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Vance is always entertaining. Story a bit predictable. But Bond is always a fun ride.
The author depicts James Bond as dull witted and feckless. He makes Bond a stooge for the CIA and has him randomly quoting Bible verses. Hard to believe that someone would ruin Fleming's 007 like this. The plot is juvenile. One character is introduced and dies for no apparent reason, other than to make Bond relive (twice in this book) the death of Tracey from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Gardner's Bond is sappy and always thinking about settling down, even with a girl who inexplicably (and suddenly) becomes a psychopath by the end of the book. But worse, Gardner makes Bond stupid - just how could someone fake their death in a burning car? This James Bond just can't imagine how. This book misses all the detailed accounts that I love in the Fleming books -- the details about dress, food, drink, women. Instead, this Bond mostly drinks coffee with the CIA. Seriously, if you listen to this book, count the number of times that 007 grabs a cup of coffee with the CIA. And, he has 007 making a dangerous run on a jet ski. Seriously, what is dangerous about jet skis? Little kids ride them, yet Gardner's 007 is frightened about possibly capsizing one. This book is just awful.