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Colonel Sun: James Bond 007

(James Bond - Extended Series #15)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,209 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Lunch at Scott's, a quiet game of golf, a routine social call on his chief M, convalescing in his Regency house in Berkshire - the life of secret agent James Bond has begun to fall into a pattern that threatens complacency … until the sunny afternoon when M is kidnapped and his house staff savagely murdered. The action ricochets across the globe to a volcanic Greek island ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 15th 2015 by Vintage Classics (first published March 28th 1968)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,209 ratings  ·  147 reviews


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F.R.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was all that fuss the other year about Sebastian Faulks, an actual literary author (unlike John Gardner or Raymond Benson) being hired to write a James Bond novel. Wasn't it incredible? Proof of the high esteem in which Fleming's writing is held.

But ignored in all the coverage was that the Fleming estate had hired a literary author to write a James Bond novel before. It might say Robert Markham on the front of this novel, but step forward Mr Kingsley Amis.

One of the things about books like
...more
Karl
Mar 28, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I also own this in another version, that I read many years ago published as "Colonel Sun (James Bond - Extended Series #15)" by Robert Markham.
Bill
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Lost a star for the anti-Chinese racism.
James
Bond is dead, long live Bond! With Ian Fleming no longer in a position to write Bond, the estate of Fleming approached Kingsley Amis to continue the story with a new novel. Rumoured to have completed Fleming's last novel, The Man With the Golden Gun, Amis was maybe the natural choice.

And to be honest, it's pretty good. Much slower paced than a Fleming at his best, this novel never really seems to quite hit the level of excitement or anticipation that it was presumably aiming for. M has been kidn
...more
Chris
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I'd say 2.5 stars, but I can't quite give it 3.

The plot is somewhat uninspired. Not bad, just typical Bond and nothing too intriguing in the story. Not bad and not a waste of time, though with the audio I did find my mind wandering on occasion. The villain, Colonel Sun, is fairly typical for an old-school Bond villain, but he's kinda cool. He has a couple of sidekick sultry gorgeous women and an interesting torture technique that made things a little interesting.

The Bond girl, Ariadne, was pret
...more
Brad Lyerla
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Markham is a pen name for Kingsley Amis, who was commissioned by Ian Fleming's estate to write this James Bond sequel.

If you like Bond, then you will like COLONEL SUN. It offers everything one expects in a Bond novel. And yet it is better than the average Bond book. That is because Amis is a more polished author than Fleming or Gardner. His story follows the Bond formula, but his prose is better than Fleming's or Gardner's. And that is nice.
Christian Laforet
Well, that was a book about James Bond alright. It certainly had all the ingredients. Bond (obviously), M, attractive women (one of which Bond beds several times), exotic locations, and an evil villain. Yup, it was most certainly a James Bond book. That’s all. Goodbye.

...What? Oh, you want more. Okay. Well, you asked for it.

It wasn’t very good. See ya.





…Still here?? Jeez, what is this? An interrogation? Ugh, fine. I really didn’t want to talk at length about this book because I didn’t much enjo
...more
Alexander McNabb
Apr 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where do I start?

Because Kindles let you do crazy stuff like this, I bought all of Fleming's Bond books and binge-read them. This was interesting as an exercise as it revealed Fleming's preoccupations, booze, misogyny and bigotry very much included. They bear down on the reader with considerable weight. You stagger away from the experience with the impression that Ian Fleming was a really unpleasant wee man who had discovered, much as had Elizabeth David, the rewards of offering escapism to the
...more
C.T. Phipps
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of the James Bond franchise, anyone who has read this blog will know that. It's one of my goals to eventually do a review of all of the movies up until Spectre. I'm not just a fan of the movies, though, but also the books. Well, sort of. I equivocate there because the novels have a wonderful panache to them which directly led to the films and a deep brooding atmosphere. They're also err, really racist at times.

