Colonel Sun

Colonel SunHow can we possibly go wrong when Kingsley Amis takes his best crack at writing his own 007 story The Kinger s rendition fits ably into the Fleming canon To answer your other question, no, I have no intention of moving along to read any of the other continuation novels, none of which were written by Amis, and none of which garnered his approval There was a long silence between the publication of Colonel Sun in 1968 and License Renewed by John Gardner in 1981 If Amis rejection of Gardner s books is not enough to persuade you to avoid them, consider Philip Larkin s concurrence Their unanimous condemnation of Gardner s Bond books as sodding tame ought to keep you from them forever.There is a lot of fun here for fans of both Bond and of Amis, and for you weirdos who enjoy both this will be indispensable reading I doubt anyone could have been as well prepared as KA for the task of taking up the mantle so recently laid down by the dead Fleming in the late 60 s Since Amis was fresh off several successes with his own serious novels as well as two books covering the Bond phenomenon, the project was a natural Even as Fleming was expiring, the firm he had established for the promotion and protection of all things Bond was laying plans for continuation novels to be published under the collective pseudonym Robert Markham, to be written under by rotating authors Ultimately, and for reasons which remain unclear, neither Amis nor anyone else was ever enlisted to be Markham again Glidrose still handles all of the rights and distribution for the James Bond brand A final weird note along these lines in 2008, to celebrate Fleming s centenary, a new continuation novel was published by Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming whatever that means Throughout the promotional coverage of the novel, titled Devil May Care, it was implied that no new Bond book had appeared since Fleming s own final book in 1966 I understand the publishers desire to ignore the Gardner books as well as those of several other thriller hacks who succeeded him, but to call Faulks book the first new Bond in a while was a stretch of the public imagination to challenge the schemes of Hugo Drax Post Fleming iterations of Bond have been published by no less than five different writers What they likely meant was that Faulks story was the first since Fleming s death to feature Bond resuming his normal 60 s timeline, and such a claim would be far closer to the truth However, it still blatantly ignores Colonel Sun In the first chapter, Amis makes it clear that this is the same James who only a year ago faced off with Scaramanga in the Jamaican jungle to get his spurs back from M, the same Bond who is now rotting slightly from the soft London life and craving a new assignment When M is kidnapped while invaliding at home, it s Bond to the rescue.One and done was the right amount of 007 novels for Amis He obviously had a lot of other great books to write around the time he finished Sun An amusing fact for Nashvillians Sun was composed mainly during Amis brief tenure as a writer in residence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I d say 2.5 stars, but I can t quite give it 3 The plot is somewhat uninspired Not bad, just typical Bond and nothing too intriguing in the story Not bad and not a waste of time, though with the audio I did find my mind wandering on occasion The villain, Colonel Sun, is fairly typical for an old school Bond villain, but he s kinda cool He has a couple of sidekick sultry gorgeous women and an interesting torture technique that made things a little interesting.The Bond girl, Ariadne, was pretty good, but not a lot to write home about either as far as uniqueness The reader on the audio was kinda blah Not horrible, but some of his accents and voices were annoying.This was written in 1968, as the first of the non Fleming novels published after his death Not bad, but not particularly engaging Really, this story would have probably been interesting if there weren t already a bunch of similar Bond novels and films out there, even by 1968.Perhaps the best part of this book was a glimpse into the Cold War at the time It s interesting how it was perceived then, when you look back at how the world has changed so much over the years since. Lunch At Scott S, A Quiet Game Of Golf, A Routine Social Call On His Chief M, Convalescing In His Regency House In Berkshire The Life Of Secret Agent James Bond Has Begun To Fall Into A Pattern That Threatens Complacency Until The Sunny Afternoon When M Is Kidnapped And His House Staff Savagely MurderedThe Action Ricochets Across The Globe To A Volcanic Greek Island Where The Glacial, Malign Colonel Sun Liang Tan Of The People S Liberation Army Of China Collaborates With An Ex Nazi Atrocity Expert In A World Menacing Conspiracy Bond Finds Himself Working In Alliance With The Beautiful Tawny Blonde Agent Of A Rival Secret Service In The Struggle To Overpower This Ruthless Enemy Who Discards The Unwritten Rules Of Espionage Stripped Of All Professional Aids, Bond Faces Unarmed The Monstrous Devices Of Colonel Sun In A Test That Brings Him To The Verge Of His Physical EnduranceIncredibly, The