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 Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights

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FieldsMan
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PostSubject: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:43 pm

Shall we put in votes for the next book? My vote is going to the Octopussy/The Living Daylights anthology but since I picked the last one, I'm happy for a more democratic approach! 

I'm also thinking we do this every two months instead of every month. Gives us time to read other things and promote on social media.


Last edited by FieldsMan on Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Secret Files
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:24 am

FieldsMan wrote:
Shall we put in votes for the next book? My vote is going to the Octopussy/The Living Daylights anthology but since I picked the last one, I'm happy for a more democratic approach! 

I'm also thinking we do this every two months instead of every month. Gives us time to read other things and promote on social media.

Yes, that'd be a good choice for me! And two months is good too!
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:50 pm

OctoDaylights is the obvious choice, so I'll vote for that.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:58 am

Sure. I read it a few weeks back, but don't mind revisiting.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:41 am

Since it's looking like it's Octopussy/Daylights/Property/007INY, happy to give it a crack in January? Perhaps one short story a week?
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:07 am

I am totally fine with OctoDaylights, but I absolutely love YOLT and just wanted to throw it in. big grin  

But, yes, I agree, in case we decide in favour of the short stories, January would work out fine for me. Although I think that we might need more than one week per story. Should we probably give it two weeks to give us more time for a discussion? So we already have kind of covered February, too.^^
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:38 pm

OctoDaylights it is! And happy to do a short story per fortnight which will take us through to March for the next one. Perhaps YOLT can follow...
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:53 am

So, do we start tomorrow (01/01/18) or on 02/01/18?
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:35 pm

We can start now I imagine - or whenever your time zone crosses into 2018.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 am

I love how Bond leaves Smythe to his own conscience, or his own fear. That's a very elegant move, to "offer" suicide to him. The fact that he is, in the end, killed by an octopus is a bizarre ending one might not have expected. The moment when his own pet grabs for him and he realizes that he will die here and then, that the question of "to be or not to be" has been taken from him, is wonderful.
This kind of vengeance is very cruel, but, Bond had loved Hannes Oberhauser who had taken care of him when he needed it, which gives it all an air of justice.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:24 am

I think Octopussy is the better of the short stories here, though there's something about Property of a Lady I like. Used to get a cold sweat reading about Smythe's final moments. The whole story smacks of the serious and the bizarre (Smythe tipping himself towards Octopussy). Always liked how it was worked into the film -naturally Moore's Bond is nowhere near the Bond of this story but you could just about visualise his Bond going out to Jamaica to face down Smythe.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:31 am

Halfway through Octopussy. If lifted to film, this could easily be one of the those great interrogation scenes akin to Pushkin's or Dent's assassination. 

Again, Kingston is used as a location...
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:42 am

sort of think of that old, old joke about Jamaica whenever we say about Jamaica, again, as a location.

"My wife went to the Caribbean.
-Oh, Jamaica?
No, she went off her own accord."

--

Octopussy at least conjured up the alps early on. The other stories fortunately stay a little closer to home until he bombs off to NYC.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:14 am

Hilly KCMG wrote:
I think Octopussy is the better of the short stories here, though there's something about Property of a Lady I like. Used to get a cold sweat reading about Smythe's final moments. The whole story smacks of the serious and the bizarre (Smythe tipping himself towards Octopussy). Always liked how it was worked into the film -naturally Moore's Bond is nowhere near the Bond of this story but you could just about visualise his Bond going out to Jamaica to face down Smythe.

I honestly find it hard to see any similarity at all between the short-story and the movie, especially to imagine Moore's Bond threatening someone into suicide.

I do not mind Jamaica for a backdrop. I mean, actually THESE are the stories close to home (at least seen from Fleming's point of view) and I always like getting some glimpses of his chosen home and how he saw it.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:47 pm

Every time I read Octopussy I can't help of what some have said about Fleming's death-that he specifically went out swimming/snorkeling against doctor's orders and hastened his own demise.

Beautiful story that makes the imagination run wildly picturing the locales and settings. It might have had something to do with the illustrations in the old NAL hardback copy. It's probably the best of the stories in this collection as I've always felt TLD runs just a bit too short.

