Thursday, December 22, 2011

Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

I’ve never read one of Ian Flemming’s James Bond books. So I can't speak to whether Deaver stayed true to the character as it was written by Flemming. I've seen almost all of the movies though. (Except for that one with the guy that no one can ever remember his name.) I was first introduced to Bond while on a family vacation when I was eleven or twelve years old. My dad rented Octopussy and let me watch it. I thought it was fantastic!. It had great stunts, fast-paced action, gadgets every boy would die for, and having just entered the stage of life where girls were of interest to me, it was perfect timing. With it being my first exposure to Bond, I had no idea that it was one of the worst Bond movies ever made, Nor was I aware that there had been a much better James Bond before Roger Moore. Nevertheless, I had discovered the character and 26 years later, I still look forward to every new Bond movie that comes out. 

When I learned that Jeffery Deaver, an author I've read quite devotedly, had been commissioned to write the next Bond story, I became anxious to read my first one. I was interested to see how an author, notorious for writing unexpected twists into his stories, was going to write a James Bond story - where there's usually a pretty set formula: An evil genius, set on world domination, is foiled because instead of killing James Bond quickly and cleanly when he had the chance, decides to reveal the details of his plan to Bond and then take off - sure in his mind that there's no way Bond will ever escape the shark tank/conveyor belt slowly delivering Bond to his death/pilotless airplane seconds away from crashing/etc. Deaver didn't disappoint.

I went to a book signing last year for Deaver's last book and he discussed the upcoming Bond book. He described how he wanted to take the character back to what Ian Flemming first created, and then place him in today's world. Which is exactly what he did. In Carte Blanche Bond has only been a 00 agent for three years when it's discovered that next Friday night, thousands of people are going to die in some sort of attack. It's up to Bond to discover who is behind the attack, where it's going to take place, how it's to be done, and then to prevent it, all in a very short period of time. Having listened to Deaver describe Bond as he was first written into existence, before anyone played him on film (even the good Bond actors) and now having read a book, I'm much more interested in going back to Flemming's books and giving them a try.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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