The Man with the Red Tattoo

( 7 )

Overview

"When an important British businessman and his family are killed in Tokyo by a virulent form of West Nile disease, James Bond susects a mass assassination. His mission to Japan reunites him with his old friend Tiger Tanaka. It's been years since they worked together, but the dangers they faced then are nothing compared with what awaits them today." "Teamed with beautiful Japanese agent Reiko Tamura, 007 searches for the killers and the one surviving daughter, Mayumi. Bond's discoveries lead him to believe that two powerful factions controlled by
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Overview

"When an important British businessman and his family are killed in Tokyo by a virulent form of West Nile disease, James Bond susects a mass assassination. His mission to Japan reunites him with his old friend Tiger Tanaka. It's been years since they worked together, but the dangers they faced then are nothing compared with what awaits them today." "Teamed with beautiful Japanese agent Reiko Tamura, 007 searches for the killers and the one surviving daughter, Mayumi. Bond's discoveries lead him to believe that two powerful factions controlled by the mysterious terrorist Goro Yoshida are playing God. Between them they have created the perfect weapon, one small and seemingly insignificant enough to strike anywhere, unnoticed." With an emergency G8 summit meeting just days away, Bond has his work cut out for him to discover when - and how - the next attack will occur. It's a race against time as Bond confronts both man and nature in a desperate bid to stop the release of a deadly virus that could destroy the Western world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This latest addition to the James Bond canon includes virtually all the requisite components, from an evil villain with a diabolical plot to exotic settings and beautiful women. But what's missing is the biggest piece of all: Bond himself. This time around, Benson's Bond is strangely inert; he lacks the suavity, verve and wit that have made him one of the most engaging heroes in genre fiction. The story line is compelling enough: 007 is in Japan to baby-sit the British prime minister at a summit conference and to investigate mysterious deaths in the McMahon family, whose patriarch ran pharmaceutical giant CureLab. Bond reunites with an aging Tiger Tanaka, who featured in Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice, as they pursue Goro Yoshida, the terrorist who links both parts of Bond's mission. Yoshida is a clich monomaniacal and merciless but an interesting one, bent on using biological weapons to punish Western society for polluting traditional Japanese culture. He even has an evil dwarf sidekick, Junji Kon, the knife-wielding embodiment of a kappa, a mythical creature in Japanese folklore. The other Bond tropes are present: love interests (Reiko Tamura, Tanaka's colleague; and Mayumi, the sole survivor of the McMahon family), cinematic action and gadgets (including a Palm Pilot packed with plastic explosive). But it's Bond himself who propels readers along, and here he is a mere facsimile of the real thing. (June) Forecast: Benson has published five other Bond novels/pastiches, two novelizations of films and The James Bond Bedside Companion. Fans will snap this up to feed their habit, but it's unlikely to draw new readers to the franchise. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
James Bond, British Intelligence's immortal action hero, returns to Japan to stop a Mishima-quoting crimelord whose killer mosquitoes threaten to disrupt a G8 conference, and worse. With terrorists maintaining a daily presence in the news, the greatest challenge for Benson, the American author currently working the Bond book franchise, is plotting a tale that can have Bond do what the US military doesn't: infiltrate a terrorist organization and take down the bad guy in charge. Benson succeeds by sticking with the tried if not-so-true formula: deluxe tourism (Bond endures endless lectures about Japanese culture, sees the sights and stays in only luxury hotels, so he can maintain his cover as a wealthy playboy, Benson tells us), over-the-top action (a flashy sword-fight during a Kabuki performance, a bout with a karate-kicking dwarf inside the 50 km-long undersea Seikan Tunnel) and sex-first with Reiko Tamura, a brainy aide to Tiger Tanaka, the semiretired head of Japanese law enforcement first introduced in Fleming's You Only Live Twice (1967), then with Mayumi McMahon, a high-class prostitute "practically perfect in every way" who inherits a drug company after Japanese mafiosi murder her relatives. Tattooed Japanese nationalist Goro Yoshida, first introduced in Never Dream of Dying (2001), needs the drug company to breed genetically altered mosquitoes whose sting inflicts a fatal form of West Nile disease. Yoshida's reasons for setting his bugs loose at a G8 conference, and then in cities throughout the world, aren't terribly clear, but it's enough for Bond to get involved, equipped with an exploding Palm Pilot, a collar-stay knife, a packet of gas-making antacid pills, and his trustyWalther PPK. Benson's prose is as limp as ever ("Tokyo lay before him, a sprawling, metropolitan machine")-but for mindless escapism, Bond suffices when nothing else will.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786193806
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Series: James Bond Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Benson is the author of The Facts of Death, Zero Minus Ten, High Time to Kill and the novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. He is a director of The Ian Fleming Foundation. Benson lives and works in the Chicago area.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2004

