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British novelist John Gardner was assigned to turn the GOLDENEYE script by Michael France, Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein into a novel that would fit into the literary James Bond universe. At the time, Gardner was the official 007 author, taking over the writing of literary adventures of Ian Fleming's secret agent in 1981 with LICENCE RENEWED.
Much like he did with the novelization of LICENCE TO KILL in 1989, Gardner brought some of his styles into the novelization of GOLDENEYE, which was published by Hodder and Stroughton. In contrast to the movie, Gardner's novelization feels less escapist and much darker, with the feeling of the military and intelligence world that has always abounded in the novels of this author given his stint with the Royal Marines, something that makes it an interesting read.
There are also some differences with the names of the characters, the dialogues between Bond and Trevelyan are more philosophical, and the description of the action scenes are quite visceral. Likewise, Gardner also integrates the story of GOLDENEYE to his original James Bond novels, as 007 references Flicka von Grüsse, a character from NEVER SEND FLOWERS (1993) and SEAFIRE (1994), the latter also with a climax taking place in the Caribbean. In the end, this book works as a welcome extension of the movie and is a delightful read overall.
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