Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bond, James Bond...

Well, the day has arrived. CARTE BLANCHE, the new James Bond book, written by well-known US thriller writer Jeffery Deaver (who was handpicked by Ian Fleming's estate), has been launched in the UK with quite some fanfare. According to Reuters, the launch involved a leather-clad Bond girl on a motorbike, glasses of champagne, Deaver arriving in a Bentley, and Royal Marine Commando troops abseiling from the roof of St Pancras train station in London.

Very James Bond.

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to interview Deaver about CARTE BLANCHE recently, for an article, "Licensed to thrill", that was in last weekend's issue of the Sunday Star-Times, one of New Zealand's most-popular newspapers. In the lead-up to that interview I was one of the very few people in the world allowed to read the book before today's publication (I had to sign a very strict confidentiality agreement - during our interview Deaver jokingly asked me how many of my future children I'd had to sign away), which was a real honour.

I really enjoyed the book, which is a thoroughly modern take on Bond that I think still fits very well with Fleming's traditions. Hopefully it will please fans of both authors. It's certainly got me hoping that Deaver might write more than one Bond tale. CARTE BLANCHE has plenty of Deaver's trademark twists (in terms of plot, character, and reader perceptions), as well as plenty of globe-trotting Bond action - the book touches down in Serbia, England, Dubai and South Africa. Like the recent movies starring Daniel Craig, I think the book also has a grittier Bond too, rather than relying too much on slightly over-the-top high-tech gadgetry and 'take over the world' bad guys. Although there are still a couple of cool toys, and some good villains.

Reporting on today's launch, the Daily Mail noted that the Fleming family said CARTE BLANCHE was “one of the best ” Bond tales not written by the original author. Ian Fleming’s niece Lucy said: ‘The new book has probably got the most horrible Bond villain and a fantastic plot. Jeffrey has got right under the skin of Bond and what makes him tick. It is a very similar Bond too the character my uncle wrote."

I won't say too much about the book now, since it's just been released today. But I would heartily recommend it to fans of action-packed spy thrillers, or those who just like a good, fun read.

1 comment:

  1. Craig - Thanks for the update. It'll be really interesting to see what deep-dyed Bond fans think of it...