Off-topic book review: Carte Blanche

Worked my way through the latest installment of the James Bond franchise, Jeffery Deaver’s delightful Carte Blanche.

The book has all the trappings of modern fiction:

  • short chapters,
  • lots of action,
  • an underlying social justice message (the evils of garbage, Western imperialism, crooked charities, etc.).

It is easy to visualize this as a movie. Deaver’s prose lends itself to that. It’s different from Ian Fleming’s journalistic style, but that works to Deaver’s advantage, since the modern non-Bond reader may not have patience for Fleming.

There was one thing that stuck out. I don’t know a lot of Bond lore. For instance, I had no idea that Bond’s parents were killed, making him an orphan (Hello … Bruce Wayne: your not alone!).

In fact, I never considered Bond even having parents. He exists in this nether world where he was just created, not born. Kind of like Chuck Norris.

Deaver puts Bonds’ parent’s death as occurring in the 1990s.  That’s the part that made me stop. After all, if he was in his teens in the 1990s that would make him … GASPyounger than me!

James Bond is not younger than I am.

I mean, I know for the story to work, placing Bond within that time period makes sense (it would put him in his 30s), but … still … Bond has been around longer than I have. So while my left brain recognizes the timeline, my right brain says, “No freakin’ way.”

James Bond is timeless. The beauty of any franchise like this is that the hero exists in all time periods. To limit 007 to the current one kind of ruins the Bond mythology.

Or maybe it just ruins the mythology of my youth.

But that’s a little off-topic.

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