Read License Renewed by JohnGardner Online


In License Renewed, the most famous secret agent in the world pits his nerve and cunning against a dangerously deranged opponent – one prepared to sacrifice most of the Western world to prove that only he can make it safe from accidental holocaust. As the seconds tick away on the valued Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the world comes nearer this ironic annihilation; Bond comes neaIn License Renewed, the most famous secret agent in the world pits his nerve and cunning against a dangerously deranged opponent – one prepared to sacrifice most of the Western world to prove that only he can make it safe from accidental holocaust. As the seconds tick away on the valued Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the world comes nearer this ironic annihilation; Bond comes nearer a frightful death and ever nearer Miss Lavender Peacock....

Title : License Renewed
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399901188
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 285 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

License Renewed Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-06-09 07:27

    3.0 to 3.5 stars. I remember reading this when I was around 13 and a big James Bond fan. This was the first original Bond story I ever read and the first by John Gardner (who went on to write 12 or 13 more). A good, solid story the captures the essence of Bond while updating his outlook to be more in line with modern thinking.

  • Brian
    2019-06-08 08:36

    * The first Gardner Bond book.* In his Acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, Gardner tells us that all of the "hardware" used by Bond in the book is genuine and available one way or another. He then goes on to tell us that that used by Bond's adversary, Anton Murik, is not. This, I think, sets a broader tone, right at the outset: Gardner's books are going to try to tread a middle ground between Fleming's Bond and Movie Bond. It's a dicey proposition.* But first, from Gardner himself: "I described to the Gildrose Board how I wanted to put Bond to sleep where Fleming had left him in the sixties, waking him up now in the 80s having made sure he had not aged, but had accumulated modern thinking on the question of Intelligence and Security matters. Most of all I wanted him to have operational know-how: the reality of correct tradecraft and modern gee-whiz technology." Which would seem to leave a gap of about 16 years (from The Man With the Golden Gun [1965] to License Renewed [1981]). It isn't clear from this book (or the quotation above) how Gardner handles the gap, but Wikipedia opines that, "due to the timeframe change," the Gardner series "suggests" that Bond's earlier adventures took place not in the 50s and 60s, but rather in the 60s and 70s. Can it be that Gardner, during the course of 14 novels, never spells this out?* This, of course, is another thing: 14 novels. More even than Fleming wrote. And starting with a character in his very late thirties, at best. (Indeed, Bond is already noting, in this book, a few gray hairs.) Just how old is he going to get?* Well, what were the alternatives? "Period" novels from only a decade and a half earlier? Time travel? What else could Gardner do? I'll tell you. He could have created a new Bond; that is, a completely separate series with the character but not the history of Fleming's books. License Renewed could have become License Granted, and away we'd go with a young James Bond and nothing but blue skies ahead.* But he didn't, so we have what we have, and comparisons between the two, instead of being largely moot, are relevant. And based on this first book, those comparisons do not redound to Gardner's credit.* Not that it's a bad book; it isn't. It is, however, a shade tentative, which we might expect, and a bit slack, which we wouldn't. Gardner's prose isn't as tight as Fleming's, and neither is Bond. Oh, he's plenty tough, but he's not as hardboiled.* At the same time, and this brings me back to where I started, Bond here tips toward the superman of the movies. M's line that if there's anyone who can pull off his latest mission, it's Bond, smacks more of the movies than Fleming's books. Bond himself seems to have fewer doubts about his superiority.* Then there's that "gee-whiz technology" that Gardner mentions. Bond is here kitted out with a great deal of hardware--on his person, in his luggage, and in his specially modified Saab. What Gardner doesn't understand is that, to some extent, technology makes the man. The Bond of all this gimcrackery isn't the old-fashioned Bond of the novels (even if, at the time, he was cutting-edge). Finding him curled up on his comfy Sleepcentre bed, intently listening in to one of Murik's clandestine meetings on his fancy surveillance hardware is, I'm afraid, not the modern equivalent of Bond peering at Russians through a periscope in a dank, rat-infested tunnel beneath the streets of Istanbul. Bond has become the oxymoron of the films: soft, yet somehow infinitely superior to his enemies.* Still, in terms of the plot, it isn't technology that kills credibility here, it's the plan itself. I won't say more than that it involves the simultaneous assault on several nuclear power plants. I don't need to say more. It's the same as saying that Goldfinger's plan was to rob Fort Knox. It's ridiculous, unworkable, and never believable.* But I liked the book. Go figure. I didn't like it a lot (for these and other reasons), but I found it enjoyable. Partly, I suppose, for the fun of comparing it to Fleming's work. And partly because of Fleming's genius: after all, he created a character so beloved that this second series by another author makes sense, a character so transcendent that not even the film industry could kill him.

  • Manny
    2019-06-08 10:33

    Bond has been invited home for dinner by Q's attractive female assistant, a committed vegetarian. As they're sipping their drinks, he makes amorous advances. "My chick-pea casserole will dry out!" she protests, pushing him away."Well, we wouldn't want that drying out," says Bond.How come I never think of these great lines until it's too late? No wonder Bond gets all the girls.

  • Paul
    2019-05-31 03:24

    When I saw this on the shelf, I was pleased that someone had taken up Ian Fleming's mantle and continued the Bond adventures. I guess I've been out of it for a while, since the book was published in 1981. Gardner writes well and offers and a quick, engaging action story. Unfortunately, it has not stood up well to the test of time. The cold war is over, the futuristic gadgets look stone-age, and men and women have re-defined how they interact.

  • Matt
    2019-06-02 08:11

    Not as good as many of the Bond books, this one was still fun to read. The plot line kept me interested and the fight scenes, although hard to write well, were still good. Not to spoil the story, but there's a big Scottish henchman named 'Caber' that has a big role in the story and in my mind I kept seeing "Fat Bastard" from the Austin Powers movies. Whenever he spoke it was in FBs voice. I kept thinking to myself, "so this is where they got the idea of that 'Fat Bastard' for the movie!"

