Nobody Lives Forever (James Bond) Paperback – 10 May 2012
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Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'.
About the Author
After Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner was the next writer to be asked to write further adventures of James Bond. He wrote, like Fleming, fourteen Bond books, plus novelisations of the films GoldenEye and Licence to Kill, from 1981 to 1996.
Before becoming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer, a journalist and, for a short time, a priest in the Church of England. 'Probably the biggest mistake I ever made,' he says. 'I confused the desire to please my father with a vocation which I soon found I did not have.'
In all, Gardner had fifty-five novels to his credit - many of them bestsellers. John Gardner died in 2007.
For more information about John Gardner and his non-Bond works, visit his website.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Full of danger and intrigue. Spectre wants Bond dead and have offered a huge sum for the lucky winner. A great book worthy of
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??).Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. John Gardner really captures the style of Ian Fleming. A must for any 007 fanPublished 5 months ago by Scaramanga
An other really fab book by john Gardener I am really enjoying his bond books they are real page turners.Published 13 months ago by MR R MEALOR
Formulaic, and not great to read. I read some of this series of books when they were first published. Read morePublished 19 months ago by ESES
arrived so i was happy about that and is in quite good condition.Published 21 months ago by Evan Robb
Nobody expects realism from a James Bond novel but the premise of this novel was so absurd it was hard to believe it had been written by an adult. Read morePublished on 24 May 2014 by Keen Reader
A light holiday read when your exhausted and don't need to concentrate. Predictable. A enjoyable book. Yes I would read more of the same.Published on 11 Nov. 2013 by Mr. Trevor Howson
John Gardner's fifth James Bond novel is the best of the series up to that point, much more reminiscent of the adventures written by Ian Fleming, in which Bond, holidaying in... Read morePublished on 19 Feb. 2013 by Jim J-R
I did not own a complete set of the John Gardner Bond books. All the titles are not available in the US, so a matched set from the UK was just what I needed.Published on 29 Jan. 2013 by Paul Niedernhofer