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Licence to Kill (John Gardner's Bond, #9)
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Licence to Kill (John Gardner's Bond #9)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  659 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
What begins as a joyous wedding for Bond's old CIA chum, Felix Leiter, turns into a hellish nightmare--when an evil billionaire drug lord flies into town and his henchmen brutally assassinate Leiter and his bride. Now, Bond is out for blood, and he is prepared to do anything--even give up his license to kill--to avenge the death of his friends.
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 1989 by Charter (first published 1989)
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Thomas Strömquist
Nov 04, 2014 Thomas Strömquist rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-collection
I was dreading this quite a lot, the immediately preceding Win, Lose or Die took a turn for the worse and my hopes were not high for a novelization of the arguably weakest Bond film ever. Fortunately, Gardner's writing is quite OK by this point in time - unfortunately, the rest was as could be expected...

Even if Gardner obviously took inspiration from the movie Bond (not a great idea in my humble opinion) a number of problems of course present themselves when trying to fit one story line in wit
Sep 18, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What starts as a joyous celebration - the wedding of his old friend Felix Leiter - becomes a nightmare which takes James Bond on a path of revenge against the evil billionaire drug lord Franz Sanchez. 007 is prepared to ignore Secret Service orders and even sacrifice his licence to kill to avenge his enemies. This novelisation (the first of two by the then-current James Bond writer, John Gardner, who also had fourteen original 007 novels to his name) sticks fairly close to the film screenplay (b ...more
Cheris Hodges
May 13, 2013 Cheris Hodges rated it it was amazing
So much better than the movie.
May 17, 2014 Carson rated it liked it

My love of 007 and specifically the film LICENCE TO KILL precludes me from ranking this less than 3 stars, but - sadly - there are several really great lines and moments in the film that are inexplicably not in the novel. I say inexplicably because - sure - I understand why certain fantastical elements of the film wouldn't translate into a novel based in reality, yet there are some that crept into the book. Either way, I'm not certain at which point in the script this book was adap
Francine Maessen
Oct 27, 2015 Francine Maessen rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Nice little read. It really has some good and bad points. I liked the style of writing, it was quick, but not so quick that you lose track of what you're reading. It was also ironic about it's realism, which is really nice. The feminism in this book was a bit dubious to me: sometimes Bond treats women absolutely horrible, or women in general are portrayed as less, but then the main female character comes around and she's awesome and kicks ass and really knows what she's doing, and most of all, s ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Andrew rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, crime
pretty awful but in fairness the fantastical elements of the film would need to be presented in this book but as such these scenes begger belief and leave you thinking John Gardner may have been better sticking with his Bond stories and letting someone else write the tie in.
by nature Bond Movies are more preposterous than the books given the news to engage and excite an audience..a book needs to grip too but usually succeed in doing this through subtle building plots.
the idea of Bond teetering f
Ron Castillo
Feb 05, 2014 Ron Castillo rated it really liked it
John Gardner, the spiritual successor to Ian Fleming was commissioned by MGM/UA to write an original story for Timothy Dalton, the 4th actor to play James Bond agent 007 in the 16th film in the Bond franchise. The story was meant to be more realistic then previous Bond endeavors using more realistic situations and less high tech gadgetry. Plucked from the headlines of 1989, License to Kill sees Bond pursuing a Colombian Drug Lord named Sanchez who has fled custody in the Florida Keys after slaug ...more
Mark Jones
Having read the first two John Gardner novels and decided that his Bond was not for me I read no more. Then a while ago I noticed that he did a novelisation of the great Tim Dalton film LTK, so I thought I'd have a look see. Oh dear, it is worse than I had imagined it to be. Instead of being a straight stand-alone novelisation Gardener has weaved it into his follow-on books which in turn follow on from Fleming's, which leads to the ludicrous situation of Felix Leiter of not only being attacked b ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Jerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know everyone hates the movie(I don't) that this book is based on. Well, if that's the case, read the book, as it is actually better than the movie(although the tanker chase just doesn't read as exciting as watching it). Most people dislike Gardner's book's when compared with Fleming's, but this one is top notch. The only problem is, Gardner goes to slightly...schizofrenic means to tie License to Kill in with the on-going Fleming series. Seeing as that Milton Krest appeared in an earlier(but a ...more
Cosmic Dwellings
Mar 29, 2014 Cosmic Dwellings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a "sequel", as stated, to John Gardner's first Bond continuation novel "Licence Renewed", for it is the novelisation of the 1989 movie of the same name. However, it's an exciting and well-paced representation of the movie and certainly one of my Gardner favourites. And, if like me, you enjoyed this change of pace for the celluloid Bond franchise back in the day, you'll certainly like reading it too!
Dec 28, 2009 James rated it liked it
I remember first reading this in fifth grade. It is not a fantastic Bond story--the writing seems especially clunky and simplistic at times--but I do love to the drama of Bond going to avenge his best friend's mutilation at the teeth of a shark. A quick, effortless read, but Gardner is no Fleming. Clearly.
Sep 07, 2008 Conor rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-series
Absolute pulp that I got for free. Was kinda interesting though as it made me realize how much of an unfeeling sociopath so many iconic movie characters like this are. Gardner adds nothing to the paper-thin-ness. Bond might as well be a rock smashing things as it rolls down a hill - no consciousness, no feeling - just the gravity of poorly thought out vengeance.

But that's pulp for you.
Matt Raubenheimer
A run-of-the-mill but competent novelisation of the film. I found it an enjoyable read. Licence To Kill has never been one of my favourite Bond films, but somehow it works well on the page. I've always enjoyed John Gardner's Bond novels and I enjoyed this novelisation. It probably deserves 3.5 stars.
Brian Gilchrist
having just finished Fleming's short stories, with 50s and early 60s era references, I really struggled with getting the Timothy Dalton Bond out of my head ( yes I know the book is based on the movie). interesting that names from other Bond stories appeared as different characters
Jan 16, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must've seen the movie version of this (because I've seen all the Bond movies) but I had no recollection of it going into the book - which was good, because I was able to enjoy the book without stumbling over plot changes.
From IMDb:
James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.
Ryan Scicluna
Oct 08, 2012 Ryan Scicluna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-bond
A very gd James bond book. I admit it lacks a bit in style and finesse but the story in itself is dark and violent so it makes sense.
Kevin Orrman-Rossiter
I think the estate of Ian Fleming should have left James Bond alone. This "novel based on the screen-play" demonstrated adequately that Ian Fleming, and only he, had the measure of James Bond.
Dec 17, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok
Another of the "new" Bond thillers. More of a synopsis of the movie than in the style of Ian Fleming. It kept me entertained for a day or two, but just barely.
Muaddib rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2008
Stewart Ogilvie-Goddard
Stewart Ogilvie-Goddard rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2013
John Scott
John Scott rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2013
Andrew Datoush
Andrew Datoush rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2013
Jed Sorokin-Altmann
Jed Sorokin-Altmann rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2012
Dennis Troy
Dennis Troy rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2012
Prakhar Raizada
Prakhar Raizada rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2012
Dale Gifford
Dale Gifford rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2013
Mike Gonzalez
Mike Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2013
Mark Honeychurch
Mark Honeychurch rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2012
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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)
  • Role of Honor (John Gardner's Bond, #4)
  • 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)
  • Brokenclaw (John Gardner's Bond, #10)
  • The Man from Barbarossa (John Gardner's Bond, #11)

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