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Devil May Care

(James Bond - Extended Series #44)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  6,222 ratings  ·  527 reviews
Bond is back. With a vengeance.

M has summoned agent 007 to London. It's the swinging Sixties and a flood of narcotics is pouring into Britain. Sinister industrialist Dr Julius Gorner is identified as the source and James Bond is dispatched to investigate.

The trail takes Bond to Paris and then Persia - where the beautiful and enigmatic twins Scarlett and Poppy lead him to G
Paperback, 394 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by Penguin (first published 2008)
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3.43  · 
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 ·  6,222 ratings  ·  527 reviews

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Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
This James Bond novel has been penned by Sebastian Faulks. I had heard about his literary novels and was curious to see his version of the iconic British spy. I can’t claim to be a die- hard fan of the James Bond series, but I do enjoy watching the movies and reading the novels.

It is the swinging sixties. Industrialist Dr. Julius Gorner, consumed by his hatred for Britain, is flooding it with narcotics. But, his animus won’t stop at that. He has something more devastating in his mind (he has to!
Grace Tjan
First, I have a confession to make: I’ve never read anything by Ian Fleming, or anything by Sebastian Faulks, for that matter. All I know about “the name is Bond, James Bond” I learned from the movies, specifically the ones starring Messrs. Dalton, Brosnan and Craig --- and a couple of half-remembered early 80’s Moore films. It’s not that I’m a particularly ardent fan, but somehow, over the years, I have managed to see more than a half dozen of them (having action-starved boys/men in the house c ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reading this directly after Kingsley Amis’s ‘Colonel Sun’, really does show up the flaws in this other ‘literary’ Bond novel. For a start, Faulks does not get anywhere near as close to Fleming’s voice as Amis did. Whereas ‘Colonel Sun’ could have been mistaken for an actual Ian Fleming novel, this stands about as much chance as Anthony Horowitz’s ‘House of Silk’ does to being mistaken for an actual Conan-Doyle. And part of that might be that whereas Faulks is writing historical fiction (this boo ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some things in life are meant to be experienced in specific formats. For James Bond stories that format is cinematic, at least in this day and age. Meaning that when the original books came out, they must have been great fun, but this pastiche mostly comes across as hopelessly dated. It's only fun to a point to listen to action, it really must be seen. Bond as suave and capable as he is, in audio book form just comes across as a snobbish arrogant dandy with alcoholic tendencies. The book does ha ...more
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the way the cover is worded, "Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming", I assume that Faulks was trying to write a real, Fleming-style Bond book. I think he succeeded - he definitely did his homework. The whole book is peppered with references to Fleming's books, from Bond's wardrobe preference to workout routines to cars to scrambled eggs. The overall plot structure felt pretty authentic, too - he even ends the book similarly to Fleming's. I thought it was thouroughly enjoyable - I'm glad ...more
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first met James Bond as a young teenager recently graduated from children's books and starting to explore the wide world of adult fiction. And of course I fell in love. Who doesn't at 14? Bond became the benchmark by which all heroes should be measured and I lapped up every adventure Ian Fleming had written.

As my literary tastes matured over the years (not to mention my feminist awareness) I began to read more widely, more deeply and more intelligently. Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong was one of ma
Ron Irwin
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very bored people
What can one say? A book that was hyped up beyond belief, a book we all waited for and hoped for, is pretty much a B- if you feel generous, but it is really a C. Yes, lots of good period pieces and it is good to have James back, but the architecture is a mess, the plot lurches back and forth like Bentley needing oil, and certain transgressions have been made here that will have Fleming flip flopping in his grave. Right off the bat: pitchers of martinis (which have to be stirred)? Bonking a 004? ...more
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
A few years ago I read about half of the original Ian Fleming 007 series and generally found them quite enjoyable and different than I had expected based on the film franchise. Don't get me wrong, they're not great literature, but they are ripping yarns that reflect their era and are much darker than one might expect. Since Fleming's death, there have been several writers authorized to continue the franchise (including Kingsley Amis!), but I'd never been that interested in trying any of them. Ho ...more
Apr 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies, bond
Penguin's selection of Sebastian Faulks, author of Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, to write a sequel to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels for the centenary of their creator's birth was perhaps an unusual one, but made the project much more interesting than if it had been given to some modern-day equivalent of the chain-smoking old hack.