Agreed wholeheartedly on its use in the film. Since they weren't going to do the whole thing it is worked in very well as is the use of the auction to invoke Property. But I can absolutely see Roger doing the story justice. He did have a much harder edge when necessary that many overlook. Perhaps the closest in the films is his treatment of Rosie at gunpoint in LALD which could have been transposed to Bond's ultimatum to Smythe.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:06 am

I've lost track, I'm sorry. When do we start with POAL?
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:12 am

As of the next couple of days I imagine. I have had some things happen so I've haven't yet to finish OP (hence my lack of contribution) but I will soon. But everybody else should move along. I'll catch up.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:55 am

hegottheboot wrote:
Every time I read Octopussy I can't help of what some have said about Fleming's death-that he specifically went out swimming/snorkeling against doctor's orders and hastened his own demise.

That's the same problem as for Jack London and his Martin Eden. A librarian once told me that this was definite proof that Jack London committed suicide. I am not so convinced of that parallelism between life events and fictional plot-lines. At least it is far from "definite proof".
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:02 am

Somebody on that Everything or Nothing film suggested that the strain of the court battle with McClory, likely did its part in hastening Fleming's end.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:23 pm

Finally found some time to finish Octopussy. 

How they managed to abuse such text for SPECTRE is beyond me, especially considering the mine full of untapped material in Smythe's story. Going on from the conversation above regarding if Moore could have done it - I think he would have. The solemn, nuanced moment when Moore looks Locque in the eye ("I believe you left this Ferrero") before sending him to his death speaks volumes of Moore's ability to deliver Smythe his ultimatum. Of course, when reading it I think of my Connery/Fassbender/Brosnan amalgamation, and not Moore, since his portrayal is usually synonymous with humour. 

There is something charismatic (or, as Kath puts it, elegant) about Bond's handling of the situation, despite the personal connection to Oberhauser. Without sounding like a broken record, this is sensational insight into Bond's character, and something that Craig's era fails to understand (a case could be made for the scene with Mr White in SPECTRE, but I think Bond's idea was to earn White's trust, than to see him commit suicide). There's a careful refinement to Bond and that is something that should be upheld. There also seems to be some respect for Smythe, despite his wrongdoings. Perhaps its the grey that keeps this interesting, and not the black and white. 

I wonder if Smythe's backstory could be used today, with a different war substituting WWII. Or if the Foo Brothers could feature in some way. It's such a fascinating story, and probably my favourite of the short stories.

Property of a Lady, now.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:02 am

If substituting WWII, you'd have, personally, either the Falklands or Northern Ireland maybe for a Smythe (I visualise an older retired officer, similar looking chap to the character Kamal Khan rips off in Octopussy the film). I'd imagine any Smythe though in a film today would be the first Gulf War or Kosovo. Depends on the detail really.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:52 am

Hilly KCMG wrote:
Somebody on that Everything or Nothing film suggested that the strain of the court battle with McClory, likely did its part in hastening Fleming's end.

I did not want to object in general. I just have my difficulties if assumptions are made by paralleling characters and their creators. And when these parallels are considered as definite proof. I mean, you didn't; but it reminded me of the assumption the librarian made some years back.

FieldsMan wrote:
I think of my Connery/Fassbender/Brosnan amalgamation
I am sorry, but I am still new here. What is that? And why these three?

FieldsMan wrote:
There is something charismatic (or, as Kath puts it, elegant) about Bond's handling of the situation, despite the personal connection to Oberhauser. Without sounding like a broken record, this is sensational insight into Bond's character, and something that Craig's era fails to understand (a case could be made for the scene with Mr White in SPECTRE, but I think Bond's idea was to earn White's trust, than to see him commit suicide). There's a careful refinement to Bond and that is something that should be upheld. There also seems to be some respect for Smythe, despite his wrongdoings. Perhaps its the grey that keeps this interesting, and not the black and white.

I did not feel that Smythe was presented respectfully. I was hoping you might elaborate on this, because I totally fail to see it.
I never really understood Bond's role in White's suicide. That man was dying of a thallium intoxication anyway; so his suicide goes into the category of euthanasia. He didn't need Bond to bring him a weapon, did he? It looks like Bond is actually offering his weapon when he says "This is my word". "Tell me all you know about Oberhauser and you may use my weapon to get a merciful death"? The difference between White and Smythe is, IMO, that the first is really a mercy killing whereas the second is a kind of punishment or revenge. Bond is not doing Smythe a favour.

