James Bond 007: For Special Services by John Gardner

James Bond 007: For Special Services by John Gardner
James Bond 007: For Special Services by John Gardner

I’m not really a James Bond person, I have read a couple of the original books and I find it telling that the only thing that’s stayed with me is the description of James Bond and the only man who fits that description is Timothy Dalton, very interesting. I don’t find that kind of character appealing, he charms his way into every woman’s clothing and out of every situation usually making a lot of mess and destroying anything from a room to several buildings. He doesn’t apologise, nor does he pay for any damage he does and it rankles with me. Which means they’re the best background movie when I want noise and to do some work, I look up occasionally but mostly just get stuff done. And the times when I look up he’s generally paying court to some gorgeous female, it’s almost as if it’s designed to get me working again.

What I do love is the stunts. I would like to pay some homage to the stunt arrangers and the stunt men and women, but mostly men as these movies are rather sexist and the women are generally just there to look glamorous and gorgeous, although things are changing as the years go by. Now to segue to the book.

This book is not written by the original author, Ian Fleming, it is written by John Gardner and it’s his second Bond book. In the Author’s Note he talks about updating things a little by making Bond less misogynist and giving females more action.

So, Bond is given a female sidekick who generally does a good job of getting stuff done without resorting to Bond saving the day for her. Except! Actually, I shouldn’t spoil it and the ants get their comeupance, the poor things.

This is reasonably well written. I mentioned stunts, there’s a whole car race and it’s detailed over several pages. I did try to follow it through but there were several words I didn’t know and wasn’t prepared to look up, my bed is rather comfortable and warm.

There’s a bit of science fiction in here and I found it an interesting concept. I’m sure the idea has been used before but the method of delivery was not one I’ve seen used in previous books. Yum!

If you like James Bond there’s a good chance you’ll like this. If you’re wedded to Bond in the original form and won’t view or read anything that’s not strictly canon then I suggest you steer around this book.