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5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent Bond adventure in the Ian Fleming tradition!
"Doubleshot" is an excellent entry into the world of 007 by Raymond Benson. Mr. Benson proves yet again how he is a worthy successor to both John Gardner and, indeed, to even Ian Fleming. In his fourth original Bond novel, Mr. Benson takes a few risks with the character of James Bond which one who may only be familiar with 007 from the films may be...
Veröffentlicht am 4. Juni 2000 von William Kanas

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Benson slips up with this entry
Benson fails to live up to what seemed a promising streak of successes with his first 3 novels. His fourth, Doubleshot, is certainly not bad. It is fast-paced and entertaining. He comes up with a rather unique central plot but then surrounds it with an obvious rip-off of Fleming's From Russia With Love. As many Bond plots are similar in their formula, this wouldn't...
Veröffentlicht am 10. Juni 2000 von Shane Young


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2.0 von 5 Sternen Benson gives 007 a headache...and me, too., 23. Juni 2000
Von 
John DiBello (Brooklyn, NY) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
After a book like his abysmal "High Time to Kill," I normally wouldn't have given Raymond Benson a second chance...but hey, it *is* James Bond, after all--Fleming's creation has survived much worse. "Doubleshot" is a decent improvement on Benson's last Bond novel and shows a creative and innovative psychologically-driven plot, but the action is again dull and predictable and Bond is rendered virtually impotent of his action capabilities. What Benson tries to do here is more interesting and promising than his former work: a psychological mystery in which Bond, suffering from trauma headaches and frequent blackouts, is unsure of his actions: did he actually kill the beautiful doctor with whom he'd just made love? Is he being followed or just paranoid? An original idea, perhaps, but unfortunately this plot weakens rather than humanizes Bond. He spends the entire novel reacting to events rather than initiating the action, and Benson ends so many chapters with 007 falling into a black unconsciousness that it verges on sadism. In the end it's revealed [SPOILER ALERT] that the criminal mastermind has tampered with 007's nerve medication, making him paranoid and panicky--a development that recalls Bond's brainwashing in "The Man with the Golden Gun" (one of Fleming's weaker entries, I feel). Benson's writing still seems too sloppy and American to me (mint tea is described as "way too sweet for his tastes"), and he has a tendency to pepper his action sequences with exclamation points ("He had caught the terrorist!" "[I]t was the Union's building that had been bombed!"). There are moments when Bond's dialogue doesn't even *sound* like Bond: world-hardened 007 is not a man who would stumble or hesitate over a euphemism for a man's death like "He's, uhm, no longer with us." Finally, Benson has never impressed me with his pacing or tension: the final action climax, the scene of which is set in the prologue, takes all of a page and a half (and six real-time seconds) to unfold. On the positive side, Benson has a strong command of the "Fleming Sweep"--the casual but vital examinations of the brand-names and fine qualities of Bond's clothing, weaponry, drinks, and haunts (he frequently opens a chapter with a well-turned descriptive paragraph of an exotic location that reads like a good travel book). I only wish he could reproduce and build upon the thrills, characterization, and action of the better Fleming books as well. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not saying that Benson must write in precisely the Fleming style, or that Bond can't evolve for the twenty-first century...that stagnation would make him a much less interesting character. But Benson's Bond seems often sketchy and constructed from a few quirks and character traits with his background and motivation reliant upon us, the readers and Bond fans, to fill in what we know about Bond from previous novels. That's just plain sloppy. Will I read another Benson Bond next year? Probably...I like Bond too much to give up on him. But I'm sincerely hoping the "franchise" is in someone else's hands next year. Raymond Benson gave James Bond a headache throughout this whole novel. He gave me one too.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Benson slips up with this entry, 10. Juni 2000
Benson fails to live up to what seemed a promising streak of successes with his first 3 novels. His fourth, Doubleshot, is certainly not bad. It is fast-paced and entertaining. He comes up with a rather unique central plot but then surrounds it with an obvious rip-off of Fleming's From Russia With Love. As many Bond plots are similar in their formula, this wouldn't be so distracting if there weren't so many instances. These are the most notable similarities.
