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Role of Honour (John Gardner's Bond #4)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  1,184 ratings  ·  27 reviews
'People notice things and word around Whitehall is that Commander Bond is living a shade dangerously - gambling, the new Bentley, er ... ladies, money changing hands ...'

Following scandal and his shock resignation from Britain's Secret Intelligence Service James Bond becomes a gun for hire; able, and willing, to sell his lethal skills to the highest bidder. And SPECTRE, it
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Orion (first published September 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,727)
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Bob Garrett
My wife keeps wondering why James Bond uses his real name when he’s undercover. I tell her that Bond’s a spy, not a public figure, so no one really knows who he is. That explanation made sense to me. So what does John Gardner do? He writes a novel in which Bond pretends to be disgraced from the Secret Service – resulting in his name and occupation being casually identified in the news media. Wouldn’t that make Bond less effective in subsequent novels? Sheesh.

Bond’s faux fall from grace is orches
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Carson
While ROLE OF HONOUR was not quite as page-turningly gripping as its predecessor ICEBREAKER, it again manages to effectively tie in the backstory of 007 while charging the story forward in a Fleming-esque way. This is a story that literally keeps you guessing as to the ending until the finale and even when the pages end, you cannot wait to find out what happens next. In the spirit of Fleming's Blofeld trilogy, Gardner is setting the stage for a world where more adventures can be born that will s ...more
Gerald
This one of the poorer examples of John Gardner's James Bond series. Sometimes he went a bit mad trying to modernise him, and I'm afraid that in this world, the month spent trying to teach Bond to code in Basic and Machine Language, on his 'micro' just doesn't ring true. Also, for what purpose? He never used it or needed to use it, the most he did was plug a disk drive into a computer.

So dated, yes. And fatally flawed too, in that it doesn't (weirdly for Gardner) have much in the way of a plot,
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Alan
This is in the 2 star "it was ok" category.
With the recent announcement of the Bond24 "SPECTRE" movie, it seemed like a good time to go back for a sampling of the old Bond books. John Gardner's "Role of Honour" was the 4th in his extension of the series and either 19th overall (if, as in Goodreads, you don't count Christopher Wood's 2 movie novelizations that followed Kingley Amis' "Colonel Sun" which was No. 15 after Ian Fleming's canon of 14 works) or 21st (as in LibraryThing, if you do count
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Nick Kuechle
Role of Honor is all about the life of James Bond after he left MI6. James Bond was sent out to investigate some crimes that has cost countries millions of dollars. He ends up being captured by his enemies and they put him through test. Once Bond has completed these test they tell him that they want to hire him for an important mission. The enemies plan was to basically hold the world at hostage with nuclear weapons. In the end Bond came within seconds of parts of the world being destroyed. He ...more
Brian
* Gardner's fourth Bond book.

* The second appearance of SPECTRE.

* With luck, this will, in a way, prove to be Gardner's first Bond book.

* It began with the last one, Icebreaker, in which Gardner did away with most of Bond's magic tricks. Here, he takes that a step further, taking away even his car--or, to put it more descriptively (and accurately) his mobile fortress. Bond returns to the Bentley, which contains nothing more than a spare gun and a mobile telephone.

* Taken in conjuntion with the p
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James
Recently I have been re-reading some of John Gardner’s James Bond novels, and although they have been rather flawed, I have still enjoyed them. That is till now. As a teenager, I remember enjoying Role of Honour, but upon this reading I found it to be extremely convoluted, and the writing style varied from chapter to chapter – only returning to what I would call Gardner’s natural fluent writing style for the climax – which, by that time the damage had been done.

Let’s analyse the mess. Firstly, t
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Steve Mitchell
John Gardner’s fourth Bond Novel is very much a fair to middling addition to the series. The one area where Fleming beats Gardner hands down is the gaping plot holes where Bond gets into a situation where the villains of the piece really are left with no choice but to kill him and the author makes no attempt to explain why they persist in allowing their nemesis to live. Unlike Fleming, Gardner lacks the flowing prose that hides this shortcoming until the book has been finished and you get the ch ...more
John Keegan

The fourth book of Gardner's run as the author of the James Bond novels, "Role of Honor" is another short and sparse entry, typical of the output that the author would produce following the more substantial beginning of his run with "License Renewed". Typical of the period in which it was written, it centers on a plot to change the global state of play by destabilizing the powers locked in Cold War.

