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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyTue Dec 04, 2018 10:56 pm

What the Hell, all cats are grey in the dark...
true or false?
Bond slept.


that time of year to thumb through On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Dame Stella Rimington in the foreword says that the plot is a very weak one and if that is so, then it is a measure of Fleming that a weak one is still a good one. For once imagined Savalas as Blofeld, much of his dialogue could pass off as Telly's. When you have Bond at London Airport walking disguised as Sir Hilary complete with bowler etc, I could readily picture it albeit it with Lazenby's swagger (as seen complete with kilt).

The ending still is the same.
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyWed Dec 05, 2018 1:09 am

What edition of OHMSS do you have? My collection doesn't have any forewords from memory.

Very... festive avatar, Hilly. You old devil.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyWed Dec 05, 2018 9:42 pm

well you know, it used to be my Xmas tradition. Ms Pinder…

Ahem. Well, I have a Vintage copy (red spine and a fancy-ish cover). It says 2012 on the inside. Dame Stella who used to be the head of MI5. I skipped the introduction on this re-read. I should say if you ever do re-read OHMSS, select "Escape from Piz Gloria" from the OST for the two chapters detailing the escape and subsequent ski chase. Otherwise it's a touch difficult to match OST and novel!
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyWed Dec 05, 2018 10:23 pm

Yeah I think it's great that the former head of MI6 wrote a foreword for a Bond book.

I'm sure 'Try' could be played when Bond's at the casino.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyWed Dec 05, 2018 10:35 pm

On the quiet a chunk of the score works nicely with the book. Bond and Draco's meeting for example is virtually as it is in the book (the rape bit missed out of course)...it's Bond and M on Christmas Day that sort of jars. John Barry would've been hard pressed to make that work. I still think, that the Zurich Airport scene would've been nice on film somehow. I love the barn scene but something about an airport, everyone hurrying about and the focus on these two lovers, one looking quite beaten about and then he's off.
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyThu Dec 06, 2018 10:12 pm

Ever since I first read OHMSS, I always thought the airport scene would have been rather cinematic.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyThu Dec 06, 2018 10:40 pm

I think if OHMSS had been done earlier, maybe even late 50s if it had been written before then, it might have been done as such. Little bits that were left out of the book do tickle me -Bond phoning the SIS man in Switzerland first about Campbell then when he comes to hide after Piz Gloria is blown up. Maybe if Bond had been a TV series, it would've worked.
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Dec 07, 2018 12:20 am

Yep! I really liked the stuff with Campbell in the book. Shame he's relegated to such a small part in the film.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Dec 07, 2018 5:41 am

I suspect EON didn't feel comfortable about showing Bond coldly let Campbell fry under Blofeld, so they just relegated it to Bond watching Campbell getting captured in silence.

I've never been too crazy about how EON makes Bond super knowledgeable about EVERYTHING compared to his book counterpart. Like when meeting Draco, Bond has no idea who he is at first glance, whereas in the film he smugly lays out a whole profile of Draco, with the exception of knowing Tracy's familial connection. And how instead of missing the calendar by a day like in the novel, Bond missed by a day INTENTIONALLY because he's "superstitious", a small reference from the FRWL film that never seemed to be an aspect ever brought up anywhere else, especially LALD.

It's why I like the 1851 bit in DAF, Mankiewicz took that aspect of Bond and made it even more super ridiculous for good humor.
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hegottheboot
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptySun Dec 09, 2018 2:51 am

It started believably in DN with Bond describing toppling simply with an educated idea but throwing it away with "or something isn't it?" like an intelligence man would. It got to ridiculous degrees even after Mank poked fun at it in DAF when Roger was made to simply recite reams of background plot points on the page because Bond became the depositor of knowledge upon the audience.
In OHMSS there was the brief welcome joke about lepidoptery which Bond uses to needle M at Quarterdeck. Eventually it got to the insane level in MR:
"Actually it was on the upper reaches of the River Tapirapé"
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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyMon Dec 10, 2018 7:27 am

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks one of EON Bond's most irritating traits is his nerdy recital of any and all obscure facts.

