More good news for lovers of Jeremy Northam’s audio interpretations. Two James Bond novels by John Gardner, read by Jeremy, will be published by Orion in June and July and are already available for pre-order from Amazon UK.
Jeremy reads Licence Renewed (published in 1981) and For Special Services (1982). They are the first two in John Gardner’s series of James Bond novels. He wrote 16 in all, two of which were novelizations of Bond movies. Orion will be accompanying the audiobooks with a hardback re-release of each novel.
The plot synopses from Orion tell us a little about the books:
Licence Renewed: 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…
For Special Services: In this second instalment of John Gardner’s Bond series, Bond teams up with CIA agent Cedar Leiter, daughter of his old friend Felix Leiter, to investigate Markus Bismaquer, who is suspected of reviving the notorious criminal organisation SPECTRE.
John Gardner, who died in 2007, was a prolific author, and wrote more Bond novels than 007’s originator Ian Fleming, having been asked to take on the task in 1981. Gardner chose to discontinue his Bond association in 1996, and American author Raymond Benson took over until 2003, writing 12 more novels (including the novelization of three more Bond movies). Kingsley Amis (as Robert Markham) and Sebastian Faulks have also written Bond novels. Faulks’s novel, Devil May Care, also had its audio version performed by Jeremy.
Long-time followers of Jeremy’s work will recall the regularity with which he was asked about the role of James Bond, to which (with typical modesty) he responded with puzzled disbelief about any possible association with himself. He would, of course, have made a wonderful Bond, but it wasn’t to be. However, rather like Toby Stephens (passed over for Bond, but a Bond villain) who has become the most recent regular radio-Bond, Jeremy has found a way of making James Bond his own. I always thought he was far too good for the role. So good that, via his audio performances, he gets to enact entire movies single-handed! Which he does amazingly well, by the evidence of Devil May Care, a rather lifeless book on the page, but transformed by Jeremy’s reading.
I’m not quite sure why the second book is being released first and the first book second. A prize for patience above and beyond the call of fandom to the person who waits until they have both and listens to them in the right order! And perhaps we might hope Jeremy will be reading his way through the entire series? In which case, he merits his very own prize for patience!
When I have more information from the publisher I will be sure to update you. In the meantime, here are the links you need to pre-order from Amazon.
Nearer to publication, they will, of course, be available to order on CD and as downloads from other sources.