  • C.T. Phipps
    2019-06-11 07:36

    The James Bond Continuation Novels are, like many of those stories, something of a red-headed stepchild to the franchise. For James Bond purists, there's actually two groups with those who love the books and those who love the movies with a decent-but-not-huge overlap. Neither group has much regard for the James Bond continuation novels which were done by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and a series of others thereafter. I, on the other hand, love the James Bond Continuation Novels. Especially John Gardner. John Gardner isn't as good an author as Ian Fleming, I don't think it's a particularly controversial to say. He tended to rely on stock villains like Nazi Remnants, the family of deceased enemies, and SMERSH despite moving Bond into the Eighties. His books very much read like original adventures of the genteel Roger Moore Bond, if a little more serious, than Fleming's urbane thug. John Gardner's Bond could also be played by Pierce Bronsen or Lazenby but is far and removed from Dalton, Craig, and Connery. They're also a lot of fun. No, seriously, the Gardner books are exactly the kind of book you want to pick up if you want to shut off your mind and enjoy some literary candy. This is exemplified in the first novel of his mammoth sixteen book series which actually means he wrote more James Bond books than Ian Fleming himself. It's a tragedy John Gardner died in 2007 as I very much would have liked to have contacted him to let him know how much I enjoyed his work. The premise of License Renewed is as over-the-top as a Bond novel reviving the literary series should be. Anton Murik, a Scottish Earl/fashion design/nuclear physicist (!), is working with international terrorist Franco as part of a grand scheme to take control of eight nuclear power plants in order to blackmail the world for billions. To make this plan even more over-the-top than it already is, Anton isn't planning to use the fortune this generates to live like Croesus but to build his own nuclear power plant to show the scientific establishment he's the smartest physicist there is. Wow. That is ridiculous. But it works! At least for me. James Bond, meanwhile, has been out of the assassination game for ten years. This is meant to show the sliding time-scale from when the last novel was printed (actually twelve years with Colonel Sun) while ignoring Bond would now be in his sixties. Much like Spiderman, James Bond is magically in his thirties forever and cheerfully returns to service in the British government. M wants Bond to investigate Anton Murik due to the less-than-effective master of disguise Franco's frequent visits to his castle in the Scottish highlands. Anton Murik has a beautiful mistress and even more beautiful ward (who resembles a young Lauren Bacall), the latter of whom is named Lavender Peacock but goes by the name Dilly. Gardner handwaves the fact MI5 rather than MI6 should be investigating Murik as a British citizen but this is really the least of the elements I'm worried about. Bond persuades Anton Murik to believe he's a professional assassin after displaying some strong morals in returning a highly expensive necklace and then our villain helpfully reveals his entire plan to our hero. Bond turns down an opportunity to sleep with Anton's mistress, which confuses me but I suspect is due to Gardner believing it would be inappropriate for Bond to have sex with both mother as well as fosterchild. You know, despite Bond being Bond. There's a big huge Scottish wrestler as Murik's henchmen, a subplot involving bastardry, and other hijinks before Bond saves the day. The book is gleefully serious about its premise with this being portrayed as the kind of world where this sort of thing is a legitimate threat. I like the unusual locations like a castle, a dungeon, the town of Perignan in France, and the fashion show which is the heart of Murik's evil plan for Lavender. Bond is a bit too gentlemanly and the plot contrivances stack up but it feels like a decent enough literary yarn that I would have enjoyed it had it been a movie. I love this book for the same reasons I love A View to a Kill (which, notably, took several of its plot elements from License Renewed). It's ridiculous silly fun and enjoyable from start to finish. It was the start of Gardner's own mini-canon and I have to give him credit for telling an enjoyable over-the-top yarn.10/10

  • James
    2019-06-10 05:17

    James Bond returns after ten years away in this light, but entertaining read, License Renewed. I say License Renewed because I got the American printing, replete with freeways and all the expected mis-spellings, the original British version was called, correctly, Licence Renewed. Bond is called in to assist MI5 and Special Branch with an investigation into a known terrorist who's entered Great Britain. M puts Bond in, undercover, independent of them both, and before you know it tracing a terrorist has led Bond into a mad-scientist scheme that puts the world's nuclear power stations at risk of total meltdown.The Americanisation of my copy seems somewhat apt though as the character of the novel is also somewhat out of kilter with its past. The Bond of John Gardner is much more modern, more confident, more reliant on gadgets – "gee-whizzes" as Gardner would have them (he claims in his introduction to have gone to some lengths to ensure the accuracy of all of Bonds gadgets) – and consequently much less fallible and much less believable (he is also a less cruel Bond which may suit some readers better). In fact, it seems like Gardner may have spent too much time studying the Bond movie canon and not enough on the novel. That said, I guess it's not all bad. Roger Moore (my least favourite Bond actor) was at the height of his Bond run at the time and Gardner's Bond looks positively Daniel Craig next to Moore in For Your Eyes Only which came out the same year.The ten year gap is also odd. Rather than just ignoring it completely, Gardner deliberately explains this away as the British government's attempts to diminish the role of MI6 – M has only managed to keep Bond on in his old role by changing the name of the Double-O division to the Special Services division, leaving Bond as the only remaining 00 agent with a license to kill, but also leaving much less work than Bond really needs to fill his time. However, with this book coming out in 1981, and Colonel Sun having been published in 1968, that actually leaves a gap of 13 years. Gardner appears to be trying to place his book slap into the 80s, and ends up trying to drag the previous books from the 60s into the 70s. I don't understand why he bothered, and I don't understand why having bothered he didn't make the dates actually match up.It's fun though, I raced through it pretty quickly and I definitely enjoyed myself while reading it. But, like Amis, he isn't Fleming, nor is this Fleming's Bond. In fact, Amis was a lot closer. Gardner did manage to write 14 Bond novels though, so hopefully he improves. I'm sure I'll find out.