Nothing says authenticity like a crime lord's Wikipedia article recounted verbatim by an Australian underwear model
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Blunt Instrument
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyMon Dec 10, 2018 1:50 pm

'You're licenced to kill 007, not to be an insufferable know-it-all'.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyMon Dec 10, 2018 9:13 pm

hegottheboot wrote:
It started believably in DN with Bond describing toppling simply with an educated idea but throwing it away with "or something isn't it?" like an intelligence man would. It got to ridiculous degrees even after Mank poked fun at it in DAF when Roger was made to simply recite reams of background plot points on the page because Bond became the depositor of knowledge upon the audience.
In OHMSS there was the brief welcome joke about lepidoptery which Bond uses to needle M at Quarterdeck. Eventually it got to the insane level in MR:
"Actually it was on the upper reaches of the River Tapirapé"

Given how insane MR is I kind of roll with that bit, especially with Q looking annoyed as hell having to be corrected by Bond.
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hegottheboot
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyThu Dec 13, 2018 4:39 am

True it's comical as delivered plus Roger is still in vaquero cowboy gear.
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AMC Hornet
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 3:42 am

Makeshift Python wrote:
...instead of missing the calendar by a day like in the novel, Bond missed by a day INTENTIONALLY because he's "superstitious"

I always figured he said that just to excuse why he was off by a square.

Sorry to change the subject, but I've been skimming through Mr. Gardner's work, trying to find an exact quote. I'm hoping someone here can help.
In one story, presumably one set primarily in Europe, a German character is being critical of British attitudes and politics, to which Bond responds with something like "at least we never democratically elected a lunatic for a leader."
Does that ring any bells for anyone?
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 6:29 am

AMC Hornet wrote:
Makeshift Python wrote:
...instead of missing the calendar by a day like in the novel, Bond missed by a day INTENTIONALLY because he's "superstitious"

I always figured he said that just to excuse why he was off by a square.

Could be, but given how the first half hour is aggressively loaded with callbacks to previous films I think it may be just a reference to FRWL.

As for Gardner, that reminds me I need to finally get around to reading his books. The only non-Bond I've read so far is COLONEL SUN by Amis. Pretty good, though Amis doesn't seem to have the same knack for writing sensuality as Fleming. Was interesting to reread the torture scene that SPECTRE took nearly word for word. I hope that indicates EON is becoming more open to using post-Fleming works.
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Blunt Instrument
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 10:11 am

AMC Hornet wrote:
Makeshift Python wrote:
...instead of missing the calendar by a day like in the novel, Bond missed by a day INTENTIONALLY because he's "superstitious"

I always figured he said that just to excuse why he was off by a square.

Sorry to change the subject, but I've been skimming through Mr. Gardner's work, trying to find an exact quote. I'm hoping someone here can help.
In one story, presumably one set primarily in Europe, a German character is being critical of British attitudes and politics, to which Bond responds with something like "at least we never democratically elected a lunatic for a leader."
Does that ring any bells for anyone?

It rang a bell with me ... sounds like it could very well have been Icebreaker -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icebreaker_(novel)
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptySat Jan 26, 2019 8:42 am

AMC Hornet wrote:
Makeshift Python wrote:
...instead of missing the calendar by a day like in the novel, Bond missed by a day INTENTIONALLY because he's "superstitious"

I always figured he said that just to excuse why he was off by a square.


Thought that too. Keeping face.
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hegottheboot
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 10:52 pm

Indeed it makes also think of ICEBREAKER off the top of my head. I'll be getting to Gardner soon and am excited to revisit them. There's usually something I missed before and sometimes ones I used to dislike play better years later. Then of course there's ones that are just problematic or odd, and then ones that have flashes of inspiration and then just plain awful ones.

Python, I'd say they start strong and taper off in quality over time. The best is arguably FOR SPECIAL SERVICES but overall the first five are great. The next few are good if problematic. Brokenclaw has good moments but takes a downturn, and Barbarossa is head scratching. Death is Forever is a nice upswing, Never Send Flowers feels like a non-Bond thriller, Seafire has good moments but overall is not so good, and Coldfall is totally bad and completely nonsensical.
I still need to figure out which ones were shortened for US release. Apparently Barbarossa and some others were shortened for their US releases as opposed to the UK texts. if anyone knows for sure please let me know!!!!!!!
I do also like his novelizations of LTK and GE-the former is totally in his literary Bond style and the latter is less so but expands on some things nicely.

