Forever And A Day - Anthony Horowitz (SPOILERS! BEWARE!)


#242

Having read this a second time now, I still thoroughly enjoyed the introspection and the insight into Bond’s thinking. It read very well, the prose flew by, I was engaged throughout.

I am still perplexed by the ease with which the CIA’s introduction was accepted without any verbal handshakes or phone calls back home to corroborate.

I am also perplexed by what was to be gained by throwing water into Bond’s face, bearing in mind a killing of a previous agent had already been undertaken. Murdering a second agent isn’t going to make the sentence any worse and to my mind, Bond was informed only that Scipio was weak.

And lastly, if indeed the CIA chap was working on behalf of the US’ interests, and that he somehow convinced Scipio to throw water as opposed to acid in Bond’s face, did he really deserve to be shot?

I daresay I have missed some points, so go easy on the way in which these questions are cleared up.


#243

I agree on this. Of course, the shock value of the moment was huge - then again, one knew that Bond would not be disfigured. It would have made more sense if Scipio indeed had tried to murder Bond here and that the CIA agent himself had stepped in to save him in time. That would have worked up his credibility, too.


#244

Some people on the mi6community.com board have said that want Anthony Horowitz to do a third novel. I would read a third novel by Anthony Horowitz as well. I would like to see him challenge himself and set in the modern day.


#245

I´d rather have him continue with the timeline he added to Fleming´s canon and create stories that take place between the Flemingian ones.


#246

I have to agree with this. Horowitz has displayed a good grasp on this timeline and Bond’s character at different stages within it. I’d like to see him write another book or two that explores it further.


#247

I see where you are coming from. However, it would be a real treat and interesting challenge for both sides to see if he could handle Bond in the modern day. There’s no limit of ideas Horowitz can work from, he’s a smart writer.


#248

Sorry sir. I would not find that a treat. Nor do I think a time shift would present any worthy challenges.


#249

The CIA agent convincing Scipio to spare Bond proved his influence. From memory, the CIA agent is partly responsible for the death of the woman Bond meets. He relayed the information to the killers. I need to read parts of it again, but I think he had something to do with the original 007’s death as well?


#250

So I’d actually read the book a while back, but I just never got around to posting my review here :roll_eyes:

On the whole I think it was a pretty solid Bond adventure. As a prequel, it necessarily had to be a bit stripped down compared to some of the later more bombastic and intricate Fleming plots, but Horowitz works perfectly with this constraints.

The ‘prequel’ stuff is obviously what drew me (and a lot of others presumably) to this book. There’s really not a lot of it, but what is there is simply perfect. I especially loved the early chapter with Bond’s second kill, the one in Stockholm. For years I’ve wondered how that played out and I almost squealed in delight finally seeing it being put to page (well, as much as one can squal in delight about a scene where a man is being brutally and cold-bloodedly stabbed to death in his own bed!)

I also loved the bit about the ‘origin’ of the vodka martini “shaken not stirred”.

The early chapters and that little easter egg apart, this is a pretty by-the-numbers Bond adventure, albeit with a lot of interesting aspects. Sixtine certainly. Yes, I did get a bit of a “this is a post MeToo Bond Girl” vibe from her character, but she was nonetheless written beautifully and fits perfectly into Bond’s world. I suppose if there’s any story where you can afford to have the Bond girl be more competent than Bond, it has to be an origin story. Plus, she truly was a fascinating character - the kind whom I can believe existed during the Cold War, but who would be totally at home in the 21st century too.

I also couldn’t but help notice a bit of contemporary commentary with regards to Irwin Wolfe’s (the American millionaire) plan. He was a staunch isolationist who’s plan revolves around making the United States withdraw from foreign interventions and concentrate on the home front - which kinda echoes Trump’s rhetoric in a sense. Though maybe I’m just reading too much into it :wink:

I loved Bond’s little heroin trip. I guess I’m not the only one who felt it was a kind of meta-nod to Bond in the films and the popular perception of James Bond as an immortal invincible action hero!

One thing I found a tad incongruous was Bond’s spot decision to execute the CIA agent. It just doesn’t feel like something Fleming’s Bond would do, though I can easily see Craig’s Bond doing it, and maybe Brosnan’s Bond as well. We never really got to see the decision and its fallout explored much, and probably never will, so it seems like something just tacked on to the ending as shock value.

