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 Last Bond Novel You Read

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Fairbairn-Sykes
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:27 pm

trevanian wrote:
Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
SKYFALL has gotten me itching to read Pearson's Biography again. So I am.

His James didn't go angst in a cave when his parents died.

"James Bond surprised everyone with his self-possession. He says that in a strange way he was prepared for what had happened. When his father saw him off from King's Cross three weeks before, he knew that he would not be seeing him again. Now he remembered his father's words, 'You must look after yourself laddie. If you don't there's no one else that will.'"

Except for brother Henry (who I now picture as Sean Connery in LAST CRUSADE), I don't think Pearson cooks up anything outrageous in terms of a departure from Fleming, and he does a helluva job of giving Bond a complex and moving backstory. And he incorporates Fleming well, too.

Yeah I agree, and generally consider Pearson canon alongside Amis. Henry does strike me as odd though - I have always felt Bond an only child but I guessPearson wanted to mirror Fleming's own brother.
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:44 pm

I like Pearson--I do--but he gets really campy toward the end of BIOGRAPHY in a way that cheapens what came before.
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Loomis
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:15 am

Harmsway wrote:
I like Pearson--I do--but he gets really campy toward the end of BIOGRAPHY in a way that cheapens what came before.

Agreed.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Moves onto Dr No, early on a reminder of how I should've used Strangways as my user name. Good early seen with Major Bothroyd and how fantastic a name Mary Trueblood is.
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:10 am

I'm struggling to make it through HIGH TIME TO KILL.

"Helena was in heaven and Bond enjoyed watching her eat. She savored each bite, squeezing out the juices with her cheeks and tongue before chewing and swallowing. She had one of the most sensual mouths Bond had ever kissed."

Ew.
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saint mark
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:16 am

Have started in the 2nd Moneypenny diary after the first one convinced me it was a far better effort than the last two effort by continuation writers (and I generaly am a fan of mr Deavers writings). These books actually put the 007 saga in the real world with the double agents like Kim Philby put into the picture. In the first one the writer put the Cuban missile crisis into the story.

So far in the second book 007 has returned from Russia to assassinate M, and the book tells about the mood at MI6 about the return of the lost 00.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:27 am

Forgot to mention I finished TMWTGG weeks ago.

Feels like a Fleming story, and kinda makes a good ending for Fleming Bond with the character redeeming himself. But it lacks atmosphere, little details that Fleming would have put in to really transport you to the world of Bond.

Still, I liked plenty of this novel.
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AMC Hornet
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:37 am

So with Bond redeeming himself in TMWTGG and being back on active duty in Colonel Sun, who needs Devil May Care?
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:48 am

Nobody needs DEVIL MAY CARE.

That said, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and COLONEL SUN are not part of my personal canon, even though I greatly enjoy them. In my personal Bond canon, the series ends with YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:04 am

Harmsway wrote:
I'm struggling to make it through HIGH TIME TO KILL.

"Helena was in heaven and Bond enjoyed watching her eat. She savored each bite, squeezing out the juices with her cheeks and tongue before chewing and swallowing. She had one of the most sensual mouths Bond had ever kissed."

Ew.

Bond always did like mastication.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:48 pm

Harmsway wrote:
I'm struggling to make it through HIGH TIME TO KILL.

"Helena was in heaven and Bond enjoyed watching her eat. She savored each bite, squeezing out the juices with her cheeks and tongue before chewing and swallowing. She had one of the most sensual mouths Bond had ever kissed."

Ew.

What was she eating? laugh
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Vesper wrote:
Harmsway wrote:
I'm struggling to make it through HIGH TIME TO KILL.

"Helena was in heaven and Bond enjoyed watching her eat. She savored each bite, squeezing out the juices with her cheeks and tongue before chewing and swallowing. She had one of the most sensual mouths Bond had ever kissed."

Ew.
What was she eating? laugh
The preceding line:

"Dinner was a magnificent feast consisting of traditional conch chowder, peas 'n' rice, Bahamian lobster, Dover sole fillets simmered in white wine, cream, and mustard sauce and topped with shrimp, and pineapple spring rolls with rum creme anglaise for desert."
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Perilagu Khan
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:49 pm

Conch, lobster, sole and shrimp? Ichthyoverkill. Fleming would never have devised a meal of that sort.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Perilagu Khan wrote:
Conch, lobster, sole and shrimp? Ichthyoverkill.

Only one of those is a fish. ;)
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Peas n' rice.

At a dinner party held by the Governor of the Bahamas.

Right.
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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:50 pm

The GFC was hard on everyone.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:19 pm

AMC Hornet wrote:
So with Bond redeeming himself in TMWTGG and being back on active duty in Colonel Sun, who needs Devil May Care?

Harmsway wrote:
Nobody needs DEVIL MAY CARE.

That said, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and COLONEL SUN are not part of my personal canon, even though I greatly enjoy them. In my personal Bond canon, the series ends with YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

Never read any non-Fleming novel, so I guess I'll find out eventually.

