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James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels [Paperback]

Raymond Benson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 846 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (1 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605980072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605980072
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

James Bond: The Union Trilogy Published to coincide with the release of the new James Bond film "Quantum of Solace," this trilogy of thrillers sees Bond confronting one of the most dangerous adversaries he's ever encountered--The Union, a mysterious and sinister organization of criminals-for-hire. Full description

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 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
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
By Alan
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 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of pace, chases and action 12 Jan 2010
The other reviews give a nice overview of the stories so I'll just comment on my views of the trilogy itself.

The pacing is excellent and you're never left hoping for the chapter to hurry up at any stage. Benson's writing style or vocabulary isn't ground breaking, but he has a way of making any topic exciting - when I read the first story would involve a pursuit up a mountain I half rolled my eyes, figuring I'd be bored out of my brains, but when I read the story it was actually one of the best parts of the trilogy as Bond encounters Russians and exciting fight scenes within his own camp upon his ascent.

What I liked also about this trilogy was how mad the main bad guy came across, there's none of this Quantum of Solace (the film adaptation) business where the bad guy is a pathetic weed that ruins how believable the fundamental plot is. The way The Union brand their members with an 'eye tattoo' was another enjoyable touch - far fetched but physically possible, just how I like my Bond villains and gadgets.

I read the entire book in a couple of days that's how much I was hooked into it, each story flows neatly into one another and the way things come to a head at the Cannes Film Festival is fantastic. Never Dream of Dying would make for a great film IMO.

Negatives? Well one thing I could say is that Benson is *far* raunchier than Fleming or John Gardner with his description of Bond's female acquaintances. Where Gardner/Fleming would politely point out that a female was attractive, Benson borders on trashy teen novel with his build ups (and narrations to its "completion"!) of Bond's sexual encounters. It can become a little cheesy but it happens infrequently enough to not really be of concern and doesn't detract anything from the trilogy - it's ultimately no worse than the stuff you've seen in the film adaptations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Bond - but something missing
I've read the Fleming Bonds and enjoyed but something doesn't settle me with Benson's Bonds. I don't know whether it's just preference.
Published 1 month ago by toydog16r
2.0 out of 5 stars Flemming must be turning in his grave
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. Read more
Published 4 months ago by rtrefuif
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift!
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.
Published 19 months ago by Kathy Compton
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast From The Past
I agree absolutely with the majority of reviewers here that these 3 novels are the best of Benson's 007 output. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amon Avis
3.0 out of 5 stars Time to pension off 007
Raymond Benson took over the 007 'franchise' from John Gardner in the late 1990s before passing the baton to Sebastian Faulkes who has in turn passed it on to Jeffrey Deaver whose... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by David Gee
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond is back
I originally read these novels when they first came out and loved them - the Mafi-like Union really is a sinister organisation. Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2010 by G. M. Dobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Benson's hidden Bond Gem
Blast from the Past was a story I have been waiting to read for over ten years and it didn't disappoint, with a good strong tie-in to previous Fleming characters. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by D. Ward
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