Title: Nobody Lives Forever
Author: John Gardner
Gardner, John (1986). Nobody Lives Forever. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Date Updated: March 12, 2015
If anyone does live forever, it’s likely to be the definitive swashbuckler invented by the late Ian Fleming and starred in Gardner’s fifth tale of James Bond’s feats. Secret agent 007 is driving through France when he learns that his demonic foe Tamil Rahani will pay a fortune to whomever delivers Bond’s head on a silver plate. The entire thug population of Europe is competing for the prize, and the intended victim is lucky that two luscious and daring females are traveling with him. They rescue him from certain death repeatedly as he races to meet his housekeeper, May, and the loyal secretary, Miss Moneypenny, at the clinic in Austria where May is recovering from pneumonia. Holding the winning hand, however, Rahani’s gang has abducted the women and 007 must risk decapitation to save them. The mission takes the hero and his bodyguards to an island off the Florida coast where Rahani is waiting with an authentic guillotine in an impregnable castle. In true comic-book fashion, the gory chapters detail the horrors that kill almost everyone except Bond who obviously won’t die until he wants to.