  • Terry Wilkes
    2019-06-15 07:17

    This book is dreadful. Gardner takes James Bond and removes everything that makes him fun. He drives a SAAB. Gone is the Walther PPK. So too is the action, grappling fight scenes or any sense of menace.The core (the very, very core) of the plot could have worked. Indeed, in some ways, the threatened attack is the same kind that we worry about today: terrorists hijacking and blowing up nuclear power stations.But this is essentially a very ham-fisted hostage situation. All the billionaire behind the plot really wants is money. Which will be in the form of diamonds. Dropped in the ocean. Somewhere.Although the writing is reasonable (which normally would warrant me leaving two stars) it's from John Gardner, not some novice learning how to write so he doesn't really get credit for stringing together a sentence. You expect that from a literary name.Instead you follow insipid scene after scene of non-action. Bond goes to a horse race. He learns how to steal a pearl necklace (Really? A training montage? Is this a Rocky film?). He drives around a bit (but only safely. He's in a SAAB. Ooooh. Racy). He gets let in, even though the villain knows who he is. The reader dies of boredom.Don't bother.Read Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks instead.

  • Kinksrock
    2019-05-21 08:14

    Not too bad a James Bond book. It's not really explained how Bond can still be doing this job at his age (by my calculations, he has to be in his 60s). At least this story is readable, as opposed to the boring and confusing COLONEL SUN (Kingsley Amis's attempt to restart the Bond series). A few criticisms. Bond makes too many cutesy quips, more like the movie James Bond than Ian Fleming's James Bond. The villain, Murik, is a bit too similar to villains we've seen before. He cheats at horse racing like MOONRAKER's Hugo Drax and GOLDFINGER's Auric Goldfinger cheated at cards, he's a genius in nuclear science like Drax was, actually he's a total goofball like Drax, and he's obsessed with having a lordly title like Blofeld was in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.

  • Terence
    2019-05-29 04:18

    My mom liked the thriller/mystery genre so there were a lot of these books hanging around the house. As a rule, I didn't read them but there was a point where I must have been hard up for anything to read and found myself enjoying this book.I knew James Bond entirely from the movies at that point in my life (early teens), and, as the book stuck more closely to that Bond that Fleming's, it was OK. It was an interesting experience when I met Fleming's Bond a couple of decades later.

  • Jeff Dickison
    2019-06-03 08:23

    Not bad, but not especially good either. An attempt to redefine Bonds doesn't go very far as he still is finicky about what he eats, drinks and drives. He also gets to bed a couple of chicks and he gets to kill the mad scientist. Some things never change. Recommended only to Bond cultists.

  • Ira Livingston
    2019-05-21 04:23

    John Gardener's first Bond story, is great by giving you the feel of a huge plot like in Goldfinger, this time dealing with taking over several nuclear plants around the world.But Bond is somewhat different, the character is still tough and foreboding, but now updated in the 1980's he has the modern ideals of the world, not the cold black and white of the Cold War in which he was originally created in.And with the preface note of everything that Bond uses is available either through military or black market means, you see Gardner making an effort to skirt the territory between the literary figure and the film versions.Overall the story is tight, and I plan on continuing the series through all of Gardner's books. However, his style isn't as tight or clear as Fleming. But I look forward to his updated Bond of the 1980-90s.Overall rating of book series:1 - Casino Royale / On Her Majesty' Secret Service 2 - Goldfinger3 - From Russia with Love / License Renewed4 - Live and Let Die5 - Diamonds are Forever / Dr. No6 - Moonraker7 - Colonel Sun8 - Thunderball9 - James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (Wood)10 - You Only Live Twice11 - For Your Eyes Only / Octopussy & The Living Daylights12 - The Man with the Golden Gun13 - The Spy Who Loved Me14 - James Bond and Moonraker (Wood)

  • William
    2019-06-16 04:34

    Having finished all the Fleming 007 novels as well as Amis' Colonel Sun I was ready to jump into the John Gardner titles. I wasn't sure what to expect. Gardner is definitely not Fleming and the new 1980s 007 is much closer to the Bond of the movies than the Bond of Fleming's novels. The book was nevertheless fun to read. Fleming's plots were relatively simple in contrast to the more complicated plots of the movies. Gardner's plot line was much more akin to the latter. Whereas Flemings Bond was gadget-free, Gardner's Bond is fully equipped by a new Q Branch. There were some occasional goofy elements in the plot, but the only notable failing was Bond's Saab 900. I just couldn't picture it.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-05 07:36

    I read this back in the '80s, but not since then. I am only 3 chapters in but sadly have already found two things that made me cringe and one that made me wince.Ok, I thought maybe it was first-time jitters, so I read the second book in the series to give John G a chance to find his feet. But he didn't. I got the twist almost from the off, and I'm not a trained secret agent, so I'm pretty sure Bond wouldn't have been fooled.Also and most importantly, the James I love is a sexist, racist snob. This one pulls his punches. So he isn't James.And don't even get me started on the bloody car.