Overall I do enjoy his reading of the character and how he tried to modernize the trappings and not the character himself. COUGH EON PAY ATTENTION!!! COUGH.


Currently just finished my reread of Goldfinger and onto FYEO. This year was the first time I read a Signet 60's copy instead of my tattered Charter 80's edition which was my first ever Bond novel.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Feb 15, 2019 10:36 pm

Reading Goldfinger.
Parts are greater than the sum. It’s not a bad book but little bits intrigue and excite more than the remainder.
The second paragraph sets things off nicely:

“It was part of his profession to kill people. He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it. As a secret agent who held the rare double-O prefix- the licence to kill in the Secret Service- it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon. If it happened, it happened. Regret was unprofessional- worse, it was death watch beetle in the soul.”

Indeed, that whole bit about Mexico is a delight. Then you have Bond returning to his youth with the golf course (some twenty years). Though for some reason I have a job picturing a teenage pre-war Bond golfing. As much as I find the golfing tedious, the dialogue between Bond and Goldfinger is great. Or the fact Bond has a DB III (I did a quick Google. There was a DB Mark III from 1957-59. Fleming’s use of numerals made me wonder. Subsequent DB’s though got a different styling- DB4, DB5 etc)

But in the old fashion of Lala’s missed thread on the old forum of bits that tickle you in Fleming’s oeuvre. Here’s a few.

After meeting Mr Du Pont:

Bond affected not to notice the offered lighter. He disliked held-out lighters.

Or his description of the crab dinner, the champers and the fact it’s Bond best meal. Only Fleming could do this in a thriller. Clive Cussler used to have his moments in this regard as Dirk Pitt is quite the connoisseur.

Fleming’s note of other agents, 279 from Hong Kong and latterly 258 from Zurich (without looking I wonder if the chap from Zurich is the same one Bond uses as cover after Piz Gloria in OHMSS? The man whose no.2 was Campbell).

”Humpf.” M had never approved of Bond’s womanising. It was anathema to his Victorian soul. this after Bond tells M everything, having laughed at M’s mention of Goldfinger. This conjured up Draco from OHMSS the film (“Everything?”/”Don’t worry, don’t worry!”)

Seems M, when at Blades, moves with some dark company. First Drax and then Goldfinger!

I am tickled that after meeting Smithers from the Bank of England, Bond goes to use the Tube back to SIS. I figured Bond drove everywhere. I somehow can’t picture even Fleming’s Bond on the Tube.

Bond’s angry self-chiding during the golf match.

Bond knowing a pub even in Rye (clearly a cultured man!)

Bond had never cared for Orleans. It was a priest and myth ridden town without charm or gaiety. It was content to live off Joan of Arc and give the visitor a hard, holy glare while it took his money.

Bond’s meandering thoughts in the same chapter (Long Tail on a Ghost) about the driver of the Triumph that has followed him over in pursuit of Goldfinger.

Bond smiled at his story and at the dots that ended it. Not today. Today you’re working. Today is for Goldfinger, not for love. Today the only scent you may smell is Goldfinger’s expensive after-shave lotion, not what would she use? English girls made mistakes about scent. He hoped it would be something slight and clean. Balmain’s Vent Vert perhaps, or Caron’s Muguet.

Then when he realises (in “If You Touch Me There…”) that she’s behind him, so engrossed was he in pursuit of Goldfinger (makes you wonder how he noticed Tracy in OHMSS!)

So! Now coincidence was certainly out. Something must be done. Sorry, sweetheart. I’ve got to mess you up. I’ll be as gentle as I can. Hold tight.

Then as he makes the remark about touch me there again and we’ll have to marry, her slapping of him.

And finally, as I’m on the third part now, after Bond catches Tilly about to shoot and her saying about Jill’s death.

Bond closed his eyes tight, fighting with a wave of mental nausea. More death! More blood on his hands This time as the result of a careless gesture, a piece of bravado that had led to twenty-four hours of ecstasy with a beautiful girl who had taken his fancy and, in the end, rather more than his fancy.

