Colonel Sun 1966

Discussion & Review Forum For James Bond Books Written By Kingsley Amis (April 16, 1922 – October 22, 1995)
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Goldeneye
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Colonel Sun 1966

Post by Goldeneye »

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"After his superior officer in the British Secret Service, M, is violently kidnapped from his house, Quarterdeck, James Bond follows the clues to Vrakonisi, an Aegean island of Greece, where he teams with Ariadne Alexandrou, a Greek Communist agent working for the Soviet Union. Together, they plan to rescue M while thwarting the complex military-political plans of People's Liberation Army Colonel Sun, the Chinese agent sent to sabotage a Middle East détente conference, of which the Soviets are hosts, and implicate Great Britain."
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Re: Colonel Sun 1966

Post by The Sweeney »

Well, I picked this up and gave it another read while lying by the beach in Cyprus. My thoughts?

The Good

Chapter titles, overall structure, and the characters were all very much Fleming. The plot had a feel of Fleming too, and Amis did a competent job of trying to make it feel like a Fleming novel.

The Bad
We still don't get under Bond's skin like Fleming was able to. Amis hardly ever spends time on Bond's thoughts. We are never treated to any of Bond's cold showers, eating breakfast or what he is about to wear. Instead he focuses on keeping the plot moving - something which the last 2 official Bond novels also fell into the trap of doing.

Colonel Sun himself was quite intriguing as a villain, and I felt a genuine sense of fear when he finally captures Bond, and tells him what he is about to do to him. However, this is all lost after a very harrowing torture scene. Bond very quickly recovers, and springs back into action again - DAD style, which loses all credibility.

And Sun himself seems muddled as a character. On one hand he is telling Bond was much he loves torture, and on the other he tells Bond he is not a barbarian when Bond asks him to shoot the girl quickly. It didn't feel genuine, or plausible. Even Sun's asking Bond's forgiveness seemed a little amateurish in its writing. It didn't really stack up.

Overall I wasn't very impressed actually, and slightly disappointed. No one can write a Bond novel like Fleming could. All the official writers so far have had decent attempts at it, but no one has come even close, mainly because Bond was Fleming. Unless someone can get under the skin of Fleming himself, and what made him tick, then all Bond novels will appear the same - huge emphasis on plot, characters, scenes, action, but not much focus on Bond himself - and this is where they all fail.
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Re: Colonel Sun 1966

Post by Capt. Sir Dominic Flandry »

I thought you had read it before and liked it: I must be confusing you with someone else!!

I thought it had quite a few interior monologues like the Fleming Bonds?
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