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Modesty Blaise (Modesty Blaise series) Paperback – October 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Modesty Blaise series
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285637282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285637283
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In the beginning there was Modesty. Cooler than the pretentious James Bond, tougher than the brain-dead Mike Hammer."  —Lauren Henderson, author, Chained and Dead White Female

About the Author

Peter O'Donnell created Modesty Blaise as a strip cartoon that was syndicated in more than 42 countries. The strip led to a series of novels about Modesty and her faithful lieutenant, Willie Garvin.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
I must have read them all dozens of times, but I still keep re-reading them!
Tony Walker
At one time she ran one of the largest criminal organizations in the Mediterranean, until she disbanded and now does some spy work for British Intelligence.
Virginia E. Johnson
Also highly recommended are the books Peter O'Donnell wrote under the pseudonym Madeleine Brent.
Frederick Norwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Carl Mayes on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lots of 'firsts' in this novel. The first appearance of Sir Gerald Tarrant, the father-like head of British Intelligence, and Gabriel, a ruthless and ancient adversary of Modesty Blaise. We are also privy to Modesty's past as a young girl, whom O'Donnell portrays as a brilliant neophyte, creating the criminal organization known as The Network. Additionally, we are provided the origin of her unique and deeply intimate friendship (always platonic) with Willie Garvin, an astute and proficient 'comrade-in-arms.'

Although the book is cumbersome at times with technical descriptions involving an elaborate heist, the action and excitement outweigh it. Look for a spectacular hand-to-hand battle between Modesty and Mrs. Fothergill, one of Gabriel's eccentric bodyguards. Mrs. Fothergill is portrayed as chillingly cold-blooded and combat-competent, yet Modesty's fighting expertise is more than a match for Mrs. Fothergill's martial arts and gymnastic acumen.

Modesty Blaise is far from an ordinary 'spy' (hardly a 007 rip-off). In fact, she's an exceptional woman way ahead of her time!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been slightly Modesty-obsessed for about ten years now, so I was thrilled when Amazon found me a copy of this out-of-print gem. Modesty and Willie's first caper for Sir Gerald has suspense, drama, and wit. The novel fills in details not in the comic version of this adventure, making it even more fun to read. A great addition to any pulp fiction lover's collection.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on May 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
The above quotation is uttered by Willie Garvin at the end of chapter 18 of "Modesty Blaise". Two chapters later the book is over, and readers can agree with Willie and conclude that this book is different. Enjoyably and intriguingly different.

"Modesty Blaise" was Peter O'Donnell's first book, published in 1965 when he was 45 years old. Prior to that he had had a long career as the author of scripts for comic strips and writing short stories. In fact, the Modesty Blaise character was first launched as a comic strip in a London newspaper in 1963, so Peter O'Donnell had the background and major story elements well worked out when he wrote this book.

This book became the first book in a series of 11 novels and two collections of short stories about Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin, Modesty's loyal and trusted companion.

In this review I'll concentrate on certain aspects of the book "Modesty Blaise" itself, in the hopes that the reader already has a general knowledge of the whole Modesty Blaise series of books. If this is not the case then you may want to look at my "So You'd Like To" guide about books by Peter O'Donnell. It includes a link to my MSN group about Modesty Blaise where you can find more information about this whole series of books and why I love them.

In "Modesty Blaise" the basic story is that Modesty, a former criminal, is recruited to the side of the good guys. She and Willie then go up against a ruthless team of bad guys and find themselves captured and scheduled to be killed. In order to survive despite the incredible odds against them they have to fight for their lives, using their fighting skills and their ingenuity.

In this book Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin are introduced to us in a very effective way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Willie Garvin, Modesty's loyal partner, makes the above statement just as he and Modesty are about to set out on what becomes an incredibly harrowing and dangerous caper. Willie makes this statement to Modesty (who he calls "Princess") at a time when he and Modesty have already been dealt a severe blow - they have just discovered that they are not only fighting for themselves and the need to save the world, but must fight for the life of an innocent child who is dear to them. This makes it of utmost importance that they have to defeat the bad guys.

"Sabre-Tooth" is the second book in the Modesty Blaise series of books and was written by Peter O'Donnell in 1966. It is a direct sequel to the first book, with Sir Gerald Tarrant of the British Foreign Service sending Modesty and Willie out on another dangerous mission.

As usual for a Modesty Blaise adventure the bad guys are bigger than life and extremely nasty. Karz, the huge Mongol who has assembled an army of mercenaries in northern Afghanistan, is totally ruthless, but still not the most fascinating of the villains.

That honor must go to "The Twins", a grotesque pair of killers who hate each other's guts but must endure each other's constant proximity to avoid insanity. This is because The Twins were once Siamese twins, and even though they were successfully separated, the separation was not viable due to a mutual psychological dependency. Now The Twins wear a harness that joins them at the shoulders, and they spend every minute of their lives linked together.

The high point of "Sabre-Tooth" is the fight to the death between Modesty and The Twins. How can Modesty, completely unarmed, survive in a fight against a four-legged, four-armed, two-headed killing machine?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Movie-Maven on February 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned of Modesty Blaise when reading "The Psychology of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo" by Robin S. Rosenberg who mentions Stieg Larson was a big fan of the Modesty books. Modesty is a tough, brilliant and beautiful woman along the lines of The Avenger's Mrs. Peale, but more deadly. She is expert in martial arts and a variety of weapons. If these books were wrtten in this decade instead of the 60's, she would probably also be computer geek extraordinaire . Don't be put off by the tacky cover illustrations, the books are about brilliant, daring and often outlandish escapades (including - spoiler alert - shooting a defector over the Berlin Wall via a circus canon) rather than sexual encounters, which are plentiful but not explicit, very much a la Ian Fleming's James Bond and with humor like Lawrence Block's Tanner series. The books are entertaining, clever, humorous, thrilling and very well wriiten. I'm sorry there are only 13 books and the author sadly is no more.

If you want to read them in order:

Modesty Blaise
Sabre Tooth
I, Lucifer
A Taste For Death
Impossible Virgin
Pieces of Modesty
The Silver Mistress
Last Day In Limbo
Dragon's Claw
The Xanadu Talisman
The Night of Morningstar
Dead Man's Handle
Cobra Trap
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