  • James
    2019-05-28 07:38

    As a kid I was always pretty lucky tracking down books. My aunt ran a second hand book shop and whenever I got hooked on a series, she’d help to find the books I was after. When I was really young, it was the Charlie Brown comic strip books which appealed to me – and she plied me with a great deal of them. But by the time I was nine years old it was James Bond who had grabbed my attention. And I loved those books – even if looking back now, I have to admit I probably didn’t truly understand them all. What does ‘killed with ignominy’ mean anyway?I can’t tell you how much I treasured these books – their covers, the stories within, and even the adverts for other spy stories at the back of the books. On weekends, rather than getting out of bed, I’d select a book at random, flick it open to any old page and start reading, and then keep reading till one of my parents would holler for me to drag my good-for-nuthin’ butt out of bed. (I may be exaggerating slightly there!)But there was a limit, because Ian Fleming only wrote fourteen James Bond books – or more precisely, twelve novels and two collections of short stories (and the rogue Bond story, James Bond in New York which appeared in Thrilling Cities). After a few years my paperbacks were pretty well thumbed and dog-eared – and I began moving on to other things. I had devoured all the written Bond that I could – I so I thought.Rural Australia, back in 1981 wasn’t big on literary news – hell, even top 10 bestseller lists were not that important. My hometown didn’t even have a proper bookshop. The newsagent fulfilled the town’s literary needs with a shelf along the side, and even then, half of that was filled with Mills and Boon books. But it was here that my mother found a copy of John Gardner’s License Renewed – the first new James Bond book in about twelve years. I didn’t even know it had been written. But my eyes must have been wide with delight when my mother presented the book to me. Wow – a new James Bond book!Now at this stage I didn’t know who John Gardner was. I hadn’t even heard of Boysie Oakes. Had I known, I must admit I would have found it curious to see Gardner chosen to be the Bond continuation author, as he had (allegedly) been quite vociferous in his contempt for the Bond character in earlier interviews.Here’s a snippet from Donald McCormick’s Who’s Who in Spy Fiction (1977 Elm Tree Books) in which Gardner opinion of Bond is expressed. NB: I must add here, that while the entry on Gardner does have quotes from the man himself, the passage below is McCormick’s spin on how Gardner viewed Bond. The veracity of the information is open to debate.Like LeCarre, Gardner detested the character of James Bond. (There is little doubt that anti-Bondism actually pumped the necessary adrenalin into the veins of quite a few would-be writers in this period.) While he was proud and happy to be the only full-time drama critic on a weekly newspaper in England, the challenge of a new career as a novelist was accepted with enthusiasm. Though he reacted to the Bond era in much the same way as LeCarre, Gardner evolved his own type of spy story as a send-up of Bondism and the whole game of Intelligence. Where LeCarre evoked gloom and tragedy, Gardner indulged in comedy and laughter. The character of Boysie Oakes was not merely a comic anti-hero, but a positive antidote to Bond.But Gardner did inherit the Bond mantle, and maybe his slightly cynical attitude to the Bond character was a big plus, particularly in this, the first of his many Bond books. There’s a few passages where Gardner attempts to analyze the Bond character and what makes Bond, Bond, and not just another spy pastiche. These explorations are quite successful, and not only flesh out the character, but add a layer to the already established Bond mythos.I think it is fair to say that Gardner wrote for the Roger Moore – James Bond generation. It is obvious he had read and studied his Fleming, but there is also a sense of the cinematic Bond creeping into the stories. There was Bond’s new car, a Saab Turbo – nicknamed ‘the Silver Beast’ which could come straight from the movies and rivaled the Lotus Esprit, which made such an impact around the world when it debuted in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 – only three years earlier. Then there was Q’s new assistant, Anne Riley, nicknamed Q’ute. I know you are groaning, but you’ve got to remember I wasn’t even a teenager when I read this book, so to me, this was gold.But as a teenager, Bond’s seduction of Q’ute (or is it Q’ute’s seduction of Bond?) probably was a bit over my head. Not the sex and seduction stuff, but the psychology of it. Above I mentioned there were passages where Gardner attempted to analyze the Bond character. This is one of them. The seduction takes place on a gun range at headquarters, where Bond is cleaning, dismantling and reassembling a new weapon (a Browning 9mm). Here Bond’s actions have a dual meaning. The gun is a phallic symbol (Gardner even makes an in-joke about the 1970′s Triad Panther Bond book covers – which featured girls sitting astride big guns), and as Bond ‘caresses’ the weapon, it is intended to excite Q’ute. Instead, it has the opposite effect. And in the process shows that Bond cares more about the gun, than he could about any woman. This is re-enforced shortly after with a cold reference to the death of Vesper Lynd in Fleming’s Casino Royale.Onto the story. It appears that MI-5 and Special Branch have a problem with an international terrorist named Franco, who has been secretly meeting with a disgraced nuclear physicist, Anton Murik. Murik apart from being a physicist, is also a wealthy philanthropist, and the Scottish Laird of the Murcaldy. They figure something potentially dangerous is in the offing, and they require some assistance from MI-6. M agrees to help, but chooses to do things his way. He thinks James Bond is the right type of man for a job like this. Bond is not technically 007 in this story, as the double-O section has long since been disbanded, but M still uses Bond as a licenced trouble shooter, and still affectionately refers to him as ’007′.Bond’s mission is to ingratiate himself on Murik, gain his trust and find out what dastardly plot both he and Franco are planning. M briefs Bond thoroughly, not just on Murik, but also on his mistress, Mary-Jane Mashkin, and his ward, Lavender Peacock. And then Bond goes to work, shoehorning his way into Murik’s life.The chapter where Bond ingratiates himself on Murik at Ascot races is a bit muddled. On one hand, the horse race itself echoes Fleming enough that it is damnably readable. But the pick-pocket passage, wherein Bond utilises some time honoured thievery skills to remove a priceless pearl necklace from Murik’s ward, Lavender Peacock is contrived. Even more so, when Bond turns up at Murik’s private box with the pearls, claiming he found them on the floor outside the door. If Murik was in the midst of planning a major terrorist operation and a unknown gentleman shoehorned his way into his life, then surely he would have had him killed. There’d be no games, or tests – which make up the next portion of the novel. It’s a shame in a way, as I said, the raceday, as far as a passage of descriptive Bondian writing was on track (pardon the pun), but then it trotted away from Gardner with unbelievable actions, which are wedged into the story simply to throw the two protagonists together. The scene ends with Bond being invited to join Murik at Murcaldy castle in Scotland. It’s an invitation that Bond gladly accepts.Thankfully once Bond is in Scotland and at Murcaldy castle and a guest of Murik, the story is more cohesive and the actions of the characters make sense – or at least in the Bondian universe.At Murik’s castle, Bond is potentially offer employment with Murik, but first he has to pass a test. And that test involves facing off against Murik’s number one minion, Caber, in a wrestling match. Caber is a bear of a man, and Bond stands little chance in a fair fight, so he uses a gadget supplied by Q’ute, to turn the odds in his favour. Personally, I see this reliance of gadgets a bit of a distraction, and only serves to make the character impotent, but as you’d expect Bond wins the fight, and consequently Murik’s favour.Now a (somewhat) trusted member of Murik’s team, Bond is given a few details of Murik’s plan, which is to hijack several nuclear reactors simultaneously around the globe, and hold the world to ransom. Armed with the information required, Bond simply has to report to M, and his mission is over. Of course, things go wrong, and Bond has to use his wits to save the world (and the girl) once again.Gardner appeared to take on (or was assigned) the task of bridging the literary Bond with the filmic Bond. I can understand why this decision was made, as the films – with the recent mega hit Moonraker – were incredibly popular then, while the popularity of books was beginning to decline (the ’60s ‘spymania’ bubble had well and truly burst by this time). Gardner achieves mixed results with his marrying on the two Bonds, as well as creating a few problems for himself later on in the series – most notably his novelisation for Licence to Kill which incorporated story elements from Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die.The most notable links to the film Bond in Licence Renewed are the initial briefing passage with M – I could almost see Bernard Lee as I read the chapter – and the extrapolation of Q Branch. There’s also a passage where Bond makes his escape from Murik castle in his tricked out Saab, with Murik and his minions on his tail. However, the chase culminates with Bond being forced off the road, to crash, and being rendered unconscious. When Bond awakens he finds himself strapped to a torture table. There isn’t a laser aimed at his genitals, and Murik does expect Bond ‘to talk’ (then ‘die’), but the passage echoes the filmic version of Goldfinger, more than Fleming’s novel of the same name.It’s strange reading this book again after so many years. When I read it as a boy, I can unashamedly say, I loved this book. Now, many years have past, and I have read many more spy books and watched many more spy films, and while I still enjoyed reading Licence Renewed, I see it as a patchwork quilt Bond story, with its disparate patches not quite matching up. John Gardner is not Ian Fleming, but he is a very good writer in his own regard, and each section works on its own, but not placed next to each other. As I have suggested, there are Flemingesque sections, filmic Bond sections, and Gardner’s own, slightly cynical exploration of the Bond character. Outside of the Bond universe, there’s also the legacy of twenty years of popular spy fiction. For example, there’s one passage, where Bond is being interrogated that owes a very large debt to The Berlin/Quiller Memorandum. I can imagine Quiller fans almost being outraged at such a blatant re-appropriation of an incident, that is so (well for me anyway) associated with Quiller, and hijacked for Bond series. With so many different styles taking place, it’s almost remarkable that the book is readable at all. But it is. Very.I still like Licence Renewed, but maybe not with the passion I did as a boy, but I still recommend Gardner to Bond fans, and if you’ve never read any of his books, I suggest you do so, but also do it with an open mind. There is only one Ian Fleming, so if you expect a Fleming book, you’re sure to be disappointed. If you’re after a brisk thriller, in the Bond tradition, then Gardner’s Bond continuation novels aren’t bad. They’re flawed to be sure, but not ‘bad’.

