Amon Avis

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,767
Helpful votes received on reviews: 89% (281 of 314)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,767 - Total Helpful Votes: 281 of 314
Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd
Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd
50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, 30 Sep 2013
Promoting Solo in the Guardian newspaper (28/9/13) Boyd printed an 'interview' between himself and James Bond from 1969. Fun but it helped me put my finger on it- this is a 007 novel written as though Ian Fleming never existed. While it's obvious from the blurb that Boyd eschewed a classic Bond plot (playing cat & mouse vs supervillain), and clear that he hasn't attempted Fleming's voice, the wholesale dumping of the thriller style is a courageous mistake. The result is a curate's egg, lacking in action and pace but compelling in tone and atmosphere.

To start with the positive, he's got Bond pretty darn close. Beyond the welcome knitted tie, eggs, fags, etc, there's an… Read more
James Bond: The John Gardner Years by John Gardner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Deal, Mr Bond, 26 Sep 2013
Seasoned Gardner/Bond fans stocking up the Kindle for the holidays need look no further than this complete set (currently averaging at just £4.65 each) but newcomers may hesitate at the investment and should 'look inside' a random selection first.

For the uninitiated, John Gardner (1926-2007) was a onetime Anglican priest, WW2 marine officer, stage magician, journalist, recovered alcoholic and successful novelist. After a string of popular swinging 60s Bond parodies, he began to write 'straight' thrillers in the 70s which drew wide critical acclaim and was employed to write the official 007 novels between 1981 & 1996. Writing 14 original Bond novels & 2 novelisations (to… Read more
High Time To Kill (James Bond 007) by Raymond Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars High Standard, 12 Sep 2013
The plot is simple: a new terrorist for hire organisation steals British military secrets only to lose them at the top of the world's 3rd largest mountain. As the vast resources of unfriendly foreign governments & criminals alike are employed to retrieve them, the UK puts its faith in one man with a little mountaineering experience & a Walther PPK.

Score: 9/10. What to say that hasn't been said? Probably Benson's best, a fine thriller in its own right and a great Bond novel. Derivative in the best sense, ideas and set pieces that echo Fleming's books abound: an opponent 007's equal; free market terrorists; high stakes golf match; car chase. Even the multinational expedition into… Read more