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Zero Minus Ten Hardcover – May 5, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399142576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399142574
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

The author of The James Bond Bedside Companion (not reviewed) pits Agent 007 against worthy Pacific Basin opponents in a more than serviceable first thriller that could give Ian Fleming's ultracool hero yet another new lease on life. Dispatched to Hong Kong to halt a series of violent incidents that threaten the Crown Colony's mid-1997 return to the People's Republic of China, Bond first checks on Guy Thackeray, the fifth- generation head of a family shipping firm called EurAsia Enterprises. Although the SIS troubleshooter gets the goods on the shady businessman, the latter perishes (or appears to) in a car bombing. In next trying to tap underworld intelligence sources, 007 makes a nearly fatal mistake and is obliged to undertake a personal mission for triad chieftain Li Xu Nan. Against the odds, the master spy penetrates the PRC and returns alive, bearing papers that put Li in his debt. With help from the grateful crime boss, Bond heads down under to investigate a mysterious outback blast London has told him is not his affair. In due course, he finds a back-from- the-dead Thackeray at a remote uranium mine; to his horror, he learns that the embittered taipan (who's used EurAsia to make a great fortune in the drug trade) plans to put paid to the celebration of Hong Kong's handover by detonating a crude nuclear device on or near the island at midnight on June 30, 1997. Before 007 can beat the clock and save the showcase outpost of empire with an eleventh-hour dash through a crowded harbor, however, he must escape the clutches of a villainous captor and make it out of western Australia's famously inhospitable bush country. Benson's 007 is a chip off the old block and, if not a gilt- edged Bond, at least a double-A. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

Has a good plot and overall a pretty good book.
Jim Fox
It's like he has all the details, the plotting, a linear thread, but he can't write it.
N. P. Stathoulopoulos
I tend to like all the Raymond Benson James Bond novels the best.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grrrr on November 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of all the authors that have attempted to put the Walther PPK back in Bond's holster, Raymond Benson has always been my favorite. Every time a new Benson Bond novel came out, it was always a treat. He has a feel for the character and his adventures that revitalized the legacy after some of the dissappointing efforts by previous author, John Gardner. Would love to see Benson pick up the pen again with some more Bond novels!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a sixth grader. I have recently read Raymond Benson's ingenious James

Bond novel, Zero Minus Ten. The book chiefly focuses on immensely sophisticated

Agent James Bond 007, who is dispatched to the exotic streets of Hong Kong in order to get to the bottom of a series of explosions and lethal attacks on numerous prominent associates of Hong Kong's elite business organizations, namely the incredibly wealthy, influential Western trading company EurAsia Enterprises. Born into a long history of dominating eastern trade, Mr. Guy Thackeray, the powerful businessman and owner of EurAsia is determined to expand his organization globally, making the enterprise the most internationally renowned, most esteemed trading establishment in the world. His sophisticated, elegant exterior proves to be quite deceiving! While in Hong Kong, Bond confronts merciless Triad group leaders, beautiful women and faithful allies who aid him in his ultimate quest for global peace. From the towering skyscrapers of Beijing and Hong Kong to the elegant casinos of Macau and the sandy dunes of Australia, James Bond attempts to prevent Hong Kong from experiencing a most perilous, devastating fate. As a die-hard James Bond fan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Zero Minus Ten. The story was jammed with pulse-pounding action, including a desperate struggle to escape Tianamen Square, an intense fight scene in a Hong Kong nightclub and a fantastic chase on junks in Victoria Harbor. I also enjoyed the fascinating details of ancient Chinese rituals and history provided by Benson. Benson's James Bond is as daring and suave as ever and contains remnants of Ian Fleming's cold war spy! Zero Minus Ten, as well as other Benson novels, including Double Shot, The Facts of Death and The Man With the Red Tattoo prove to be excellent adventures that any Bond fan will admire!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a long time 007 fan, I have just re-read all of Raymond Benson's Bond novels in the proper order and have some reflections on his entire series through "Never Dream of Dying." First of all, Benson is not Ian Fleming and readers should get past that expectation before beginning. He's not John Gardner, either (thank goodness!). That said, I believe Benson has come the closest to Ian Fleming of all the post-Fleming writers in that he has truly captured the essence of Bond's character and the universe in which 007 operates. It is a fantasy spy world, not based in reality, just as Fleming's was, but like Bond's creator, Benson keeps the main character very human. Benson's Bond makes mistakes, shows fear, feels pain, and is melancholy much of the time. At the same time, Benson has brought in many elements of the Bond film series (I have read an interview with him that states that he and the Ian Fleming Estate agreed that this would be the approach to take). Therefore, Benson's Bond is a mixture of the cinematic and literary Bonds, and for me, this works splendidly. I have seen some fans object to this or that but it seems to me that these fans are not getting past personal expectations. Bond is many things to many people. Benson, a long time Bond scholar and author of the excellent "James Bond Bedside Companion" knows his stuff. He has nailed the Bond character. Some have complained about his writing style. Benson is no Fleming, as stated earlier, but his style is succinct and easy to read. His books flow quickly and are highly entertaining. "ZERO MINUS TEN": Benson's first book has one of his best plots, but it suffers slightly from being a "first novel." His writing is at its weakest here, but that said, ZMT is a wonderful Bond story.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Raymond Benson breathes a small bit of life back into a James Bond character that John Gardner had nearly tortured to death in his last few unreadable bits of tripe. Nevertheless, Benson is no Ian Fleming (or Kingsly Amis for that matter). Despite his attempts to return Bond to his hard-edged roots, Benson's book reads more like a Cubby Broccoli movie script than it does a Fleming novel. It's better than no Bond at all, but it's still a shame that Gardner's Bond was so bad that we look upon Benson's mediocrity as some sort of character renaissance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rainey on June 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Three stars, but just barely. ZERO MINUS TEN has some intriguing moments, and the plot, in general, is actually pretty solid. It's a step up from John Gardner's inane entries in the series, but this is still a far cry from Ian Fleming's Bond. 007 still has some rough edges, but what ostensibly passes for Bond having "gained wisdom from his experiences" reeks of political correctness. Beyond that, though, the writing often slips into long-winded details that don't naturally flow into the narrative; Fleming had mastered the art of merging minutiae with storytelling like few other writers; Benson isn't there yet. And worst of all, in the action-oriented scenes, Benson's prose becomes sloppy, chock-full of passive phrasing and superficial description. There's no passion or sense of urgency, especially when Bond's life is on the line; you're not -inside- the character... you're simply witnessing events from outside. Sadly, when Benson delves into Bond's psyche, the result is endless lines of internalized questioning--to the point of becoming ludicrous. Hardly the self-confident, arrogant, coldhearted professional who yet somehow remained human that Fleming delivered. The villain has adequate motivation to be believable but is otherwise colorless. The best character here is the Chinese Triad chief, Li Xu Nan, who comes across as a more Fleming-inspired personality, a la Marc Ange Draco. Give it a go if you're a Bond completist...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

As of Spring 2013, Raymond Benson is the author of thirty published titles. These include the new BLACK STILETTO series ( featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante: THE BLACK STILETTO (2011); THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); and the newest chapter, THE BLACK STILETTO: STARS & STRIPES (2013). 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, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, and others. 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...!

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