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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carte Blanche
A good read, nice pace, good characters, well described, plenty of plausible gizmo's and the inevitable Bond girls, but not just for scenery! Probably make a decent film!
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Gary Davis

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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad... but not Bond.
It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I approached Carte Blanche, for two obvious reasons:

1) It was an American author's take on the most British of iconic characters
2) It was advertised as being an 'update' rather than a 'continuation' of the series

Perhaps the first thing worth noting is that it is not a terrible book. It has a...
Published on 27 July 2011 by Mr. D. Cashmore


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad... but not Bond., 27 July 2011
By 
Mr. D. Cashmore "durangoDave" (Lichfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels) (Hardcover)
It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I approached Carte Blanche, for two obvious reasons:

1) It was an American author's take on the most British of iconic characters
2) It was advertised as being an 'update' rather than a 'continuation' of the series

Perhaps the first thing worth noting is that it is not a terrible book. It has a certain sense of urgency which motivates the reader to keep turning the page, and a storyline which, it has to be said, is more memorable than the recent Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks.

The flaw is really one of the character of Bond himself. It would appear that Deaver takes his cue from the more recent film adaptations of the character rather than from the source novels themselves. Fleming's Bond was very much a man on the edge - one who cared little about his own life and who often cared little for those around him. Often relying solely on his stubborn determination and courage rather than on gadgets and gizmos, this Bond made mistakes and suffered the consequences accordingly.

In 'updating' the original character, we are left with a fairly bland Bond who seems to use his smartphone every other page to solve a problem and makes very few mistakes in pursuit of his target. This is not the Bond that 'women want and men want to be', but a watered-down version of what should be a gritty character used to killing without regret.

Perhaps my Bond is one that should always exist in the 1950s/1960s, in the same way that my Sherlock Holmes will always exist under the murky, gaslight illumination of late 19th Century... Worth a read to find out what you think though.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels) (Hardcover)
The writing style was atrocious, horribly self-evident and gratuitously indulgent despite his attempt to make up for that by way too many plot twists. The characters were also very stereotyped. In fact i am very surprised that this came out of the pen of an established author, since the writing style seems closer to bad fanfiction on the internet.

It was also really really irritating that he kept shoving advertising (e.g. for the iPhone 4) in the reader's face and instead of developing the plot and bringing out its nuances, he would inflict on the reader his opinions about cars etc. (which also all seemed suspiciously like he was being paid for advertising). If i had wanted to read about that, i would have picked out a magazine about it or watched fifth gear. Yes, there is space for this kind of stuff in a James Bond novel, but it should be done with at least a modicum of subtlety.

This book struck me as a disappointment both to the James Bond series and to the (previously) esteemed author. It really felt as if he'd spent 6 weeks cobbling it together in his bathtub and that his agents had told him to produce any old crap because the brand would sell it all, and the badly integrated advertising would make the rest of the profit.

It is a shame that this man sank so low.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Name's Bland, James Bland..., 8 Feb 2012
By 
This review is from: Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels) (Hardcover)
The general consensus of reviews seems to be to compare it with Sebastian Faulks's much more sensual (but not sexual) attempt at writing 'as Ian Fleming'. This, though, is a mistake; other than the main character the parallels quickly end. This Bond is an ultra-technical, uber-clinical high-tech spy. Given that this is written by an American, this is unsurprising; nearly all state-sie interpretations of secret agents are technical - very unlike the very human British slant. And, as this is a Bond book, this is a flaw. He is just too efficient; he's always on his smartphone and can flawlessly predict the enemy's next move; if it's too good to be true it is. Bond now has feelings clearly aimed at the new PC Bond audience (is there a place for a PC Bond? Unlikely given that he's meant to take risks on our behalf).

The book is very efficient and lacks the sophistication of Fleming; and it's too easy to put down - the predictable nature of Bond's spy is just too formulaic (given the criticism levelled at the Bond series this is ironic).

