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Icebreaker (John Gardner's Bond #3)

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  878 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews

In Icebreaker, as indestructible as ever, Bond is back in another mission—a deadly assignment undertaken in cohort with Bond’s opposite numbers from the United States, the Soviet Union, and Israel in the desolate Arctic wastes of Lapland. Yet if resurgent fascism is the common enemy, who is really to be feared? Is it the breezy American or the voluptuous Israeli who is act

256 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 1983)
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Casino Royale by Ian FlemingFrom Russia With Love by Ian FlemingMoonraker by Ian FlemingLive and Let Die by Ian FlemingGoldfinger by Ian Fleming
Best James Bond Books
16th out of 50 books — 57 voters
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Frosty Book Titles
161st out of 408 books — 71 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 20, 2010 Stephen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy-stuff
3.5 stars. The third James Bond book by Gardner and my personal favorite. Gardner does a good job writing Bond as a modern version if the iconic character.
So, I relented and gave Gardner another chance. After the frankly disturbing end to the previous Bond novel, For Special Services, I was tempted to walk away but for pennies plus postage for an almost-new copy of Icebreaker at least I'm not really bumping his sales directly. The Gardner run has to end eventually (he did write 14 of these things) and another (read: hopefully better) author will take the reins – or maybe he's improving with time?

And, maybe, just maybe he is ... It starts with a go
Feb 03, 2014 Carson rated it really liked it
ICEBREAKER is the third 007 novel by John Gardner, and certainly reflects Gardner settling into the role as Fleming's successor. Personally, I feel the Fleming novels are superior to anything out there, but Icebreaker is a page-turner of a must-read if you are fan of the canon. 007 becomes part of an operation working with the Soviets despite his long history with them against none other than resurgent Nazi forces, alongside a group of agents with whom he shares mutual distrust as he pieces toge ...more
Kost As
Jul 30, 2016 Kost As rated it liked it
Καλούλι... Μέχρι εκεί... Δεν έχει πολλές σελίδες, αλλά άργησα πολύ να το τελειώσω... Θες επειδή έχει αρκετά μπερδεμένη πλοκή, θες επειδή εκτυλίσσεται σχεδόν εξολοκλήρου στον Αρκτικό Κύκλο, ενώ εδώ έχουμε καλοκαιράκι;; Πάντως δε μπόρεσα να μπω μέσα στο βιβλίο! Οι χαρακτήρες, εντωμεταξύ, δε με ενθουσίασαν! Νομίζω ότι αυτό που σου διατηρεί το ενδιαφέρον είναι οι πολλές ανατροπές! Ίσως υπερβολικά πολλές για το μικρό μέγεθος του βιβλίου! Αλλά "έτσι είναι ο κόσμος των κατασκόπων" θα μου πεις... Χάρηκα ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Brian rated it did not like it
* 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 es
Jan 04, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm tempted to give less than 3 stars but I won't. It is not a bad book but its just OK. My problem is this - I have read all the original Ian Fleming Bond books over the last 30-some years, some a couple of times or more. So I have an expectation of what I should get with James Bond and Icebreaker didn't meet those expectations. it started off OK although I found the premise to be a bit of a stretch. i was willing to accept it though because there have been a lot of 007 tales by this point, bot ...more
Peter O'Brien
"my trouble is that von Gloda's the first real enemy agaignst whom I've had to pit my wits at long range. Most of my assignments allow me to get close; to know the man I'm dealing with. Von Gloda never let me come near." - James Bond, page 223.

As with Gloda, Gardner has the same advantage over Bond, that ultimately ends up being a disadvantage for the reader. The above quote really does encapsulate what is wrong with Gardner's approach to Bond and why his Bond novels are often a huge disappointm
Brian Gilchrist
I'd echo the sentiment that the number of double, triple, quadruple crosses seems dizzying. I also find the believability of Bond's reaction to these double crosses a bit of a stretch. One moment he believes them without question, the next he's convinced they're on the other side and five minutes later he trusts them completely. the location and suobject us good, but it seemed like the author trotted to stuff to many plot twists into this story
May 23, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
the best of the Gardener books I have read so far..but as I have only read four it maybe that there is a hidden gem there yet.
I quite liked the idea of Bond being pitted against a neo Nazi network and as the Nazis always provide a clear evil within the fiction in real was good to have them as the common enemy rather than a corrupt billionaire industrialist...or the commies...though they too feature...
Nazi iconography..the black and dark uniforms..deaths head skulls and such p
Andrew Kunka
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas Strömquist
Gardner's third Bond book is an OK thriller and entry into the series. In the combat of a newly risen old nazi in neo-nazi clothes, a number of ill-matched security services from different countries team up in northern Finland. Now it's only down to figuring out who is friend and who is enemy. These revelations, however, went a bit too long, when the doubles turned triples and back again, it got a bit too much I think. Also, even though it is a very good move to keep a lot of the goings on withi ...more
Nov 06, 2013 James rated it liked it
When I first read Icebreaker as a child, I was hugely disappointed. My problem was that there just way too many double and triple crosses, with characters swapping identities and allegiances. Reading it now, I get a very different impression. Maybe because I know the twists that will occur. However, the book is still the weakest of the three initial Gardner continuation novels, but not for the reasons that annoyed me as a bushy tailed youngster.