1. SMERSH (FRWL) & UNION (DS) Both novels feature a criminal organization wanting to disgrace and embarrass MI6 and their top agent James Bond for destroying previous operations.
2. GEN G (FRWL) & LE GERANT (DS) The mysterious leader of the criminal organization is relegated to the back seat while a secondary villain is more prominent. (This was also used in Thunderball.)
3. ROSA KLEBB (FRWL) & DOMINGO ESPADA (DS) The secondary villain, who's in the employ of the above leader, is the primary baddie.
4. RED GRANT (FRWL) & PEREDUR GLYN (DS) A ruthless killer who is sent to watch over 007 and guide him into the trap.
5. KRONSTEEN (FRWL) & NADIR YASSASIN (DS) The chief strategist who devises the "ingenious" plan to trap and destroy 007 in an embarrasing fashion.
6. DARKO KERIM (FRWL) & RATIF LEGGAB (DS) The friendly and colorful section head of a branch intelligence office who befriends Bond and aids him on his mission.
Beside the above problems none of the characters were very well drawn, especially the twin Bond girls Hedy & Heidi Taunt. These two are supposed to be CIA agents? The CIA must have lowered their standards. While Hedy, at least, seems mildly intelligent, Heidi is a complete bimbo. She says the most insipid lines and comes on to just about every attractive male she meets. The villainess Margareta Piel is too reminiscent of Fiona Volpe and Xenia Onatopp from the 007 films. There is nothing distinctive or interesting about her. Domingo Espada might have been a good villain had he been a little more fleshed out.
The most positive things I found in the book were Bond's psyche and his near-helpless state for most of the book. This was definitely original and involving. We have never seen 007 this "out of it" and fragile. The settings of Morocco and Spain were very good and well described. Also the look-a-like was a nice twist.
The book is short enough and has enough action to be a fast-paced, diverting read. But the near continuous rip-offs and crudely formed characters left a bad taste in my mouth. This is ONLY a book for die-hard fans or anyone interested in comparing it with the far superior From Russia With Love.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent Bond adventure in the Ian Fleming tradition!, 4. Juni 2000
"Doubleshot" is an excellent entry into the world of 007 by Raymond Benson. Mr. Benson proves yet again how he is a worthy successor to both John Gardner and, indeed, to even Ian Fleming. In his fourth original Bond novel, Mr. Benson takes a few risks with the character of James Bond which one who may only be familiar with 007 from the films may be surprised at, but there is no need to fear, as it is all resolved by the end.
Mr. Benson does another superb job in expanding on James Bond himself, all the while staying within the parameters established by Ian Fleming and brought to life in the various interpretations by Messrs. Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan. The reader will be a little shocked at some of the events, but need not be concerned, as Mr. Benson is a master in tying it all together. He is able to flesh out Bond to give the reader a true feeling for Bond as a human being, and thus allow the reader to more readily identify with 007. This is one of Mr. Benson's greatest strengths, as he demonstrates a great understanding of Bond as envisioned by Ian Fleming: the tough but occasionally vulnerable secret agent. Indeed, Bond is at his most human since Ian Fleming's penultimate full length Bond novel, "You Only Live Twice".
Mr. Benson also does a superb job in developing the other characters, as he introduces the reader to some very sexy Bond girls, and without spoiling it, thhe girls this time are his most successful, easily the best since John Gardner's Beatrice in "Win, Lose or Die" and "Cold Fall" and Ian Fleming's Tracy from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". As Mr. Gardner had Beatrice return, which is generally unheard of in a Bond book, the same should be allowed for Bond's love interest here. The rest of the characters are top notch, from the villain Espada and the seductive villainess Margarita, to Mr. Benson's excellent handling of the supporting cast of M, Miss Moneypenny and Bill Tanner.
