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Colonel Sun –

Colonel Sun

Sunday , 8, October 2023 1 Comment

Kingsley Amis’ Colonel Sun was the first non-Ian Fleming James Bond novel (1968). Glidrose Productions, the rights holders to James Bond, wanted a continuation novel to retain certain rights. Amis had already written The James Bond Dossier (1965) and The Book of Bond (1965). Colonel Sun was listed as by “James Markham.”

The novel starts with an attempt to take James Bond prisoner as he visits M who is recuperating from pneumonia at the Hammond’s household. Ex-Chief Petty Officer Hammond. Bond escapes despite being shot with a tranquilizer dart. He was found by a motorist who took him to the hospital. M is missing, the Hammonds are dead.

Following some clues, Bond travels to Greece to find M. The plot unfolds with Colonel Sun Liang-Tan, a specialist on interogating English prisoners. This is the late 60s with the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China at each other’s throats. Bond gets caught up in a fight between the Soviets and Chi-Coms.

Bond is lead to the island of Vrakonisi where Col. Sun intends on blowing up a Soviet-3rd world reps meeting. There is also a Nazi involved who massacred a village of Greeks during WW2. Bond turns the tables on Col. Sun, saves M, and ends up being viewed as a Soviet hero.

Amis has some funny quotes:

“The Albanians, as a race, are not noted for their beauty. They are, of course, much less a race than the end-product of successive admixtures with the native stock– Latin, Slavonic, Greek, Turco-Tarter.”

James Bond uses a knife more than his Walther PPK though here is some pistol action in addition to the knife work.

The novel was not over the top. Amis went for the feel of earlier novels like Casino Royale. Colonel Sun was never made into a movie though elements of the novel were used for The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and Spectre.

I picked up a remaindered Pegasus Books hardback reprint from 2018. If you are in the mood for some Cold War adventure, pick up Colonel Sun if you run across it at a used bookstore.

One Comment
  • bruce says:

    I remember being a little surprised that M was a nudist. Good book.

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