Right now I'm on the short stories, got that Quantum of Solace book that Penguin released in 2008 containing all the short stories and since I was just getting into Fleming it was perfect timing. Strangely I have not read all of the short stories. Only "From a View to a Kill", "Quantum of Solace", "The Living Daylights" and "The Property of the Lady" four years ago.

I kind of wish for that edition they had just presented the short stories in release order, instead of having them in the same order as in FYEO/OP&TLD. Heck, since it was titled Quantum of Solace they might have started off with that short story since it was the first released, however odd it may work as the first story of the book.

Anyway, so far...

"From a View to a Kill"

Hmm, nothing special. Bond hiding, camouflaged in the branches with Fleming's description of the scenery is great to read. I love his prose. And when Bond watches Mary Ann Russell and she approaches him, I kinda wanna have that bit in a Bond film, just for amusement. Oogling at a beauty that approaches him but it turns out she's an agent and he snaps out of daydreaming. Besides the bike

"For Your Eyes Only"

This one I hadn't read. Pretty surprised to find out how much of this was used in the film version. Bond venturing to Von Hammerstein's house in the forest is more exciting than just driving and walking up to it as in the movie. laugh And Bond's interaction with Judy Havelock. How vengeance doesn't seem as fulfilling when you get down to the killing. More I think about this short story, the more I realize how the film version would have been perfect for Dalton. I just kept picturing him in this entry.

"Quantum of Solace"

The most oddball of all the Bond stories, if you could call this a Bond story at all. I enjoyed reading this one, but it's hard to really comment on it in the context of a Bond short story, because it really isn't. Fleming tells it well, I think that's all I'll say. Besides that, I recall someone saying that he thought this story should have been told to Bond in the film QOS, streamlined of course. Eh, they'd really have to reach for a reason to include this.

"Risico"

Every fan's favorite non-used Fleming title for Bond 23. Again like with FYEO, I'm surprised by how much of this was used in the film version. In retrospect Maibaum did a good job combining the two stories. They're easily the two strongest in the FYEO compilation book so it's no surprise why Maibaum jumped at those two when they ran out of novels.

And so far that's that. I'm reading one short story a day, usually during lunch. "The Hildebrand Rarity" is next.
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PostSubject: s   Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:41 am

Largo's Shark wrote:
Perilagu Khan wrote:
Conch, lobster, sole and shrimp? Ichthyoverkill.

Only one of those is a fish. ;)

Shellfish and fish--it's all fishy to me.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:08 am

About to slip into FYEO soon, I have a certain soft spot for QOS for whatever reason. Thinking today it could've made (in the 50's) a decent enough movie, not even as a Bond film. From the author of the James Bond novels..."Quantum of Solace" kind of thing. Bond could be some kind of periphery character (which he is I suppose anyway). Richard Todd kind of fair, heck even the likes (far ranging) as John Gregson, John Mills, Richard Burton, Rod Taylor and Gregory Peck.

Maybe even now, if there was a way of adapating it. Typical late night ITV/BBC4 fare.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:59 am

From Russia with Love

Fleming. 'Nuff said. Great novel.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:31 am

Currently plowing through a 60th anniversary re-vist of the complete Fleming Bond ouevre. Considering that Fleming first hunkered down at Goldeneye in 1952 to pen CR, then I can consider this year to be the 60th anniversary of Bond's creation, even if next year is the 60th anniversary of publication.

CR, LALD, MR, DAF, FRWL, DN have been consumed. Now in the early stages of GF. Just completed Talk of Gold, Colonel Smithers gold lecture, which also serves up GF's backstory.

A few notes: Bond sure pounds the bourbon back at the Miami airport, both by himself and with Du Pont. Bond was up to at least 6 drinks at the airport bar, and then they carry on further at the crab bar, where they get into martinis and champagne and I think a small ocean's worth of crab.

In DN Fleming goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure we know that all the bad guys that Bond must kill in the escape from Crab Key are indeed really bad guys. Before Bond blows away the three thugs in the mountain, Fleming makes sure that Bond and we the gentle reader, hear them talking smack about what they would do to Honey, although Bond would have had to kill them anyway, even if they were mute. Bonus that he knows they were authentic baddies though, and not just poor saps that needed a job, and got hoodwinked into working for evil.

Before Bond plunges the knife into the crane operator, Fleming/Bond establishes for us that this character could very well be the same one, that incinerated Quarrel. Good to know that he really deserves what he's getting. Fleming I think suspects that he might be moralizing a tad much, so he has Honey explain to Bond, that he doesn't have to explain or apologize for killing these lowlifes. "don't be stupid" shey says. "Just blow the bastards away so we can get the hell out of here" she might have added. We also learned that the three thugs in the mountain might also have been the guys that killed Strangways and the girl too. OMG. I'm suprised Bond didn't kill them twice.