Ian Fleming gets some defense for being a "man of his time" (and quit
...more
Edward Waverley
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can we possibly go wrong when Kingsley Amis takes his best crack at writing his own 007 story? The Kinger's rendition fits ably into the Fleming canon. To answer your other question, no, I have no intention of moving along to read any of the other continuation novels, none of which were written by Amis, and none of which garnered his approval. There was a long silence between the publication of Colonel Sun in 1968 and License Renewed by John Gardner in 1981. If Amis' rejection of Gardner's b ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in July 1998.

I don't think that the existence of this book is terribly well-known. It's a James Bond book written in the late sixties, and is not by either Ian Fleming or John Gardner, who was licensed to continue the series by the Fleming estate. In fact, Robert Markham is a pseudonym used by Kingsley Amis, of all people, a big fan of Ian Fleming.

Bond goes to meet M at his home in Surrey, and is surprised there by a gang of thugs who have kidnapped M and wan
...more
Mark
With the death of Ian Fleming the creator of the James Bond novels and the great succes of the first three Sean Connery 007 movies there as a great thirst for more James Bond stories and the inheritors of Flemings legacy came up with the plan to ask great writers to write new books and they would all be known by the writers nam Robert Markham. In this first book of a planned new series we find the writer Kingsley Amis who took up this cloak.

This story is about the kidnapping of M and the attemp
...more
Gary M.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How though does Colonel Sun stand up to Fleming, and does it deserve its place in the Bond canon? The answers to these questions are, "very well", and "certainly."

The book starts off in gentle fashion, with Bond reflecting on his life while he plays a round of golf with Bill Tanner - we discover that the story takes place the year after the events in, The Man with the Golden Gun. Bond has fully recovered from the bullet Scaramanga put into his abdomen.

However this quiet reflective period is simp
...more
Neil
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Findley
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
The first Bond novel not written by Fleming. Markham (Amis) rightly didn't try to do a Fleming pastiche, but stayed with what makes Bond unique and then told his own story. It's effective, ties right into the world at that time, and a worthy addition to the canon.

Buy it! Read it!
Brian
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kingsley Amis, writing as Robert Markham, produced this, the first James Bond book written after Ian Fleming's death in 1964. Published in 1968, it sent the franchise into a 13-year coma, until John Gardner's License Renewed in 1981.

All right, it isn't that bad. But it isn't that good, either.

It is, in fact, superior to Gardner's early books (I haven't read them all) both in terms of the quality of the writing and in not having been influenced by the movies, with all that technological "gimcrack
...more
Mike
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I read all of the Fleming books years ago, when I worked in the closed stacks of a major metropolitan public library. Yes, it's true I can file in Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress :-)

Anyway, for those who don't have a clue, most of the Bond movies are only "loosely" modeled on the books. Hey, it was a big deal back in the 60's that "Goldfinger" was the first instance of an industrial laser (even if it was a fake) in a major motion picture. ("Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expec
...more
Ben
In 1968, four years after Fleming's death, Amis penned what was to become the first of many 'Bond continuation novels'.

Colonel Sun is set immediately after the events of the final Fleming Bond novel, The Man With The Golden Gun, and clearly Amis, who'd already published two Bond-related works, knew his Bond lore.

At times he captures something of Fleming's style but for the most part Colonel Sun is a failure. It's far too talky, the villain is pale and lifeless, there isn't enough action, the plo
...more
Richard Gray
This review originally appeared on The Reel Bits as part of the 007 Case Files series.

Ian Fleming was dead: to begin with. There was no doubt about that. Yet his most famous creation has survived him by over half a century in film and print. COLONEL SUN was the first chapter in that renewed legacy. It could have easily been the last.