  • Shane Perry
    2019-05-19 10:11

    At first I wasn’t too sure of this one. It started out pretty slow, but, once things really got going...Gardner gives Bond an adventure worthy of many Fleming would have. Though I wouldn’t rank this with some of the better Fleming books, this is an exciting start to a new series for Bond. Gardner updates the spy to the 1980’s, and it works for the most part. Q Branch plays a much bigger role, something that seems inspired by the films. The story here is pretty basic for Bond, but there are some genuinely excited action sequences and moments with a villain that will probably be forgettable in the long run. A fun start and I’m excited to see what else Gardner has up his sleeve.

  • Ria
    2019-05-23 09:37

    An absolutely thrilling tale of James Bond.When Bond is given another mission as usual he heads straight into danger when he runs up against the Laird of Murcaldy, a top nuclear physicist in cahoots with a deadly terrorist intent on issuing a lethal ultimatum to get what he wants but can Bond stop him in time to save the world from a nuclear holocaust...?Brilliantly written and sympathetically done and a wonderful homage and continuation of Ian Fleming's work.A must for all spy / adventure novel fans.

  • Erik Moloney
    2019-06-05 09:11

    Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'.The first of John Gardner's novels featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent.Bond has been assigned to investigate one Dr. Anton Murik, a brilliant nuclear physicist who is thought to have been meeting with a terrorist known as Franco. Together they plan to hijack six nuclear power plants around the world and start a global meltdown, unless Bond can stop them...

  • Mika Harjula
    2019-05-27 07:32

    James Bond 2.0. James focuses on the environment and absorbs his daily routines with a good dose of health awareness. Hardly kills anyone and actually declines a sexual relation. Not a bad book but neither a good one. It has it typical Fleming-rhythm, but all these changes removes the edge, and way too many chuggles. I guess, a two star rating and a modest start by Gardner.

  • Toushiro Hitsugaya
    2019-05-27 03:19

    Es el primer libro que leo del icónico 007 y gusto en términos generales. Sé que es necesario para la historia pero como odio a lo villanos que no matan al protagonista cuando tienen la oportunidad. En serio se ahorrarían tantos problemas.

