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Devil May Care: The New James Bond Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 19, 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307473317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307473318
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A Quiz

Q: Although James Bond is regarded by many as the quintessential English hero, he is actually not English. What is his nationality in the books?
A: He is half Scottish and half Swiss. He also hates that most English of drinks, tea--and describes it as 'mud'!

Q: Bond has had many famous incarnations on the big screen but, prior to these, he was first played on the radio by which British actor and game show host?
A: Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame

Q: Which Bond villain shares a birthday with his creator?
A: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908. Ian Lancaster Fleming entered the world on the same day at 7 Green Street in London.

Q: Which American President was a big fan of the Fleming novels?
A: President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was known to be a big fan of Fleming and listed From Russia With Love as one of his top 10 favourite books. Bizarrely, both Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are believed to have been reading Bond novels the night before Kennedy was killed.

Q: Which famed children’s author helped Ian Fleming adapt his children's adventure story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the big screen?
A: Roald Dahl

Q: Where did Fleming write all his Bond books?
A: At Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. Although now part of a luxurious holiday resort, the house was very basic in Fleming's time--so much so that his friend and neighbour Noel Coward referred to it as Goldeneye, Nose and Throat!

Q: Although Ursula Andress wears the most famous bikini in cinema history in her iconic performance in Doctor No, in Fleming's novel of the same name the character Honeychile Rider wears even less. What does she wear?
A: She is naked save for a knife-belt.

Q: The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, originally had a different title when it was published in the US. Under what title was it initially published here?
A: The initial title here was You Asked For It.

Q: What is James Bond’s favorite meal?
A: Breakfast. He has a particular penchant for scrambled eggs, and the short story 007 in New York even includes his own recipe for them.

Q: Who is Miss Moneypenny named for?
A: Miss Moneypenny was named after a character in an unpublished novel written by Ian Fleming's brother, the travel writer Peter Fleming.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

With a delivery as cool and dry as a vodka martini, Tristan Layton brings numerous international locals and characters to life in Faulks' homage to Ian Fleming's greatest creation, James Bond. It's 1967 and agent 007 is on a forced rest leave, but it isn't long before a new threat to the British Empire and the world has M dragging him back into action. Evil genius Dr. Julius Gorner is out to destroy Britain by flooding England with heroin. He also has an even more diabolical plan waiting in the wings. Faulks follows Fleming's traditional framework, but it's Layton's performance that keeps the rather slow storyline moving. His reading nicely enhances Faulks's prose and his proper English intonation provides the perfect stage from which his rich, multi-accented characters can project. It is a smooth, easy performance that elevates the material. A Doubleday hardcover (reviewed online). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This is not Ian Fleming stuff, this is junk Bond.
Bond seems to eat scrambled eggs too often in this book- it has a lot of travel in the book- early on much of it seems to be of little purpose to the plot.
Time Serf
Bond is pretty much indestructible, though this story doesn't make much of the bad guys' efforts to do him in.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett VINE VOICE on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Faulks does really capture the essence of Fleming's Bond and the cold war era. I read this in one sitting and it was like going back in time to when I first discovered the written Bond. Having recently re-read the old Fleming novels, this was an exact fit it both style and atmosphere. A gritty but world weary Bond mixed with entertaining bad guys and stunning women. Also nice to see it in the low tech era of the 60's where Bond needs a coin for a phone call!
A nostalgic romp that captures Fleming's work very well. I hope this is not a one off!
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Paul Baack on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If someone had told me that the new James Bond novel had been written by a food and fashion critic rather than a novelist, I would have believed it.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of 007 creator Ian Fleming's birth, a new Bond novel was commissioned by his estate and Ian Fleming Publications (his literary business) and it's the first published in six years. Sebastian Faulks was chosen--a curious choice, as he is known mostly for "literature" and not thrillers. It's now apparent why he appeared to be a good selection, because he has the ability to mimic Fleming's style... but unfortunately he is not able to reproduce Fleming's flair for storytelling. The cover legend "Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming" turns out to be a joke, really, because DEVIL MAY CARE straddles the fine line between pastiche and parody. It was as if Faulks sat down with a checklist of "Bondian Stuff" and proceeded to make sure every page was full of it--so much so that the work becomes annoying and, frankly, laughable. Fleming was often accused of "sex, sadism, and snobbery," but in Faulks' book, only the snobbery is apparent. There is way too much brand-name-dropping and food description. Fleming did this but he made it an art and used it sparingly. Here, there seems to be a meal or a drink or clothing described in painstaking detail in every sequence--all to the detriment of plot and characterization.

Hardcore Fleming fans will be quick to point out the various errors Faulks has made with regard to the Bond canon, but these are minor and can be forgiven. After all, other continuation authors have made mistakes as well, and even Fleming committed the occasional factual error.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ian Fleming's immortal spy has continued to thrill us since the author's death in 1964, in the famous film series and in "tribute" novels by a succession of writers, notably the late John Gardner. For the 100th anniversary of Fleming's birth, his estate commissioned noted British author Sebastian Faulks to take up where Fleming left off. And that is precisely what he's done--DEVIL MAY CARE is set in the 1960s, right after the events of Fleming's final works.

The plot is just what I hoped it would be: Bond is saving the world from a nefarious villain, with action and girls and martinis, not to mention "M" and Moneypenny. There are even a few nifty hindsight jokes thrown in for the benefit of readers in 2008. More than any previous "tribute" novels, this one is scrupulously faithful to the style and intent of the original artist. And that's as it should be--after all, this is supposed to be a celebration of Fleming himself.

I'm glad they found a writer of this caliber to carry on the Bond tradition. I hope Faulks intends to continue the series, but I suspect that will depend on how DEVIL MAY CARE is received by the critics and the public. But if you're a lifelong 007 fan like me, you'll feel compelled to read this one. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Recommended.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By W. von Tagen III on June 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The problem, I suppose, is that when one is writing "as Ian Fleming", one is expected to write like Ian Fleming.

Devil May Care, the new `adult' James Bond novel (as opposed to the `young' Bond book series by Charlie Higson) is written by Sebastian Faulks. Now, I've read Ian Fleming, and Mr. Faulks is no Ian Fleming.
There is next to no of the so called "Fleming sweep" that picks you up and carries you through the book. Part of the reason why is every time the story starts to sweep you along, Mr. Faulks cuts away to somewhere else.

The first half of the book also suffers from mischaracterizations of familiar characters from the Bond canon. Bond's housekeeper May is the first causality. If you had read Fleming, you would know how see addresses Bond. They way Faulks does it I found to be jarring. We expect familiar reactions from familiar characters. Bonds' boss M. suffers the same fate. Who is this person? Certainly not the man who sent Bond on all those dangerous missions. Can you picxture that M., aka Sir Miles Messervy, asking Bond to bring him chocolates on his way back from Paris? What the Devil is going on here?

And then we have the mission. Summer,1967: M. has a feeling that someone is up to no good and wants Bond to find out what it is.
That's it. That's all the reason Bond is sent on a mission. A feeling. All that's needed, I suppose.
The fact that the person really is up to something doesn't matter.
Plus, as it turns out, M. is not being truthful to Bond. Sends him out without the full and truthful information that Bond may need to survive. "Not quite cricket", as the villain would (and does) say in this book.
By the time the nefarious plot of the villain is revealed, we are more than halfway into the book.
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