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Role of Honour (James Bond) [Paperback]

John Gardner
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

10 May 2012 James Bond

'People notice things and word around Whitehall is that Commander Bond is living a shade dangerously - gambling, the new Bentley, er ... ladies, money changing hands ...'

Following scandal and his shock resignation from Britain's Secret Intelligence Service James Bond becomes a gun for hire; able, and willing, to sell his lethal skills to the highest bidder. And SPECTRE, it seems, are eager to have the disgraced British super spy on their payroll.

But before he can be fully embraced by his new employer - and deadliest enemy - 007 must first prove his loyalty. And in doing so he must threaten with nuclear annihilation everything he has fought his whole life to defend. Until honour is fully restored...

Gardner's stunning reinvention of Bond secured critical acclaim and blockbusting sales around the world. Role of Honour, the fourth book in the series, kept 007 at No.1.

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Role of Honour (James Bond) + Nobody Lives For Ever (James Bond) + No Deals, Mr. Bond (James Bond)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; paperback / softback edition (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135654
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardner on a Roll 5 July 2011
In an interview with 1990s Bond author Raymond Benson, Gardner stated that this was the one that gave him writers' block. In spite -or perhaps because- of this, Gardner powered through by reverting to a strong de facto depiction of our hero in a traditional 'Bond takes on megalomaniac while apparently on his staff' plot (eg Moonraker, OHMSS, Licence Renewed).

Score: 8/10. The villain (Jay Autem Holy) is from the world of early computing with which the writer was familiar (before anyone had heard of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates). This one's a rogue genius in war games, hiding from the Pentagon behind a private front in Oxfordshire. With a grudge against the West, he plans to bring the Cold War to a stalemate. Could hiring an ex-007 prove a mistake?

After the valiant misfire of Icebreaker, it's natural (and welcome) that Gardner throws so many Fleming nods into the mix. His contact at Saab had moved to Bentley, so the Mulsanne Turbo makes its debut. Having answered its critics the Silver Beast and its realistic gadgets are a miss, but Bond in a Bentley in Monte Carlo is an irresistable lure. Though you suspect it's not Gardner's first love, the casino stuff is classily handled; there's another twist in SPECTRE's story and for the first time the author really gets a handle on Bond's character- far less glib and pompous.

Gardner's own innovations are great: the mature plot gambit of putting Bond out in the cold and having him recruited by the enemy to commit cyber terrorism really works. The ASP is an inspired choice of firearm for Bond: he sticks with it for the rest of the Gardner books and you feel Fleming would've loved its detailed idiosyncracies.
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3.0 out of 5 stars farcical 24 July 2014
Role of Honour sees Bond training as a computer programmer. No really it does. The story is basically farcical from the off. Bond has been left a substantial amount of money by a dead Australian uncle with the proviso that in true Brewster’s Millions style he spends a lot of it in the first X months. This spending does not go unnoticed by his superiors who suspect he has gone off the rails. This is used to MI6’s advantage as they want to use Bond as a dangle to infiltrate rival intelligence services who may want to hire the supposedly disgraced secret agent.

Bond meets the widow of a supposedly dead computer programmer guru called Jay Autem Holy who has faked his own death and now makes a mint writing training programs for terrorists and foreign secret services. SPECTRE are involved and a plot emerges to wipe out the nuclear arsenal of the US and Russia and therefore destabilise the world.

The computer technology, while maybe cutting edge when the book was written, now seems overly clunky and seemingly lengthy descriptions of how stuff works makes this a boring read at times. At other times Bond is as usual falling for any bit of fluff that happens to be around – it seems he will never learn his lesson when it comes to women.

The sighting of the General Zwingli who also faked his death in the plane crash with Holy, in a casino may have seemed like a good way of introducing the character, but is too much of a coincidence to stomach. The coincidence is never explained and in fact Zwingli seems superfluous in the story which already has its main maniac bad guy in the form of Holy and also the successor to Blofeld in the form of the new SPECTRE boss Tamil Rahani.

The relationship that starts at the top of the tale fizzles out in the last pages of the book – which will dispense with the usual need to explain away the non-appearance of the previous Bond girl in the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on track. 13 Oct 2012
After the slightly disappointing "Icebreaker" Gardner's Bond is back on track this time after (and not for the first time) SPECTRE as they try and disarm America's nuclear capability.
Some of Gardner's writing is, quite frankly, awful and you feel that he is treating the Bond books as pulp books but that does not mean they are not entertaining.
This book is a rattling good read as long as you don't take it too seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' Role 12 Jan 2010
I'm currently reading all of the James Bond novels by John Gardner, and Role of Honour is certainly the best of the first four books (Licence Renewed, For Special Services and Icebreaker are the others). According to Gardner, he was ill when he wrote this and felt he had let himself down - I, on the other hand, happen to this it is a gripping read and I read it within 24 hours. The first hundred eighty or so pages are a bit slow, granted, with Bond being given a tutorial in computers. This being 1984, personal computers are called "micros". Without giving too much away, this novel sees Bond resigning from SIS, getting kidnapped and finding himself in many tight situations. The terrorist training camp in the middle of the book is a notable highlight. Mainly set in Oxfordshire, this is a terrific adventure novel and the late John Gardner wrote it - as ever - brilliantly.
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1.0 out of 5 stars waste of paper 18 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
terrible boring poorly written drab twaddle. do not waste your money or time on rubbish like this. ghastly offensive nonsense
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