There is plenty of action in the book, with several chases and fights leading to a thrilling climax. The book also features the globe hopping which people are used to, from London to Tangier to Gibraltar, and Mr. Benson describes each of the locations to the point where the reader feels as if he is actually there.
"Doubleshot" is a thrilling, first rate Bond adventure. Long time fans will not be disappointed, and new readers, who may not be as familiar with the literary James Bond, should still feel welcome to dive in. There is no need for them to feel that they will not understand what is going on. Bond, particularly in Mr. Benson's expert hands, is a character immediately accessible to anyone who enjoys high adventure, beautiful women, and political intrigue, with a hero involved in the perpetual struggle of good versus evil.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Benson adds another great story to the 007 canon., 4. Juni 2000
Doubleshot is another excellent addition to the Bond canon as possibly one of Benson's strongest entries. For one thing, as with the last entry High Time to Kill, Doubleshot initially makes a departure from the traditional Bond formula. The book begins with our favorite agent operating at less than his full capacity. Benson's depiction of Bond is an absolute contrast with the agile, strong figure that he first described in the opening chapter of Zero Minus Ten.
Throughout the narrative, the author sprinkles his tale with echoing recalls from Ian Fleming's literary Bond and some elements of the Bond films. However, for the purists, this is the literary Bond and not his celluloid counterpart. Benson has received some criticism for making his novels "too much like a screenplay," however, I think that by carefully adding a few cinematic surroundings, he makes an easy introduction to the literary Bond for casual fans and those that are not fully aquatinted with Fleming's work.
As this is his fourth original novel, Benson has firmly set his own style. He is more comfortable with his story telling ability and his characterizations are more daring. This book contains very violent actions conducted by some of Benson's most ruthless creations. Domingo Espada and Margareta Piel are two of the most twisted and sadistic villains Bond has ever encountered. As with the Skin 17 plot element in High Time to Kill, the Bond doppleganger also works well in the story in spite of the fact that this plot device seems more like a Bond rip-off than genuine 007. I initially had my doubts about a double 007, however Benson makes it work and allows the reader to enjoy his story for the fantasy and escapism that Bond novels are.
Although some readers may not bother with such details, Benson pays attention to the technical aspects of his books while remaining faithful to the basic elements of Ian Fleming's world. One case in point is Bond's armament. Benson realistically balances Bond's use of the trusty Walther PPK with a more serious combat handgun, the Walther P99. By recognizing that Bond is a professional operator, he equips Bond with a professional's gear, all the way down to real world custom-made holsters for Bond's .40 caliber P99.
I hope other readers find the same enjoyment I found in this book. It is a fast paced and engaging story. With excellent characters, including Benson's best Bond girl(s) and an interesting plot, Raymond Benson assures us that, even in the 21st century, there's still plenty of "Sex, Sadism, and Snobbery" to go around.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Benson adds another great story to the 007 canon., 4. Juni 2000
Doubleshot is another excellent addition to the Bond canon as possibly one of Benson's strongest entries. For one thing, as with the last entry High Time to Kill, Doubleshot initially makes a departure from the traditional Bond formula. The book begins with our favorite agent operating at less than his full capacity. Benson's depiction of Bond is an absolute contrast with the agile, strong figure that he first described in the opening chapter of Zero Minus Ten.
Throughout the narrative, the author sprinkles his tale with echoing recalls from Ian Fleming's literary Bond and some elements of the Bond films. However, for the purists, this is the literary Bond and not his celluloid counterpart. Benson has received some criticism for making his novels "too much like a screenplay," however, I think that by carefully adding a few cinematic surroundings, he makes an easy introduction to the literary Bond for casual fans and those that are not fully aquatinted with Fleming's work.
As this is his fourth original novel, Benson has firmly set his own style. He is more comfortable with his story telling ability and his characterizations are more daring. This book contains very violent actions conducted by some of Benson's most ruthless creations. Domingo Espada and Margareta Piel are two of the most twisted and sadistic villains Bond has ever encountered. As with the Skin 17 plot element in High Time to Kill, the Bond doppleganger also works well in the story in spite of the fact that this plot device seems more like a Bond rip-off than genuine 007. I initially had my doubts about a double 007, however Benson makes it work and allows the reader to enjoy his story for the fantasy and escapism that Bond novels are.
