Top critical review
More like a Boys Own Comic Book
on 7 February 2016
I really enjoyed all Ian Fleming's books and most of the James Bond films.
This author has tried to copy Fleming's style of writing and in some ways succeeded, but
in others he failed. Parsifal was a bit better than the first book, Armada, but still poor.
In Armada, the clothing, watches, etc. of even minor characters was described in excessive detail. Now I
know James Bond had expensive tastes in watches, women, cars and wine, but this "name dropping" of
designer (or otherwise) clothes became tedious.
I don't know if Fleming was really like that, but he came across as an arrogant, snobby know-all, with a really
callous attitude to women and jealous of his brother's wife (the actress Celia Johnson) because she was "famous and
There was also the cringe making use of sound effects when the fighting started:-
KA-BOOM! ; SPLOSH; PFFT, PFFT; BAM; RAT-A-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT ......... and so on. It turned the book into
something like a comic Boys Own.
As others have said, a lot of ideas were used from the books and the films, including the scorpion in Fleming's bed -
a deadly spider in the book, if I remember correctly, but I admit I haven't read the book for 30+ years.
And his exploits and how he got out of so many scrapes made James Bond look like a boy cub!!
He even got back from the jungle on foot, through enemy territory, with a broken leg - when he'd had a boat at
his disposal! Ridiculous!