The writing is occasionally jarring; staccato sentences have to be read again to understand their meaning (a little too clipped, they feel like text speak). In essence, this is actually a film script. On that point, the reference to contemporary films is also jarring.

One worry is the villain (who's ambitions are grotesque but very limited - no longer wanting world-domination he drewls over dead bodies in the sleepy village of March) who takes this into the world of detective horror; in which Deaver normally plies his trade.

Bond has become like a SIM card: efficient, modern, expendable and of no particular interest to anyone. This is detective horror with a figure called 'Bond' as the main protagonist but this is not James Bond.

As Fleming's full talents now emerge - in fairness to Deaver, Faulks and all others who've fallen under the Bond-train wheels, having others (although they've had their moments) write Bond novels has proved to be like having others write Dickens. Maybe one day someone'll come finish the job. Better still, pick up a Fleming Bond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't work for me. All the product placement grated endlessly, and the plot didn't feel remotely credible., 31 Oct 2013
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Part of the problem for me is that Bond (in books at least) belongs in the 1960's. He just doesn't work in modern times. I also found I just didn't enjoy Deaver's writing. Not sure why, but the endless product placement felt wrong for one thing. Bond, for example, would not to my mind ever drive a modern Bentley. To big, heavy, expensive and old man 'ish. Also to keep referring to his gun as the "Walther". The other characters are also too stereotyped. So, for me, a failure to transplant Bond into the present. Not recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carte Blanche, 29 Oct 2013
By 
Mr. Gary Davis (KENDAL, Cumbria, UK) - See all my reviews
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A good read, nice pace, good characters, well described, plenty of plausible gizmo's and the inevitable Bond girls, but not just for scenery! Probably make a decent film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 12 Sep 2013
By 
Ivan G. Andrews (Exeter, Devon Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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I have enjoyed this book and it kept me wanting to know what happens next. A little slow in places though, that's why I have only given it 4 stars. A cracking exciting finale though with a good twist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb listening, 8 July 2013
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Jeffery Deaver is a brilliant author. I can truthfully say that there has not been one book which has been disappointing and this is not one of them either. The plot is interesting, fast moving and ended the way it should. I prefer listening to books, and the narrator is all important. I have listened to books with this narrator and his voice is smooth and variable. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unengaging, 3 May 2013
By 
Royale "Mies" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've always been suspicious of authors following in the footsteps of James Bond creator Ian Fleming - but each time I go along for the ride, never really learning that these 'other' Bonds will ultimately be pale shadows of the Master.

This latest attempt was all right, I guess, which probably says it all.....I just didn't feel it was engaging me at any time; I simply reached a point where I no longer cared what happened to villain or hero, while simultaneously recognising that as Bond continuations/updates go, this one wasn't too bad.

Maybe that is where the problem lies - updating just doesn't work. The fifties and sixties era in which Fleming's originals were set is in itself fascinating even before contemplating Bond....it is an era pre-dating any modern technology; a more gentle and considered era of stiff-upper-lip and Savile Row suits: if Bond needs to make an urgent call to his office, he has to find a telephone box! The past in which these tales are set, and it which Fleming himself existed, give rise to great colour charm and continued freshness with every reading, and that doesn't happen in a modern-day Bond novel. It DOES however work excellently as a modern-day Bond film. A very different experience, of course.

Overall disappointed by Deaver, yet already eagerly awaiting William Boyd's forthcoming effort to continue the continuation!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good Bond IMHO, 12 April 2013
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C. Sims (East Anglia, England.) - See all my reviews
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I didn't enjoy it. It had something missing. It's a difficult thing to do, I guess, putting a new slant on a National Treasure.
Anyway, I've found there are better versions of Bond stories out there. As I said; my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Isn't the Classic James Bond!, 8 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels) (Hardcover)
I was utterly disappointed by the book. It was very thin in content and style - after finishing it I couldn't remember a thing about the story!
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Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels)
Carte Blanche: A James Bond Novel (James Bond Novels) by Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover - 26 May 2011)
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