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eBook formatMass Market Paperback, (torrent)En
PublisherPopular Library
File size4.8 Mb
Book rating3.7 (6 votes)
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Multi-media characters sometimes have multiple lives. In the books, James Bond has one life but quite another in the movies. The same is true of Batman, Matt Helm, Tarzan, and virtually every such character. This is seldom true of novels about television characters, which usually follow the series fairly closely. The I, SPY books written under the name John Tiger are a rare exception. Walter Wager keeps the only regular characters, makes them reasonably recognizable, but changes virtually all the details by adding the name of their agency, giving them a boss, sending them on adventures that take place in multiple countries per book (the series had them in just one country per episode), giving them skills they lack, and in this book have them work and lead hordes of CIA agents in San Francisco and New York. The characters and their jobs are familiar, but everything else is different. Kelly Robinson even smokes cigars, not cigarettes.

If we do not dock stars for this, my evaluation becomes a matter of how well Wager did his job. He did it rather well. He created quite a good plot, interesting and functional secondary characters, and can give others who have a single scene a rich interior life. He has found a style to tell this story that really works: readable, informative, and insightful. He does something that the series, shot on location, did very well, and that is make the places visited by the agents seem real even to a native. In fact, he does this better than the series. He does drop occasional hints in a few meta-commentary moments that he seems himself as being better than this material and makes some not very good inside jokes such as mentioning one of Bill Cosby comedy routines. Bill Cosby, for those who do not know, was one of the series stars. A point off for these, and another point off because, when all is said and done, this is just another sixties spy novel. It does not transcend the genre.

For those interested, there is a paraphrase from ROMEO AND JULIET on page 67.

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