Author Adds His Own Imaginative Impetus To The Bond Saga Yet Preserves All The Excitement And Eloquence, The Pace And Glitter Of A Vintage Fleming Novel Bond is dead, long live Bond With Ian Fleming no longer in a position to write Bond, the estate of Fleming approached Kingsley Amis to continue the story with a new novel Rumoured to have completed Fleming s last novel, The Man With the Golden Gun, Amis was maybe the natural choice.And to be honest, it s pretty good Much slower paced than a Fleming at his best, this novel never really seems to quite hit the level of excitement or anticipation that it was presumably aiming for M has been kidnapped, and the attempt to kidnap Bond has failed Bond must head to Greece to get to the bottom of the whole affair, rescue M, have some sexy Greek sex and foil an international plot to disrupt a secret Russian meeting.The book is well written, the style Flemingesque, just not at his best Well, that was a book about James Bond alright It certainly had all the ingredients Bond obviously , M, attractive women one of which Bond beds several times , exotic locations, and an evil villain Yup, it was most certainly a James Bond book That s all Goodbye.What Oh, you want Okay Well, you asked for it.It wasn t very good See ya Still here Jeez, what is this An interrogation Ugh, fine I really didn t want to talk at length about this book because I didn t much enjoy it, but if you are going to insist Colonel Sun is the worst thing to happen to James Bond since George Lazenby zing Just kidding, I actually liked George Lazenby But seriously, this book, man, this book is something to behold It goes to show that just because you have all the right ingredients, and over a dozen cookbooks available showing you how to make it, doesn t mean your dish is going to turn out right Amis just didn t seem to get it Let s start with the plot It is laughably silly Some thugs kidnap M from his house yes, that M As in head of MI6 Now, this part of the book basically, the opening , is pretty good The reason why this is good is because you haven t read the rest of the book yet, and as such, you won t know the stupid reason for kidnapping M in the first place So, yeah, your blissful ignorance will allow you to enjoy it What follows is a series of wildly coincidental scenes and moments culminating in a lackluster showdown with novel baddie, Colonel Sun note, Colonel Sun is Chinese, so be ready for some racism Along the way, Bond meets a hottie because, you know, James Bond and even though she is a secret agent herself, she is so hot in the loins for Bond, that she is willing to jeopardize everything just to get in the sack with him Anywho, after being told by several characters that Greeks are lazy a holes seriously, Kingsley Amis does not like Greeks , Bond stumbles his way through the mess of a plot The villains and heroes are hugely one dimensional characters And the set ups for each scene encounter are precisely nil So there, are you happy now Nobody feels better after that diatribe I certainly don t I will say, since you re apparently still here, that it wasn t all bad just mostly When Bond is not being a secret agent, and instead is just being a normal guy, I kinda liked the way he was written Amis does a good job of hitting on Bond s excesses, and it felt very much like Fleming s Bond Unfortunately, this only accounted for about fifteen percent of the book Otherwise, it was back to disappointing business as usual.That s it I m not wasting any time on this one You want , read some other reviews, I m out of here Robert Markham is a pen name for Kingsley Amis, who was commissioned by Ian Fleming s estate to write this James Bond sequel.If you like Bond, then you will like COLONEL SUN It offers everything one expects in a Bond novel And yet it is better than the average Bond book That is because Amis is a polished author than Fleming or Gardner His story follows the Bond formula, but his prose is better than Fleming s or Gardner s And that is nice. Where do I start Because Kindles let you do crazy stuff like this, I bought all of Fleming s Bond books and binge read them This was interesting as an exercise as it revealed Fleming s preoccupations, booze, misogyny and bigotry very much included They bear down on the reader with considerable weight You stagger away from the experience with the impression that Ian Fleming was a really unpleasant wee man who had discovered, much as had Elizabeth David, the rewards of offering escapism to the post war British.Casino Royale happened to a generation of people still coping with rationing, to whom Bond s Krug guzzling, leggy blonde fondling, avocado scooping lifestyle was wonderful indeed As we started to face the realities of the End of Empire, Bond made us feel relevant In the 1950s we needed heroes and leggy women in fast cars to liven up our brown world of weak tea, powdered egg and fag smoke.Then Fleming s hooch and nicotine consumption got the better of him and his publishers, faced with that most feared of all publishing disasters a dead cash cow farmed out the Bond franchise The first writer of these non Fleming Bonds was Robert Markham, as eny fule no these days, we re