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Literature / Devil May Care

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A James Bond novel published in 2008, written by Sebastian Faulks as a Pastiche of Ian Fleming's works.

The year is 1967. Bond is called back to work from his sabbatical to look into the dealings of one Dr. Julius Gorner, who is suspected of flooding England with heroin. His investigations make an ally out of a banker named Scarlett, who is looking for her sister Poppy whom she suspects being held unwillingly by Dr. Gorner. Bond follows Dr. Gorner into Persia, where he uncovers a fiendish plot against England.

This novel has the examples of:

  • After-Action Patch-Up: Scarlett treats Bond's injuries after he escapes from Dr. Gorner's facilities near Tehran. While doing so, she notes that in westerns the hero is always shown being in pain when being the recipient of such things.
  • Badass Bystander: Taxi driver Hamid, who helps Bond escape from an ambush and later, saves Felix from Silver.
  • Big Bad: Dr. Julius Gorner.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Bond finds no excitement in playing card at Monte Carlo, and wonders if it is so because he needs opponents like Le Chiffre and Hugo Drax to keeps things interesting.
    • When M brings up the current problem with the drugs in the world and their demoralizing effect, it reminds Bond of the events of the short story "Risico". M retorts to that it is small business, much like Bond's assignment in Mexico before tangling with Goldfinger.
    • Bond's "faint memory of an exciting juvenile visit to the gaming tables" upon entering the Paradise Club is, per the author, a reference to him meeting Dutch Schultz in the Paradice Club in Charlie Higson's Double or Die.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: After failing to have Bond killed onboard a steamer, Dr. Gorner jumps into the Seine to escape him. He then gets trapped in the ship's paddle, and is crushed to death.
  • Dead Hat Shot: The only trace that is left from Dr. Gorner after his demise in the steamer paddle is his white glove floating on the surface of the Seine.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Corrupt, gay, murderous CIA Agent Silver.
  • Dirty Communists: SMERSH has aided Dr. Gorner with his drug trade in the west.
  • The Dragon: Chagrin, a.k.a Pham Sinh Quoc, who is Dr. Gorner's Vietnamese enforcer and link to its local drug dealers.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: After Dr. Gorner tells Bond that it is he who is going to fly the stolen airjet to Trekhgorniy, Bond points out that he is unable to do so due to dislocating his shoulder in the Hellfire Pass run. Dr. Gorner then orders Chagrin to fix it, which he does. Painfully.
  • Ear Ache: Chagrin popped the eardrums of kids who listened to French priests back in Indo-China by slamming chopsticks into their ears, permanently deafening some of them in the process. He demonstrates this on one poor worker in Dr. Gorner's drug factory on front of Bond.
  • Evil Plan: Initially, Dr. Gorner wanted to produce and sell as much heroin as he could to slowly destroy England, a country that he despises. However, he wants faster results, so he is going to frame them for an attack against the Soviet Union by destroying Stalingrad and Trekhgorniy, thus locking them into a nuclear conflict which they can't win.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Dr. Gorner wears a white glove in his left hand to hide its deformity.
  • Feel No Pain: Thanks to the experiments done on him by the Soviets, Chagrin doesn't feel pain from anything.
  • Fingore: Bond breaks one of Chagrin's fingers as he tries to strangle him.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Bond's first meeting with Dr. Gorner has them playing tennis in the traditional "Bond plays a game with the villain" scene. Gorner, of course, cheats by having Chagrin change the height of the net. Bond later finds out he inadvertently cheated too, when he discovers Scarlett had taken over from Chagrin at the net's crank handle.
  • Invented Individual: Scarlett's sister Poppy.
  • Majored in Western Hypocrisy: After fighting with both Nazis and Communists in World War II, Gorner went on to study in several great universities, including England's.
  • Noodle Incident: No explanation is ever given for Dr. Gorner's utter hatred for England. The one explanation we do receive is later revealed to have been fabricated on the spot.
  • Off with His Head!: After managing to subdue him, Bond and Scarlett start pushing Chagrin out of a window. Then the train they are in suddenly enters a tunnel, which decapitates him.
  • Pastiche: Faulks wrote it as a true Fleming pastiche, mostly for his own entertainment. Just for fun, he followed Fleming's writing model - three hours writing in the morning, relax for the afternoon, two-to-three hours again in the evening, and minimal editing - and tried to mimic his style. Hence, he's the only writer on a Bond novel to be credited as "writing as Ian Fleming".
  • Red Right Hand:
    • Dr. Gorner has a mutated left hand, which makes it bigger and hairier than his right and resemble that of an ape.
    • Chagrin has lifeless skin, described as like that of a stroke victim. It's a leftover from the experiments done to his brain by the Soviets, which also left the skin on top of his head poorly fitting thanks to the botched osteoplastic flap operation (peeling the skin from top of the head, then grafting it back later) that was done on it, which he hides by wearing a French Legion kepi.
  • The Reveal: Scarlett is actually the new 004, who was sent work with Bond under the guise of finding her twin sister.
  • Show Some Leg: Scarlett gets a guard to enter her and Bond's cell by showing her breasts to him, and Bond strangles him.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: As Chagrin is taking Bond for a mission to Afghanistan, they come across a vault door which requires a code to be opened. Each press for a five-digit code that opens it emits a sound of its own, and Bond memorizes it to teach it to Scarlett.
  • Tongue Trauma: When he was still working for the Viet Minh, Chagrin ripped out the tongues of priests that were sent to Indo-China by the French to stop them preaching. He continues doing so in his current employment by Dr. Gorner to remind people to keep their mouths shut.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted. Gorner's hitman form the climax takes his money even though one of his brothers was murdered as a loose end by Chagrin (although he might not have known about this).