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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   Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:50 pm

And here I am at five foot four!
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:57 pm

Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
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.

Of all the novels, that's still the one I never read a page of. I got all of the books in 2008 except that one. Wasn't until recently I bought it, yet I skipped it after TB because I was really eager to jump onto OHMSS. I'll likely read it after I finish the remaining short stories. I'm interested in how that one pans out, despite the mixed responses and Fleming apparently dismissing it later.
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:56 pm

Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
And here I am at five foot four!

You can compensate by disdaining the Windsor knot, and being able to order the right wine with fish.

Or if you bump into Bond at an airport brooding over his latest having-to-kill episode, ply him with bourbon-on- the-rocks and strike-up a convo about the hazards of women drivers, and he'll be your best friend.

“Women are often meticulous and safe drivers, but they are very seldom first-class. In general, Bond regarded them as a mild hazard and he always gave them plenty of road and was ready for the unpredictable. Four women in a car he regarded as the highest potential danger, and two women nearly as lethal. Women together cannot keep silent in a car, and when women talk they have to look into each other’s faces. An exchange of words is not enough. They have to see the other person’s expression, perhaps to read behind the others’ words or analyze the reaction to their own. So two women in the front seat of a car constantly distract each other’s attention from the road ahead and four women are more than doubly dangerous for the driver not only has to hear and see, what her companion is saying but also, for women are like that, what the two behind are talking about.”
― Ian Fleming, Thunderball laugh

In the pyramid van-hijinks scene with Anya, Rog was apparently invoking Fleming. "women drivers"
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:03 am

tiffanywint wrote:
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...:
Don't worry, Tiff, this wasn't directed at anyone personally. I was just venting about comparison dissers in general.

My favorite Fleming novels are his first three and his last three, plus DAF and TB, but I still like Dr. No - which doesn't leave much, and the ones I didn't mention I still enjoy occasionally. I am more judgmental of the continuation novels, and even then I'll read my least favorite ones now and then.

Like the films, they seem to have their own sub-categories: gritty, classy, witty, fantasy or any combination thereof; in an effort to be all things to all audiences, we are provided with a great selection to choose from, and I appreciate that, as I'm not always in the same mood.
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PostSubject: s   Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:31 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
And here I am at five foot four!

You can compensate by disdaining the Windsor knot, and being able to order the right wine with fish.

Or if you bump into Bond at an airport brooding over his latest having-to-kill episode, ply him with bourbon-on- the-rocks and strike-up a convo about the hazards of women drivers, and he'll be your best friend.

“Women are often meticulous and safe drivers, but they are very seldom first-class. In general, Bond regarded them as a mild hazard and he always gave them plenty of road and was ready for the unpredictable. Four women in a car he regarded as the highest potential danger, and two women nearly as lethal. Women together cannot keep silent in a car, and when women talk they have to look into each other’s faces. An exchange of words is not enough. They have to see the other person’s expression, perhaps to read behind the others’ words or analyze the reaction to their own. So two women in the front seat of a car constantly distract each other’s attention from the road ahead and four women are more than doubly dangerous for the driver not only has to hear and see, what her companion is saying but also, for women are like that, what the two behind are talking about.”
― Ian Fleming, Thunderball laugh

In the pyramid van-hijinks scene with Anya, Rog was apparently invoking Fleming. "women drivers"

So true. Even my dear Khantessa can be vexing, either behind the wheel or as a passenger. In the former position her gabbing very nearly leads to smashups. In the latter, she often natters away when I'm doing a particularly tricky bit of driving and really need to focus on the road. I grit my teeth and bear it.

:x
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:41 am

"The Hildebrand Rarity"

Makes a good "Bond on his off day" kind of entry. Bond observing the sea, his contempt of Krest, cleaning up the scene of the crime. Milton is such a bastard, film adaptation wise I thought it was good of Maibaum to give him a role in one of the films as a henchman. I prefer his death in the short story over the film of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:36 am

Fairbairn-Sykes wrote:
And here I am at five foot four!