It's very clear that this was written early in the personal computer age, because a great deal of
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Jerome
Role of Honor could have been better if there were less plot-holes and there was more frequent action. The biggest plot-hole is this: why is James Bond attacked in the streets? The attack is never explained, and I was waiting the whole book to find out why, but there was no answer. I felt let down. Another plot-hole is: Why does the villain turn up at the casino with Bond? Hmm. The action, which is infrequent, isn't very good. All there is is a training-camp sequence which is too flimsy to enjoy ...more
Surreysmum
[These notes were made in 1985:]. As befits a nice up-to-date adventure, this one deals with computer simulations - in this case, a rather unbelievably sophisticated one which guides an effort to (you guessed it) take over the world, by invoking mutual nuclear destruction; or rather, mutual self-destruction of nuclear weapons (since, in Gardner's world, there is such a button on the box, intended as a last-minute failsafe). The twist, of course, is that SPECTRE is involved, and intends to disarm ...more
Andrew
another in my search for post Fleming bond books found in charity shops...all I can say about this one is it starts slowly and is laughable in parts..not least due to the need to explain what booting a computer is.
as this book takes in the early years of personal computers use of floppy discs and BASIC and the like it is kind of dated..but in fairness so now is another spy book this sort of felt like a place version of namely Deighton' s billion dollar brain.
there is however a half good plot her
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Jake Odierna
"Role of Honor" was a very action packed, exciting book. With James Bond being the main character, the plot moved so fast, it was hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a quick, fast read. I really enjoyed reading this one.
Thomas Strömquist
"Poor thriller and horrible Bond-book. James Bond is totally out of character in this one (even if you accept the new sides to him as introduced in Gardner's first three books) and the set-up makes no sense whatsoever. Not much happens and Gardner relies on keeping the reader in the dark by "tuning out" or skipping in conversations between characters; conversations that apparently reveals a lot of details and secrets to all involved, except for the reader, and this is very frustrating. The plot ...more
Mark Kavanagh
It's not often I stop reading two-thirds of the way through a book, but what a disappointment!
I'm a big fan of Fleming's Bond and it's many years since I've read any of Gardner's books - in fact when they were first published I think I only read the first two or three.
The whole thing just didn't ring true - from the inheritance storyline to the computerised war game element (even allowing for the book's age).
I certainly won't be reading any more of Gardner's Bonds.
Matthew Quirk
A very dated 80's book. Thrill as Bond copies a FLOPPY DISC! Marvel as he spends two months learning to program in COBOL!

Why has this not been made into a movie yet?
Scott E
This is a nice rebound for Gardner (and Bond). I thought Icebreaker was just a bad book after enjoying the first two Gardners (they're not great by any means...but Bond fans can enjoy). I'm probably rating this a bit high, but I really want the post-Fleming Bonds to be good (I've already bought them all....so they need to be good!!).
Paul

1984 James Bond novel was so so. The bit about terrorists getting flight training was chilling. The new head of SPECTRE is a middle eastern guy with a training camp in the desert. This is 1984. Clues burried in popular fiction. Well, it's popular with old spy fans like me.
Mister Future [formerly known as 'Pizzle']
Not a poor Bond novel. There have certainly been worse; at the least, I finished this novel. I found the beginning to be extraordinarily entertaining, but then it tapered off as the story continued (apparently a common theme with Gardner's Bond novels).

3.25/5 Stars
Evelina
Well, what can I say, definitely bondish plot. Pulls you in from the beginning. The biggest problem with this book for me was all that Bond's philandering :D Not Fleming's Bond style.
Paul Reece
Far better than Gardner's 'Win, Lose or Die' this book nearly made 4 stars, however, failed at the last with the final two chapters a poor reflection of the 007 we've all come to love.
Richard
It was OK. Now that I've read several by Gardner, he is definitely not as good as Fleming.
Sheena
Read some of this out in the garden under a brolly . It was pouring with rain and I was locked out
Philip
A most disappointing read. Just move onto the next one in the series.
Andrew Kosztyo
A fun little diversion -- no mention of "shaken not stirred."
Michele
I really enjoyed this one.
Myles Paine
Myles Paine marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
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Before coming an author of fiction in the early 1960s, John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer and a journalist. In all, Gardner has fifty-four novels to his credit, including Maestro, which was the New York Times book of the year. He was also invited by Ian Fleming’s literary copyright holders to write a series of continuation James Bond novels, which proved to be so s ...more
More about John Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

John Gardner's Bond (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • License Renewed (John Gardner's Bond, #1)
  • For Special Services (John Gardner's Bond, #2)
  • Icebreaker (John Gardner's Bond, #3)
  • Nobody Lives Forever (John Gardner's Bond, #5)
  • No Deals, Mr. Bond (John Gardner's Bond, #6)
  • Scorpius (John Gardner's Bond, #7)
  • Win, Lose or Die (John Gardner's Bond, #8)
  • Licence to Kill (John Gardner's Bond, #9)
  • Brokenclaw (John Gardner's Bond, #10)
  • The Man from Barbarossa (John Gardner's Bond, #11)
License Renewed (John Gardner's Bond, #1) Nobody Lives Forever (John Gardner's Bond, #5) GoldenEye (John Gardner's Bond, #15) For Special Services (John Gardner's Bond, #2) Icebreaker (John Gardner's Bond, #3)

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