Saturday, 28 September 2013


Solo by William Boyd
Part One, Chapters 1-2
Part Two, Chapters 1-6

aka the new James Bond novel!

After the present-day diversion of Carte Blanche, it's back to 1969 for a continuation of Fleming's Bond. That means it's set after Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care, the first of the current run of continuation novels from five years ago (which was set in '67), but whether it embraces that into continuity or outright contradicts it I don't know (and can't remember Devil May Care well enough to work out).

As a novel unto itself, it's a funny but entertaining mix. It begins with two chapters about Bond's birthday and his strange almost-encounter with a mysterious woman (presumably something that will have renewed relevance later), but then it's off to Africa for Bond to single-handedly stop a civil war. It certainly feels more like a Fleming novel than Jeffrey Deaver's movie-influenced modern novel, and I think it's fair to say that's definitely a good thing.

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