Still a bit ahead of Harlan Ellison, I'm sure.
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PostSubject: s   Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:21 am

Python wrote:
"The Hildebrand Rarity"

Makes a good "Bond on his off day" kind of entry. Bond observing the sea, his contempt of Krest, cleaning up the scene of the crime. Milton is such a bastard, film adaptation wise I thought it was good of Maibaum to give him a role in one of the films as a henchman. I prefer his death in the short story over the film of course.

Surely you don't mean the Krest in LTK? Zerbe was a decent enough henchman, but that character bore no resemblance whatsoever to Fleming's ingenius creation from THR. THR, incidentally, is easily my favorite Fleming short story, and I like all of them to one extent or another.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:29 am

Not exactly the same character of course, but they did take several aspects of the character in the short story, notably being a drunk that treats everyone like trash. Then they take his sting ray tail whipping (albeit transfer it to Sanchez).
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:23 am

I will be attending big-screen showing of LTK tonight. I will say hello to Milton the bastard, for you guys!

===

btw, I have branded DN, the Bond goes to war with the animal kingdom adventure.

Bond brutally bashes an innocent giant-centipede to death.

Bond crushes and smushes the life out of a herd of helpless tarantulas, whilst navigating No's torture-tunneling set-up.

Bond viciously drives a spear through the eye of a magnificent sea creature, the giant squid, causing the poor beast to empty it's ink sack.

Bond shoots up a pack of helpless Dobermans who are left to flounder in the water.

====This is not a Peta approved book.
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:51 am

Having recently re-read DAF, suddenly another Flemingism turns up in LTK.

When Lupe turns up as Bond's black-jack dealer, this can be seen as referencing Tiffany turning up as Bond's black-jack dealer at the Vegas casino in DAF.

In both situations the Bond-girls are skilled experienced dealers tasked with rigging the deal. Although they do have different assignments. Tiff aranges for Bond to win, to make good on the money that Shady Tree promised him, while Lupe has been assigned to make Bond lose.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:52 am

Good catch, tiffy.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:01 am

Perilagu Khan wrote:
Good catch, tiffy.

Python had a good catch with Sanchez's use of the stingray whip on Lupe. That was quite apparent with last night's LTK viewing.

LTK not only captures the horrible attack on Leiter from LALD, but also within the same context does a decent job referencing the whole set-up that Big's "The Robber" had in Florida. The battle that Bond engages with the Krest security-villains, also seems to draw from the battle that Bond engaged with The Robber, in the same setting, what with fish tanks bursting all over the place.

Also, both set-ups were used to facilitate smuggling operations. Gold coins in the book and drugs in the movie.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:49 am

Having blazed through FYEO straight in and almost out of Octopussy & The Living Daylights. Maybe Robert Ryan was right about Fleming being best suited to short stories. Something about these that I quite like. OP is probably my favourite with TLD a second placing. Major Smythe's a bit of a bugger yet somehow I'm sympathetic to him when he dies. "Spare your tears for Oberhauser."

It's tended to inspire me for writing but my focus has been elsewhere this month.
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PostSubject: s   Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:04 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Perilagu Khan wrote:
Good catch, tiffy.

Python had a good catch with Sanchez's use of the stingray whip on Lupe. That was quite apparent with last night's LTK viewing.

LTK not only captures the horrible attack on Leiter from LALD, but also within the same context does a decent job referencing the whole set-up that Big's "The Robber" had in Florida. The battle that Bond engages with the Krest security-villains, also seems to draw from the battle that Bond engaged with The Robber, in the same setting, what with fish tanks bursting all over the place.

Also, both set-ups were used to facilitate smuggling operations. Gold coins in the book and drugs in the movie.

All true.

