The face of war is changing. The other side doesn't play by the rules much anymore. There's thinking, in some circles,that we need to play by a different set of rules too....
Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary. The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.
And 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission.
©2011 Jeffrey Deaver (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio
A legend in my own tea cup
I had read many reviews from the English release of this book two weeks ago and most of them were negative. I have to say that I cannot agree and I can only come to the conclusion that the idea of an American writing James Bond must be too much for some.
I was pulling a split shift (day.... short break.... night) and Carte Blanche has provided excellent company.
Deaver has once again bought Bond back into the 21st century giving him a new shadowy department to work for (which I am not sure I agree with) and a rolled out the usual cast of familiar faces to share the adventure.
Toby Stephens took a little getting used to, starting out very laid back but also proved to be a good choice as the narrator.
Bond girls with silly names, a shadowy villain or two, some twists and turns in the plot.....What more does a Bond fan want?
The book is what you would expect from a Bond novel, not to much depth but light and entertaining. Its a shame the story is to much written as if it is the first book of a series and not the current last. But my main reason for giving it only 3 stars is that the Narrator is stunningly boring, he reads the book to much as if he's reading at a children's book club with to much emphasis on a r t i c u l a t i n g everything very proper. And he can not do female voices, at least not convincingly in any way.
I love 007 in all his many guises and maybe that is why Deaver's new incarnation is as wonderful as Connery, Moore, Craig and all the others. I am used to "M" being male or female, Felix Leiter being white, black, alive, dead & alive again. I also love Deaver's style of writing & Toby Stephens telling of the tale. Stephens has a beautiful voice that is smooth as clotted cream, veddy, veddy upper crust Brit yet droll, stiff upper lip, as he recounts the gore & gristle. This book was even better than I already knew it would be. The story was gripping and just when I knew who the bad guy was...well just let me say, I was wrong. The bad guy was thoroughly creepy with a particular "love" that even I had not heard of. I also enjoyed the sub-plot of Jame's parents as it lays the framework for more books, I hope. I liked the descriptive detailing of the clothes, watches, tools, toys & guns. It added heft to the new creation of Bond. James is still very manly although more pc in his treatment & regard of women. He remains smart, sleek, tech savvy, sexy, a rogue and a pirate in Savile Row clothing. More, please.
We know Bond, James Bond what we receive a neutered Bond. Shooting bad guys in the elbow, come on get real. His choice of adult beverages was over the top and he didn't even get the girl. The endless technical information was dull, I planted my left foot parallel to my right as I positioned myself to shoot geez I wish I bought the abridged version to avoid such banality. My anticipation was high for this book but it flowed like a new bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Where was Simon Vance to save the audiobook? Toby Stephans narrative was as interesting as listening to the Butler answering the door and inviting someone to sit in the study while he gets the Master of the House. His monotone delivery was shocking. This book is about rubbish and is rubbish, poorly conceived and poorly received. We know Bond all about Bond and this wasn't close. The bad guy wasn't a sinister villain. Political correctness and James Bond do not mix. Jeffrey Deaver is to Ian Fleming as Timothy Dalton was to Sean Connery. Where is the dashing, exciting, fearless, ladies man licensed to kill with a quick wit and clever dialogue. Where is the hero every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with.....perhaps next time..
I read Dr. No a couple weeks ago and it stands the test of time, Deaver has no way to go but up after this "stinker" (no pun intended).
Just a curious guy who travels the world.
If you like the new Bond movies, with their more realistic James Bond ... you will love this book. I really enjoyed it. Interesting story, good writing, and the performance was terrific. One of my first Audible.com books and I was very pleased. Sat in the car occasionally, because of the suspense of the book!
I was a little skeptical of this book as I can't recall ever reading a prior Bond book. However, I have been a Jeffery Deaver fan for quite some time. I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable read-listen. I liked the Bond reboot aspects of the book and felt the Deaver did a very admirable job with the character and his background. The plot was a bit formulaic; but, that is what I was expecting and I was not disappointed. When you want a Bond-type story; that's what you want and like. Finally, I very much enjoyed the narrator. He really brought the characters to life for me. In the last year, I've become an audio book fan and this was as enjoyable a listen as I've had. The narrator makes a big difference. Bravo Mr. Stephens. I'm looking forward to Deaver's next installment of the new 007!
I was skeptical...you know, we've all seen so many Bond novels and movies over the years how can the brand be any different than what's already out there, right? Well I was wrong with this one.
I don't know what the deal is behind the scenes with licensing an all that but I sure hope Deaver continues. This book takes you into the origins of Bonds entrance into the spy business, his parents history and the relationship his "shop' has with other British spy outfits. More interesting were the tidbits about his parents death and his desire to solve that mystery and mete out revenge...ie, to kill the assasin.
The reader is very professional; takes himself seriously and has talent incorporating the diff accents needed for this book. Some were hokey but after listening and getting to know the characters it became apparent that the voice/accent was "perfect" for that character.
There's a very current, up to date feel to this story and the character, who goes back, what to the early 60's (?) is very current as well. There's 3 distinct plot lines and one doesn't see them mesh till the last possible moment.
get this book...and if anyone sees Mr Deaver, please tell him to sit his butt down and start on the next one for me.
I like the James Bond series generally. I picked this up on a bit of a gamble and had high hopes but I was disappointed. Starts off very slow and grinds along. The action is predictable and the result was also predictable. By the end, I was thinking - that was it? None of the inventiveness or clever things I expected. I think I wasted a credit.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
First, Deaver is an excellent writer who understands and writes in the genre with the best of them. I think we are lucky a writer of his caliber would take on Bond at all. Bond movies are so anticipated and loved, they tend to be judged more by how few times you are forced to suspend belief than by how good the story really is. I must confess I carried the same anticipation into the reading of Carte Blanche. In this case, Deaver delivers in a very big way with a complex mystery that is as entertaining as it is realistic.Best of all, he gives Bond the sophistication and complexity he deserves.
I loved how Deaver used the contrast of proper police work to expose how Bond's 00 status allows him far more leeway than most law enforcement.
Bond, James Bond.
If you love good writing, excellent mystery, and believable suspense and of course James Bond, you'll love Carte Blanche!
I really wanted to love this book who doesn't love the quintessential secret agent James Bond. Overall i liked the book and am now looking forward to a continuation of the series. All the characters were back again, Bond, M, Q and Moneypenny but brought smoothly into the 21st century. Jeffrey Deaver is to be admired for delivering the feel of the original Ian Fleming novels a task which had to be a phenomenal challenge. The narration could have been better, Simon Vance would have been my choice if he is available.
All in all, the The debonair spy is back with the best weapons, drink, food, cars and. of course, women.
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