  • Idiotix
    2019-06-10 06:16


  • Peter O'Brien
    2019-06-03 09:17

    James Bland by John Gardner

  • Ryan Saunders
    2019-06-03 07:34

    James Bond is one of the most well known names in the entire world. Since I was very young I've heard of his legendary movies and books. This is why when I picked up James Bond "License Renewed", I had high expectations. Fortunately I was not let down in the slightest. "License Renewed" is the first fourteen of the James Bond series by John Gardner. In "License Renewed", James Bond is fighting to save the world from perhaps the most dangerous and crazed villain yet, Dr. Anton Murik. He's the Laird of Murcadly as well as a brilliant nuclear physicist who invented what he calls "the Murik Ultra-safe Reactor". In the book Murik claims that it's "the ultimate in reactors-one which not only provides the power but safely disposes of the waste, and cannot go wrong" (Gardner, 40). Murik was ridiculed for his design and kicked out of the company. Many years later the MI6 found out he was meeting with world renowned terrorist Franco. James Bond is sent in to investigate and is shocked as to what he finds. Murik has world destruction planned. The main theme of "License Renewed", is never give up. This theme is a huge part of Bonds mentality as well. An example of this is when *SPOILER ALERT* he's aboard a huge luxury air craft and being held against his will. "Pity about not being able shave. If they were to die, he would rather go looking his best. Negative thinking. Bond cursed himself (Gardner, 233). One of the most interesting characters in the book's Caber, a violent Scotsman who has a broken nose for most of the book and works for Murik. One of my personal favorite quotes from him is "'I suppose ye got Franco, then. But it'll do ye nae bluddy guid for yersel, Bond', Caber whispered in his ear. 'The Laird's mor'n a mite upset-and wi' good reason. Ocht man, he's longing tae set his eyes on ye. Just longing for it. I doubt he has some grand plans for ye'". Beyond writing an interesting book John Gardner is an interesting person. John Gardner was the second person ever allowed to write a James Bond book. This fact alone makes him memorable. However, he has also lived a very interesting life beyond the Bond series. Gardner grew up in the small town of Seaton Delaval and originally wanted to be a magician. He turned out to be fairly good at this and preformed for a few years before deciding to become a journalist instead. Toward the end of his journalism career started writing novels. The first book he published was called "The Liquidator", and was a spoof on James Bond. The book was an over night succes and became very popular. This motivated Gardner to write a sequel. The sequel was succes as well and was the cause of a newspaper writing "Gardner Writes full time now". This prompted him to leave journalism and become self-employed. Overtime Gardner wrote more novels and eventually caught the eye of (Ian Flemmings ltd). They invited him to write them and while he was reluctant, his agent was insistent. Fortunately for him (and us) a one book deal turned into much more and he eventually wrote 2 more books than even Ian Flemings. All in all John Gardner may not have started out as a writer but it was clearly ment for him. In conclusion I think that "License Renewed", is a fantastic book beyond even my high expectations. John Gardner is a fantastic author and I think that Ian Flemmings ltd was incredibly wise to trust him with the series.

  • Kost As
    2019-05-20 10:27

    Ξεκίνησα το "License renewed", το δεύτερο βιβλίο με ήρωα το James Bond χωρίς την υπογραφή του αείμνηστου Ian Fleming, έχοντας διαβάσει προηγουμένως το "Colonel Sun" του Robert Markham, το οποίο με είχε απογοητεύσει. Το είχα βρει μάλλον βαρετό, παρά το γεγονός ότι η υπόθεση εξελισσόταν στην Ελλάδα. Οπότε μπορεί να πει κανείς ότι ξεκίνησα έχοντας θέσει χαμηλά τον πήχη των προσδοκιών. Το "License renewed" μου φάνηκε πολύ πιο ψυχαγωγικό! Μοιραία συγκρίνεις τον τρόπο γραφής του John Gardner με εκείνον του Ian Fleming, οι οποίοι δεν έχουν καμία σχέση, αλλά νομίζω ότι μετά από λίγο απορροφάσαι από τη γραφή του Gardner, η οποία είναι ευανάγνωστη. Κάποια στοιχεία θα απωθήσουν το φανατικό οπαδό των βιβλίων James Bond, όπως πχ το ότι ο ήρωας επέλεξε να οδηγεί Saab αυτοκίνητο ή ότι παρουσιάζεται με γαλανά μάτια, ενώ θα έπαιρνα όρκο ότι ο Fleming μάς τον είχε παρουσιάσει με γκρίζα! Καλά, δεν αγχωνόμαστε! Υπάρχουν και οι έγχρωμοι φακοί επαφής! Η πλοκή του βιβλίου θυμίζει περισσότερο ταινία James Bond και όχι τόσο τα παλαιότερα βιβλία. Ένας τρελός επιστήμονας απειλεί να προκαλέσει πυρηνική καταστροφή στο δυτικό κόσμο, ώστε να αποδειχθεί ότι ο δικός του πυρηνικός αντιδραστήρας είναι καλύτερος! Καλό;; Και όμως, θεωρώ ότι ο Gardner έπλασε πολύ καλά τους χαρακτήρες, οι οποίοι αποτελούνται σχεδόν εξ ολοκλήρου από το Bond, το Bond girl, τον κακό και το τέρας-σωματοφύλακα του κακού, μια συνταγή, η οποία κυριάρχησε στην πλειονότητα των ταινιών James Bond.Στα θετικά: ο James Bond είναι σε φοβερή φόρμα - ενώ ο Fleming είχε αρχίσει και με κούραζε στα τελευταία βιβλία παρουσιάζοντάς τον κουρασμένο, με κακή υγεία κτλ - σιγά! Πίνει και καπνίζει σα φουγάρο! Ε, και;;; - η δράση ξεχειλίζει από το βιβλίο και πέφτει μπόλικο ξύλο, παίζουν μπόλικα γκατζετάκια (Q Branch fans όλου του κόσμου ενωθείτε!!) και οι χαρακτήρες είναι ανθρώπινοι και ενδιαφέροντες. Στα αρνητικά: η πλοκή ακολουθά την πεπατημένη, δεν υπάρχουν φοβερές ανατροπές και ξέρεις πώς θα πάνε τα πράγματα στο τέλος, απλά δεν ξέρεις με ποιον ακριβώς τρόπο. Εννοείται στα αρνητικά το Saab (η οποία Saab έβγαζε εξαιρετικά αυτοκίνητα, αλλά ας αφήσουμε να τα οδηγούν οι Σκανδιναβοί μυστικοί πράκτορες! Στην τελική ας οδηγούσε ένα Mini Cooper εξοπλισμένο με μπαζούκας, πιο εύκολα θα το κατάπινα!), καθώς και η κακιά συνήθεια – την οποία είχε και ο Fleming – όταν μιλάει κάποιος με προφορά (στην προκειμένη περίπτωση Σκώτος) να γράφει ο συγγραφέας τις λέξεις με την προφορά αυτή! Π.χ., «I’m still behind ye, Bond, with the wee shooter, so dinna do anything daft. There’s a wee bit of a lever I have to pull over here.» Τι θες να πεις, αγόρι μου;;; Είπαμε «Πες το με δικά σου λόγια», αλλά με μέτρο! Είμαι πολύ περίεργος να μάθω πώς έχουν μεταφράσει τα λόγια αυτά στα ελληνικά! Μάλλον όπως μιλούσε ο Μπάρμπας στην ελληνική μεταγλώττιση του «Cars»!Υ.Γ.: Μεγάλη προφητεία περίπου στο μέσον του βιβλίου όταν ο Gardner μέσω του στόματος του κ. Anton Murik (του κακού) μιλάει σχετικά με τα πυρηνικά εργοστάσια της εποχής: «One day, with the kind of reactors we have at the moment, there will be catastrophe.» Αρκεί να σκεφτεί κανείς ότι το βιβλίο γράφτηκε πέντε χρόνια πριν τα καταστροφικά γεγονότα στο Τσερνόμπιλ…

