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Sabre-tooth; A Modesty Blaise Adventure. [Hardcover]

Peter O'Donnell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1966
Karz, a modern day Genghis Khan with an army of ruthless mercenaries, plans to take over Kuwait. Modesty Blaise and her loyal lieutenant, Willie Garvin, investigate Karz before an epic battle in the Hindu Kush mountains. Modesty must fight alone to prevent an invasion that will change the world.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd; 1st edition (April 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285501909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285501904
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,542,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter O'Donnell began his career working on pre-World War Two comic strips. During the 1950's he became involved with strip cartoons and created the revolutionary series Modesty Blaise, which would be syndicated in more than 42 countries. The strip led to a series of bestselling novels, all published by Souvenir Press: Modesty Blaise, Sabre Tooth, I,Lucifer, The Impossible Virgin, Pieces of Modesty, A Taste for Death, The Silver Mistress, Dragon's Claw, The Xanadu Talisman, The Night of the Morningstar, Dead Man's Handle and his final collection of stories about Modesty, Cobra Trap.

Product Description

Review

These books are the finest escapist thrillers ever written... It is wonderful... that Modesty Blaise is back. -- The Times, September 2nd 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "All right, Princess, let's go an' win it." 28 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
Willie Garvin, Modesty's loyal partner, makes the above statement just as he and Modesty are about to set out on what becomes an incredibly harrowing and dangerous caper. Willie makes this statement to Modesty (who he calls "Princess") at a time when he and Modesty have already been dealt a severe blow - they have just discovered that they are not only fighting for themselves and the need to save the world, but must fight for the life of an innocent child who is dear to them. This makes it of utmost importance that they have to defeat the bad guys.
"Sabre-Tooth" is the second book in the Modesty Blaise series of books and was written by Peter O'Donnell in 1966. It is a direct sequel to the first book, with Sir Gerald Tarrant of the British Foreign Service sending Modesty and Willie out on another dangerous mission.
As usual for a Modesty Blaise adventure the bad guys are bigger than life and extremely nasty. Karz, the huge Mongol who has assembled an army of mercenaries in northern Afghanistan, is totally ruthless, but still not the most fascinating of the villains.
That honor must go to "The Twins", a grotesque pair of killers who hate each other's guts but must endure each other's constant proximity to avoid insanity. This is because The Twins were once Siamese twins, and even though they were successfully separated, the separation was not viable due to a mutual psychological dependency. Now The Twins wear a harness that joins them at the shoulders, and they spend every minute of their lives linked together.
The high point of "Sabre-Tooth" is the fight to the death between Modesty and The Twins. How can Modesty, completely unarmed, survive in a fight against a four-legged, four-armed, two-headed killing machine?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are a Pulp Fiction fan, this is a must! 29 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An easy read to keep beside the toilet while you wait for your toasts to pop up (just as John Travolta in Tarantino's movie)!
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2 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulp fiction 17 Feb 2004
Format:Hardcover
PPL who eva has seen pulp fiction. Shud reconize tht this book is the book Vicent Vega (john travolta) is readin through out the film!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Modesty novel is worth the search. 19 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've been slightly Modesty-obsessed for about ten years now, so I was thrilled when Amazon found me a copy of this out-of-print gem. Modesty and Willie's first caper for Sir Gerald has suspense, drama, and wit. The novel fills in details not in the comic version of this adventure, making it even more fun to read. A great addition to any pulp fiction lover's collection.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "All right, Princess, let's go an' win it." 26 Jun 2005
By Rennie Petersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Willie Garvin, Modesty's loyal partner, makes the above statement just as he and Modesty are about to set out on what becomes an incredibly harrowing and dangerous caper. Willie makes this statement to Modesty (who he calls "Princess") at a time when he and Modesty have already been dealt a severe blow - they have just discovered that they are not only fighting for themselves and the need to save the world, but must fight for the life of an innocent child who is dear to them. This makes it of utmost importance that they have to defeat the bad guys.

"Sabre-Tooth" is the second book in the Modesty Blaise series of books and was written by Peter O'Donnell in 1966. It is a direct sequel to the first book, with Sir Gerald Tarrant of the British Foreign Service sending Modesty and Willie out on another dangerous mission.

As usual for a Modesty Blaise adventure the bad guys are bigger than life and extremely nasty. Karz, the huge Mongol who has assembled an army of mercenaries in northern Afghanistan, is totally ruthless, but still not the most fascinating of the villains.

