»Lately, though, publishers have been pulling out some mighty big guns in the series revival game. This fall, two celebrated British novelists, Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong) and William Boyd (Any Human Heart) have published a new Jeeves and Wooster and a new James Bond novel, respectively. Come spring, the Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville will publish a new Philip Marlowe novel under the pseudonym he uses for his own detective fiction, Benjamin Black. All three of these authors can be counted among the most esteemed British and Irish literary novelists alive today — which is a far cry from pen-for-hire jobbers like Ripley.«
When celebrated literary novelists revive classic heroes of popular fiction, the results can be surprisingly good, says Laura Miller. Her view on new books by Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd and John Banville with familiar characters at Salon.
»And Mr. Boyd has received mixed reviews from the public and from critics, perhaps because the James Bond many readers have come to expect is not Fleming’s at all, but the much more exciting cinematic version.«
Star characters, spun anew, may live well more than twice: Sarah Lyall about the return of James Bond, Jeeves and Philip Marlowe in new books by William Boyd, Sebastian Faulks and John Banville (aka Benjamin Black). Her view at The New York Times.
»Benjamin Black is a craftsman and takes great pride in being a craftsman; Banville has pretentions to be an artist. (…) Both are after different things. You could say that Black writes about what people do whereas Banville tries to write about what people are.«
John Banville/Benjamin Black
Many faces: Ian Floyd in conversation with John Banville aka Benjamin Black about his latest novel Holy Orders. Read the interview at Kirkus Reviews.