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brianmartin

Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

See also:  http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart

My name:  Brian Martin

Icebreaker by John Gardner

James Bond: Icebreaker: A Novel (James Bond 007) - John Gardner

Gardner's third Bond book.

Fleming made it very clear that Bond hates being cossetted. But that was Fleming. Gardner's Bond loves it. Especially when it comes from the unlikeliest of sources: M. In this one, M even gives Bond a little pat on the hand to show him how much he loves him. It really is quite revolting.

This one starts with a promising idea. For whatever reason (I don't think I'm alone here), it's always nice, in a novel like this, to see the Nazis back in action. Here, they've established themselves as a growing terrorist group with aspirations to political relevance. Having established that much, however, Gardner shoots his own wheels off and the story goes spinning off into the Arctic wastes in which most of it is set.

Bond finds himself on an international team that includes a CIA agent, a Russian agent, and a beautiful female agent of the Israeli Mossad. Their task is to get the goods on the National Socialist Action Army and, if possible, bring it down. Trouble is, Bond doesn't trust any of them, a condition that isn't helped when suspicion falls on the one person he does trust, an on-again-off-again girlfriend. Nobody, it appears, is quite who they seem to be. By the end of the novel, all of these people have been thoroughly scrambled in a plot that becomes more ludicrous with each "startling revelation."

You know, Fleming's Bond got into trouble with females, but that was okay because it all fell well within the bounds of chivalry (which, in a way, was as much what the Bond novels were about as Bond's secret agent exploits). But when it comes to women, Gardner's Bond, on the other hand, is just stupid, and, really, a miserable spy. All he wants is sex, but he's willing to pay for it with trust. How whipped can you be?

And if you think Movie Bond's ego is inflated, just check him out here. He actually believes one woman, who has known him for all of about 48 hours, who tells him she loves him. I guess we can understand why, though. A nurse, who has said no more than 20 words to the guy in her lifetime, is chomping at the bit to get into bed with him. If this is feminism, then women really are as stupid as men used to think they were. If people want to criticize the treatment of women in Bond novels, they should leave Fleming alone and concentrate on Gardner. Here we have one ultra-professional woman who, after saving not only Bond's life but his reputation, as well, steps quietly aside and lets Bond order her and her team about as though it was the natural order of things, never minding the fact that to this point Bond hasn't demonstrated the competence to order breakfast.