    Winner of Bondalike Contest??

    If it sounds like Bond and looks like Bond and acts like Bond, is it Bond? For the answer read ANY of Ian Fleming's books now reiussed in paperback and decide yourself. Better yet, read HAWKE by Ted Bell. A 21st Century Bond cut from whole cloth, not a re- tread. I bought it based on Jim Patterson's quote on the cover calling Bell the new Cussler and Hawke the new Bond. I wasn't disappointed. You won't be either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    The Man with the Gold Tattoo

    I am someone who HATES to read but when I was in Barnes & Noble I picked up this book and read the back and I was immediatly drawn to it. This being the first book of James Bond I've read I found it thrilling and exciting, I have seen all the movies and am proud to be called a James Bond freak and after reading this book I order 4 other works of Raymond Benson from this site, Zero Minus Ten, Never Dream of Dying, The Facts of Death & Doubleshot. and I have no doubt in my mind they will be just as good as The Man With the Red Tattoo. I can't wait to get these books and read them. Raymond Benson has done a great job and I hope to read more of his work soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    Benson delivers another excellent Bond novel.

    In an era of contrived attempts to ¿personalize¿ Bond¿s missions or ¿peal back the layers¿ of Bond¿s psyche, it¿s refreshing to have a straightforward Bond-on-a-dangerous- assignment-in-an-exotic-locale adventure, and that¿s what Raymond Benson delivers in THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO, his best stand alone Bond thriller to date. This time, Mr. Bond, it ISN¿T personal. Halleluiah! Even the return of the Walther PPK seems to be Benson¿s way of saying, ¿Let¿s just use what has always worked and enough with the self-conscious `updating¿ of the character.¿ In this way I think RED TATTOO is well ahead of the curve, and just reinforces the fact that Benson is the best of all the post-Fleming Bond authors. But a straightforward plot doesn¿t mean RED TATTOO is lacking in character depth. Just the opposite is true. Japan holds dark memories for Bond, and that aspect is not ignored. Whereas John Gardner might have given a passing reference to Bond¿s legendary ordeal in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, Benson uses the ¿ghosts¿ of Bond¿s past as a full-fledged complication. Fans will not be disappointed in how Benson weaves elements of the Fleming masterpiece into this current book, nor will they be disappointed in the action. Gunfights and fistfights abound in RED TATTOO. It¿s probably Benson¿s most violent book to date¿the body count is quite high¿but this seems to be in keeping with the Asian action movie milieu the book frequently evokes. The methodology of the villain¿s master plan is ingenious and is the best conceived caper we¿ve had, book or film, in quite some time. And speaking of films, have I mentioned that RED TATTOO would make an amazing Bond movie? Well, it would. For the seasoned Bond fan THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO is the perfect book at the perfect time. For those who have yet to read a Benson book and are looking for a classic cocktail of Bondian action, suspense, and exotic locales, you would be well advised to start right here.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2002