And it hadn't occurred to me that Sanchez may have been using a "corrector" on Lupe.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:40 pm

"Octopussy"

Hadn't read this one before, so it's basically the story Bond and Octopussy discuss in the film version, albeit with WWII background in the short story. Never knew too much about this entry beyond that, but I sure can see why it wouldn't work as a more straightforward adaptation as it's more focused on Major D. Smythe and Bond is a supporting player. Still I think it's good short story for Fleming. Even though there's a buildup to killing of Oberhauser it's still shocking to read as it happens, with Smythe treating the affair with such a callous attitude, yet acknowledging and accepting the sin. I'm really liking how he experimented with different perspectives in some these off-beat short stories. Makes me more interested in TSWLM now for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:20 pm

I think Fleming's decision to commit a whole book to the girl's first-person pov in TSWLM, was a direction that he might have been moving towards all along. In several of the books that precede, notably LALD MR, DAF, FRWL but actually most, if not all of the books, Fleming regularly has his girls size up Bond from their perspective. He likes to get inside their heads and show us how they perceive Bond. So devoting a whole book to this perspective might have been a bolder continuation of a technique he liked to use anyway.

Fleming did seem very interested in exploring the psyche of women - their needs and wants, emotions, sexuality (especially their sexuality) etc, so his decision to give the French Canadian belle, Vivienne Michelle, her own book and racy wounded-bird backstory, seems appropos, especially considering Viv supposedly dropped the book in his lap. ;)

"I found what follows lying on my desk one morning. As you will see, it appears to be the first person story of a young woman, evidently beautiful and not unskilled in the arts of love. According to her story, she appears to have been involved, both perilously and romantically, with the same James Bond whose secret service exploits I myself have written from time to time. With the manuscript was a note signed 'Vivienne Michel' assuring me that what she had written was 'purest truth and from the depths of her heart'. I was interested in this view of James Bond, through the wrong end of the telescope so to speak, and after obtaining clearance for certain minor infringements of the Official Secrets Act I have much pleasure in sponsoring its publication."Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me, Prologue

This is one of my favourite Flemings. It's the most Canadian Bond book, as Bond actually has an assignment in Toronto before he heads south for his interlude at the Dreamy Pines Motel.

Where the hallowed works were produced. Goldeneye circa 2011.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:23 pm

Good to see the place is still in shape. Would love to visit it.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:58 am

Live and Let Die

It took me three attempts to finish it. I had already read a translated version of it, now I'm reading the English ones. I've started with the shorts, it's already two to three years that I've finished them (I reported back on one of the other sites (probably ol' MI6). My favourites of these are clearly OCTOPUSSY and THE HILDEBRANDT RARITY. Now I've bought six of Fleming's novels in English (Penguin Modern Classics). I'll buy at best one more of the others, I'm not interested in completion of the originals.
Regarding LALD, I find the first half mostly uninteresting, apart from the meeting with Mr. Big and Bond's escape from him. The descriptions there are very good, particularly the short bit when Bond is driving through Harlem's streets at night. The second half though is really good, starting with Leiter's mutilation and Bond avenging him. The Jamaica part is quite superb.
The violence in Fleming's books is graphic and disturbing. Here we have heads floating around in the water after a ship explosion combined with shark and barracuda attacks. The action scenes are gripping and feel very real. Fleming goes to great lengths in making everything as realistic as possible. His stories may be adventures, and it may not be likely that in real life an agent would survive all the situations described, and the villains' plots might sometimes be unlikely to be implemented if one attempted to pull them off in real life, but downright impossible they do not seem to be (DN and MR may be different in that respect, but I am not sure). Realism may apply here if it means verisimilitude; the books are not trying to recreate every day (spy) life, but in that case the term 'naturalistic' would apply, and this is clearly what Fleming wasn't trying to achieve.
He takes his stories and characters VERY seriously. There is no question that he would have felt insulted if people would ridicule his stories or characters, as EON did not many years after the creator's death. Bond isn't a superhuman, he even has horrific nightmares the day before his aquatic journey to The Big Man's island. We get horryfyingly intense depictions of Bond's torture in CASINO ROYALE, so if anything, the EON film is ridiculously silly in that respect. In fact, the Craig films are science-fiction comedies compared to the novels. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is one of the darkest books I've ever read, and people are still claiming that the novels were lighthearted nonsense and the Craig films "too dark/morose/serious" - utter hogwash.
I'm already on to the next novel, 8 chapters in. I'm not reading the six in chronological order. It's one of Fleming's later books (of which was taken out quite something in the translated version, so I'm curious as to how I will like the original stuff.)
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:47 am

Onto From Russia With Love, an old edition...well the movie tie-in one with a film cell border, screencaps and Pan Books Presents Ian Fleming's FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Starring -JAMES BOND

like the Russian parts so far, seeing it from 'the other side of the fence' as they discuss the world's intelligence services and their mutual (grudging) respect of England's. This reminded of a Ben McIntyre article a few weeks ago where he writes about a time when it seemed England's SIS was always coming to the rescue of the CIA or whoever it was and that we seemed to be on top always.