The 1968 release came at a time of transition for 007. Sean Connery had tired of playing the role on screen, and the hunt was on for a new James Bond. After Gildrose
...more
Helen Cooley
The first Bond novel written after Ian Fleming's death. This was a decent enough read, all the usual things you'd expect were present (girl, travel, foreign villains with deadly schemes, etc). There just wasn't a spark of excitement in reading this one for me, it felt like Fleming going through the motions - ie, the new author being perhaps a little to careful to follow formula and not creating anything too surprising or unexpectedly exciting. The villain Colonel Sun didn't grab me as being memo ...more
Julie
Kingsley Amis continuing the Bond series; the quality of the prose as one would expect from a writer of Amis's caliber. It's been years since I read any of the Fleming novels, but this one continues his themes and style, if not his flair for theatrics - I particularly liked a scene near the end where Bond muses over the fact that he hadn't used any of his specialized gadgets. The latest movie with Daniel Craig must have lifted its torture scene at least in part from this book. Fast-paced & t ...more
Mr.Jamie
Feb 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, spies
Lacked the Fleming "sweep." Somewhat interesting plot but there was a lot of violence. I skimmed most of the book because I just couldn't really get into it. I thought Amis' beginning was good and I enjoyed the Quarterdeck sequence a lot. Unfortunately, the novel seemed to lose its momentum as it rolled on. It just goes to show you that nobody does a Bond like Fleming does a Bond.

3/5 Stars
Barry Podob
If you're a Kingsley Amis fan, you'll be disappointed; if you're a James Bond fan, you'll equally disappointed. The formula:Bond in trouble, Bond meets bad guy, Bond meets girl, Bond gets out of trouble, Bond hooks up with girl, Bond gets bad guy just didn't work.
Hunter Williams
Exceeded expectations - Kingsley Amis channels the ghost of Ian Fleming
Craig Andrews
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-bond
This book felt very Bond despite not being written by Fleming. With the exception of a really boring torture scene near the end it was a cracking tale. Recommended to anyone who liked Fleming's Bond.
Randy
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it first came out in paperback. A huge Bond fan, I was delighted someone was continuing the novels. Myself, I rate this one just behind Fleming's books.
Phrodrick
Bottom line first Kingsley Amis writing under the name of Robert Marham has captured the formula and failed to add the variations that might give it life. The result is a legitimate salute to the master but a relatively flat read. I do not think this story would stand alone absent the James Bond Brand. Mr. Amis handles his role as a stand in for the deceased Ian Flemming, but he lacks the pacing and the fails to add in the finer descriptions that can be found in the originals.

In the Original Jam
...more
Monsieurh
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished, owned
My Review of COLONEL SUN by Robert Markham (Kingsley Amis)

Robert Markham is the pseudonym of Sir Kingsley Amis, a famous British novelist, poet, teacher and critic. This is a time warp of a novel. By that I refer to author’s writing style. His choice of plot was ingenious.
Colonel Sun is the first James Bond novel published after Ian Fleming's 1964 death. Before writing the 1968 novel, Amis wrote two other Bond related works, The James Bond Dossier and the The Book of Bond. Colonel Sun focuses o
...more
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
Colonel Sun by Robert Markham is the first novel featuring secret agent James Bond, 007, not written by Ian Fleming. Robert Markham is actually the pseudonym of Kingsley Amis, the book was published six years after the death of Ian Fleming.

The head of MI6, the British Secret Service, otherwise known as M to Bond fans has been kidnapped right under 007’s nose. Realizing this is a trap, Bond walks right into it at the Aegean Islands.

Bond discovers that Colon Sun, of China’s People’s Liberation Arm
...more
Jack
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reading-list
Having read all of Ian Fleming’s original Bond novels and short stories last year, I’m now starting on the ‘extended series’ of Bond novels, beginning (unsurprisingly) with the first post-Fleming novel - Colonel Sun - written by Kingsley Amis under the pseudonym Robert Markham.

Amis’s intention is explicitly to write a continuity novel - revisiting Fleming’s Bond at a time when the big screen 007 was moving away from the character’s original inspiration.

And that is very much what you get with Co
...more
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Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than twenty novels, three collections of poetry, short stories, radio and television scripts, and books of social and literary criticism. He fathered the English novelist Martin Amis.

Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, Wandsworth, Couty of London (now South London), England, the son of William Robert Am
...more

Other books in the series

James Bond - Extended Series (1 - 10 of 48 books)
  • Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
  • Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)
  • Moonraker (James Bond, #3)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond, #4)
  • From Russia With Love (James Bond, #5)
  • Doctor No (James Bond, #6)
  • Goldfinger (James Bond, #7)
  • For Your Eyes Only (James Bond, #8)
  • Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond, #10)