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 "Breaking the Ice" - Your views on John Gardner's Icebreaker (1983)?

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Secret Files
Secret Files

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12

PostSubject: "Breaking the Ice" - Your views on John Gardner's Icebreaker (1983)?   Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:43 am

As there's never been a specific thread here on John Gardner's third James Bond continuation novel Icebreaker (1983) I thought that I would remedy this fact and start a thread where we can discuss, review, criticise and even help conduct some research on the novel.

For many literary Bond fans (myself included) this is one of John Gardner's best James Bond novels, and some even call it the best. It's known that it was one of John Gardner's personal favourites from his Bond back catalogue, his ultimate favourite being the similarly plotted The Man From Barbarossa (1991).

Icebreaker saw John Gardner return the literary Bond to the subject of the Nazis, past and present (see Sir Hugo Drax in Ian Fleming's Moonraker) and a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Action Army (NSAA) who were killing Communist Party members and associates the world over in a terrorist campaign designed to usher in a Fourth Reich in Europe. The NSAA may have been based on this similarly-titled Neo-Nazi political party of the early 1980s in Britain (linked below) which also attacked Communists and was involved (like the villain Count Konrad von Gloda) in arms smuggling to further its nefarious ends:

Digging around, I've also found this neo-Nazi LP. I don't know whether or not it is influenced by Gardner's Icebreaker or not but it is interesting nonetheless:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this novel and what I've written about the possible inspiration for Gardner's NSAA villain's organisation in this thread. Let's get a good conversation going here.
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Senior Correspondent

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Member Since : 2012-01-09
Location : TN, USA

PostSubject: Re: "Breaking the Ice" - Your views on John Gardner's Icebreaker (1983)?   Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:57 am

It's been some time since I read it and I've been meaning to do a complete series re-read. When I first read it it felt like a step backwards from FOR SPECIAL SERVICES at first-but suddenly the book clicked in my mind and it moved like a really good old fashioned spy thriller narrative set in the snowy climate.
I'd rate it as one of his best even if it is more like a film than a convoluted spy novel. It certainly moves quickly and is an enjoyable read with some good characters, double crosses and setpieces. I still remember to left foot brake in icy driving moments thinking I'm in the Saab with the snow plow coming out at me from nowhere.

I think I'd rate it close to the top of Gardner Bonds probably something like this:
1. For Special Serives
2. Nobody Lives Forever
3. Role of Honour
4. Icebreaker
5. Licence Renewed
6. Win Lose or Die
7. Death is Forever
8. No Deals Mr. Bond
9. Scorpius
10. Brokenclaw
11. Man From Barbossa
12. Seafire
13. Never Send Flowers
14. Cold Fall
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"Breaking the Ice" - Your views on John Gardner's Icebreaker (1983)?
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