“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. Fans will approve of Jeffery Deaver’s James Bond, who is both the daring spy of old and a product of the 21st century, writes Stephanie Merritt. Steven Poole checks out apps and Oakleys with Jeffery Deaver’s nu-Bond.
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W hat kind of sunglasses would James Bond wear today?
Bond in still drives a Bentley, wears a Rolex, and waves a Walther, but his shades are hip and technical: This new Bond is “a man of serious face”, which probably does not mean that he has a really massive face and needs oversized Oakleys.
Bond is in his 30s, a former navy officer who saw frontline action in Afghanistan and was then recruited — not to MI6, but to a black-ops outfit called the “Overseas Development Group”. Deavee is still run by M and furnished with gadgets by “Q Branch”.
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver – review
Bond’s mobile phone, in an excitingly modern way, has lots of espionage “apps”. The plot sees Bond running around Serbia, London and Cape Town, trying to prevent an explosion going off somewhere and killing people.
blanchhe He investigates a rum villain called Severan Hydt, who has long, “yellowing” fingernails and an obsession with corpses and decay. Hydt runs an international waste-disposal company: Even the “deafening” noise of his machines doesn’t diminish his lust for exposition: Hydt’s main enforcer is a taciturn Irishman deaved Niall Dunne, who at one point “stood still as a Japanese fighting fish”. You know, one of those fish that stand very still, on their little fishy legs?
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Other henchmen are made the more threatening by the scary versatility of their eye muscles: Bond is a more sensitive fellow than he used to be, even when he is being pursued by enemies: Understandably, he is less able to resist the cratylically named food-aid entrepreneur Felicity Willing.
Expertly made up, it exuded a feline quality. Our modern-day Bond is healthier, too: This helps him in the novel’s action scenes — a train derailment, a building being demolished, a gun battle in an exotic garden — where he sprints hlanche a lot and does things, in a fascinatingly inert action-movie shorthand: Blsnche total lack of suspense is palpable, despite the staccato paragraphing.
Still, the last 80 or so pages of Carte Blanche do sputter into a kind of mindlessly diverting life. For example, Bond does something satisfyingly clever deqver a door.
Fleming’s Bond was not much of a comedian, and Deaver’s isn’t either. The difference is that he tries to be.
Bond does have a usefully named secretary to whom he can say “Good morning, Goodnight”, but the best comic effects derive from the style’s fanatical commitment to elegant variation.
When Bond thoughtfully studies a bullet, subsequent reference jefferg the bullet cannot call it a bullet again; it must be “the solid piece of ammunition”.
If Bond “whisks” a woman’s dress off, subsequent reference to the dress cannot call it a dress again; it must be “the insubstantial blue cloth”. And if Bond scrambles some eggs, subsequent reference to the eggs cannot call them eggs again; they must be “steaming curds”.
blabche That image is a poetic, almost alchemical transformation, and in a way Deaver has accomplished the same feat with his novel as a whole: Order by newest oldest recommendations.
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