Indeed, I can picture these moments with Connery and his respective co-stars. Usually I can’t, it’s always somewhere between Lazenby and Dalton. But yes. There we go.


Last edited by Hilly KCMG on Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Feb 15, 2019 11:08 pm

I enjoyed reading that. Feel free to start that thread... I'm sure we had one of those here - Lala did frequent this board too for some time.

Perhaps Q's comment about not thinking Bond would use the tube rubbed off on you, Hilly?

I resorted once to make the best meal Bond had ever eaten and bloody hell he was onto something.

It would be an effective detail to see Bond ignore an offered lighter. Bit like Bond offering his to M in DN.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptySat Feb 16, 2019 10:21 pm

I dare say Q's comment did rub off on me. Really must try crab and champers some day myself.

I could imagine Dalton ignoring a lighter, either with a slightly irritated expression or the look he has when lighting up in Living Daylights during the meeting with Koskov et al early on.

I finished GF tonight. I dare say the few lines about the hormones being mixed, pansies etc would not go down well today if written afresh.

But the scene on the plane is good -somehow more satisfying to see Oddjob go first and then "for the first time in his life, Bond went berserk". I suspect the second time would be when he kills Blofeld in YOLT. Move onto Thunderball soon.
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hegottheboot
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptySun Feb 17, 2019 4:29 am

I'm in my annual re-read of the series and am currently in TB.
However during GF (which was my first Bond novel) this time round I noticed that in many ways it plays like a greatest hits of the previous books in that it borrows, builds and then deviates from previous story elements to make a longer and more character driven novel whose plot goes into fantasy land at the end.

FYEO is perhaps the first of the truly experimental books-five wholly different tales each with new innovations and ironically the simplest and most affecting is the one where Bond himself does not really feature.
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Hilly
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyTue Feb 19, 2019 6:26 pm

Not minding TB, though not much tickle-wise leaping out at me. I'd have quoted it in length, but when driving with Domino, Bond's reflections on women being a danger in cars and then going on to note that two or more are a definite problem.

Do like how the film transfers most of the negativity to do with Domino (the aggressive driving, the attitude, the sometimes sulkiness) into Fiona. Domino in the film is left virtually a model of virtue.

So much a student of the film, I was for a moment surprised by no Fiona in the book but it's not one I've read much.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Bond Novel You Read   Last Bond Novel You Read - Page 16 EmptyFri Feb 22, 2019 3:56 am

I love the novel, but feel it really doesn't quite feel like a full Fleming story. The details and descriptions are there but is pretty obvious that it is based around the screen treatment. The best segments are the character building ones and not the actual plot. Shrublands, Largo and Blofeld backstories, all of Domino's scenes, Bond and Domino's relationship,.Bond and Leiter scurrying about the Bahamas convinced they're on a wild goose chase etc.

The women drivers segment did jump out to me and it's another one of those moments where Fleming wrote wonderful descriptions but wasn't quite thinking in terms of how one sided and offensive it could come across. I love Domino being a stronger character and her wild controlled driving. Bond's internal monologue is great in revealing her strong character but the description of others is far too stereotyped. Though it can be taken the wrong way, I love Bond's utterance of "bitch" at that particular chapter close-doubly so because it's at her outer hard shell and because it managed to get into the films with DAF.

This leads into my current re-read of TSWLM. I think this book is terribly underrated. I'm halfway through and had forgotten how well it flows. The main issue I think is with the "All women love..." line. As usual Fleming writes a staggeringly striking line that can be taken horribly wrong and is very off putting. If it had merely been the second line after it slightly massaged to be more palatable I don't think the book would have been so severely criticized. Thus if it had read something more like: Some women love to be taken; thus insinuating that the idea of domination in a relationship is perhaps desirable to some people instead of claiming that all love to be semi-assaulted.

Am I thinking too much into this? Vivienne is in a desperate plight in the book and is understandably under duress, but that line has always rubbed me the wrong way. For all of the criticism the book gets for being sexist etc. there is much to say for its defense of women throughout by showing just all the crap and emotional trauma Viv goes through during her flashbacks let alone with Horror and Slugsy.
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