Brokenclaw

John Gardner, Author Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-13541-5
In his ninth appearance from Gardner's ( Win, Lose or Die ) pen, agent 007, James Bond, is recuperating from burnout in San Francisco. But he is soon activated and charged with preventing classified submarine-detection secrets from falling into Chinese hands. And, while he's at it, to stop this post-Tiananmen Square crowd from destroying Wall Street and other financial centers. Masterminding the villainy here is Brokenclaw Lee, a 64, sexually insatiable, half Chinese/half Blackfoot Indian with rippling muscles. His one physical flaw is his left hand: his thumb is on the wrong side, which can be a problem if you're trying to play Cat's Cradle. Something else problematic is that Bond is both obnoxious and racist. He snarls at prostitutes and yells at their johns, ``If you miss AIDS, you'll end up with herpes.'' He also threatens to disfigure innocent Chinese shopgirls, while other Orientals, for the most part, are either ``cabbages'' or gamblers, smell bad or talk funny. But for most of the book, Bond is playing gastronome or pushing commercial products (``He rubbed himself down with Clinique soap, which he had only recently discovered, and now preferred to anything he had ever used before''). Of course, there are the standard threats of castration or dismemberment by wolves, and women who enjoy three-hour bouts of sexual intercourse shortly after they've been brutally whipped. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-12721-6
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