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JOHN GARDNER
The Liquidator


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Corgi, London, 1966
first published 1964
(price: 3/6; 160 pages)

dedication: For Jane, Robert and Thelma


The blurb on the back:

If you mourn the death of Ian Fleming - as millions do - you will be looking around for the successor to Fleming's remarkable hero, James Bond.
Look no further. John Gardner's agent (known by the code letter 'L' for Liquidator), Boysie Oakes, has arrived on the scene.
Like James Bond, Boysie has high standards of food, drink, and women. But e's not
quite like James Bond, not like any other agent you may have come across.

'I don't want to give anything away about this novel because it contains cunning surprises - not least about Boysie's character. Mr Gardner may have set a new trend. Certainly he must write another Boysie book.' - Birmingham Evening Mail He has. Watch out for Understrike and, later, Amber Nine. And there's to be a major film of The Liquidator.


Oh hell, you can read the sleeve notes. I don't really have anything to add to that, 'cos I'm no expert on James Bond or his imitators. But this falls somewhere in that camp as an imitation/pastiche/parody/tribute, albeit with a stronger sense of humour, and it obviously worked well enough, since Gardner (an alcoholic ex-Anglican priest) subsequently got the gig of writing new Bond novels.

In the film, Rod Taylor portrayed Boysie Oakes with a supporting cast that included Trevor Howard, Jill St John, Wilfred Hyde White and Eric Sykes. The director was Jack Cardiff, later to give the world The Girl on the Motorcycle. Here's some pretty pictures:


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


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the soundtrack album

from the maker of:
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The Censor
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Moriarty

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The Spy With The Cold Nose
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