Bond Vivant

FILE IN: READ

Pretty much every spy novel franchise inspired by James Bond had at least one story where the main character went up against some robe-clad Moonie stand-ins, so I guess Gardner figured why the hell not? And thus, Scorpius, a book in which 007’s participation has zero impact on the eventual outcome.

SPOTLIGHT: BOND BEYOND BOND BOOKS

No Deals, Mr. Bond

With No Deals, Mr. Bond, John Gardner achieved enough clout, or had at least been around long enough, that he was given a little more leeway to “do his own thing.”

Nobody Lives Forever

Released in 1986, Nobody Lives Forever has a similar feel to the movie For Your Eyes Only, in that both are essentially one chase scene after another.

Role of Honour

Whatever good will was built up with the brisk action of For Special Services and the intriguing locations of Icebreaker is undone with Role of Honor, a dreadful entry in the series.

Icebreaker

In Icebreaker, Bond does almost nothing—which is for the best, because when Bond does do something, it’s usually some of the worst espionage work he’s ever done.

FILE IN: WATCH

Asia-Pol‘s plot is as simple and convoluted as one expects from your average spy film: Jô Shishido stars as George, a Japanese-Chinese gangster who hates Japan and has vowed to destroy it by smuggling gold and destroying its economy. Hot on his trail is secret agent Yang Ming Xuan, a Chinese orphan raised in Japan  who defends the country’s honor against nefarious villains.

SPOTLIGHT: SPY CINEMA

Who Saw Her Die?

Who Saw Her Die? is the rare giallo that succeeds on an emotional level, thanks primarily to a committed performance from former James Bond George Lazenby.

Ypotron

Ypotron is a light and airy espionage adventure with sci-fi elements and almost no interest whatsoever in its own plot, so enamored is it instead with low-budget globe-trotting and extremely large hats.

Asambhav

This movie is a total bomb, and that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Don’t listen to me, because I’m going to tell you to see Asambhav. The universal chorus of bad reviews this movie received are right, and I am wrong.

From 007 to Gogol 13

Golgo 13 was (is) a long-running Japanese comic book aimed primarily at bitter guys in dead-end salaryman jobs who harbored daydreams of being tough-as-nails murderous sex machines.


Other Missions

Travel

Aboard the African Queen

The African Queen stayed unseaworthy until 2012, when Key Largo locals Lance and Suzanne Holmquist bought it and set about once again making it a functioning boat.

Drink+Eat

Blending In with Bond

James Bond, one of global culture’s most recognized imbibers, drinks no fewer than 317 drinks throughout the series of books authored by Ian Fleming.

Listen

You Only Listen Twice

Put on the headphones and prepare yourself for another swinging, occasionally baffling, journey through James Bond themed cash-in records.