Thursday, May 31, 2018

A New But Familiar “Day”?

With this being publication day in Great Britain for Anthony Horowitz’s Forever and a Day (Jonathan Cape)—his second James Bond continuation novel, following 2015’s Trigger Mortis—it should come as no surprise that the 007-obsessed blog The Book Bond has issued its review of the work. John Cox opines, in part:
This time we see Bond's first mission as a double-oh agent in what amounts to a prequel to Casino Royale. … I’m happy to report that it’s a another strong Bond novel from Horowitz.

But I have to be honest in saying that while I thoroughly enjoyed
Forever and a Day, I preferred Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis. Every beat of that first book felt original to me, while every beat of this book felt familiar. It has familiar locations (South of France), familiar situations (a casino, a party, warehouses), familiar allies (CIA agent), and a familiar villain’s plot (I’ll keep this review spoiler free, but this one comes right out of a movie). Also, the original Fleming material, a story about a mad Russian who threatens to shell the casino at Monte Carlo, is related as a past event. …

The action also takes an unusually long time to kick in, but this is because Horowitz takes time to develop a strong Bond Girl in Sixteen. And once the action finally does kick in (around page 200), it is a relentless rush with a spectacular extended climax aboard the villain’s luxury cruise ship. Again, no spoilers, but what Bond has to endure physically—always a highlight of any Bond book—is something we’ve never seen in any Bond adventure, and it’s harrowing! This chapter alone makes
Forever and a Day unforgettable and a classic among continuation novels.
You can read Cox’s full critique here. Click over, as well, to this short item at the book-design site CYMK, which explains that “In celebration of this new James Bond novel, [publisher Vintage has] also released a special paperback edition of Casino Royale with an introduction by Anthony Horowitz.” Look here to order that redesigned book.

As regular Rap Sheet readers know, I very much enjoyed Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis and have been looking forward to reading Forever and Day (despite its yawner of a title). When I saw the speedboat cover of the British edition of this new novel, I was additionally intrigued, though I figured I’d probably ultimately order the U.S. version, despite its not being due out (from Harper) until early November. But then The Book Bond posted the American cover, which I find dull by comparison with its UK cousin. So I went ahead and ordered the British edition, instead. It ought to reach me by mid-June.

So that will put two new Horowitz novels on my reading pile—Forever and a Day, plus next month’s The Word Is Murder (Harper).

READ MORE:1970s: Future of the Literary Bond?” by Nicolas Suszczyk (The Spy Command).

1 comment:

Robert Haffner said...

If I want to read Bond, I always find myself returning to Ian Fleming's original books. The post Fleming novels by Horowitz and others all feel like manufactured products. You have to have this character, this location, this clothing, etc. Pieces of a puzzle that make you think you're getting Bond. In a lot of ways like the films. Probably the worst incarnation of Bond was in the illustrated novel 'Vargr'. Gratuitous bloodshed and violence.