actually talking celebrated satirist and literary giant Kingsley Amis.The question I kept coming back to throughout my difficult time reading Colonel Sun was whether Amis was doing this for the LOLs The whole thing is so very badly done, the writing, dialogue and characters so stilted and the situations so very wooden, that you wonder but then you pull back and debate whether writing very, very badly is the stuff of satire If this is satire, then it is very subtle indeed for its time we re looking at fifty odd years before The Office.Have a look at this an action scene Bond dropped to his knees, shoved out of the way the legs of the man he had stabbed, got his finger through the brass ring of the trapdoor and heaved it aside The roar of well tuned machinery and an engine room smell came up at him He moved to the deck immediately outside the doorway and there, swiftly and methodically drew from the pouches at his waist the four Mills grenades Each was surrounded by a half inch thick protective coating of heavy duty grease from the Altair s stores Again he made no delay, but with quick deft movements grasped one grenade after another in his right hand, drew out the safety pin with his left index finger, and tossed all four down the hatchway before the seven second fuse of the first had had time to release the firing pin Then it came, a monstrous pounding, shivering bang underfoot that made the deck boards leap as if struck with a massive hammer, the buzz of flying metal, a wash of flame above the hatchway See It s just not very good The breeze was whipping the blaze for ard and Bond caught the glow of flames sweeping the deckhouse He could hear the roar of fuel fired combustion Something aft went up with a kind of puffing bellow and bunch of flame, intensely orange in colour, jerked and eddied outwards Not for the first time in his career, Bond felt a surge of sickening remorse at the gross, outrageous destruction he had caused, the stabbing of the man in the pilot s seat and the unknown, but probably dreadful fate of the other He tried to push the thought out of his mind It was necessary, he told himself It was duty A kind of puffing bellow Yew Throughout the book, the writing s at best pedestrian Bond walks quickly and stomachs lurch suddenly, bellies betray no sign of fat and calculations are made in split seconds.Reluctantly, I came to the conclusion that no, we re not looking at satire here We re looking at someone trying to give Bond readers what they want And in attempting that, Markham Amis amplifies the worst aspects of Bond and neglects the good aspects of him That finding the good aspects of Bond is rather like searching haystacks perhaps doesn t help.To sum up the plot nothing much really happens because there s no reason really for anything to happen M is kidnapped and Bond goes on holiday in Greece There s a bad Chinese guy and a good Greek guy There are various other guys who sort of pop in and out We muck around in boats, eat Greek food and lament the Greeks are quite as lazy and crap as they are, apart from busty Greek bird Ariadne who Bond turns from Communism to enthusiastic screwing something they indulge in at every opportunity There are lashings of ouzo The bad Chinese guy wants to torture Bond to satisfy the code of the Chinese or something There are girls They are Albanian and so like to screw men.There s a man who s a fairy Oh, yes, I know this is of its time, but still Ariadne nodded vigorously Right I was exactly the person he couldn t believe I m Greek, so I m backward and stupid and a peasant Then I m a woman Oh, he s Litsas gestured one of the boys, is he Yes you should have seen the look he gave Yanni A little later, the character s defined deftly a fat little fairy The racism and sexism are both very much in evidence, overdone to a tee The Chinese are very chinky winky, the girls are all winky winky and the fat fairies are very Tinkywinky It s all so obvious and, well, wearying.I started taking notes after a while, realising that the only thing keeping me going was that the whole thing was so monumentally bad that it was worth the effort just for the celebration of its total crapness I finally, with an enormous sigh of relief, got to the end The baddy Chinaman goes to his death shouting, Damn you, Bond I felt his pain, truly I did. I m a huge fan of the James Bond franchise, anyone who has read this blog will know that It s one of my goals to eventually do a review of all of the movies up until Spectre I m not just a fan of the movies, though, but also the books Well, sort of I equivocate there because the novels have a wonderful panache to them which directly led to the films and a deep brooding atmosphere They re also err, really racist at times Ian Fleming gets some defense for being a man of his time and quite progressive in some places real life people aren t cutouts but it can be disconcerting to read things like his description of Koreans It s also something which reflects on me as the reader rather than Fleming himself I have read the novels for both their history as well as their fandom value but for pure entertainment, they suffer because of values dissonance Fleming s writing is also