Devil May Care is set soon after The Man With The Golden Gun. In this, Fleming's last Bond novel, our hero returns brainwashed from Russia with instructions to kill
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Do you remember that classic line from "Goldfinger?"

Bond: Do You expect me to talk?

Goldfinger: No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die!

This novel captured the feel of the old original Ian Fleming "cold war" bond that other writers have attempted to capture without much success. John Gardner's "License Renewed" came close, but in subsequent novels Gardner seemed to rejoice not in true Bond action, but rather in Bond's sexual escapades, turning Bond into something of a sexual gymnast rather than a su
Richard Barnes
Sebastian Faulks does Fleming by numbers. Deformed supervillain, grotesque henchman, exotic locations, lots of detail about high-end wining, dining and dressing, beautiful girl and Bond, James Bond.

At the start I loved this - Faulks writes it as a straight follow up to Fleming's last Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun. Faulks writes very much as Fleming did and it was great fun to go back to that style and enjoy Bond the literary character as opposed to the movie version (which I also love,
Nick Duretta
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sticks a little too close to the Bond formula at times (nasty villain intent on world domination, improbably narrow escapes, sexy female companion), but mostly it's a very satisfying read. I admire Faulks' other novels and he does a fine job with this one; very much an homage to Ian Fleming. I like the fact that it is set in the same timeframe (early 1960s) as the classic Fleming novels; the Cold War tensions provide a nice background, and the Russian scenes are particularly effective. The ...more
Tom Tischler
Once again 007 is called out of retirement by M. A Dr. Julius Gorner a powerful crazed
pharmaceutical magnate whose wealth is exceeded only by his greed has taken a
disquieting interest in opiate derivatives both legal and illegal. A shapely accomplice by
the name of Scarlett Papava shows up to help 007 and he is going to need her in a
struggle with his most dangerous adversary yet as a chain of events threatens to lead to a
global catastrophe. This is book 36 in the James Bond Series and it's a t

This book was... ok.

I am a fan of James Bond films, but I had never read any of Ian Fleming books, so I can compare Sebastian Faulks writing with Flemings.

With the films Im used to an ongoing- craizy- thrilling- action, with a lot of going on in the backstage and a cohese story. This book was quite boring sometimes, there were some action, but not enough to make me love it.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Supposedly, a James bond novel, but James Bond is wholly absent from this novel. I don't know who this guy calling himself James Bond is, but he is definitely not Ian Fleming's creation.

I got so mad, I quit at page 50.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot better than I was expecting. Typical Bond so I definitely had to suspend belief but it was a very enjoyable read.
Oct 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bryan Waters
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the Bond series and am fan of Ian Fleming. Sebastian did such a phenomenal job at recreating the Bond mystique that I was hooked from the beginning. The writing style was smooth enough that I would lose track of the mechanical act of reading and become immersed in the story.

But I'm confused. Maybe i'm making too much of it but the novel is set during the days of the Vietnam war and there are quite a few references to Tehran being in Persia with not a single reference to Iran. Perhaps thi
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bond fans
This book is the first new adult James Bond novel in a few years. I've been a Bond fan for a long time and have read all the novels by other authors.
I didn't have the problems some critics seemed to have with this one.
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Sometimes I pickup a book because I want to extend my universe of new stories about familiar or well-loved characters. When an author writes about characters that another created the results can be very "uneven". Probably the most consistently successful attempts are true collaborations (two or more authors writing in one novel) or a "shared universe" situation (where authors define different characters who live and interact in the same world). But for the ordinary pastiche the quality depends s ...more
Author Faulks has produced a 2008 one-off addition to the James Bond series. A villain and international skullduggery in the spirit of series creator Ian Fleming. A tennis match between the Julius Gorner and Bond that is reminiscent of his high stakes Baccarat with "Le Chiffre" in Casino Royale (1953), bridge with Hugo Drax in Moonraker (1955), canasta and golf with Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1959), and chemin de fer with Largo in Thunderball (1961). The feel of the novel is authentic but t ...more
Nick Guzan
Devil May Care continues the 007 saga in the tradition of Ian Fleming, for better or worse, though this dedication to the original Bond author comes across a bit too much like fanfic rather than a consistent voice at times. To an unnecessarily heavy degree, it also continues the rather unhealthy cultural attitudes that characterized Fleming's writing in the '50s and '60s to the point where the characters' rather overt racism distracts from the otherwise engaging narrative.