    The Man With No Writing Skills

    It's a sad commentary on how corporations can annoint someone a best-selling author, complete with promotion accounts, regardless of whether the writer is any good at all. This book shows how consistently cliche, weak, and predictable Benson's Bond series remains. Ian Fleming could describe masterfully yet stay brief. Benson imitates this by describing every detail of a hotel lobby, thinking this makes it descriptive writing. It doesn't. The plot itself is predictable and formulated with all the usual characters to drag it along. Don't waste your money on this pap, even if you're looking for a light beach read. There are countless others to choose from, starting with Fleming's original work, soon to be reissued.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb Bond tale

    On a flight from Tokyo to England, passenger Kyoko McMahon becomes violently ill before dying. At about the same time near Tokyo, Kyoto¿s parents and her older sister also die. In England, the coroner believes that Kyoko died from a strand of West Nile disease, but only ten times deadlier than the normal strain. <P>James Bond attends the G8 summit in Japan to provide added protection to his country¿s leadership. He also investigates the deaths of the McMahon family, as the patriarch was a Scottish citizen and the CEO of a powerful pharmaceutical firm. Bond prefers not to return to Japan as he has bad memories though he appreciates the grace and beauty of the women. He soon works with his old friend Tiger Tanaka and agent Reiko Tamura in a race against a doomsday clock. Japanese Mafia Yami Shogun Goro Yoshida plots an end to western domination especially kicking America off his beloved nation¿s soil through a strand of virus that makes the deaths of the McMahon seem slow and gentle. <P>THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO is the best of the neo-Bond light tales. Raymond Benson returns Bond to what makes the character interesting to readers, yet humanizes 007 with his bad memories of Japan. The story line is quite exciting with global implications yet simplistic. The support cast is fun especially the return of Tiger and the villain who seems a lot like Bin Laden, as he wants the American presence off his beloved island nation. Mr. Benson makes a case that he is the heir to Mr. Fleming. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    Benson delivers another excellent Bond novel.

    In an era of contrived attempts to ¿personalize¿ Bond¿s missions or ¿peal back the layers¿ of Bond¿s psyche, it¿s refreshing to have a straightforward Bond-on-a-dangerous-assignment-in-an- exotic-locale adventure, and that¿s what Raymond Benson delivers in THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO, his best stand alone Bond thriller to date. This time, Mr. Bond, it ISN'T personal. Thank Christ! Even the return of the Walther PPK seems to be Benson¿s way of saying, ¿Let¿s just use what has always worked and enough with the self-conscious `updating¿ of the character.¿ In this way I think RED TATTOO is well ahead of the curve. But that doesn¿t mean RED TATTOO is lacking in character depth. Quiet the opposite, in fact. Japan holds dark memories for Bond, and that aspect is not ignored. Whereas John Gardner might have given a passing reference to Bond¿s legendary ordeal in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, Benson uses the ¿ghosts¿ of Bond¿s past as a full-fledged complication. Fans will not be disappointed in how Benson weaves elements of the Fleming masterpiece into this current book, nor will they be disappointed in the action. Gunfights and fistfights abound in RED TATTOO. It¿s probably Benson¿s most violent book to date¿the body count is quite high¿but this seems to be in keeping with the Asian action movie milieu the book frequently evokes. The methodology of the villain¿s master plan is ingenious and is the best conceived caper we¿ve had, book or film, in quite some time. And speaking of films, have I mentioned that RED TATTOO would make an amazing Bond movie? Well, it would. For the seasoned Bond fan THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO is the perfect book at the perfect time. For those who have yet to read a Benson book and are looking for a classic cocktail of Bondian action, suspense, and exotic locales, you would be well advised to start right here.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2002

    Benson brings Bond back again, with some interesting turns

    After recently purchasing The Man With The Red Tattoo, I found that Raymond Benson had once again improved upon the Bond character. Taking him into the heart of Japan, he puts Bond face to face with the yakuza. I found the plot to be gripping, and the action was tremendously done. The only dark spot is the handling of Bond's romantics, I found it to be lacking in development.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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