Firstly, Bond slips into a 1960s Boysie Oakes style
Sep 09, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
Gardner should apparently be a good Fleming-substitute, but not quite. He uses Bond and the other usual characters as they are, without adding interesting bits to them, so if Bond was created by Gardner, he would not quite have the charisma Fleming's Bond has. This would be like someone else than Lustbader trying to write as Ludlum - they can copy the style, but it's the mood of writing that lacks in the fond. Ludlum always wrote when he was furious about something, that's when the best stories ...more
Steve Mitchell
Aug 02, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it really liked it
This could have been Gardener's best addition to the Bond canon; with lots of double crosses and even triple crosses, a well worked out attempt to kill Bond using four snow ploughs and the best torture scene since Casino Royale. The one let down is the lazy use of Nazis rising again as the main plot device; something Fleming had already done with the third novel or the series: Moonraker.
The National Socialist Action Army has carried out a number of terrorist atrocities against communist targets
Bob Garrett
A Nazi terrorist organization has emerged, and it’s murdering communists with Soviet weapons. The intelligence community believes that the weapons are being smuggled across the Soviet border to Finland. James Bond heads to the Arctic Circle and joins an international task force, with agents from the KGB, the CIA and Mossad. Each agent seems to have a different agenda. Whom can Bond trust…and what’s really going on?

In some ways, this is a difficult novel to assess. There’s good, and there’s bad.
Jan 19, 2016 Kinksrock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gardner's best contribution to the Bond series so far. This one is a real spy novel in the tradition of "From Russia, With Love", as Bond is up against Nazis and former SMERSH agents, and Bond has no idea whom he can trust (and we the reader don't know either). It can get confusing as the characters' loyalties seem to shift again and again, but that's part of the fun. Also, Gardner managed to hold it together better in the third act than in his first two Bond novels.
Rodrigo González
Dec 10, 2015 Rodrigo González rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read "License Renewed" I thought 'well, this is disappointing, no more James Bond novels for me', then I gave "For Special Services" an opportunity and I was glad to do so because it was way better tan the first Gardner's Bond novel, now Icebreaker is keeping the good pace from FSS, it was a really fun book with lots of twists every freaking page, the pace is like a mistery movie, every character could be the bad guy (or girl), there were more crosses and double crosses than a Catholic ch ...more
Jason Fella
Aug 09, 2013 Jason Fella rated it liked it
I've read four of Gardner's other Bond novels and they are usually quite good. This one just felt different all around, and it left me disappointed overall. As some of the other reviewers have mentioned, (Possible Spoiler) there was a LOT of double and triple-crosses going on, and by the end of the book it was just getting to be too much, even for a Bond novel. On top of that, Gardner seems to get overly descriptive in everything he explains in this book: the exact clothes the characters are wea ...more
Mike MacDee
Oct 26, 2015 Mike MacDee rated it really liked it
This is what The Eiger Sanction would have been like if it weren't boring. The abundance of double- and triple-crosses and multiple identities starts to wear out its welcome near the end of the book, and the villain sadly doesn't get much of a chance to shine, but apart from that it's a great read that should satisfy most fans of spy pulp.
Wilde Sky
Nov 01, 2014 Wilde Sky rated it liked it
A British secret service agent is sent to investigate the origin of weapons used by a Neo-Nazi group.

I felt this book was just ‘so-so’, for me it never captured the harsh / immediate nature of the original spy stories - it had far too much double crossing and not enough plot.

My real rating is 2.5.
Aug 15, 2015 Nicolas rated it liked it
Shelves: spy
This book feels like m night Shyamalan's later work. Trying to throw in twists just for the sake of a twist rather than to serve the story. Basically Bond is the only character not working a double or triple cross. It gets tiring by the end.
Jun 29, 2016 Roy rated it liked it
Gardners 3rd original Bond novel , more of an Alister Mcclain thriller than a Fleming style Bond , I did enjoy the opening chapters where 007 is in a freezing Finland meeting an old flame .
Oct 19, 2010 J.D. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the John Gardner Bonds I've read, and I really wanted to like it. But something about it just seemed a little off to me. Gardner never seems to really engage with the character of Bond or make him seem like someone you'd care about if he wasn't already an icon. It's like he took a Bond action figure (complete with lovingly detailed accessories) and moved it through the plot. The other characters are no better.

The plot itself was exciting enough, which probably should have b
Jan 05, 2016 Ann rated it liked it
Dated but interesting to read a novel behind something usually captured very vividly on screen.
Douglas Wruck
May 11, 2014 Douglas Wruck rated it really liked it
I liked the book, I felt it was well written, with a lot of very good plot twists. if you enjoy James Bond novels, or classic spy novels, I would recommend it.
Gary Barrentine
May 07, 2015 Gary Barrentine rated it really liked it
Good paced adventure with everyone's favorite spy-007.
Small hardcover
Dec 30, 2014 Aju rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
typical Bond
Nov 09, 2013 Lara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really did not enjoy this at all! I found there was so much unecessary description which didn't add anything to the story. There were a few well written action scenes, but overall found the plot line a bit boring and underwhelming!
Not sure if my expectations were too high or whether just got too much of the film plots in my head. Think I will give an Ian Fleming Bond a go at some point to see whether just made a poor book choice, or reading a bond book is just going to work with being a bon fi
I remember reading some Bonds by Gardner as a young teenager and this was probably the first one because of the name; in Finland it was named "Mission in Finland". (I can't remember the others, they were all the same.) It didn't leave a lasting impression but I guess it wasn't that bad, either. Just... average.

Hmm... I wonder was it this book whose author thanked Finns for getting his car out of a ditch, twice. The second time they were the border guards at the Russian border.
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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
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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)
  • 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)
  • Licence to Kill (John Gardner's Bond, #9)
  • Brokenclaw (John Gardner's Bond, #10)
  • The Man from Barbarossa (John Gardner's Bond, #11)

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