That said, Sebastian F
On the whole, satisfying. Faulks starts in the mid-60s, directly after The Man With the Golden Gun. Iran makes a new geographical setting for 007. And the whole 004 plot thread is, at least, somewhat different. All the basics are in place—crusty M, staunch Bill Tanner, loyal Moneypenny—and Felix Leiter gets a good share of the action, as does Rene Mathis. The femme fatale is delivered with more than a twist.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Ian Fleming, the British writer who created the character of James Bond. What better way to celebrate than to contract a respected British writer of historical, WWII-era novels to concoct a new Bond tale, set in 1967, immediately after Fleming's last, posthumously published Bond book, The Man with the Golden Gun?


You will note that I did not give any plot description in the above premise. There are two rea
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Having read a lot of James Bond novels by various authors such as John Gardner and Raymond Benson, I wondered what Sebastian Faulks’ approach would be like, especially since his publisher boldly billed him as “Writing as Ian Fleming.” What I really like about “this” Bond novelist is that he takes the reader back to the middle of the Cold War. Other successors to the Fleming legacy have updated the super spy into the modern era much like Daniel Craig updated the movie legacy from Sean Connery’s d ...more
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As others have pointed out, Sebastian Faulks is the 4th author to carry on the Bond series since Fleming died: Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and now Faulks. Gardner's novels had a character named James Bond, but the style was all wrong. Benson was closer, but still not quite right. Faulks has managed to capture much of the "Fleming Sweep" and style and may very well turn into the best "continuer" of the series. He shows great promise.

The best aspect of "Devil May Care" is the deci
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks takes place about two years after the events that Ian Fleming wrote about in The Man With the Golden Gun. Faulks's style is pretty close to Fleming's; he even manages to get in some ridiculous plot devices with gaping holes that really do not make sense. He also manages to capture Fleming's brilliant prose style that made the reader eager to turn every page and not dwell on how silly things were until the end. (Fleming and Faulks both started life ...more
Mark Ayre
James Bond is a British institution.

He’s up there with Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who and Karl Pilkington.

As such, every new release tends to come with high expectations.

Not so with me.

As a lifelong fan of the England football team, I’ve learned to douse any high hopes with those things I love the most.

They say if you have low expectation, you’ll never be disappointed. This is nonsense, of course. But while you will be disappointment, at least you won’t be surprised.

So, I went into Devil May Care w
M.F. Soriano
I've never been a fan of James Bond movies, but I found this book out on the street and read it out of curiosity. I wanted to get a glimpse of James Bond on paper, in hopes of learning a bit about why he's such a well-loved character. This book didn't give me that glimpse. Sebastian Faulks puts an honest effort into capturing the spirit of Bond's original author Ian Fleming, but DEVIL MAY CARE felt largely uninspired, and unexciting. The action scenes were decent, and the Bond Faulks gives us fe ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll start off by saying here that I’ve read every authorized 007 book ever written from Ian Fleming to John Gardner to Raymond Benson to Sebastian Faulks….with the exception of Colonel Sun (recently ordered) by Kinglsey Amis. Devil May Care is the latest in this distinguished long line of Bond thrillers. I must point out now that Bond books should always be written by an Englishman (Fleming estate, are you listening?). A British gentleman exudes charm and mystery in a way that an American man n ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Ian Fleming 3 11 Feb 17, 2019 04:10AM  

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Sebastian Faulks was born in 1953, and grew up in Newbury, the son of a judge and a repertory actress. He attended Wellington College and studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, although he didn’t enjoy attending either institution. Cambridge in the 70s was still quite male-dominated, and he says that you had to cycle about 5 miles to meet a girl. He was the first literary editor of “The Independe ...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)