Finished Battlefield Earth a couple of weeks ago. It was...okay. Certainly nowhere near as bad as I'd dreaded, but I think I remembered it more as whizz bam action a la Star Wars. It had a fair bit of that, but also a heck of a lot of boardroom politics in the last 200 pages or so. And during the action scenes, lots of exclamation marks! With very onomatopaeic descriptions! Whoomph! Crash! Like this!
Followed that up by returning to James Bond, firstly John Gardner's Never Send Flowers. After finding Death is Forever really really good, this was less so. Not actually bad as such, but the whole EuroDisney sequence at the end felt like product placement, and Bond's sheer enthusiasm for the place felt totally out of character.
Then Gardner's novelisation of Goldeneye, which felt really weak. Whether that's 'cos the film itself is weak, I don't know (I sort of started watching it, but didn't get far).
That was a bit of an anticlimax, really, 'cos now I've read all the Bond novels and film novelisations - including Fleming's, Colonel Sun, the two novelisations from the '70s, the Gardner and Benson novels, and Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels. I still don't own a copy of Gardner's Cold yet, but I read a copy I borrowed from a friend at university. On the whole, my memory is of Gardner's novels starting off really well in the '80s, but by the time he stopped writing them...well, maybe it was a good job he stopped.
Some time I'll have to do a re-read of the whole lot in order.
Then on Monday I started The Vesuvius Club, which is terrific fun - I generally like Gatiss as a writer (the only real exception being his newWho ep The Unquiet Dead, and this has so far exceeded my expectations. I'm looking forward to reading all three of the Lucifer Box novels.
In other book news, I now have a lovely set of Lord of the Rings editions with film tie-in covers and high page/low word-per-page count, which Sarah bought me for as a Valentine's pressie 1p each (plus postage and packing) from Amazon marketplace. I, meanwhile, bought her the deluxe super edition of the 1986 Transformers movie for a couple of quid plus p&p, also from Amazon marketplace. Who said romance is dead?
Also, I lent Sarah Stephen Fry's Making History [yay! icon relevance!], on the sensible basis that it's an excellent book. I hope she'll actually get round to reading it.