In a style of 007 story telling that finally allows Ian Fleming to rest in peace, Raymond Benson brings James Bond back to basics. The womanizing, smoking, drinking, and gambling secret agent that was born in the 50's and was altered terribly by Benson's predecessor, John Gardner. Bond's gun is back, the Double-0 section, and Q. Zero Minus Ten brings back the old Bond with a rebirth of modern times. Though some disagree with Benson adding a touch of the cinematic Bond, I believe mixing is a nice touch as long as the literary Bond is the larger amount. One of the most interesting aspect of this novel was the fact that the situation of Hong Kong's return to China in July of 1997 was an actual occurrence, with an interesting twist of fiction thrown in. The girl in this outing is one of the most interesting in Bond history and 007 seems like a real person unlike his cinematic counterpart and Gardner's characterization of him. Definitely an excellent read for anyone Bond fan or not. After a mediocre 14 novels by John Gardner, Raymond Benson gives us a well written and researched 007 yarn that's a page turner because he, unlike Gardner, is himself a Bond fan and knows what's good. His following novels are no exception.
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