29 July 2010

Forgotten Book: THE DIRECTOR, John Gardner

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books

THE DIRECTOR, published in 1982, appears in my records for 1984. And there, unfortunately, my information about that particular title ends. I have a vague idea that THE DIRECTOR became the basis of a film.  Perhaps someone has this title on their shelves?

But I have been able to find out quite a bit about the author: Wikipedia tells me that John Edmund Gardner (November 20, 1926 – August 3, 2007) was an English spy novelist, most notably for the James Bond series.

Fantastic Fiction says John Gardner is one of the world's premier thriller writers, and has published more than forty novels, many of which have been bestsellers. Among Gardner's works are sixteen books in the legendary James Bond series, including Win, Lose, or Die and Never Send Flowers; he has also written six books featuring Big Herbie Kruger, most recently Confessor and Maestro, which was a New York Times Book of the Year. A graduate of Cambridge University who did his postgraduate work at Oxford, he has variously been a stage magician, an officer in the Royal Marines, a theatrical journalist, a lecturer in Shakespearean production and a priest in the Church of England.

There's a John Gardner website, mainly celebrating his Moriarty series, although this page is the beginning of a 3 page photo strip of covers of 007 titles he contributed to.

It was 1980 when the Board of Directors of Glidrose Publications Ltd. (the copyright holders of the James Bond literary property) decided to bring back 007 to the printed page..... In finding an author to pen the books, apparently Glidrose tossed a few names around and eventually ended up with a list of six possibilities. First on the list was John Gardner.

In 1981, Gardner was asked to revive Ian Fleming's James Bond series of novels. Between 1981 and 1996, Gardner wrote fourteen James Bond novels, and the novelizations of two Bond films. While the books were commercial successes, Gardner was ambivalent about writing novels with a character he hadn't created. In 1996, Gardner officially retired from writing Bond novels. source
Ironically he actually wrote more 007 books than Ian Fleming.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for the information about John Garnder. I searched all my stuff and didn't anything on The Director, so I can't give any details about the book; it doesn't sound really familiar to me...

Kerrie said...

Thanks for looking Margot.

George said...

I've read John Gardner's BOND books, but not THE DIRECTOR. I'll have to search for a copy.

Richard R. said...

After reading and hearing so many people say the Gardner Bond books are really inferior, I've not read of them, or any Gardner. Perhaps I should think about on of his non-Bond books to try.

Evan Lewis said...

It would be interesting to try a Gardner book featuring a character he DID create. I enjoyed the Moriarty books. Read all the Bonds, too, but found them more formulaic than Fleming's. Gardner seems to be writing Bond movies in book form.

Anonymous said...

"The Director" is a revised version of Gardner's 1971 novel "Every Night's a Bullfight".


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