Excerpt from Silverfin by Charlie Higson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Silverfin

A James Bond Adventure

By Charlie Higson

Silverfin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2005,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2006,
    368 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

James was shivering. His body felt raw, as if he'd had the skin peeled off it, like Croaker's eel. He rubbed his arms to try to get some feeling back into them, and the raised goose bumps made them feel as rough as sandpaper.

If it was this cold out of the water, what was it going to be like in it?

Well, there was only one way to find out.

It was half an hour before afternoon lessons and he was standing on a low diving board at Ward's Mead, peering at the water, which looked like some of Codrose's less appetizing soup. Cold soup. Freezing-cold soup.

"Come on, then," he said out loud. "Just do it."

He pulled back his arms, took a deep breath and flung himself forward. When he entered the water it was like being hit by a cricket bat. He was stunned by the cold and for a moment he couldn't move, but then he came alive, clawed his way to the surface and gasped. All his limbs were aching and his throbbing head felt numb. The only way to stay in the water and stop himself from jumping out was to swim. He thrashed across the Mead to the other side and fought the urge to get out and run back to his room. After a moment's hesitation, he forced himself round and swam back to the other side.

Weak sunlight was filtering through the low cloud; at least it was warmer than yesterday, but these were hardly ideal swimming conditions. Nevertheless, if he was going to stand any chance in the cup, which was only three weeks away, he knew that he would have to get used to it.

After three widths he found that his body was adjusting to the temperature and, while it could never have been described as pleasant, at least he knew that he was not going to die after all.

He swam a few more widths, and when he had had just about all that he could stand he swam over to where he'd left his clothes and prepared to pull himself out of the water. But, just as he was getting his knees up, somebody put a shoe in his face and shoved him back into the Mead.

He looked up. It was George Hellebore.

"Hey, if it ain't my old pal, Jimmy Bond," he said.

"Hello, Hellebore." James once more tried to scramble out on to the grassy bank.

"Where do you think you're going in such a hurry?" said Hellebore, pushing him back in again.

"To get changed."

"Always in a hurry, aren't you, Bond? Always got to go somewhere fast."

"I'm cold and I want to get out."

"Yeah, I bet you do. Well, I'm in charge of the river today." Hellebore knelt down and gave James a big, sinister smile. "And if you want to get out, first of all you have to pass a little test."

James looked up into George's face. His china-blue eyes were glinting with crazy amusement and there was an ugly smirk on his lips.

"Look, Hellebore," said James, holding on to the side. "You're not in charge here."

"Hey, if I say I'm in charge, I'm in charge."

There was no point in arguing, Hellebore was backed up by his usual gang of cronies: Wallace, with his big, square head and gap-toothed grin, Sedgepole, who had an extremely small head and sticking-out ears, and Pruitt, who was rather good-looking and elegant. They leered at James, daring him to try his luck.

"What do you want?" said James, trying not to let his teeth rattle together with the cold.

"You fancy yourself as a bit of a swimmer, do you, Bond?" said the American, and Bond shrugged. "Well, I've not seen anybody in this country of yours that was half as good a swimmer as me. I practically grew up in the water."

"Yes," said Bond, kicking his legs to try and keep warm. "You're supposed to be quite good."

From SilverFin by Charlie Higson, pages 33-40 of the hardcover edition.  Copyright © 2005 by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.