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James Bond: Win, Lose or Die: A 007 Novel (James Bond Novels) Paperback – May 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fortunately for Gardner, dyed-in-the wool James Bond fans may be disposed to overlook the lack of credibility and characterization in this latest thriller featuring the superspy. The leaders of Britain, Russia and the U.S. are planning a top-secret summit aboard HMS Invincible . We never learn what they want to talk about, but we do know that BAST (Brotherhood of Anarchy and Secret Terror) is up to some high-level nastiness. Alerted to the threat, British Intelligence sends James Bond to protect the "heads of state." Promoted to captain, Bond is trained on Harrier jump-jets, and narrowly escapes death when a Sidewinder missile intercepts his flight path. Human menaces include "the Cat," a mysterious female terrorist, and "the Viper," head of BAST. A lot of huffing, puffing, padding ("Bond has not shown all his cards") and sloppy writing ("the first kind of ship of her type") occur before a limp confrontation that takes place inside the Rock of Gibraltar, with chief villain Bassam Baradj, inanely "born plain Robert Besavitsky, in the old Hell's Kitchen area of New York."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“John Gardner’s James Bond keeps you turning the pages far into the night.” (The Daily Express)

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Product Details

  • Series: James Bond Novels
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; Reprint edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605984361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605984360
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,247,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Cail on December 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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Back in the late 1950's, author Ian Fleming created a unique character, one that would have all the style and charisma to live on through different storytellers. This character, James Bond, is most known for being the quintessential `spy' or `secret agent', and even considering the character's dangerous occupation and sometimes-questionable lifestyle, has become a sort of fictional role model for many people. But even though Mr. Bond originated from the world of literature, in a way, he is most known for his flamboyant and action-packed films, which are both light on the intellectual stimuli, and heavy on the one-liners.

Throughout the years, though, Bond's adventures have not only been continued on the silver screen. His outings also lived on through the literature world, being passed on to new authors, who each portray Bond in various ways, while still retaining all the charm and sophistication of Mr. Fleming's original Bond. But, as is usually commonplace, the novel adaptations of Mr. Bond's exploits have been much more detailed and thorough in describing the art of a covert spy, than just showing off by killing as many people and sleeping with as many women as possible like many of the films, particularly the most recent ones, have been doing. This is not to say that the films are essentially no-brainers, it's just that imagining what is happening in a particular scene through very descriptive and detailed words, is much more enjoyable than seeing it being played out in front of you on a screen.
This particular author, James Gardner, has written over eleven books based on the character in the last two decades, and by past examples of previous authors, he would have had a lot to live up to when he wrote his first bond novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ian Fleming's James Bond is the gold standard. To me, From Russia with Love is the finest novel in that distinguished, exciting series. But Fleming is gone, and we are fortunate to have John Gardner to continue the stories for us.
Gardner's stories suffer from two basic weaknesses: He doesn't have the full range of Cold War enemies to work with and his doesn't have the same hard edge to his characters and writing.
Death is Forever veers back toward the Fleming books by involving Wolfgang Weisen, onetime director of East Germany's Security Service. He makes for a truly fascinating villain. Fleming would have made him even more fascinating, but you will enjoy him and his plot to destabilize the West. Although the Cold War is over in this book, Gardner finds a way to create an extension of the Cold War. That is good for all of us readers.
In all other ways, the book is a typical Gardner offering -- serviceable plot and relentless Bond.
If you have a choice between reading a Fleming novel and a Gardner one, you should always read a Fleming one first. If you have read and liked all of the Fleming books, you will be pleased with this Gardner offering. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Douglas on November 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not a "die-hard Bond fanatic" but I've seen the movies and read some of the novels, and after reading some of the other comments, mostly negative, about Gardner and his novels I thought I'd set down some thoughts on DEATH IS FOREVER. For me Gardner is as close as anyone's ever gotten to Fleming and not that far behind. DEATH IS FOREVER was an enthralling novel and the best Gardner I have read (with SCORPIUS a close second). Gardner's Bond, like Fleming's, is not a super-hero with rocket-boats and submarine cars never at a loss for humorous one-liners every time he kills a guy. He's a flesh-and-blood human being as vulnerable as anyone else who survives by using his head. Of all the movies, the two that are most faithful to Fleming's original conception of the Bond character are "From Russia with Love" and "Licence to Kill." In my opinion, needless to say, the two best Bond films. And this is the Bond of DEATH IS FOREVER and the Gardner novel series. As for the Benson novels, I've never understood why the head of the James Bond fan club was chosen to succeed Gardner as Bond writer and not an actual published novelist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By matt f. on August 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Beginning with the murder of two members of a VERY well-organized spy ring known as Cabal, Bond teams up with another MI6 agent to try and find out what happened to the remaining members of the organization and find out who was behind it.
Wow! John Gardner has a masterpiece this time. This is one of the best espionage novels I've read. Bond goes up against some of the most sinister and ruthless villains, and in this novel almost nobody can be trusted. The amount of double-crosses and plot twists is astounding, and unlike the more recent Bond movies, the plot is complex and (gasp) logical! As Bond unravels more clues as to who is killing Cabal's agents, he must use every means available to survive, and to stop a cataclysmic event orchestrated by a ruthless organization.
Because of the rich and twisting plot, Death Is Forever captures the more sinister elements of the spy world with nothing short of brilliance. HIGHLY recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had read and loved both Death is Forever and Brokenclaw, and I had read and liked The Man From Barbarossa. I thought that this book would be just as good, but instead it just...works. Bond combats another terrorist organization with a cool name (through the years there has been Fleming's SPECTRE, this book's BAST and Benson's Union-the last one doesn't really have a good name, I know, but the head guy's name is cool). This one includes a woman as one of its top members, but she isn't really interesting, just confusing. And, oh yeah, the confusion? The people on the different sides become impossible to like or dislike because they are first portayed as one thing, then another thing, then back to the beginning, then "oh, no, I'm sorry: he/she really is good/bad." I love a good plot twist, but these polt twists demand Tylenol. If you've never read a Bond story before, try this one: you'll enjoy it if your expectations arent high.
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