And what a proper bastard Red Grant is.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:00 am

A bastard? That's putting it mildly.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:05 am

Perilagu Khan wrote:
A bastard? That's putting it mildly.

Something stronger was beyond my reach. Far beyond it from the looks.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:15 am

Hilly wrote:
Onto From Russia With Love, an old edition...well the movie tie-in one with a film cell border, screencaps and Pan Books Presents Ian Fleming's FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Starring -JAMES BOND

That is a serious Bond paperback collectable. I've got the LALD and TMWTGG movie-cover books, but I've never seen any of the older ones.

===I love the two-chapter golf match in GF. It's way better than the film, although the film understandably couldn't devote as much time.

Fleming beautifully sets up GF's humiliation at the 18th green when Bond reveals that GF has been playing the wrong ball. GF immediately calls out the obvious scam by Bond, but Hawker's rebuke of GF's miracle finding of his lost ball a few holes earlier, puts old Auric in his place. Well done.

I also love the way Fleming gives GF the Klebb treatment. He makes it clear that no-one at the club would willingly play with GF, so asshole Auric has to book rounds with the club pro. Bond also makes it very obvious to GF that he would really rather not play with him either. laugh

Great line from Bond to GF strolling the wide open expanse of the golf course.

"How's the agoraphobia GF?" laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:10 am

Haven't read GF for ages, my copy is American somewhat striking compared to the others I have. Had no idea this FRWL movie tie-in could be collectable, it's a big dog eared -think I got it from the town market years ago.

Almost finished FRWL and I didn't quite realise how close the film follows some scenes -Grant and the masseuse, the gypsy camp and the train bound scenes. One passage that leapt out was Bond reflecting on his youth -what would the young Bond make of this man with the scar and hard look?

Indeed, the build up to the fight with Grant feels as tense as the film. Desperately he wondered: was there any way of putting this man off his stride? Upsetting his balance? the further building of Grant's almost inhuman character. A psycopath -manic depressive, probably. A man who really enjoyed it. The fact that Grant just can't shift the 'old man' routine and in this respect one could picture Robert Shaw perfectly.

Rosa Klebb. So at the top of SMERSH there was a woman! If he could somehow survive this and get after her! The fingers of Bond's right hand curled softly.

A fantastic ending too. Imagine reading this and not knowing if Bond would return.

An aside is a brief couple of lines as Bond and Tatiana head to the dining car:

The men carefully examined Tatiana as she squeezed by. The women looked appraisingly at Bond, wondering whether he made love to her.

And so, inevetiably I skip to OHMSS.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:06 am

Yes I thought the film complimented the FRWL novel very well. It's almost impossible not to picture the film actors when reading the book, notably, Darko Kerim, Grant, Klebb and Tania. Kronsteen and Krilencu too.

"The women looked appraisingly at Bond, wondering whether he made love to her."

This little Flemingism was caught well by the early films too, especially the Young films. There are plenty of shots where women are giving Sean the once-over as he strolls by in his all his awesome Bondness. 8)

==Goldfinger, what a bastard. He gives that simpleton of a henchman of his, Oddjob, the orange cat to cook up for his dinner, as a jab at Bond for framing the poor pussy in the sabotage of the bedroom-closet film. Bond manages to rescue another Pussy later though.🐱

The zingers that Bond fires at GF during their dinner are great, almost as good as the barbs that Bond shoots at GF during the golf match. Fleming sure likes to have Bond needle the villains.

Re-reading these books, Connery and Young really did capture much of the Bond persona. Connery/Hamilton caught the vibe and tension of the golf match quite well too.
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