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Licence Renewed (James Bond 1) Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409137074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409137078
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,645 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

John Gardner served with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines before embarking on a long career as a thriller writer, including international bestsellers THE NOSTRADAMUS TRAITOR and THE GARDEN OF WEAPONS. In 1981 he was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to revive James Bond in a brand new series of novels.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amon Avis on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Orion's 2012 reissue of Gardner's 14 continuation Bond novels & 2 novelisations is a great opportunity for fans who've only read Fleming (or maybe just Faulks or Deaver) to delve further. For those who don't know, after Fleming's death came Kingsley Amis' excellent Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure (1968); pulp author Christopher Wood's surprisingly good novelisations of 2 Roger Moore films and John Pearson's weird and wonderful James Bond: The Authorised Biography (1973).

In 1981, Ian Fleming's estate decided Bond needed a big literary return. Gardner was a man with as fascinating a background as Fleming: theatre critic, stage magician and WW2 service as a Royal Marines officer specialising in explosives. He'd started writing swinging 60s Bond parodies but moved towards LeCarre-esque Cold War thrillers. If you think Faulks and Deaver were given big publicity, Gardner seemed to be everywhere: articles in The TLS and photoshoots with guns and cars apparently paid off, as the book spent months atop bestseller lists. Did it deserve it?

Score: 8/10. It's solid: think Moonraker or Goldfinger for the 1980s, with Bond insinuating himself into the plans of UK based supervillain Anton Murik. The strong plot (governments held to ransom when terrorists capture Nuclear power plants) stands up well, the execution as terrifyingly plausible as Thunderball. The Saab 900 (replacing the Bentley Mark II Continental) wins you over as a serious driver's car, the gadgets making the battles interesting without being a get-out-of-jail-free.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David on 24 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
A lot of credit is given to Ian Fleming, creator and original writer of the famed super-spy of literary and cinematic espionage, but not much retrospective praise is lauded upon John Gardner, who wrote more James Bond novels than Fleming did between 1981 and 1996, and is in this reader's opinion, a superior writer.

Penning a continuation 007 novel must be just as daunting as any mission the world's least secret agent tackles himself, but Gardner wasn't completely without experience when he was asked to write the second Bond continuation novel (after "Colonel Sun", by Kingsley Amis a.k.a Robert Markham in 1969). He was into middle-age and a had wealth of published and acclaimed novels in his own right, most notably the Moriarty books, a trilogy of novels composed from the perspective of Sherlock Holmes's formidable nemesis.

On a strictly aesthetic level, Gardner had a much more relaxed style of writing. His Bond novels are still brimming with action, but there is a richer vocabulary there, a greater understanding of how language works, and a reader can languorously unwind in the certainty that they are in the company of a master storyteller.
"Licence Renewed" brings James Bond firmly into the 80s, but as per Gardner's original vision, the character hasn't aged much - despite a few grey hairs, perhaps placing him in his early forties - but has lived through the seventies and is a subject of the sociological advancements of that tumultuous decade.

Bond is faced with a worthy adversary in the shape of Scottish laird Dr Anton Murik, and his love interest is Lavender Peacock, but I will not give too much away. Needless to say, it sees Bond in Scotland, away from the more exotic nirvana of, say, the Bahamas, and the action is mostly set at Murik's castle, a menacing tower of bleakness. It's a terrific start to Gardner's series, a fine novel in its own right, and a thoroughly entertaining read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. D. J. Williams on 27 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Licence Renwed is the first Bond novel by John Gardner and it is nice to see Bond is back after a 13 year gap since Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis.
This is a very good attempt by Gardner on a Bond novel, it was hard to take over from Fleming. The basic plot is that Bond is sent to investigate a certain Dr Anton Murik whoose project is to Blackmail major foreign powers with the threat of nuclear meltdown in six nuclear power plants around the world.
This novel is more like the films than Fleming's Bond novels, but it moves at a fast pace and is a good attempt at updating the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Crossman on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not since 1968 had their been a new James Bond book, and that was "Colonel Sun" written by Kingsley Amis under the moniker Richard Markham.
Glidrose (the company that owns the rights to the Character James Bond) finally got round to seeking out authors to continue the series, one of the reasons being that it was a good way to hold onto the copyright of the character.
John Gardner was chosen and this is the first book in the 'new' series of James Bond novels.
You have to remember that this book was published in 1981 and just as Fleming's original novels reflected the life and times of the 1950's Gardner's books reflect the 1980's.
The plot is a fairly straight forward one with the books villain Anton Murik threatening the World by planning to cause meltdowns in nuclear power plants around the globe.
Whilst not as fanciful as some of Fleming's books this is a decent thriller.
A word too on Orion Books Ltd's re-issues of these novels. I think they are particularly classy and when complete the set will love splendid upon the shelves of any James Bond fan.
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