“The name’s Bond. James Bond. He/him.”
After decades fighting “evil masterminds bent on Britannia’s destruction”, says Ross Douthat in The New York Times, “the 21st-century version of James Bond has found a very 21st-century antagonist”. In the newest 007 novel, On His Majesty’s Secret Service by Charlie Higson, our hero is charged with protecting King Charles III from a new breed of supervillain: a Brexity “Little Englander” who goes by the nom de guerre Athelstan of Wessex. Bond, while carrying on a healthy “situationship” with a busy immigration lawyer, infiltrates a right-wing conspiracy to foil a terrorist attack at Charles’s coronation, musing all the while on the “superiority of the metric system and the deplorable dog whistles of populism”. The book’s mere existence seems “designed to agitate conservatives”.