Monday, April 2, 2012

FOR SPECIAL SERVICES 30th Anniversary

After his successful comeback in 1981's License Renewed, John Gardner's James Bond 007 returned in April of 1982 in For Special Services. The book was first published in the U.S. by Coward, McCann & Geoghegan and saw James Bond on loan to the CIA where he teams with Felix Leiter's daughter, Ceder, to stop a resurgent SPECTRE. As with its predecessor, For Special Services became a New York Times Bestseller. Bond was BACK!


For the record, For Special Services is still one of my favorite continuations novels with one of the very best titles. I always thought it was THE Gardner book that best lent itself to a film adaptation (although with the Craig era and new tone, I now think Icebreaker takes that honor).

For Special Services book was recently republished in new paperback editions from Orion in the UK and Pegasus in the U.S. It's worth revisiting in its anniversary year.

    12 comments:

    1. It is one of the better Gardner Bonds. I think Icebreaker is just better, myself!

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    2. Gardner's most lively, most interesting, most bizarre, and most Bondian. I like this one too.

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    3. My favorite Gardner as well.

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    4. Makes me nostalgic for B. Dalton! I miss brick-and-mortar bookstores.

      I really need to read For Special Services again. For the most part, I agree with you: it was a really great one. Loved that SAS training opening, loved Nina B and her physical peculiarity, and the Saab and all its gadgets... but I could never manage to love Cedar Leiter. That whole "gift of a daughter" bit always seemed so creepy and weird to me! Especially since in Fleming I always got the impression that Bond and Felix were about the same age. As far as Gardner books into movies, my top choice has always been Nobody Lives Forever. It would be a very different sort of Bond movie, but in the era of Bourne, I'd really love to see 007's version of a chase across Europe--especially if he still drives a Bentley.

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      1. The gift of a daughter beat is creepy. But Bond doesn't act on it. Or so he claims.

        B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. Although I'm old enough to remember Pickwick, which was bought out by B. Dalton. I worked at a Waldenbooks when Role of Honor came out. I made sure it had a nice display. :)

        Fans frequently hold up Nobody Lives Forever as the Gardner best suited for a film. But I don't know. It's a little too inside with Moneypenny and May being kidnapped. Icebreaker is the book that I think could be best adapted to the Craig era.

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      2. Yeah, Icebreaker would make a good Craig movie. And he's probably gotten conditioned to Scandinavian conditions during his stint as Blomkvist! I still think NLF could be fine-tuned, though. Obviously May would have to be changed since she's not in the movies, and Moneypenny, too, at this point. But it could be other people. It could even be M, though they sort of exhausted that plot point with TWINE.

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    5. Hi,
      Ian Fleming’s Dr No is Now translated in South Indian Tamil Language.
      Here is the link for the scans: http://tamilcomicsulagam.blogspot.in/2012/04/007-ian-flemings-dr-no-novel-in-tamil.html

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      1. Wow. That's pretty cool. Nice cover. Thanks.

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    6. You know, I have ads like these right up through Scorpius. Maybe I should do a little series.

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      1. Yes please John, I love seeing these old ads.

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      2. Done! Let's start with the ICE.

        http://www.thebookbond.com/2012/04/icebreaker-ad-from-1983.html

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