HillyKCMG wrote:
If substituting WWII, you'd have, personally, either the Falklands or Northern Ireland maybe for a Smythe (I visualise an older retired officer, similar looking chap to the character Kamal Khan rips off in Octopussy the film). I'd imagine any Smythe though in a film today would be the first Gulf War or Kosovo. Depends on the detail really.

I totally agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:32 pm

I like that the OP story has a classical tone to it, where Bond's dissection of the falsehoods has a ring of Conan Doyle to it-but most of all that Bond is his own man and achieves results without following order to the letter. Each actor would have found a way of playing it differently. Perhaps the closest the films got to the staging this scene would have would be Henderson's apartment in YOLT.

Of course today the thug would just blunder around, crash through walls and hopefully get hit by the product placement (originally the scorpion fish) instead.
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:19 am

hegottheboot wrote:
I like that the OP story has a classical tone to it, where Bond's dissection of the falsehoods has a ring of Conan Doyle to it-but most of all that Bond is his own man and achieves results without following order to the letter. Each actor would have found a way of playing it differently. Perhaps the closest the films got to the staging this scene would have would be Henderson's apartment in YOLT.

Of course today the thug would just blunder around, crash through walls and hopefully get hit by the product placement (originally the scorpion fish) instead.

jump
That totally made my day. Can we please do that with Blofeld/Oberhauser? What would be a nice product placement for that purpose? Giving this a second thought, he is the killer of Hannes Oberhauser after all...
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PostSubject: Re: Bond and Beyond Short Story Discussion: Octopussy and The Living Daylights   Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:22 am

Kath wrote:
Hilly KCMG wrote:
Somebody on that Everything or Nothing film suggested that the strain of the court battle with McClory, likely did its part in hastening Fleming's end.

I did not want to object in general. I just have my difficulties if assumptions are made by paralleling characters and their creators. And when these parallels are considered as definite proof. I mean, you didn't; but it reminded me of the assumption the librarian made some years back.

FieldsMan wrote:
I think of my Connery/Fassbender/Brosnan amalgamation
I am sorry, but I am still new here. What is that? And why these three?

FieldsMan wrote:
There is something charismatic (or, as Kath puts it, elegant) about Bond's handling of the situation, despite the personal connection to Oberhauser. Without sounding like a broken record, this is sensational insight into Bond's character, and something that Craig's era fails to understand (a case could be made for the scene with Mr White in SPECTRE, but I think Bond's idea was to earn White's trust, than to see him commit suicide). There's a careful refinement to Bond and that is something that should be upheld. There also seems to be some respect for Smythe, despite his wrongdoings. Perhaps its the grey that keeps this interesting, and not the black and white.

I did not feel that Smythe was presented respectfully. I was hoping you might elaborate on this, because I totally fail to see it.
I never really understood Bond's role in White's suicide. That man was dying of a thallium intoxication anyway; so his suicide goes into the category of euthanasia. He didn't need Bond to bring him a weapon, did he? It looks like Bond is actually offering his weapon when he says "This is my word". "Tell me all you know about Oberhauser and you may use my weapon to get a merciful death"? The difference between White and Smythe is, IMO, that the first is really a mercy killing whereas the second is a kind of punishment or revenge. Bond is not doing Smythe a favour.

HillyKCMG wrote:
If substituting WWII, you'd have, personally, either the Falklands or Northern Ireland maybe for a Smythe (I visualise an older retired officer, similar looking chap to the character Kamal Khan rips off in Octopussy the film). I'd imagine any Smythe though in a film today would be the first Gulf War or Kosovo. Depends on the detail really.

I totally agree.


When I read Fleming's Bond, I think of a hybrid of those three faces.

The fact that Bond is a peripheral character and a lot of attention is given to Smythe in the opening pages, well before Bond visits him, establishes Smythe as a sympathetic character, especially considering his health problems (though maybe that's just me being sensitive). As for Mr White, it isn't worth getting into a discussion about that, since the script doesn't go beyond what is presented.
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