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James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels: High Time to Kill, Doubleshot, Never Dream of Dying (James Bond 007) Paperback – October, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It's clear that Benson is the best of the successors to Bond creator Fleming. Fans of Fleming's original novels can pick up a Benson adventure and feel right at home.” (Booklist)

About the Author

Between 1996 and 2002, Raymond Benson assumed the mantel of writing the 007 novels. He wrote six Bond novels during that time and three film novelizations. His James Bond Bedside Companion was nominated for an Edgar award. Pegasus Books has brought Benson's Bond books back into print in two collections: James Bond: The Union Trilogy and James Bond: Choice of Weapons.
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Product Details

  • Series: James Bond 007
  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; First Edition, First Printing edition (October 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781605980072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605980072
  • ASIN: 1605980072
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As of Summer 2015, Raymond Benson is the author of thirty-five published titles. These include the BLACK STILETTO series (www.theblackstiletto.net) featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante: THE BLACK STILETTO (2011); THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); THE BLACK STILETTO: STARS & STRIPES (2013); THE BLACK STILETTO: SECRETS & LIES (2014); and the finale, THE BLACK STILETTO: ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS (2014). He also wrote six original JAMES BOND novels (now collected in the recent anthologies THE UNION TRILOGY and CHOICE OF WEAPONS and available separately as Kindle books). His backlist of original thrillers are available as Kindle books: EVIL HOURS, FACE BLIND, TORMENT--A LOVE STORY, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, and others. A new collection of short stores, 12+1--TWELVE SHORT THRILLERS AND A PLAY, was published in 2015. His classic reference book from 1984, THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION, is now a revised Kindle book. Raymond is also a prolific tie-in writer: he penned three James Bond film novelizations, the first two best-selling TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL novels (for the latter he used the pseudonym of "David Michaels"), and with John Milius he wrote HOMEFRONT: THE VOICE OF FREEDO. He also produced novelizations of other popular videogames--METAL GEAR SOLID and METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, and HITMAN (HITMAN: DAMNATION). There's a lot more, so if you want the full story visit the author at his website... www.raymondbenson.com!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John Cox on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This year saw the release of new adult Bond novel, Devil May Care, by the celebrated novelist Sebastian Faulks, and the press frequently said it was the first James Bond novel since Ian Fleming. Not true. There have be over a dozen "continuation novels", including six books by Raymond Benson (author of the The James Bond Bedside Companion).

All of Benson's Bond novels are terrific 007 adventures (all set in present day), and he really hit his stride with these three books, which are loosely connected and form a "trilogy" within his series (similar to Fleming's "Blofeld Trilogy"). High Time To Kill is, IMO, one of the very best James Bond novels ever written, taking Bond to Tibet for a high altitude mountaineering adventure. Doubleshot is a bold and experimental Bond novel which finds Bond mentally impaired (due to injuries in the last book) to the point of fearing he may be going insane. Never Dream of Dying is a fantastic book with Raymond's best female character and relationship.

With Benson's Bond novels now all out of print, it's great to have these novels collected. For those who read Devil May Care and are craving more post Fleming 007, this is the book for you.

But what's most exciting about this release for me is that it includes the full and uncut version of "Blast From The Past," Benson's first James Bond short story. This story was only ever published in Playboy, and this full version has never before been published in English.

Here's hoping Benson's remaining Bond novels (and short stories) will be collected as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Cork on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Raymond Benson tackled an assignment as tough as any James Bond has ever taken - continuing the literary legacy of 007. Fleming's shoes are hard to fill, and Mr. Benson does it with style in the Union Trilogy. More than the great adventures and twisting plots, Benson immerses the reader in details that set not just a time and place, but an attitude of the characters. What Fleming brought to Bond was a casual flair for identifying the world 007 travelled through. Benson captures this Fleming quality in his own voice, and never better than in these three adventures. These tales do not ape the master, but rather they are worthy successors, good spy adventures in their own right. Best to be read on a ship, plane or in a sleeper car traveling through Europe or Asia...or at least read while wishing one were there!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. Rodrigues on October 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Raymond Benson brings us an updated 007 that offers more depth than the cardboard action figure seen in many of the movies. In The Union Trilogy, we find a James Bond with fears, vulnerabilities, depression and passions that allow us to care about the character himself, and not just about what he does next. Benson also delivers the familiar as well: Our favorite secret agent finds himself scaling new heights of intrigue (the Himalayan Mt. Kangch) and we get a double shot of bond girls.

The first of the three novels in the Trilogy, High Time to Kill, Benson cites as his personal favorite. That is a significant endorsement from Benson, the person most consider the leading Bond expert in the world (author of the The James Bond Bedside Companion). I personally enjoyed Benson's The Man With a Red Tattoo, a continuation of Fleming's You Only Live Twice story. Here again, The Union Trilogy delivers because it includes for the first time in English, the short story, Blast From the Past. Blast ties up ends left dangling in Twice.

The complexity we see portrayed on the screen by Daniel Craig's 007 owes much to the Benson Bond and the novels included with the Trilogy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Certain characters are so iconic that they outlive their creators: Sherlock Holmes, Dracula and Tarzan fit in this category. Does James Bond? Probably. There is certainly a market for new post-Ian Fleming Bond books. I was never overly impressed with John Gardner's books (having given up after reading a couple of them) but I still decided to give Raymond Benson's Union Trilogy a shot.

The Union Trilogy bears an intentional similarity to Fleming's own Blofeld trilogy. That original trilogy - Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice - featured the most famous of Bond villains, Ernst Blofeld. In Benson's trilogy, SPECTRE is replaced by the Union, led by the mysterious Le Gerant.

The first novel, High Time to Kill, has Bond facing off against the Union for the first time. The criminal organization has contracted to steal the formula for Skin 17, a material that will allow planes to go to unprecedented speeds. A set of accidents and betrayals lead to the only copy of the formula being stuck near the summit of the third highest Himalayan mountain. Bond must ascend the mountain in a team that includes an old school rival (who, of course, has a sinister agenda).

Injuries sustained in this first novel continue to afflict Bond in the next volume, Doubleshot. The Union is working with a Spanish bullfighter-turned-crime-lord to take Gibraltar back from Britain. Incorporated into the scheme is a plot for revenge against Bond, who handed the Union a significant defeat in the first book. Bond finds himself hallucinating and framed for murder, unaware that a double has been doing the killings.

Never Dream of Dying has Bond finally confronting the leadership of the Union along with having a reunion with his former father-in-law.
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James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels: High Time to Kill, Doubleshot, Never Dream of Dying (James Bond 007)
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