Read Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks Free Online
Book Title: Devil May Care|
Date of issue: May 28th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780385524285
The author of the book: Sebastian Faulks
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 952 KB
Read full description of the books Devil May Care:First, I have a confession to make: I’ve never read anything by Ian Fleming, or anything by Sebastian Faulks, for that matter. All I know about “the name is Bond, James Bond” I learned from the movies, specifically the ones starring Messrs. Dalton, Brosnan and Craig --- and a couple of half-remembered early 80’s Moore films. It’s not that I’m a particularly ardent fan, but somehow, over the years, I have managed to see more than a half dozen of them (having action-starved boys/men in the house certainly helped). I have no idea whether Faulks’ Bond is faithful to Fleming’s or whether this book is a typical Faulks oeuvre. That said, this Bond is a different beast from his cinematic counterpart:
a. he is not a cruel, hairy-chested chauvinist/ womanizer (1);
b. he is not a middle-aged man in safari suit who gasps and wheezes while chasing the bad guy up the hill (2);
c. he is not a ridiculously good-looking man who looks dashing in a tuxedo and drives an invisible car (3); and
d. he is not a thuggish Blondie who thinks nothing of parading around the beach in a mankini(4).
The villain, as they are wont to do in any Bond movie worth its multimillion-dollar budget, has a flashy underground lair crammed with every world-destroying apparatuses illicit money could buy. And yes, HE WANTS TO DESTROY THE WESTERN WORLD --- by flooding it with cheap narcotics and turn its young people into dope addicts. But he’s also history literate enough to point out to Bond that the British Empire that he serves had been the first and “greatest drug cartel the world has ever seen” way back in the 19th century when it flooded China with Indian opium. An ironic statement that apparently is not wholly lost on Faulks’ Bond.
Set at the height of the Cold War in the 60’s, Faulks’ book is a brisk, action-filled spy thriller that feels modern but still manages to include all the requisite elements in the Bond formula: exotic locales (Paris, Iran, Afghanistan, the USSR), scantily-clad women (though thankfully, there are no galore of --- ahem --- Pussys in this one), car chases, shootouts, crashing planes, and even a scene involving lots of naked girls that must delight the 13-year old inside every man (It’s set in pre-Islamic Revolution Iran and Bond’s libertine Persian host dubs it a preview of heaven. Yes, that same heaven with the 72 virgins that suicide bombers think they’re going to enter after blowing themselves up). Faulks provided just the right amount of geopolitical context and convincing period detail to make the story interesting and relevant for 21st century audiences, without trying too hard to turn it into something that it is not. And he makes you care for Bond (who is more a romantic than a bed-hopping tomcat) and his girl. So, a John le Carre it ain’t, but nevertheless a perfectly enjoyable fun read to curl up with on a long weekend.
3.5 stars (a half star deducted for minor plot implausibility/ inconsistency)
Other Random Observations
Number of anatomically deformed villains: 1
Number of henchmen with (surgery-induced, instead of congenital) analgesia: 1
Number of scenes involving naked girls, gratuitous or otherwise: 4
Number of Martini units consumed by the protagonist: 5
Number of product placement: 1(Bentley)*
*Product placement should be a particularly lucrative part of bestselling novels. If Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig make millions extolling the virtues of BMW, VISA and Omega watches, Stieg Larsson should receive similar amounts from IKEA, Apple, Mace and the maker of those Jura Impressa coffee machines.
(1) Sean Connery (2) Roger Moore (3) Pierce Brosnan (4) Daniel Craig
Read information about the authorSebastian Faulks was born in 1953, and grew up in Newbury, the son of a judge and a repertory actress. He attended Wellington College and studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, although he didn’t enjoy attending either institution. Cambridge in the 70s was still quite male-dominated, and he says that you had to cycle about 5 miles to meet a girl. He was the first literary editor of “The Independent”, and then went on to become deputy editor of “The Sunday Independent”. Sebastian Faulks was awarded the CBE in 2002. He and his family live in London.
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