Of course, it isn't really forever; it's just business as usual for James bond, still gamely tackling would-be world dominators--this time, Wolfgang Weisen, the Poison Dwarf of East German intelligence--in his 11th outing under Gardner's flag. Whatever Weisen's plan is--and just what he has in mind is a surprise Gardner saves until the very end--it involves penetrating CABAL (a NATO network of spies working in East Germany, all but outmoded by unification), issuing a bogus order to disband, and then picking off the agents one by one. When Bond and American Eazy St. John are packed off to Berlin to replace their latest fallen comrades, you can bet that they'll be trailed by homicidal enemy agents, fed a million lies by their supposed contacts, and be left guessing as to which of the surviving Cabalists can still be trusted--and you can bet too that Bond will bring snooty Eazy to heel by showing up her gutless tradecrafi and sweeping her off her feet. The trail of double-crosses that leads from Berlin to Paris to Venice strains belief, but it's all lightly likable. Once Bond and Co. reach Venice, though, the story slips into a distinctly stodgy groove ("His smile was so evil that the hairs on the back of BoWs neck stiffened"), with Bond, Eazy, and trustworthy Gus Wimper going up against the Poison Dwarf, his kinky bedmate Monika Haardt (you have to take the kinkiness on faith--she doesn't do anything but try to kill our hero), and the staff of executioners, torturers, etc. Bond, who seems to be having more trouble adjusting to the new world order than his younger brethren, doesn't exactly shine, but Gardner's fans won't be disappointed either. Ian Fleming's fans need not apply.