Gardner’s Bond (15)

For Queen and Country James…

It’s no great surprise that John Gardner’s “Goldeneye”  is only 184 pages long since it is based on the screenplay of the film by Michael France and Jeffrey Caine. It’s also no surprise to find that Flicka is written out along with Q’ute and that the old M is gone to be replaced by a woman; played in the film marvellously by Judi Dench. It was hard to read the book without picturing the film in my head and Gardner’s adaptation does not stray very far from the script; in fact if I was being cruel I might suggest that Gardner really dialled this one in.

I got no extra entertainment value from reading the book and all it did was make me want to watch the film again – it reminded me of some of the great stunts and the corny dialogue from what was Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond. I can’t really say much more than that – it’s the penultimate book in Gardner’s stint as a Bond author and sadly lacking his style and eye for technical detail. I hope “COLD” Gardner’s last Bond book is better than this. Perhaps he was told not to stray too far from the plot of the film for fear of disappointing fans – I got the same kind of empty feeling from reading it as I did when I went to see “Watchmen” at the cinema (the film just made me want to read the graphic novel again and added nothing of any value to the story).

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