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Nobody Lives Forever/James Bond Hardcover – 1 May 1986

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (T) (May 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399131515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399131516
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 3.9 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,910,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Gardner served with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines before embarking on a long career as a thriller writer, including international bestsellers The Nostradamus Traitor and The Garden of Weapons. In 1981 he was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to revive James Bond in a brand new series of novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gardner's only direct follow on (his final Bond book COLD was a sequel/ reunion of characters from this book and Win, Lose or Die (James Bond)) sees one of the bad guys getting away at the end of Role of Honour (James Bond) and putting a deathbed contract on 007. It could have been tried out many times over the years, with a more noteworthy villain. What's astonishing is the high calibre of the delivery.

Score: 9/10. Of all the independently-minded Gardner's entries in the Bond canon, this is the one that might have easily been a Fleming manuscript. It's to the former's credit that he offers up such a fan-pleaser, and does it so well. Bond is the resourceful, sensitive and thoughtful man of action at his best. On leave from his Service, he sets out on a personal mission to rescue May and Moneypenny even though he knows it to be a trap staged for his own destruction.

The set up is a simple one and works well. The prose is well crafted and immediate, probably Gardner's best in 007 mode. The host of enigmatic sexy girls, uncomprimising allies and would-be assassins who interrupt Bond's road trip are brilliantly drawn. The trappings are alternately luxurious and macabre, keeping things interesting whilst never sacrificing pace.

Classic touches abound: scuba diving, car chases and Bond's love of travel and the simple things in life. His weapons again consist of the ASP, Bentley and instinct, plus a new baton and a Q Branch engineered belt. The settings of alpine Europe and the Florida Keys are fittingly Fleming-y.

The only real downside is the shorter length of the tale, but this is a minor quibble of an otherwise excellent novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In an attempt to lure Bond to his death SPECTRE kidnap Miss Moneypenny.
Gardner really has hit his stride by this the fifth book in his series of James Bond novels.
His over reliance on SPECTRE and past Bond history (most notably Bond's dead Wife Tracey) sometimes hamper the books but I can understand Gardner's desire to make the books mere thrillers with a character called James Bond in them.
It's a fun read and not too taxing.
Ideal for a holiday.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After the disappointing Role of honour, Gardner bounces back with a great action filled adventure across Europe. Each chapter is
Full of danger and intrigue. Spectre wants Bond dead and have offered a huge sum for the lucky winner. A great book worthy of
Five stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The basic plot in Nobody Lives Forever, like Gardner's No Deals Mr Bond, probably gives a more realistic account of the spy world than we are used to in the Bond novels and films. Like License to Kill and From Russia With Love there is an "it could actually happen" feel to it and similarly to the latter, it sees Bond being thrown into a devious game by his enemies to bring about his death as justice for the damage he has inflicted on them, particularly SPECTRE. The idea of Bond having his holiday interrupted by those who hate him the most is fresh and exciting, and there are tense moments as he is hunted across Europe in a game of cat and mouse.

Once again there are allies of 007's who betray and ultimately nearly bring about his death. The turning of Quinn and Nannie were somewhat expected though, in fact Nannie's was inevitable. Where the novel is really let down is it's mid-section, when the two ladies Sukie and Nannie are dragged into Bond's situation as he is hunted down across the continent. In fact, the two of them were not even dragged into it, they appear happy to come along for the ride when Bond explains he needs to use them as hostages or leverage. While Nannie's involvement later turns out to be for different reasons, the idea of the two women being happy to accept this situation is nonsensical. The girls, as ever, are like putty in Bond's hands for the most part, but he does have to work a bit for Sukie's affections.

Generally this mid-part of the book just drags a bit, with the chase becoming slightly monotonous. It is not helped by some cringey dialogue either, like "Nannie knows best" (where did Gardner get the names Sukie and Nannie from??).
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Format: Kindle Edition
Nobody Lives for Ever, first published in 1986, was the fifth novel by John Gardner.

The story isn't all that complex. En route to retrieve housekeeper, May, from a health clinic, Bond receives some news. British Secret Service tells him that Tamil Rahani, the leader of SPECTRE, is dying. Why? Because Bond wounded him in their last encounter. There is a price on Bond's head. Bond should "trust no one". Mysterious!

Bond learns that May and Miss Moneypenny, who had been visiting his housekeeper, are missing. Bond finds himself dodging would-be assassins while searching for his friends. Assisting him is a young débutante and her capable, yet enigmatic, female bodyguard.

The price on Bond's head is a competition organised by Rahani and SPECTRE. Its known as 'The Head Hunt'. An open contest to capture or kill Bond so he can be decapitated. While Bond tries to rescue Moneypenny and May he has to dodge betrayal, murder, kidnapping by any number of organisations and individuals.

In this twisting tale, Bond is both violent and vicious. The plot is straightforward enough. No plans for world domination here, sharks with lazers, or atomic space weapons. Its simply about henchmen, goons and assassins out to kill Bond, and get a bounty for doing so. Along the action-packed way we get a few surprises, and of course some sticky situations to test 007's skills. The ending is climatic and explosive. Not a perfect novel by any means, but a strong Bond continuation novel nonetheless. It mixes vintage Fleming with 80s culture pretty well. I for one would be more than happy to read another of Gardner's Bond novels. Recommended for anyone who wants to kill a couple of hours in an entertaining and undemanding way.
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