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Benson's Playstation Bond.,
This review is from: The Man with the Red Tattoo (Paperback)
I read Benson's latest Bond novel in a few days and was very happy with it. This is the first of the Benson novels I've looked at, and I think I will read more.
There is one frustrating element of the novel for those who have read Fleming's originals, and that is the timeframe. Benson has copied the movies habit of re-casting Bond in the modern era, whereas Fleming gave dates and contemporary events that put his stories firmly in the fifties and sixties. There's nothing wrong with Benson updating the character, but when he frequently refers to incidents from the Fleming novels- battles with Ernest Blofeld, for instance- he's referring to events from another, much earlier, 1960's timeline, which I find distracting. Perhaps Benson should have been allowed to set the literary character in the same era as Flemings.
That being so, this is a good read. All the familiar elements are there. Bond is cool, and the villains diabolical. There is a lot of action compared with Fleming, which is why I characterise it as being a 'Playstation' Bond. Which is probably what todays readers want.
Benson has also copied some of the techno-thriller habits of Tom Clancy and Dale Brown. The villains plot gets a thorough explanation, as does his political motivation. Benson handles this sort of thing well- which leads me to think he could, funnily enough, write an even better thriller if he wasn't writing a Bond story!