Although some readers may not bother with such details, Benson pays attention to the technical aspects of his books while remaining faithful to the basic elements of Ian Fleming's world. One case in point is Bond's armament. Benson realistically balances Bond's use of the trusty Walther PPK with a more serious combat handgun, the Walther P99. By recognizing that Bond is a professional operator, he equips Bond with a professional's gear, all the way down to real world custom-made holsters for Bond's .40 caliber P99.
I hope other readers find the same enjoyment I found in this book. It is a fast paced and engaging story. With excellent characters, including Benson's best Bond girl(s) and an interesting plot, Raymond Benson assures us that, even in the 21st century, there's still plenty of "Sex, Sadism, and Snobbery" to go around.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Straight Up and On the Rock - Doubleshot Delivers, 3. Juni 2000
Von 
Brian Berley "Areanaut" (Evanston, Illinois) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Reminiscent of Ian Fleming's mini trilogy -- consisting of the novels THUNDERBALL, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE -- Raymond Benson's DOUBLESHOT serves as the second-act follow-up to last year's HIGH TIME TO KILL. Whereas Bond once sought out the destruction of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and it's chief Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in DOUBLESHOT a psychologically tortured Bond as errant knight takes up his own personal quest to track down the criminal cartel known as the "Union." Benson's latest portrays 007 as a man questioning his own sanity as he goes renegade to hunt down the Union, little realizing he is being drawn into a complex trap to set him up as a pawn in a potentially deadly international crisis centered about Gibraltar, Spain, and North Africa.
Harking back to Fleming's FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, or Kingsley Amis's COLONEL SUN, DOUBLESHOT's 007 becomes a marked man set up for death as part of an larger, more terrifying scheme. No megalomaniac or robotic minions this time. Bond's adversaries are represented by a well financed corporation of professional criminals and terrorists, orchestrated by the elusive and mysterious LeGerant, heir apparent to Blofeld's throne of arch-villainy.
Benson continues to hone his craft, allowing the reader to experience exotic locations replete with heady luxury, gritty detail, and violent action. This Bond relies far more on his wits and toughness than upon the conveniently available gadget. Danger and sex mix like never before, too, as 007 meets perhaps the most bloodthirsty femme fatale to date.
Building in three acts -- from the intricate set up, through the frantic and deadly stalking ground, and finally to the violent and suspenseful denouement -- DOUBLESHOT is all business from start to finish.
Having devoured this, the second in your "Union Trilogy," this reviewer can hardly wait for the final chapter, Raymond. Bring it on!
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2.0 von 5 Sternen A solid outing, but overall a disappointment., 5. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Doubleshot is a "so so" James Bond novel, but only hardcore fans will appreciate it. The characters are tremendously underdeveloped. Domingo Espada, the main villain, doesn't seem like he's in the novel very much and as a result is not a particularly compelling or sinister villain. The main female characters (twin sisters) are ditzy beyond belief and do not resemble savvy CIA agents at all. Granted that they are supposed to be from California, but I don't think the CIA recruits valley girls and sends them to the Middle East. See p168 if you want to know what I mean. Benson's idea of toying with Bond's psyche has been done before (and better) by Ian Fleming in Man with the Golden Gun. Once again, Benson is never really able to get the reader into the head of James Bond, making his psychological ploys weak at best. James Bond does not even remotely resemble a competent secret agent, generally bumbling his way through the novel as a pawn of the bad guys. He seems to win some of the fights while undergoing an epileptic seizure. Furthermore, the novel is organized poorly. Mr. Benson attempts a somewhat new approach for a 007 novel by starting in the present and then catching the reader up by flashing back into the past. Unfortunately, it's done poorly and serves to tip off the reader to the entire plot. The entire novel suffers from brevity. Neither the plot nor the characters are developed enough to really make the reader care. Doubleshot will be interesting to a hardcore 007 fan as a bridge to the next novel, but will hold little appeal for the casual fan. If you want to waste an afternoon then this is for you, otherwise, look elsewhere.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen For 007 fans, 6. Juni 2000
James 007 Bond still mourns the recent loss of his lover while he personally suffers from a brain lesion. His physician Dr. Feare prescribes medicine and a little side action that are supposed to help Bond recover. His employer has placed Bond on medical leave during his recuperation period.

