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Zero Minus Ten Hardcover – May 5, 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
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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.

About the Author

Raymond Benson is the author of The Facts of Death, Zero Minus Ten, High Time to Kill and the novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. He is a director of The Ian Fleming Foundation. Benson lives and works in the Chicago area.

Simon Vance is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist's very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having been to Hong Kong myself back in 1989, I was stunned by Raymond Benson's telling of this first James Bond story since he assumed the literary Bond legacy. All facts seemed to bring back my fondest memories of the foggiest big city I've ever had the pleasure to visit. All details seemed truly authentic having given me the impression that he must have made the trip to Hong Kong and Kowloon in order to research the setting herein.

But the setting is not the only thing that captivates the loyal Ian Fleming Bond readers and fans alike! The MANNER of the telling successfully reminds the reader of the original author himself. Raymond Benson, an American author, even went to the trouble to provide English spelling of certain words (e.g. colour, favourite, etc.). He also went into great details as to Bond's gourmand delights and sexual exploits. The novel simply reads like an Ian Fleming novel. And what more can a James Bond fan ask for? Raymond Benson, also a huge James Bond fan, is the most loyal writer to the series who has taken the helm since Fleming's passing. It is a shame that he is no longer planning on penning any more Bond novels. :( But in appreciation for his contributions, the shame is completely forgivable. ;)
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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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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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