the originals and well developed. There hasn't been much said of Benson's 1st 007 fiction, Blast From The Past (1997), published in the UK for the 1st time.

For over a decade this short story was the holy grail for book Bond fans. Published only in Playboy and to allow Benson a warm up, it was made all the more tantalising by featuring not only Bond's son by Kissy Suzuki, but the return of a Fleming villain. Gardner always maintained he'd been barred from using James Suzuki, so maybe it was stipulated that Benson could only use them once and in this form? When the unedited story (the Playboy version was a 3rd shorter) finally appeared it could never have lived up to expectations. Hence the 5 star trilogy, but a 3 star short story.

Score: 6/10. At first sight it's a piece of adolescent fan fiction, but a welcome reaction to John Gardner's later Bond books. Gardner was a good writer, producing several great Bond novels in the 80s; but a more mixed bag in the 90s had proved overly dry and serious. Here, by contrast, Bond is the unreconstructed man from the original books. There's a focus on action in the form of chases and gunfights in line with the 90s films. The style is modelled on Fleming too: detached, clipped, detailed, loads of verbs and very readable.

On the other hand it's very much 'Fleming-light'- like hundreds of other thrillers. Don't count on much characterisation and there's no denying that the prose is pretty lacklustre.
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