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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "She could not let Brunel see her break. For Willie's sake she could not do that."
I love the Modesty Blaise series of books, but this book is not one of my favorites. In fact, my feelings about "The Impossible Virgin" are mainly colored by my opinion that this book (the fifth in the series) marks the beginning of the decline of the series.

In many ways "The Impossible Virgin" is a typical Modesty Blaise story. There is a bad guy (Brunel) and...
Published on 24 May 2006 by Rennie Petersen

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modesty Blaise - with more than a few twists in the tail!
This book begins with the first meeting of Modesty Blaise and Giles Pennyfeather, in a makeshift hospital in Africa. As with other Modesty Blaise stories which include Pennyfeather, the humour in this one is extremely entertaining.
Modesty's adventure this time takes place in Central Africa, with another villain with a grudge...
O'Donnell's style, so often...
Published on 2 Oct. 2001


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "She could not let Brunel see her break. For Willie's sake she could not do that.", 24 May 2006
By 
Rennie Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Impossible Virgin: Modesty Blaise (Paperback)
I love the Modesty Blaise series of books, but this book is not one of my favorites. In fact, my feelings about "The Impossible Virgin" are mainly colored by my opinion that this book (the fifth in the series) marks the beginning of the decline of the series.

In many ways "The Impossible Virgin" is a typical Modesty Blaise story. There is a bad guy (Brunel) and he has some nasty henchmen (Adrian Chance and Jacko Muktar). Modesty has a run-in with the henchmen in Africa and defeats them. Later, Modesty and Willie Garvin (Modesty's loyal side-kick) outwit the bad guys once again, this time in London.

But then the plot thickens, and Modesty finds herself captured, taken back to Africa and subjected to brainwashing. I can't tell more without spoiling the ending for those who haven't read the book. It's very exciting and the plot includes many unexpected twists, more than average for a Modesty story.

The positive aspects that I love about the Modesty Blaise books are all present. The interesting relationship between Modesty and Willie, the intelligent and humorous tone and the deadly seriousness when it comes down to the life-and-death combat encounters. The bad guys are really nasty, the story is quite inventive and the descriptions of the locations sound authentic (although dated). The fighting scenes are unusual and memorable, especially an encounter near the end of the book where firearms are not viable and quarterstaffs are used against 10 attackers with machetes.

My biggest problem with "The Impossible Virgin" is that several of the plot elements are simply too unrealistic. Unfortunately, I can't go into detail without getting this review labeled as a spoiler. I also had minor problems with Willie's behavior vis-à-vis a certain young lady with emotional problems, Dr. Giles Pennyfeather (a major character) being so silly and the ending of the book being so sugar-sweet.

Despite my reservations, and the fact that this book is now 35 years old, I recommend it highly. It's still much better than most modern action thrillers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modesty on her own? Where's Garvin gone?, 15 Nov. 2001
This review is from: The Impossible Virgin: Modesty Blaise (Paperback)
The tension never lets up in this pacy adventure. Modesty is, as usual, pitched in at the deep end when helping out some friends at a field hospital. Soon it's all systems go in a race to obtain co-ordinates for a seam of gold - but can Modesty finish the job alone when deprived of Willie Garvin? You'll be on the edge of your seat until the last page.
Watch out for the introduction of another classic O'Donnell character in Giles Pennyfeather, the bumbling healer, and Lisa the eerie Albino who snares Willie on the orders of the short but deadly Brunel.
There's no other adventure in the Modesty series that comes close to the emotion of losing Willie Garvin. Read it to believe it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modesty Blaise - with more than a few twists in the tail!, 2 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Impossible Virgin: Modesty Blaise (Paperback)
This book begins with the first meeting of Modesty Blaise and Giles Pennyfeather, in a makeshift hospital in Africa. As with other Modesty Blaise stories which include Pennyfeather, the humour in this one is extremely entertaining.
Modesty's adventure this time takes place in Central Africa, with another villain with a grudge...
O'Donnell's style, so often underrated, is wonderful in its balance of elements; of humour and action; pace and detail; shock value and camp entertainment. The books are both fast-paced and gripping, while managing to linger on detail and character development. This book does deliver more camp shock than others; however, its redeeming feature lies in its almost touching portrayal of Modesty.
In The Impossible Virgin we see a new side of Modesty; that of her having to face a future without Willie Garvin. From the sudden shock of Garvin's death, the book takes a new turn, and we are given another few glimpses of Modesty's past, but more importantly, Modesty having to return to fighting for survival on her own...
The story continues to speed along with twists and turns, extrications from impossible situations, and spirit of triumph over adversity.
If you are a Modesty Fan, then you must add this to your collection. If you're reading this for the first time - read the books in order!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright but a bit silly., 11 Mar. 2013
By 
Angular Square (The Outer Darkness) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Impossible Virgin (Paperback)
Some good scenarios and snappy dialogue aside this is let down by strange contradictions. This is a story where two of the main characters marry at the end. How pleasant. In the same story we get unbelievably demeaning and shocking scenes such as the one I cant really describe here, handled with total casual abandon with no psychological consequences.

O'Donnell seems to miss a few tricks with the pacing and structure as well, never really thrilling ar amusing the reader like others in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 April 2015
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This review is from: The Impossible Virgin (Paperback)
Another wonderful book in the Modesty Blaise series
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 20 July 2014
This review is from: The Impossible Virgin (Paperback)
Upto standard in the series
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Impossible Virgin (Paperback)
top notch.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good conditions, 11 April 2013
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This review is from: The Impossible Virgin (Paperback)
The condictions are not extremely good but good enough. And this time I got the edition I was expecting. It also came very fast.
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The Impossible Virgin: Modesty Blaise
The Impossible Virgin: Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell (Paperback - 20 Sept. 2001)
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