Google+ Consumer Psyche: Book Review: Carte Blanche

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: Carte Blanche

For someone who grew up on volumes of Ian Flemming and someone who appreciated the slow seeping tension while Bond comes out with impossible situations and emerge a winner; For someone who watched Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never Dies and all the newer Bond movies several times and loved them; For someone who then watched Sean Connery and other battery of bonds relive the legend, I have a fairly good idea of how you would want a Bond should look like, act like, run like, think like and shoot like.

Carte Blanche sets the tone for a new Bond series to get a reboot; a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and former smoker. Everything you would expect in a Bond novel/movie is still here; the cars (a Bentley Continental GT and even a Subaru Impreza WRX) the girls (so many of them), the gadgets (including a custom iphone called a qiphone) and of course the over-the-top action.

Even some of the common friends of Bond make an appearance in this book, including; M, Moneypenny and Felix Leiter. The characters, while slightly updated for the contemporary setting, are almost Fleming'ish gave us, especially Bond himself and M (unfortunately back to the original male version and I am glad that the movie has Judi Dench). This does become something of a cliché though in the first half of the book, where I found myself wondering which classic character would show up next rather than focussing on the plot. I was super impressed by Deaver’s plot which stands realistic to the Bond theme and is not drawn and influenced by the new age publicity. Carte Blanche moves at the perfect pace to hook the reader while remaining true to the attention to detail of Fleming’s prose.

After a hair-raising opening sequence in Serbia featuring car chase, shoot-out and the near-derailment of a train carrying lethal chemicals, Bond's main mission is to prevent a massive terrorist atrocity. The only clue is an intercept promising thousands of deaths on the night of Friday 20th, with British interests adversely affected. Bond has only five days to determine the nature of the threat, identify its main players and stop them, while dodging unknown assailants who want him dead and the usual buffoonery of chinless incompetents within the British security services, sticklers for procedure who oblige him to interpret Carte Blanche in his own way.

Bond finds himself pitted against the murky Severan Hydt, magnate of a global empire of refuse collection and recycling – a nicely topical metaphor. Hydt is a particularly Deaveresque villain, a man whose macabre fascination with death and decay verges on pornographic. With the help of his old friends Felix Leiter and René Mathis, Bond follows Hydt's trail from the Balkans to Dubai to South Africa. How he closes the case and ends up with the women he loves is the plot.

The plot promises intensified fights, chasing sequences, fighting bad guys, having fun and chasing his own devils about his life. Deaver does a long dwindling chase with massive disturbances promising to eat up the land.

I loved the book and my rating might be colored by my love for Flemming's hero but I guess there can be an exception! 

Rating: 4/5.
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