Search Results: Raymond Benson


BOOK REVIEW

SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS by Raymond Benson
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 20, 2006

"Can you imagine a nun advocating a withdrawal of life support? Newcomer Benson can, and that's the least of his inanities. Skippable and then some."
Meet my mom, the porn star. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 10, 2002

"Benson's prose is as limp as ever ('Tokyo lay before him, a sprawling, metropolitan machine')—but for mindless escapism, Bond suffices when nothing else will."
James Bond, British Intelligence's immortal action hero, returns to Japan to stop a Mishima-quoting crimelord whose killer mosquitoes threaten to disrupt a G8 conference, and worse. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

NEVER DREAM OF DYING by Raymond Benson
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2001

"Flaccid prose and creaky dialogue no worse than Fleming's. Benson seems to have hit his stride in this, his liveliest and nastiest Bond book yet."
After wobbly attempts to meld the quipping movie Bonds with the brooding British knight of the John Gardner stories, Benson brings the ageless superspy back to his Eurotrash roots—the French Riviera and the casino at Monte Carlo. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

DOUBLE SHOT by Raymond Benson
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2000

" Nifty bullfighting scenes do not redeem an otherwise cliché-cluttered narrative. For die-hard fans only."
The creakiest exercise yet in American Bond fan Benson's postmodern resurrection of Ian Fleming's peerless killer spy, has an embarrassingly witless 007 going rogue to fight a dastardly multinational crime cartel. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE FACTS OF DEATH by Raymond Benson
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 15, 1998

The fate of the world, and James Bond, are in capable hands in this second 007 adventure from Benson (Zero Minus Ten, 1997). Writing as both a disciple and defender of Western civilization's most enduring action hero, Benson, a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation and author of the fan bible, the James Bond Bedside Companion, attempts to meld Fleming's brooding, coolly cruel British knight with the dapper, quip-slinging techno-warrior of the Bond movies, with a few respectful bows to the superhuman stuntman Bond became when British thriller-factory John Gardner had an exclusive franchise on the series. All the canonical elements are in place—the Flemingesque fetish for brand names (we—re informed that Bond's crippled American sidekick, former CIA agent Felix Leiter, now zooms about in a high-speed Action Arrow motorized wheelchair), a demented, megalomaniacal father figure villain (Konstantine Romanos, an independently wealthy mathematics professor who thinks he's the reincarnation of Pythagoras), the ultimate car (a self-driving Jaguar XK8 with more gadgets than the Batmobile but, alas, no ejection seat), the corny sex jokes (Bond seduces the statuesque female director of a sperm bank who extracts her sample from 007 as passionately as possible), a superbly furnished techno-fortress with a hidden superweapon, and, most infamously, a harem of beautiful, accomplished women, some of whom are bisexual, all of whom can—t resist Bond's darkly handsome charms. The plot, meanwhile, is standard Bond, with Romanos using designer weaponry to kill numerous innocent people, with a purloined Pershing missile being readied for launch. Between the requisite scenes of sex, violence, and destruction, Benson's Bond occasionally succumbs to existential gloom, but never fails to do the right thing for Queen and country. A postmodern treat for fans and newcomers that lovingly, if not ironically, duplicates a formula so familiar that originality would be sacrilege. (First serial rights to Playboy) Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ZERO MINUS TEN by Raymond Benson
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 5, 1997

The author of The James Bond Bedside Companion (not reviewed) pits Agent 007 against worthy Pacific Basin opponents in a more than serviceable first thriller that could give Ian Fleming's ultracool hero yet another new lease on life. Dispatched to Hong Kong to halt a series of violent incidents that threaten the Crown Colony's mid-1997 return to the People's Republic of China, Bond first checks on Guy Thackeray, the fifth- generation head of a family shipping firm called EurAsia Enterprises. Although the SIS troubleshooter gets the goods on the shady businessman, the latter perishes (or appears to) in a car bombing. In next trying to tap underworld intelligence sources, 007 makes a nearly fatal mistake and is obliged to undertake a personal mission for triad chieftain Li Xu Nan. Against the odds, the master spy penetrates the PRC and returns alive, bearing papers that put Li in his debt. With help from the grateful crime boss, Bond heads down under to investigate a mysterious outback blast London has told him is not his affair. In due course, he finds a back-from- the-dead Thackeray at a remote uranium mine; to his horror, he learns that the embittered taipan (who's used EurAsia to make a great fortune in the drug trade) plans to put paid to the celebration of Hong Kong's handover by detonating a crude nuclear device on or near the island at midnight on June 30, 1997. Before 007 can beat the clock and save the showcase outpost of empire with an eleventh-hour dash through a crowded harbor, however, he must escape the clutches of a villainous captor and make it out of western Australia's famously inhospitable bush country. Benson's 007 is a chip off the old block and, if not a gilt- edged Bond, at least a double-A. Read full book review >

ARCHIVE

SWEETIE'S DIAMONDS by Raymond Benson
Released: Feb. 20, 2006

Can you imagine a nun advocating a withdrawal of life support? Newcomer Benson can, and that's the least of his inanities. Skippable and then some. Read full book review >

ARCHIVE

ZERO MINUS TEN by Raymond Benson
Released: May 5, 1997

The author of The James Bond Bedside Companion (not reviewed) pits Agent 007 against worthy Pacific Basin opponents in a more than serviceable first thriller that could give Ian Fleming's ultracool hero yet another new lease on life. Dispatched to Hong Kong to halt a series of violent incidents that threaten the Crown Colony's mid-1997 return to the People's Republic of China, Bond first checks on Guy Thackeray, the fifth-generation head of a family shipping firm called EurAsia Enterprises. Although the SIS troubleshooter gets the goods on the shady businessman, the latter perishes (or appears to) in a car bombing. In next trying to tap underworld intelligence sources, 007 makes a nearly fatal mistake and is obliged to undertake a personal mission for triad chieftain Li Xu Nan. Against the odds, the master spy penetrates the PRC and returns alive, bearing papers that put Li in his debt. With help from the grateful crime boss, Bond heads down under to investigate a mysterious outback blast London has told him is not his affair. In due course, he finds a back-from-the-dead Thackeray at a remote uranium mine; to his horror, he learns that the embittered taipan (who's used EurAsia to make a great fortune in the drug trade) plans to put paid to the celebration of Hong Kong's handover by detonating a crude nuclear device on or near the island at midnight on June 30, 1997. Before 007 can beat the clock and save the showcase outpost of empire with an eleventh-hour dash through a crowded harbor, however, he must escape the clutches of a villainous captor and make it out of western Australia's famously inhospitable bush country. Benson's 007 is a chip off the old block and, if not a gilt-edged Bond, at least a double-A. Read full book review >

ARCHIVE

Released: Oct. 18, 1954

The fifth annual collection of short detective stories contributed by the Mystery Writers of America outnumbers but does not outclass the Ellery Queen symposium. Initiates will recognize some of this material- and there are many old familiars; Simenon's Maigret; Stuart Palmer's Hildegarde Withers; Clayton Rawson's Great Merlini; William Byron Mowery's Mounties; etc. But Thomas Walsh' kidnap chiller, Robert Arthur's ricochet- Change of Address, Raymond Chandler's enduring underworld, Sidney Rowland's ghoulish period piece- The McGregor Affair, and Q. Patrick's little monster, Beverly, an inquisitive, acquisitive eleven, all provide some expert excitement. Stanley Ellin, Lillian de la Torre, Bruno Fischer, Ben Benson, Michael Gilbert, Maurice Procter, Rex Stout, Anthony Boucher are also names to conjure with and over. Read full book review >