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 Last Bond Novel You Read

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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:17 am

Cor, blimey mates [best Goon Show type voice], I re-read Moonraker today. Out of nowhere (I say this, for I must have 30-40 books that I've accrued over the past 3 years yet to read).

One of my favourites and I'm never entirely sure why. Perhaps here you see the routine Bond has when not out saving the world, the mundane paperwork, the bored wives of other men and then a seemingly innocent night out to Blades to see if some rich bloke's cheating at cards and Bob's your uncle, Moonraker.
In seriousness, it's Bond's pursuit of Drax late on that I find exciting. The image of Bond's be-goggled face covered in "the blood of flies and moths" as he guns the Bentley through London then Kentish roads. The murder/attempted murder of the RAF chap in his Alfa that gears Bond into "open war" against Drax.
Even the somewhat typical 1950s BBC commentary of the Moonraker launch has something to it. Moreso, the round-up with the fact 200-odd people have died. No small splash in a pond there. (The equivalent in the film might've been if one of Drax's globes hit Earth and thousands killed).

I hadn't twigged until this read that there's but three Double O's (007, 008 and 0011) plus Bond did a mission pre-war which makes me wonder. Presumably Bond was recruited right out of Cambridge and the war sort of got in the way.

But whereas I like OHMSS for action/character and Casino Royale for Bond, Moonraker I seemingly like for the minutiae, also, there's something about Bond riding to M's rescue at Blades.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:17 am

I remember enjoying MR even more than its predecessors and was my favourite until FRWL. Might be number 3 in my ranking (if there was one). I also enjoyed reading about Bond's routine life, and wish more of that made the films.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:05 am

I think the closest you'd get to 'normalcy' for Bond's non-work hours are the glimpses of his flat in Dr No and LALD, even then he has a woman there.

I forgot to note about Drax. Love how vividly grotesque he seems to appear physically and his overblown character, especially at the end when he reveals his Nazi background. Fleming really did go to town on making his villains horrible.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:47 am

Drax's background is one of Fleming's best, in my opinion.

I'd also add Bond at the beginning of SF, when he's with the Greek girl and at the bar before he heads back to London.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:52 pm

Only thing I never understood was the logic of having Drax and his merry band of Natzees attempt to take revenge on one of Germany's war-time enemies by coddling up to another.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:45 am

It is befuddling, but then the Nazis and Soviets made a pact for convenience in 1939 so maybe Drax was going to stiff the Soviets in the end.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:17 pm

Yes, I suppose that makes sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:49 am

Went through Octopussy & The Living Daylights then You Only Live Twice. The former I tend to prefer Octopussy mostly, the back story to Smythe, Bond coming out to lay down the law and Smythe's demise. But in Property of a Lady this time round, was tickled by the line where Bond goes into the comms department and is near the traitor -how his skin 'minutely crawled' at being this close to 'treachery'.

YOLT I remain muddled by opinion wise but it's gone up a bit in my mind, at least the start and final part (once Bond gets into the Castle of Death) have enough going. The mentions of Tracy linking it to OHMSS (I guess how DAF, the film, all but carried on without any such dwelling is somewhat jarring to how the books went about it) and so forth -the Castle is classic Fleming. Though there's something about the image of Blofeld wearing a medieval suit of armour for a start that doesn't quite form in the mind's eye and then walking arm in arm with Bunt whilst wearing it. The book seals the deal with Bond's descent into amnesia, his blood lust ("Die, Blofeld, die!").
Comment was made on the old boards and the new ones, that my DAF Lazenby story made use, much use of having "Kill Blofeld" thunder through Bond's mind the closer he gets to killing him, well I guess I'd channelled the book.

Indeed, seeing Bond's descent into what could be the end of his career early in the book is something that would've been nice to see on film -especially the scene with M where his responses prompt M to slam a fist into the table and snap 'who the hell do you think you're talking to!?'

Just feels that with OHMSS Bond had reached his nadir and YOLT/TMWTGG didn't quite add much -not enough as the canon had until then anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:06 pm

Yeah ... the pre-credits of DAF with Bond obsessively, vengefully searching for Blofeld is as much of a nod to the events of OHMSS as it makes.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:28 am

Fewer words sadder in the English language than "what might have been."

--

I read Trigger Mortis at the weekend. I must say that of the post-Gardner outcrop, this I found more favourable than recent efforts. It's not perfect, perhaps keeping Pussy back for even a little time was not ideal but I enjoyed it and let's be honest, no one will ever capture Fleming well but Horowitz made a good fist.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:19 pm

Yes, it certainly was a better effort than either Deaver's or Boyd's. Pretty pleased that Horowitz has been retained to write the next one.

Recently started Gardner's Scorpius. Enjoyable so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 am

Good to have an author do another novel, much like the actors getting to do another -so you can at least see if they evolve for good or bad. That being said, just as well Deaver never did. I barely remember Carte Blanche.

Scorpius has been slated by some outside this here forum but it's not bad. Licence Renewed is always a favourite then Icebreaker and For Special Services. Once I was tickled by Bond driving a Saab. Now when I see a 900 I wonder. Do like how he worked LTK into the Bond literary world (seeing Felix on the couch and thinking 'not this again' kind of thing)
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:45 am

I have yet to read his adaptations of LTK and Goldeneye, but I have them here in the house and I will do.

The sometime differences between the novelisations and what made it onscreen can be fascinating (I have mentioned elsewhere on this forum about the 'Bond tortured with electrodes on his testicles' stuff in the TSWLM adaptation. One can only presume that was based on a pretty early draft).
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:43 am

Haven't read the Wood TSWLM for years. More than Moore's eyebrows would've raised if that had been kept in the film.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:59 pm

Read Hilly's post before I read BI's, so I assumed Wood's (heh) Spy adaptation featured a hardcore sex scene.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:48 pm

laugh

Picturing that torture scene - light sheen of sweat on Sir Rog's brow, both eyebrows raised, 'Must say, I really only like hot nuts at Christmas' etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:37 am

Managed to nail in a single sitting, such are buses nowadays, The Spy Who Loved Me

I don't quite mind this, it's not his best but then he was likely trying something new and why not? The arrival of Bond is always a good moment to savour -the appearance conjures Gregory Peck to mind. Indeed, this would've made a good episode of a James Bond TV series (as mooted at one point). Even as a somewhat random PTS it might've worked -fitting in with the image of Bond that Dalton remarked upon -the guy who rides into town, sorts out the trouble and goes on his way.

I intended to read this when writing that Moore-inspired story and needless to say, reading it this time round I realised just how much I aped for my little bit of fluff.

Can't quite imagine the depiction of Viv sitting well with certain types today (woman enjoying being semi-raped remark) but as I say, that moment when Bond turns up and sets about his business is a good moment.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:17 am

Hilly KCMG wrote:
Even as a somewhat random PTS it might've worked -fitting in with the image of Bond that Dalton remarked upon -the guy who rides into town, sorts out the trouble and goes on his way.
Interesting idea. Maybe it could work as a PTS, but the set up seems a little Bond-lite. I wish parts of it could be adapted, such as a Bond girl being a hotelier (including her backstory), and using Sluggsy and Horror (though that could be Jaws).

Never thought of Peck when reading Bond. I have this hybrid of Connery, Lazenby and Brosnan when reading, and depending on the scene, an image of one particular Bond may have a stronger presence.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:35 am

Peck bubbled to mind, I've not long ago watched On the Beach and I think sometimes of his turn in Guns of Navarone (his character in the book is a New Zealander, no question in the film he's deffo not a Kiwi). Otherwise my mental Bond seems vague veering between Lazenby and Dalton.
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