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`Devil May Care` is most reviewed book this week, although not all favourably

03-Jun-2008 • Literary

Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming was the most reviewed book last weekend (30th May to 1st June), following a week of PR stunts and hype generated by publisher Penguin - reports The Bookseller.

The new James Bond book was judged enjoyable by most, but some of the reviewers preferred to highlight its faults. Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday admitted “that once I’d fought my way past the many improbabilities and the slightly laboured style, I did want to keep turning the pages”. He went on, however, to lament the lack of accuracy from Faulks, and concluded “if only [Faulks] had written it as himself”.

Hitchens’ brother Christopher took the reviewer’s mantle in the Financial Times, writing: “Fleming used to claim that he marched the plot along fast enough to silence all the doubts about its credibility - a guileless yet brilliant tactic. But Faulks takes fatally too long to smuggle his own effort past the customs.”

Andrew Taylor in the Daily Express found that the plot “reads as if it’s had a shot of literary Viagra, pumped up so there’s no danger of mistaking it for reality” and that Devil May Care was “good fun”.

Joseph Connolly in the Daily Mail, meanwhile, said the book was “rather [good]”. “Faulks is an excellent parodist - Devil May Care is smattered with plausible Bondisms - and a notable mimic of accent, style and nuance,” added Connolly. “The difference is of course, that Felming spoke the language.”

Jeffery Taylor in the Sunday Express is the most effusive, assessing that Devil May Care is “a warm-hearted, superbly crafted pastiche and like all good reproductions has its own unique quality”, and added: “the depth of Faulks’s research is staggering and relentlessly played back as the precisely judged chapters ease you along”.

“Smattered with plausible Bondisms” Daily Mail
“Superbly crafted pastiche” Sunday Express
“Sometimes it all seems a little familiar” Daily Express
“Full of lazy errors” Mail on Sunday
“A brave effort” Observer
“A superficially classic Bond caper” Times
“Everything is laboriously spelled out” Financial Times

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