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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but just not as brilliant as some of his other books
I'm a big Simon R Green fan. His books are wildly entertaining, funny, while still being pretty dark in places.

I have been looking forward to this new series and I enjoyed the book, but it didn't blow me away.

The book tells the story of Eddie Drood aka Shaman Bond. A highly effective, if slightly rebellious, field agent for the humanity's secret...
Published on 27 May 2007 by clairefromwales

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3.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapism
The title of 'The Man With The Golden Torc' (TMWTGT) would suggest that it is some sort of supernatural riff on James Bond. It isn't. Eddie Drood, the book's hero, is no 007 and beyond having a few gadgets and the presence of a Q-ish character in the form of the Armourer there are no obvious parallels with the Bond novels.

That doesn't mean that TMWTGT isn't...
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by C. Green


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but just not as brilliant as some of his other books, 27 May 2007
By 
clairefromwales - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man With The Golden Torc: Secret Histories Book 1: Man with the Golden Torc Bk. 1 (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
I'm a big Simon R Green fan. His books are wildly entertaining, funny, while still being pretty dark in places.

I have been looking forward to this new series and I enjoyed the book, but it didn't blow me away.

The book tells the story of Eddie Drood aka Shaman Bond. A highly effective, if slightly rebellious, field agent for the humanity's secret protectors, the Drood family. The plot follows Eddie as he discovers that his family aren't what he thought they were and he uncovers some pretty shocking secrets.

Anyone who has read other books by Green will spot the obvious problem with the plot - i.e. been there (sort of) before. Eddie Drood is a likeable character, but he's not Owen Deathstalker. It's partly the setting, Eddie's world maybe magical, but it's just an expanded version of today's world, which doesn't give him the epic (madly overblown) scope of Owen's universe. And the bad guys don't really cut it in comparison.

Now that's all pretty negative, but I've still given the book four stars and that's because on its own terms it's a well written, pacey, inventive adventure. The opening scenes of Eddie doing his job do work well and feel fresh. Eddie is a likeable character and the book is written from his first person perspective. There are some great minor characters like the Armourer, and Molly is a great female lead in the grand tradition of Green's romantic heroines to match his heroes. More will come out about Molly's surprising command of hellfire and about the deaths of both her parents and Eddie's, I've no doubt.

And that's probably another good reason to give the book, and the series a go, Green likes to build up his characters and the worlds they inhabit through the books. There'll be lots more depth and complexity to come.

The action is pretty much non stop - there are several great chase squences, along the motorway and on a motorbike through London.

Eddie's winnowing progress through his family's greatest enemies trying to find the truth at the start of the book, didn't really work for me. It seemed like a slightly chaotic series of good ideas that didn't quite string together, while being individually interesting.

If you're a fan of the author, it's definately worth reading - just don't expect anything earthshatteringly different. If you've not read his stuff before, you will enjoy it as the ideas will all seem fresher. (I'd recommend the Deathstalker series ahead of it, but those books are pretty twisted in places, so if you prefer things a bit lighter, this may be the way to go...)

I'll be reading the next one, and hoping that Eddie is focused back on the task of being a field agent because that's where most of the unique and best moments of the Man with the Golden Torc were. I'll also be hoping for a few more of the highly amusing, sarcastic dialogue that is one of my favourite features of Green's books.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the "TORC" of the town!!, 11 Aug 2007
By 
Mamalicious (Lancashire, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Man With The Golden Torc: Secret Histories Book 1: Man with the Golden Torc Bk. 1 (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Further to the review from "Clairefromwales", I agree with many of her points but to compare Edwin Drood with Owen Deathstalker is a mistake. The whole point of this story is that it is based in a version of reality that we call "home" so it can't possibly be as varied as the deathstalker worlds.

However, I can honestly say that this book is one of the best reads I've had in a long time. I was thinking about the characters whilst at work, and I was dreaming about the plot etc in bed. It really got under my skin which, after all, is the whole point of a book.

What more can I say, if you don't buy this book, you will have missed out on something wonderful, and your life should feel slightly lacking for it!

