Win, Lose or Die (James Bond) Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
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John Gardner's James Bond keeps you turning the pages far into the night.
John Gardner s James Bond keeps you turning the pages far into the night." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Score: 8/10. Bond returns to the Royal Navy for a joint UK, USA and USSR war game marking the USSR's "perestroika" (economic restructuring) and "glasnost" (cultural and political openness) policies. A new terrorist group BAST (Brotherhood of Anarchy & Secret Terror) has threatened to wreak havoc. But whom can 007 trust? Beautiful WREN officer Clover Pennington? Italian sex bomb Beatrice? Or enigmatic Russian Naval Attache Nicki?
It's a radical departure and takes a little getting used to, but it's a resounding success. The techno-thriller style (more Frederick Forsyth than Tom Clancy) really suits Gardner's knack with action and technical detail. The first few chapters alone are packed with exciting and immersive set pieces- you feel you could probably fly a sea harrier! Unlike other breaks from the format Bond remains at the forefront of the action, while intercutting the villains' machinations sets up the next threat without slowing things down. With SPECTRE dead and gone, the author anticipates the risk of BAST becoming a pale imitation: even Bond notes "it sounds like a poor man's SPECTRE." Although we don't get the meticulous background we got from Fleming (or Benson's Union Trilogy), there's a delightfully cynical reason for BAST's hollow heart.Read more ›
I love Bond but this one is truly awful. If you haven't read any Gardner but are thinking about it, start with For Special Services as at least that has some laugh out loud Bond moments.
Score: 9/10. Bond and partner of the week, CIA agent, Elizabeth 'Easy' StJohn (don't ask) fly off to investigate/ rescue the surviving members of Cabal: once the western intelligence commmunity's most successful network, its members are dying. It's a very Gardner set up, almost a rerun of No Deals, Mr. Bond (James Bond) but even faster. Even the 'death' themed chapters (contrived but fun) and Diamonds Are Forever quote/title aims to please fans. Conscious decision or not (to return to a winning formula) it works. Like No Deals and Scorpius (James Bond) it resembles an old fashioned spy caper or Hitchcock cold war thriller. Nearly every scene ends in a twist or showdown. It imbues 007 with all the spyworld tradecraft Gardner loved, while using the agents and agencies (as Fleming did) as players in an international game of cloak & dagger/ cowboys & indians.Read more ›
The book is more of a secret-agent procedural novel, with a little bit of character towards the end that doesn't get followed up properly in this novel - but perhaps Gardner is taking a leaf from Fleming's book and leaving the repercussions to the next book in the series.
The plot itself feels filled with coincidence - Bond just tumbles into events by accident rather than actually going on a mission, and seems a fairly useless agent for a lot of the time. Overall, the whole novel feels like it could have been about any secret agent - it's missing the ingredient that means it could only be about James Bond.
I remember having this book as a teenager - I don't know whether I didn't read it or just completely forgot the plot, but I suspect that if you ask me again in another ten years I will have forgotten again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Gardner wrote this, his seventh James Bond novel, a year before the on-screen Bond faced a similar plot in Licence to Kill. These books are always a balancing act. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SirChutney
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
Complete and utter tosh which makes Fleming seems like Tolstoy. Dull, wordy, overlong and hysterical, with all the psychological insight of Enid Blyton. Read morePublished 7 months ago by MallingFox
Bond back in the navy starts as a good idea but sadly soon gets bogged down in plot details with 007 acting
Almost as Miss Marple, trying to discover an assassin on board his... Read more
Lumbering thing, Bond has to get retrained? He knows everything! Lame.Published 15 months ago by ellison