Even in DAF, Fleming has Bond do a brief body count, where its established that all the dead needed to be killed. So sad. We get another tally and justification exposition in the final chapter, when Bond puts down the last Spang brother. I do like how much of DAF book was worked into the movie, even if the time setting had to be radically fast-forwarded.

The ending of DN was almost soft-core. That was pretty racy writing, even for nowadays, never mind 1958. But Honey had been panting for love practically since Bond met her, so Bond finally stepped up, although he had to set his scrumptious meal aside, and we know how he likes his food. Choices.

Honey is the third virgin or near virgin (not including rape) that Bond has deflowered in the early books. She, Solitaire and Tiffany Case could get together and do a combined memoir about how Bond initiated them in the ways of love. Amore.

I laugh in FRWL. Fleming sure revels in Klebbs ugliness. I swear he goes on for two pages with his initial decriptions of Klebb's hideousness. I need to pour a double bourbon though when he has Klebb put on the dress and try to entice Tania. Enough is enough. Please stop. I'm going to have nightmares.

And later, when Bond meets Klebb, we get another half-page decription of her utter revoltingness, but this time from Bond's pov.

Last seen being carried out in a laundry hamper, we learn from M in DN, that she "died." Presumably one of the Mi6 interrogators was revolted to the point, that he just put her down.

"Sorry M, I just couldn't stand the sight of the woman any more."

DN remains my favourite Fleming. This is the book where Fleming blew wide open the supervillain, big lairs, and grand-scheme motifs. It starts with the Mink Lined Prison chapter. The escapist fantasy of the films is firmly rooted in books like DN.

GF is probably my second favourite Bond. It seems to be the lengthiest of the books to this point. Really looking forward to revisiting the "5 secret occasions in the life of 007" after GF.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:43 am

"Before Bond blows away the three thugs in the mountain, Fleming makes sure that Bond and we the gentle reader, hear them talking smack about what they would do to Honey"

I'm gonna cut me off a slice of da' white woman. Haw haw!

No you're not. **boom!**


You're right, tiffy. Fleming is very defensive about Bond's killing. Goes to great pains to show how much Bond hates killing the various fiends. Drives me nuts, sometimes.

"I laugh in FRWL. Fleming sure revels in Klebbs ugliness. I swear he goes on for two pages with his initial decriptions of Klebb's hideousness."

Fleming's description of Klebb is utter genius. The best description of a human being I've ever read. Refers to her mouth as a "wet trap." Haw haw!

laugh

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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:31 am

Just finished up OCTOPUSSY (which is to say, Octopussy, Property of a Lady, and TLD). TLD is one of my favourite bits of Fleming fiction.

I haven't written any proper reviews of GF, FYEO, TB, or OP, like I did for the previous novels. Should probably get on that.

Well, onwards to SPY WHO LOVED ME! Haven't read this one in ages, but I've always defended the experiment. I have always liked the idea of looking at a larger-than-life heroic character from the POV of a "normal" person in that fictional universe.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:06 pm

Wait until you've finished OHMSS before declaring which novel is Fleming's best.

Even then, you still need to devour YOLT & TMWTGG, and hopefully you'll be able to choose a favorite without feeling any need to dis on the rest, the way moviegoers do about DAF, DAD, Brosnan vs Craig, etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:54 pm

AMC Hornet wrote:
Wait until you've finished OHMSS before declaring which novel is Fleming's best.

Even then, you still need to devour YOLT & TMWTGG, and hopefully you'll be able to choose a favorite without feeling any need to dis on the rest, the way moviegoers do about DAF, DAD, Brosnan vs Craig, etc.

If this is directed at me, don't worry, I've read all the Fleming's many times over. Got them all devoured initially age 12-15, and I've re-read them scattershot since, but its been a few years, so now I am reading them in order, for the first time.

I can't really rank them. They are all equally brilliant. DN is my favourite but not by much. TMWTGG might be the only one that's not quite as strong as the others, but I don't believe Fleming actually finished this book himself. It's said it was finished for him, after he died.

Fleming's Bond can be the quite the glib character. He's got some real personality. Very smooth with the women and quite the smartass sometimes, especially when talking to megalomaniacal villains, and armourers that force new handguns on him.

"KINDY INFORM ARMOURER SMITH AND WESSON INEFFECTIVE AGAINST FLAME-THROWER ENDIT"

DN: Slave Time

The Connery/Young Bond persona is really a lot closer to Fleming than I'd thought. What throws it off a bit is that Sean's face, to me never looked quite like book-Bond's face. I've always pictured a more Rog-like visage but with a more dangerous look and manner.

These books are a pleasure to re-read. You never know what kind of tangent Fleming is going to go off on.

I am though going to buy a good bottle of whiskey to mix with soda and ice. Bond's drinking is prodigous. Least I could do is sip along with him.

@khanners. Yep, the Klebb descriptions had me laughing out loud again and then he does it all over again, when Bond meets her, in case we had forgotten how hideous she was. laugh

Fleming's pretty hard on GF's appearance too, and short people in general.

“Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big - bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napoleon had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.” laugh
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