It's 1969, and, having just celebrated his 45th birthday, James Bond - British special agent 007 - is summoned to headquarters to receive an unusual assignment. Zanzarim, a troubled West African nation, is being ravaged by a bitter civil war, and M directs Bond to quash the rebels threatening the established regime.
Bond's arrival in Africa marks the start of a feverish mission to discover the forces behind this brutal war - and he soon realizes the situation is far from straightforward. Piece by piece, Bond uncovers the real cause of the violence in Zanzarim, revealing a twisting conspiracy that extends further than he ever imagined.
Moving from rebel battlefields in West Africa to the closed doors of intelligence offices in London and Washington, this novel is at once a gripping thriller, a tensely plotted story full of memorable characters and breathtaking twists, and a masterful study of power and how it is wielded - a brilliant addition to the James Bond canon.
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©2013 Ian Fleming Publications Limited (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Great story that takes place in the correct timeline from Fleming's original books. Dominic West is a great narrator; highly recommended,
The old James is back. His nemesis is particularly brutal and creepy. It is a well written story and fits well into the Bond series.
I grew up reading and falling in love with Ian Fleming's books and signature character. Of course I loved the Bond films and variant novels by other authors but the original works were my foundation. William Boyd has done his homework and SOLO is a great continuation of the Fleming legacy.
The character and novel are well developed and I could not put this down. Plausible, violent, salacious. Great stuff.
I had read that some criticism of the work is that the plot wasn't exciting enough. I disagree. Perhaps those critics are comparing the book to the implausible caricature that appears in many films and novels. This book is for Bond fundamentalists.
This book was my booster shot until SPECTRE comes out in November.
I heard an interview with William Boyd discussing the book on The Guardian Books podcast. He was intelligent, witty, and I couldn't wait to read it. What a disappointment. The thin excuse for a plot takes an hour of listening before it begins, then meanders around without direction until it terminates with a whimper on an absurdly implausible note. The indeterminate ending is apparently a tee-up for a sequel. I won't be buying that one. The writing here is close to complete incompetence.
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