RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS - Kingsley Amis's *Colonel Sun*

Wed, 24 Nov 1999 08:22:14 -0600

It's been awhile, but, as I rmember, Amis's novel (published under the pseudonym of Robert Markham) dealt with Bond's efforts to rescue the kidnapped M from the hing-ranking Red Chinese agent who gave the book its title. Amis was a big Bond fan (he wrote one of the first book-length critical studies of Bond. *The James Bond Dossier*), and his pastiche wasn't bad. Personally, though, I preferred John Gardner's continuations. In fact, in many ways, I think the Gardner books are better, or at least better-crafted, than the Fleming books. I haven't read any of the continuations by the new guy, Raymond Benson.

As has been pointed out, Bond, though tough as old shoes, lacks the
"common-touch" colloquialism that I think is essential to be classified as hard-boiled (something that Adam Hall's British agent, Quiller, *does* have). On the other hand, Fleming did consider himself to be a member of the Hammett-Chandler school and said so in interviews. I've got no great objections to his being discussed on the list, if no one else does.


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