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The bestselling new James Bond novel written by William Boyd (‘English fiction's master storyteller’ The Times)

*The Sunday Times Bestseller*
It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.
A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M’s orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond’s renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.
Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.

Reviews

This is well-plotted, exciting stuff and Boyd has a great sense of time and place. His boozy, maturer, more fallible Bond is totally believable. Mission accomplished, Mr Boyd.

Natasha Harding, Sun

Boyd was a smart choice for a Bond thriller. The action clips along. There are welcome literary flourishes and a dense plot.

Richard Fitzpatrick, Irish Examiner

Written with aplomb, Boyd’s Bond novel is a terrific twisting thriller.

Sunday Times

Anyone wishing this autumn to enjoy the Cold War with the assurance of a happy ending should seek out William Boyd’s new James Bond novel, Solo, in which 007 is dispatched to West Africa and the fictitious country of Zanzarim, where he finds himself in the midst of a civil war.

Stephen McGinty, Scotsman

A fantastic read, which I ripped through in the time it would take to watch Skyfall, as it happens, and I found it significantly more enjoyable.

The Times

The poised, lyrical writing is a joy to read.

The Telegraph

[William Boyd has] a straightforward gift as a story-teller, coupled with a genius for evoking time and place… Boyd’s prose gives at least as much pleasure as the first taste of a freezing cold beer, consumed at dusk on a tropical terrace, at the end of a long hard day.

Mail Online

Sebastian Faulks was the first author invited to pen a new Bond story…and Jeffrey Deaver the second. Now William Boyd has had a go, setting his story in 1969 and launching the spy on yet another mission.

Essentials

Events in Africa in 1969 drive 45-year-old James Bond to embark on an unauthorized solo mission in America, for which he’s prepared to accept the consequences. 007 is back!

Fanny Blake, Woman and Home

The man with the golden gun is back in William Boyd's new novel paying tribute to the late great Ian Fleming.

Scott McMullon, So So Gay

Boyd has said the Bond films have turned the agent into a 'cartoon character' and he wants to show Bond as he originally was: 'far more troubled, nuanced and interesting.' That all sounds great.

Viv Groskop, Red

It might just be the ultimate in fan fiction.

Deirdre O’Brien, Sunday Mirror

Freeing Bond from all that usual world-in-his-hands nonsense, making him just that bit less invincible and the action just that bit more credible, Boyd has done something rather unlikely: he’s given us a middle-aged, fallible Scottish hero we can almost believe in.

David Robinson, Scotsman

William Boyd brings back the real Bond, triumphantly… To bring a much-loved character back to life in this way is a formidable literary achievement.

Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail

Boyd is forging the Bond of Fleming rather than the sanitised version of film… Boyd has recreated the hero with wit, invention and no little humour.

Richard Kay, Daily Mail

The late Ian Fleming would surely have approved of novelist William Boyd continuing his James Bond writing franchise.

Hugh MacDonald, Herald

Solo’s true literary craft lies in the subtlety of its correspondences – the way Bond’s solitary celebration of his birthday at the beginning mirrors his solo mission at the end – and also the suspenseful quality that keeps us on our toes until the closing pages. Mission accomplished.

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

[Boyd’s] novel stays faithful to Fleming’s character, from his meticulous approach to clothes to his fondness for cigarettes and whisky to his famous penchant for attractive women.

Jill Lawless, Irish Examiner

Terrific new outing… A tremendous Bond story, close to the model of the early Fleming novels.

David Mills, Sunday Times

Frankly, Faulks and Boyd are top-drawer writers. Yes, better than Fleming, though one can never take away his marvelous character creations.

Richard Brooks, Sunday Times

Boyd avowedly returns to the Fleming roots… Boyd’s prose is lean, confident and well-crafted.

Ben Felsenburg, Metro

Showing the superspy as a complex character who weeps.

Sun

I was gripped by the story.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Bookseller

A terrific twisting thriller

Sunday Times

William Boyd brings back the real Bond, triumphantly

Daily Mail

A triumph. Bond is back

Observer

Works brilliantly well

Mail on Sunday

Superb

Scotsman

The late Ian Fleming would surely have approved

Daily Mail

Brilliant

Spectator

Keeps us on our toes until the closing pages

Financial Times

Terrific… A tremendous Bond story

Sunday Times

Exciting stuff… Mission accomplished, Mr Boyd

Sun

Manages to enrich and refresh a character we thought we knew too well. Solo is a terrific twisting thriller – just when you smugly think you have spotted a huge hole in the plot, Boyd turns it breathtakingly around.

David Mills, Sunday Times

Since the death of Ian Fleming, plenty of writers have tried their hand at perpetuating the career of James Bond, with mixed results. Boyd’s Solo is undoubtedly one of the best.

Mail on Sunday

A triumphant thriller worthy of Bond’s creator Ian Fleming.

Daily Express

I found myself wondering if Boyd had outdone Fleming.

Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

[Boyd is] an ideal writer of James Bond novels, and this one, his first, is very good

William Leith, Evening Standard

Perfectly judged homage

Mail on Sunday

A brand new James Bond adventure combining all the glamour and excitement of Fleming’s original novels with the masterful storytelling of William Boyd

Western Morning News

A very good piece of literary ventriloquism, with a great baddie

Heathrow Express

Perfectly judged homage

Mail on Sunday

Fleming’s James Bond lives again in this perfectly judged homage

Mail on Sunday

A brilliant James Bond pastiche by a better writer than Ian Fleming.

Barry Humphries, Spectator

Brand-mad boys will love it. Boyd outdoes Fleming in politically incorrect, cocktail-slurping, Sobranie-smoking glamour, gastronomic and sexual specificity, gun technology and violence.

Christian Hardyment, The Times

Slyly deconstructs the assumptions – paternalist, imperialist, patriarchal – that underpin Bond’s world, and concludes with a potent denunciation not only of the realpolitik of the late 1960s but of our own time... It is a lonely and chastened 007 whom we leave on the final page, one who possesses a sense of cultural and historical perspective that could only have been granted to him by someone like Boyd.

Jonathan Barnes, Times Literary Supplement

Boyd's prose is crisp and clean, and the story fairly ricochets through its twists and turns as Bond zips from London to east Africa and on to the US. Fans of the original Fleming novels will find much to enjoy.

Declan Burke, Irish Times

Look how nice the new Bond novel looks.

Shortlist

Triumphantly the equal of the great Bond adventures… A brilliant imitation that’s occasionally superior to the prototype. Boyd IS Bond.

Robert McCrun, Guardian

A fantastic read, which I ripped through in the time it would take to watch Skyfall, as it happens, and I found it significantly more enjoyable.

The Times

Written with aplomb, Boyd’s Bond novel is a terrific twisting thriller.

Sunday Times

Boyd was a smart choice for a Bond thriller. The action clips along. There are welcome literary flourishes and a dense plot.

Richard Fitzpatrick, Irish Examiner

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099578970

    May 1, 2014

    Vintage

    352 pages

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

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  • Audio CD

    9781846573774

    October 15, 2013

    Audiobooks

    RRP $46.99

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    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook

    9781448155163

    September 26, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
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