  • Jerome
    2019-06-08 10:22

    In 1980 John Gardner was commisioned to take over the James Bond series after the famous spy was in a 12 year hiatus. The result was published the following year called Licence Renewed; The title couldn't have been further from the truth. Gardner was reluctant from day one to even take on James Bond; A series he thought simply stuck to rigid formula. This sorry excuse of thriller brings James Bond into the 80's by completely discarding Fleming's character entirely.James Bond in this and all of Gardner's books shares nothing in common with Iam Fleming's Bond; He spouts one-liners in the vein of Roger Moore's Bond but the novels seem to have more in common with Timothy Dalton's tenure. However regarding this specific novel, his life style changes are rather irksome. His health consciousness takes away from his character as man who has vices in order to relieve himself from the harsh reality of his work. Another unfortunate sign of the films creeping into the books is lame suduction of the girls he encounters, they are as hollow as Roger Moore films with a variety of stupid names.The main plot of this trite novel centers around a nuclear physicist Dr. Anton Murik. His motivations are entirely inane. He wants to prove that current nuclear reactors are unsafe by publicly hijaking them so they can meltdown so everyone could adopt his "Ultra-Safe" reactor. So what could he be proving other then possible lax security standards ? There is also some boring side plot involing his ward, Lavender Peacock, and his title as Laird of Murcaldy. Murik suffers the same problem of the later day James Bond film villians, they have no motivations the audience could sympathesize with. Fleming's best villians were driven by motivations anyone could see was important to said character, Auric Goldfinger's near sexual infatuation with gold and Sir Hugo Drax's disgust of English people. Anton Murik is simply a cookie cutter character with a lame motivation; He wants to have safe nuclear power plants around the world, so what ?The rest of the characters in the book are right out of a bad Bond script. The henchman Caber is another muscle thug. The old Fleming regulars are mere shells of what they used to be, no longer leaving an impersination on you but just boring extras in the 007 universe. Gardner dosen't even get the girls right. A new character is introduced named "Q'ute", the female equivilent of Q from the films except that she is a nerd and entirely forgetable. Anton Murik's wife Mary Jane Mashkin is the only character that actually shines, especially during that high-frequency torture scene, but is quickly killed after revealing her true colors. The main Bond girl with the idiotic name of Lavender Peacock shares little chemistry or time with Bond but nevertheless, Gardner made sure to do the Bond checklist without regarding character.

  • James Lotshaw
    2019-06-07 03:37

    The dreadful years of the "Robo-Bond" begin here. Why do I call Gardner's version of Bond the "Robo-Bond" ? It's because of the way he constantly describes Bond, such as "Bond recalled (or in some cases stored) " the file in the computer of his brain", and the constant talk of Bond'a muscle memory and the generalized way Gardner uses to describe Bond's actions or movements. I have, to be honest, I've always hated Gardner's version of Bond with an undying passion, and I rejoiced while I walked one day into a Waldenbooks store and saw Zero Minus Ten and it was written by a new author, for it meant the end of the "Robo-Bond" once and for all. But I also dislike Gardner's Bond, because unlike Ian Fleming's Bond the novels seemed to continue for one to the next, whether if it was the previous "Bond Girl leaving just before the next book or Bond recovering from his injuries from the previous book or something else entirely, but at least you felt an actual connection and even growth with his version of Bond, and it was that continuity that I liked most about Fleming's Bond, but all of that goes out the window when Gardner takes the helm. However, if truth be told, I didn't always dislike Gardner's Bond, because I did like Role of Honor and Nobody Lives Forever at the time when I read them, some thirty years ago, but I'm sure if I attempted to re-read them. I'm sure that I would come to treat them with such disdain as with all of the other Gardner Bond novels, in time. I think in some ways it's funny that I end the Gardner's Bond with this novel since it is also his first outing.As for the plot, like many of Gardner's Bond novels, which contains many filler pages, in License Renewed, his interactions with the two women in the novel Mary Jane Mashkin and Lavender Peacock, who both have the appearance of being generic stock characters and never come to full fruition. Also, the mad scientist angle, that Gardner uses with his first villain, Anton Murik, has already been done to death in the movie franchise a few times by this point. I could go on, but what is the point. I'm just glad, that I finally got past the Gardner novels, and hope to read a good continuation novel in the future.