I can't wait for the sequel. Rock and Roll Mr Green!! Five stars all the way!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret histories 1, 8 May 2009
By 
Brett N. Keddie "brettkeddie" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Read this because i had read Mr Greens nightside series and found them most entertaining. This is more of the same B-movie style plots, this time with a more bond/conspiracy theme, that rattle along at a fair old pace. This book won't change your life but it will make you smile
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shaken and stirred, 24 May 2007
By 
Robert J. Prosser (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Two parts James Bond and one part Harry Potter. Leave your brains at the door and let the sheet sense of fun carry you along. It's not exactly original but when a book is this enjoyable who cares? Highly recommended!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A***, 14 Jan 2014
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Another brilliant book from Simon R Green. Just what you would expect from such an author. Fast paced fantasy adventure with many twist and turns.
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1.0 out of 5 stars boring, 23 Mar 2013
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i have a personality defect that means even when a book is REALLY bad, I still have to read to the last page. After this book i think I may invest in getting help for my problem. Was surprised because i had read good things about simon green.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TORC BOOK 1, 16 Jan 2013
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You know how it goes - you choose a book because of the title (well, I do!). You start to read and you immediately empathise with the lead character. You finish the book and look for the next one in the series....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost dresden, 14 Jan 2013
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If you have read any of the Harry Dresden novels and enjoyed them then you will enjoy these, they are almost as good
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Wild Ride, 20 Dec 2011
By 
David Ford "Genre junkie" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
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I came across this book while scanning to see if Green's Deathstalker series was up on Kindle yet, and thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm glad I did; this story is more evidence of the author's wild imagination. Don't be fooled by the cover and blurb into thinking of it as a Bond pastiche though; other than a few references/injokes, this is entirely its own beast.

We follow Eddie Drood, member of a vast family dedicated to protecting humanity from threats of all kinds. What starts as a routine mission ends with Eddie outcast from the family and on the run for his life, forced to ally himself with old enemies and question everything he once believed in.

Eddie is a fun protagonist, sardonic and witty even as he gets put through one hell of a wringer. He's got some cool toys to help him, though, including the Droods' trademark indestructible golden armour, a gun with infinite ammo and automatic aim, and a compass that shows him the best way out of any situation.

Green's great strength as always been his ability to throw all kinds of craziness at the page while somehow making it all work. Dive into this nonstop thrillride and see Eddie face everything from carnivorous automobiles to reality reshapers, from dragon-mounted elves to a golem with an atomic brain.

The supporting cast is great, too, and includes the sparky witch (and prospective love interest) Molly, the dissolute Blue Fairy and Mr Stab, the world's most notorious serial killer, amongst many others.

The plot takes plenty of twists and turns, and kept me glued to the page throughout. The sheer amount of imagination on show is irresistibly winning, and I would happily spend more time in the company of Eddie and friends.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pure Escapism, 3 Aug 2009
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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The title of 'The Man With The Golden Torc' (TMWTGT) would suggest that it is some sort of supernatural riff on James Bond. It isn't. Eddie Drood, the book's hero, is no 007 and beyond having a few gadgets and the presence of a Q-ish character in the form of the Armourer there are no obvious parallels with the Bond novels.

That doesn't mean that TMWTGT isn't worth a read. Just don't go in expecting James Bond vs The Demon Horde or anything along those lines. If you don't then what you'll find is an enjoyable if somewhat daft piece of supernatural escapist fun. And I stress the word ESCAPIST. TMWTGT is not a book that thrives on logic or plausibility. Its the first Simon R Green novel I have read and his approach seems to be to throw every idea, no matter how wild, at the page and hope most or some of them work.

This leads to a book that features a family of indestructible druidic warriors clad in golden armour, sex-bots from the future, extra-dimensional creatures, dragon riding elf lords and their half-human drunken offspring, chases through central London that result in a death toll in the hundreds but which no-one ever finds out about (and the same on the M4) and numerous hidden conspiracies, some on a global scale or larger. Not all of these ideas are entire successful and some really don't work at all, but the whole book moves along at such a fast pace and with such a sense of fun that you quickly forget about the bits that don't work.

The rapid pace also makes it easier to partly forgive the less than in-depth characterisation on display. None of the main characters are ever developed much beyond what is necessary to move the story forward. Even Eddie Drood, who acts as the books narrator, remains little more than a combination of stoically brave heroics and wisecracks throughout the length of the book. May be over future books in the series Eddie, Molly and others will get more life breathed into them, but for this first volume of adventures they get just enough depth to prevent them being complete cliches but that's about it.

Will I be coming back for more of the 'Secret Histories'? Despite the three star rating the answer is yes. TMWTGT is a flimsy concoction that always seems in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own implausibilities but its also great escapist fun and from time to time everyone needs a bit of that...
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The Man With The Golden Torc: Secret Histories Book 1: Man with the Golden Torc Bk. 1 (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
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