Otherwise, this was a great read on the whole. If the next novel is also to be part of the Fleming timeline, I’d love to see Horowitz return. Next time, I hope he does a novel set a little later in Bond’s career - between Thunderball and OHMSS, when he’s on the hunt for Blofeld would be a nice little gap to fill. Or maybe a book set JUST after The Man with the Golden Gun, that explores the long-term fallout of Bond’s brainwashing at the hands of the Soviets and all the traumas he’s been through over recent years.


#251

All correct…

CIA set up the Scipio meet and while he didn’t ‘know’ scipio would kill Bond predecessor, he surely new the risk and stood by while it happened.

Reade indeed did pass on info of Bond’s meet with the girl and is therefore accountable. The fact that bond volunteered this info to Reade did telegraph the communing double cross a little.

But Horowitz has nailed the quick sudenness of Flemings violence, so despite having a sense of what’s coming the final shooting still shocks.


#252

A bit off topic, but it is worth mentioning. Anthony Horowitz, author of Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day, has just been announced as the presenter of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Music of Bond’ concert on September 19 in Royal Albert Hall.

https://www.rpo.co.uk/whats-on/eventdetail/1041/-/the-music-of-bond

Possible third 007 book announcement? Fingers crossed its set in the present day. It would be a more interesting challenge for both Horowitz as a writer and us as readers.


#253

I dunno. I think Horowitz’ ‘thing’ is Fleming’s Bond. If they reboot Bond in the present-day again, I’d rather someone else come in totally fresh.


#254

Confusingly I completely agree with both of you!

I totally see the logic of having someone else do a contemporary bond; someone perhaps better equipped for pop culture references that aren’t cheesy or trying too hard, or perhaps someone more edgy.

However after Horowitz 2 faily well recieved period bond novels it might also be interesting to see what he does in a contemporary setting.


#255

If only to demonstrate consistency, I don’t think it would.

However, if perhaps you mention this a third time, who knows? Perhaps I will change my mind…:roll_eyes:


#256

Thank you all for your opinions, while treating me with respect. As I said before, I view Anthony Horowitz as the Martin Campbell of Bond books. Both came in and gave Bond new life, with their second attempt being better than the first. I feel that modern day Bond in literary form deserves a chance. Who better to have a shot at it than Anthony Horowitz?


#257

Agree. If the great man is to continue writing Bond novels, it only makes sense to continue with his current format. I actually prefer Bond to be ‘of the present’ when it concerns the films, but in the literary sense I don’t really care. And really, apart from some modern technology or cultural references, nothing much would be really different. The story is always the story. I hope Horowitz comes back…but if he doesn’t, his contribution has been greater than most.


#258

For better or worse, it does seem like the literary Bond is stuck in the past. I personally loved Carte Blanche, but evidently it didn’t do much to impress most fans or casual readers.

I suppose the reason ultimately comes down to what you’ve said…there’s really not a lot that would be different, fundamentally, and that being the case, people would rather explore Fleming’s Bond in his original setting than some modern reinterpretation of the character. The movies need modern visuals and technology to be in evidence, while the books can do without them (and without all those product placements).

Also, I guess with a contemporary Bond book now, it would have to be a total reboot ala Carte Blanche. Gardner and Benson could still get away to some extent with claiming that their Bond was Fleming’s Bond - but the floating timeline can only stretch so far! A Bond who is active in 2018 can’t possibly be the Bond who once took on SMERSH during the Cold War.


#259

I suspect, if he gets asked back, it will be to another Fleming era tale with one of the tv series ideas serving as the basis for a chapter.


#260

Dem shareholders do love themselves a business model.


#261

Booklist review:

“This explosive adventure […] marks [Horowitz] as fully worthy to carry on the Bond tradition. Fleming would be pleased. Whether he is writing for adults or children, whether he is imagining his own characters or extending the lives of those created by others (Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle as well as Fleming), Horowitz always draws a crowd of eager readers.” (Booklist (starred review) )


“Horowitz boldly creates an origin story for 007 in his entertaining second James Bond pastiche […] Corsican mobster Jean-Paul Scipio [is] a classic Bond villain. […] A fine storyteller, Horowitz employs all the tropes fans know and love (including an elegant explanation for the famous martini mandate, “shaken, not stirred”), but he also delivers a conclusion whose moral complexity will surprise anyone expecting an ending more in line with Fleming’s own. Bond aficionados will be well satisfied.”