  • Bob Garrett
    2019-05-29 07:21

    Bond fans can be a funny lot. Some have no problem with six different movie Bonds but dismiss any Bond novel by anyone other than Fleming. Any character with a sixty-year history, however, seems ripe for different interpretations. Perhaps it’s time, then, to reconsider some of the post-Fleming Bond works. Pegasus Books must agree with me, as they’ve reissued John Gardner’s fourteen Bond novels. LICENSE RENEWED, the first, originally appeared in 1981. I read it in high school – and liked it – but thirty years later, I had largely forgotten the plot. That’s an advantage, really, because I felt like I was seeing it fresh.Truth be told, I greatly enjoyed re-reading it. The usual Bond clichés are all there, but that’s okay. To me, the familiar Bond formulas are actually part of the appeal. You know all the ingredients well, so you can judge their quality within a certain batch and how they’re mixed together. In LICENSE RENEWED, Gardner gives us a memorable villain, some good suspense, a plot that’s just plausible enough, and some contemporary elements to keep things topical (from a 1980s view point, of course.). I do hope that he mixes things up a little more in succeeding efforts, but LICENSE RENEWED is a solid beginning, regardless. It isn’t the best Bond story that I’ve ever read, but it was certainly fun, and Gardner kept me turning the pages.Mind you, Fleming purists will find reasons to gripe. Gardner keeps the continuity of Fleming’s novels but doesn’t age the characters (The introduction to the 2011 edition explains that Gardner chose to have Bond figuratively “frozen in ice.”). The movies’ influence is also felt here, as Bond carries both gadgets and wise cracks in abundance. Finally, some of the updates (Bond drives a Saab and smokes low tar cigarettes!) admittedly look a little silly in retrospect. Again, though, I’d note that the character is sixty years old, and sometimes, it’s just fun to see different creators take a crack of him. People who really want Fleming’s Bond can always reread Fleming’s novels. Personally, I’m ready to crack open Gardner’s next installment.

  • Joe Moss
    2019-06-15 02:36

    John Gardner was chosen to continue the print version of the James Bond franchise (dread word!) and ended up writing more novels that Bond's own creator: Ian Fleming. A total of fourteen novels and two novelisations of Bond films.Licence Renewed was his first effort. Whilst critical opinion was at best lukewarm, the book sold in good quantities and that was all the publishers wanted.Apparently Gardner was given the task of modernisng Bond, bringing him into the eighties. As a result he has some grey on the temples but this token gesture to Father Time does not affect his drinking, womanising, fighting skills, love of speed and gadgets or anything else. So it does end up being rather an empty gesture.The plot is Bond-by-numbers. There is a megalomaniac - a Scottish laird of murky origins who, handily, happens to be one of the world's top nuclear scientists as well as being completely barking - a young and endangered beauty (the laird's ward) and a huge villain, a Scottish giant called Caber. No, Bond does not toss him. Suspicious meetings between the Laird and one of the world's top terrorists are monitored by the secret services and Bond is unleashed on the cispirators. It is no spoiler in any Bond-related product to say that this is an uneven contest which can have only one winner.The writing is fairly humdrum, recognisably Bond but with few sparks or fireworks to lift this beyond the ordinary. The occasional attempts to update some of the language fails dismally in conversations, Bond ends up sounding rather crasser and would-be trendy than is his wont.It isn't a patch on the originals but it will satisfy Bond fans wanting something featuring their idol which they haven't read before.

  • Craig Williams
    2019-05-30 03:28

    Since I've read all of the Fleming books, I decided, what the heck, I'll read the post-Fleming books as well! I'd heard they were actually pretty good, and markedly less racist! As it turns out, both of those things are quite true! James Bond is sent to infiltrate the inner-circle of a Scottish Laird named Anton Murik, one of the world's most premiere nuclear physicists. Murik has been in repeated contact with a notorious terrorist named Franco, and it is up to Bond to find out the connection. It's all by-the-numbers Bond stuff, which is to be expected, especially when the book is the first in a new series of Bond books. It's probably best to lay a solid foundation of what works in a good Bond story, before mucking about with the formula. That being said, there are some Bond tropes that irritated me as I read the book, the big one being why in bloody hell the villain won't just kill Bond and be done with him. Instead, he takes him along for the ride, giving Bond multiple opportunities to thwart him. At one point, even Bond is bewildered by why Murik keeps him alive. I understand that one can't simply kill Bond off, but at least find clever reasons why Bond is best kept alive if captured... or don't have him get captured in the first place. That aside, Gardner writes Bond really well and paces the story out perfectly. There's plenty of suspenseful action and Bond dispatches Murik in a fashion that is one of my favorite Bond villain deaths this side of Kananga (the villain of Live and Let Die, who is absurdly inflated like a balloon, flies up to the ceiling, and explodes - if you haven't seen it, look it up on Youtube. It's wonderful.)

  • Gill
    2019-06-11 09:16

    http://jeremynorthamfanblog.wordpress...(For full review, follow link)...Written and set in the 1980′s, in Licence Renewed James Bond is older and times have changed. M is still his boss, but ’00′ status no longer officially exists (though M refuses to acknowledge this), and Bond’s duties are far more mundane. That is, until he is required to return to his old role and save the world, yet again, from a mad genius intent on world domination......Bond must stop Anton Murik, Laird of Murcaldy (aided by international terrorist Franco) from taking over six nuclear plants and holding the world to ransom. Needless to say, there is a glamorous Bond girl with an appropriately ludicrous name (Lavender Peacock, known as ‘Dilly’, pronounced with great relish by Jeremy Northam as Bond) and an enormous villain (reminiscent of Jaws) named Caber......It’s a typically tense, fast-paced romp, punctuated by testosterone-fuelled battles, car chases and romantic interludes. Anton Murik is a Bond mad scientist villain who sounds like he could have been played by Charles Gray (I particularly loved Gardner’s description of the mad and dangerous gleam in his eyes resembling lava). Dilly squeals, simpers and looks gorgeous, and of course Bond was always going to come out on top (ahem)...