dramatically divergent in terms of style depending on which book you read Moonraker is a silly silly novel but fun while From Russia with Love is amazing and Goldfinger is probably the best but for the aforementioned description of Koreans Which brings me to Robert Markham a.k.a Kingsley Amis When Ian Fleming died, his publishers wished to continue producing Bond novels I m not sure of the exact copyright issues but they commissioned a new novel which would secure their control of the literary portion of the franchise for decades to come Crass commercial move or not, they chose someone who had a genuine love of the franchise as well as tremendous skill Ian s widow, Ana, was less than pleased with their choice of author Kingsley Amis was a huge Bond fan, no one could doubt it, with a number of books written on the franchise No, the problem Ana Fleming had with him was his politics Err, not to put too fine a point on it, but Kingsley Amis was a communist This is rather noticeable as the literary Bond was all about murdering SMERSH before he ever heard of SPECTRE Either way, Kingsley Amis typed out a book which I think is probably one of the best Bond books But is still kinda racist The premise for the novel is the demented Colonel Sun, a Maoist Chinese operative with a pain obsession because literary Bond villains are crazy like that , has kidnapped M This is part of a larger plan to sew discord between the West and Soviet Union in order to benefit Red China The book was written in 1968 so it was still four years before Richard Nixon went to China and utterly upended how everyone assumed the Cold War was going to Kingsley Amis politics are on full display here, much as Ana feared, but are amusing in retrospect than offensive Kingsley has Bond willing to team up with the Soviets against the Red Chinese because the author clearly believes the Maoists will be the enemy in the future You know, instead of America and China becoming friendly rivals while the USSR s relationship sours even further In any case, Bond isn t going to let M s kidnapping slide so he heads off to Greece and hooks up with GRU operative Ariadne Alexandroi in order to stop Colonel Sun s nefarious plan They visit some beautiful locations, have a romance, and get involved with some ex WW2 resistance fighters who are less than pleased by Ariadne s communist sympathies It s all extremely entertaining but the book is quite short at a mere 224 pages Ariadne is probably one of my favorite Bond girls and quite entertaining Part of what makes her so appealing is the ash blonde Greek is portrayed as a very well rounded character She s politically naive both in story and out, believing in communism but clearly underestimating her superiors darker side one is actually a pedophile She s also both a patriot as well as someone working for a foreign government Lots of interesting contradictions which make her a character I would have liked to have seen of Colonel Sun is an inscrutable oriental Yellow Peril villain who is basically military Fu Manchu He s not the kind of character who could fly in today s climate and probably just barely worked in the 1960s The best moment of the character is when he breaks down and admits he thought being a monster would make him feel stronger but instead just made him feel vile It s a bit of humanization which Fleming never afforded his villains even if Bond isn t the kind of guy interested in showing mercy to his foes Greece is a perfect location for a Bond novel with the oceans, ruins, and local culture all being lovingly detailed It comes alive off the page and I can t think of many places I ve visited in books which have been as realistic The fact it feels so authentic with just a comparatively small page count is also to the author s credit I ve read Colonel Sun, listened to it on audiobook, and purchased the BW comic book version so I must like it a great deal Even so, I admit the book has flaws and can t help but suspect some readers might prefer the later movie influenced pastiches to this one Still, I m going to give this a recommendation for all fans of spy fiction as well as the literary Bond.9.5 10 I also own this in another version, that I read many years ago published as Colonel Sun James Bond Extended Series 15 by Robert Markham. Lost a star for the anti Chinese racism.

Martin Amis.Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, Wandsworth, County of London now South London , England, the son of William Robert Amis, a mustard manufacturer s clerk He began his education at the City of London School, and went up to St John s College, Oxford April 1941 to read English it was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life After only a year, he was called up for Army service in July 1942 After serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree Although he worked hard and got a first in English in 1947, he had by then decided to give much of his time to writing.Pen names

➚ [KINDLE] ❄ Colonel Sun By Kingsley Amis ➤ –
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 221 pages
  • Colonel Sun
  • Kingsley Amis
  • English
  • 13 June 2018
  • 9780586044940

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