While 007 convalesces, the Union decides it is time to take the secret agent out before he destroys any other of their plans. They find a look-alike and turn him into a Bond that could fool even James. His mission is to assassinate the British Prime Minister during a heads of state conference. Unable to sit on the sidelines while his reputation, loyalty, and sanity are being shredded, 007 goes after his doppelganger and the Union leadership with an abandon that only he can bring to the scenario.

The latest Bond adventure is only for those readers who must read every written word on the adventures of 007. For the casual fan, this novel is a no-no. The story line is filled with the usual Bondian mix of women and action, and action and women. Although the plot is unique and fast-paced except for the expected sexual asides, the cast, including 007, seems stiff, as they never break out of the central casting role assigned to each one of them. Still Raymond Benson, author of several Bond tales, writes a tale that series fans will fully enjoy while the rest of us will choose a DOUBLE SHOT of Sean Connery.

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 von 5 Sternen For 007 fans, 2. Juni 2000
James 007 Bond still mourns the recent loss of his lover while he personally suffers from a brain lesion. His physician Dr. Feare prescribes medicine and a little side action that are supposed to help Bond recover. His employer has placed Bond on medical leave during his recuperation period.

While 007 convalesces, the Union decides it is time to take the secret agent out before he destroys any other of their plans. They find a look-alike and turn him into a Bond that could fool even James. His mission is to assassinate the British Prime Minister during a heads of state conference. Unable to sit on the sidelines while his reputation, loyalty, and sanity are being shredded, 007 goes after his doppelganger and the Union leadership with an abandon that only he can bring to the scenario.

The latest Bond adventure is only for those readers who must read every written word on the adventures of 007. For the casual fan, this novel is a no-no. The story line is filled with the usual Bondian mix of women and action, and action and women. Although the plot is unique and fast-paced except for the expected sexual asides, the cast, including 007, seems stiff, as they never break out of the central casting role assigned to each one of them. Still Raymond Benson, author of several Bond tales, writes a tale that series fans will fully enjoy while the rest of us will choose a DOUBLE SHOT of Sean Connery.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Double 007 makes for a great read, 21. Juni 2000
Raymond Benson brings James Bond 007 into the new Millenium with a bang. He picks up where his previous novel HIGH TIME TO KILL left off. Bond is on Medical Leave this time around, due to a head injury sustained from his last mission. Little does he know that the crime syndicate The Union is still after him. They have a devious plot in which to get their revenge for Bond's ruining of their last crime.They have made an exact double of 007. The double is supposed to ruin Bond's reputation, and his mental well-being. To aide in this evil plan we have several twisted characters. Some of which include Domingo Espada, an insane Spanish politician who wants control of Gibraltar to go back to spain. As well as Marguarita Piel Espada's female helper, Nadir Yasassin The Union's Moroccan contact, and of course, 007's double. These vividly described characters are no match for 007,as they soon learn. 007 has help from various sources, even though he disobeyed M's orders. Hedy and Heidi Taunt are two CIA agents, who are identical twins. Their objective was to apprehend 007 and bring him back to London. The reason being was because of the acts of his double. Bond convinces the two to help him. They are to help him, because he is on house arrest,at M's insistence. This novel is a great addition to any library, and certainly to the 007 mantle. Keep up the great work Mr. Benson.
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James Bond 007, Doubleshot
James Bond 007, Doubleshot von Raymond Benson (Taschenbuch - 3. August 2000)
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