That honor must go to "The Twins", a grotesque pair of killers who hate each other's guts but must endure each other's constant proximity to avoid insanity. This is because The Twins were once Siamese twins, and even though they were successfully separated, the separation was not viable due to a mutual psychological dependency. Now The Twins wear a harness that joins them at the shoulders, and they spend every minute of their lives linked together.

The high point of "Sabre-Tooth" is the fight to the death between Modesty and The Twins. How can Modesty, completely unarmed, survive in a fight against a four-legged, four-armed, two-headed killing machine?

The plot of "Sabre-Tooth" is fascinating, especially seen in retrospect after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Peter O'Donnell's premise was that oil-rich Kuwait was a plum for the taking, and that in 1966 Kuwait's military defenses were such that they could not withstand a surprise attack by an army of ruthless mercenaries with the amazing firepower of modern weapons.

The story of how Modesty and Willie infiltrate Karz' army of mercenaries and their attempts to derail the attack on Kuwait is developed with a sure hand. Peter O'Donnell shows himself once again to be a master storyteller.

In this book we are introduced to the American businessman John Dall, a recurring figure in many of the later Modesty books. Willie Garvin's fondness for obscure English words is also presented, another recurring element in the series.

In my opinion "Sabre-Tooth" is one of the best books in the Modesty Blaise series, and well worth five stars. The unique and powerful relationship between Modesty and Willie is presented in a wonderful way, and their forcefulness and drive in the face of huge odds is also great.

If I had to mention a couple of negative factors it would have to be the minor inconsistencies that a good editor should have caught. For example, Mr. Vaubois, head of the French secret service, is referred to as Léon Vaubois in the first half of the book and as René Vaubois in the last half. Similarly, one of the bad guys is referred to as both "Chief Recruiting Officer" and "Chief Security Officer" - on the same page, no less.

A few more negatives: Modesty and Willie spend so much time smoking that they come across as nicotine addicts. And the book, like all of the Modesty books, is too short.

Highly recommended; both this book in particular and the Modesty Blaise series in general, especially the first six or seven books in the series.

Incidentally, you may wish to take a look at my "So You'd Like To" guide about books by Peter O'Donnell. It includes a link to my MSN group about Modesty Blaise where you can find more information about this whole series of books and an article entitled "Why I love the Modesty Blaise books".

Rennie Petersen
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read... 10 Jun 2007
By Handee Books, LLC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise books are, in their way, elegant. They are, of course, thrilling, but the real attraction for me is the relationship between Modesty and Willie Garvin. Some might call Willie Modesty's right-hand man, but that description's not entirely accurate. They are equals who work extremely well together (the escape from the villa in Lisbon in this novel is a suspenseful example) and who care for eachother deeply, but not in a romantic way.

Sabre-Tooth is the second in the series. In it, many of the world's most notable mercenaries have disappeared off British Intelligence's radar. Modesty and Willie are enlisted to infiltrate and destroy the organization which has employed the mercenaries. First, though, they have to make it seem as if the master criminal Modesty Blaise has fallen, lost her fortune and is desperate for work. There are several great action set-pieces, some great banter between the leads and more of the exploration of Modesty's past, before she was a free-lance secret agent. In all an excellent read, and I'm looking forward to getting caught up to the four or five I haven't read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Reader 30 Aug 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading Modesty Blaise can be a dreamy experience, then you end up immersed in what you could call close combat porn, almost, with am amazing descriptive level of detail. O'Donnell is the master of this, easily, I think. Modesty and Willie are looking for an angel to help destabilise a small army looking to take over Kuwait, when things get nasty and personal. This Kuwait Liberation Army wants them as section commanders, and to this end, kidnaps their ward as leverage.

They have no option but to go along, and things get nasty.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, The Early Modestys Are Fun! 18 Sep 2005
By Chris Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is #2 in the series of Modesty Blaise's adventures-- start with the eponymous #1 for her origins and first mission. Here she and Willie, her anima/animus soulmate, take on as nasty a group of bloodthirsty mercenaries as you'd ever want to meet. It's fun all the way.

If you like the Bond books, try these-- you'll like them as well. They have the same tongue-in-cheek sense of absurdity/reality, the same slightly-outrageous bad guys with odd physical qualities, bright action sequences, and a real sense of style-- author O'Donnell can't resist telling us what Modesty's wearing (or not wearing) every few pages. This is solid spy genre writing from the sixties, before it got old. Enjoy!
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