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

3.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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)
  • 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 (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining read but a tad unbelievable. I mean would the PM of the UK, President of the US and the Chairman of the USSR really meet on a UK warship? I doubt that a lot. This is a bit of a weakness of John Gardners books, namely credibility. The book also overdoes the detail of UK warships, harrier jump jets and other warfare technology. Gardner also overdid a bit with the blood and gore. Bucket loads of blood, which wasn't necessary to carry the story.

Not bad but I wouldn't read it again. I would read all the Ian Fleming books again and have done.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great adventure for Bond fans. As the new movie release of Spectre comes out in a week I find myself reading as much Bond novels as I can. With the intro into a new terrorist organization James Bond rises once again to save the day and keep the reader interested with the action, plot twists, characters not appearing as they are, and of course the several female companions. When it comes to Win, Lose or Die this book is a Win.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
FROM BEGINNING TILL END,EXCITING, EXCITING, EXCITING. THE BOOK IS A BOMB WAITING TO GO OFF. NO DULL MOMENTS IN THIS BOOK TO SLOW YOU DOWN WHILE YOU READ. A ONE DAY AFFAIR IF YOU HAVE THE TIME TO SPEND WITH A BOOK.
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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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