One of my favourite series of books that I have read in my lifetime was the James Bond books by Ian Fleming.  I originally read them in my teens and was so enthused that I eventually named our first born son James. 

I have not read any of the Bond books in many years.  I knew that there were authorized versions by other authors to carry on the franchise but was never interested.  Lets face it, aside from the first few movies every movie made since have been full fabrications and I was loyal to the Ian Fleming versions.

Anyway I was browsing at the Library and came across the Jeffery Deaver authorized version of James Bond called Carte Blanche.  I have read a number of books by Deaver, none scoring higher than 3 out of 5 in my scoring system, but I decided to try it.  Big mistake. 

Should have realized from the opening sentence.  “His hand on the dead-man throttle, the driver of the Serbian Rail diesel felt the thrill he always did on this particular stretch of railway heading north from Belgrade”  I mean how pathetic and amateur. 

I have always been a big believer that you  can judge a book by the first line.  Classic one is “It was a dark and stormy night”   Or one of my own creations “The bullet came from nowhere stinging my face with fragments from the brick wall beside me”    Now would you not continue to read that story?

I eventually abandoned Carte Blanche after a dozen pages as it was so trite and poorly written.  Proving my theory that if the first line is corny the rest does not get better.  I then went down to the basement and pulled out one of my vintage Bond books “Thunderball”  Very dated in political correctness with reference to Chinese characters as Chinamen and Bond’s propensity to chastise  Miss Moneypenny that he should give her a good spanking.  Not to mention the 60 unfiltered cigarettes he smoked each day (as every true man should).  But the writing is great.  The story flows and the action is descriptive.