Love the Films, Now Have to Read the Books

SnakJames Bond: Double-0 Heaven

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Love the Films, Now Have to Read the Books

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1DoctorRobert
apr 25, 2007, 11:48pm

DLSmithies,

Great idea for a group. I have been meaning to read the Fleming novels for years, but haven't gotten around to them. I love the films, especially Connery, Lazenby (yes, Lazenby), and now Craig. Now I have an extra push to get cracking on the books.

2DLSmithies
apr 26, 2007, 3:18am

I envy you for being yet to discover them! They're so good, I don't even mind the rampant misogyny and racism. It's real edge-of-your-seat stuff!

3DoctorRobert
apr 26, 2007, 11:28am

I guess it's not surprising that it's misogynistic, but racist? What are we talking about here?

4DoctorRobert
apr 26, 2007, 11:28am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

5Rache
apr 26, 2007, 12:21pm

I've just reread Casino Royale twice (yes, it's that good. It's also short;)) and then Dr No - yes I know this is the wrong order but I found them both in a charity shop. So entertaining.

Bond is just the most fantastic character - so witty, so urbane, so intelligent - but the other characters are fantastic too. I dare anyone not to fall in love with Honeychile Ryder (as played by Ursula Andress) - she's just lovely.

Re the racism. It's a tricky one that, as Fleming spent a lot of time overseas especially Jamaica - and sadly, his comments on the characteristics of particular ethnic groups (black Jamaicans, Chinese and "Chigroes") certainly make one uncomfortable, but of course his views were certainly not unusual at the time.

6DLSmithies
apr 26, 2007, 12:26pm

Yes, there isn't really a discriminatory aspect that smacks you in the face, but there's plenty of stereotyping in, e.g., Live And Let Die. But you really can't get cross about it - the books are so good, they just carry you along. Fleming's like a fabulous old uncle sitting in the corner, who's so great to talk to, you can just ignore his old-fashioned, politically incorrect views on things.

7DoctorRobert
apr 26, 2007, 5:09pm

I see what you mean. Those fabulous old uncles give me the creeps just a bit. Still, I look forward to seeing what all the fuss is about. As I said, the books have been on my list for years, along with the Raymond Chandler books.

8burnit99
jul 8, 2007, 4:25pm

Great idea for a group, although it's been a few years since I indulged in a Fleming binge. Time for a re-read, I think. And a couple of hints for my fellow Flemingphiles: A few years ago, the First Edition Library published the complete James Bond library in facsimile first editions, boxed even. Very nice jobs they were; they might still be available for the ordering. And I think that anybody who loves reading the Bond novels would also enjoy reading Peter O'Donnell's "Modesty Blaise" books, which are out there both as novels and comic strip compilations. Both are highly enjoyable and worth the search.

9VictoriaPL
jul 8, 2007, 6:50pm

DoctorRobert - Lazenby is my favorite Bond.

I'm currently reading Never Dream of Dying and am surprised at how much I am enjoying it.

10DoctorRobert
jul 9, 2007, 3:04pm

Lazenby is funny in a way Connery wasn't, without being campy in the way Moore was. But I expect great things from Craig if they preserve the tone and character arc of Casino Royale.

11VictoriaPL
jul 9, 2007, 3:13pm

I agree. Casino Royale was excellent.

12DLSmithies
jul 12, 2007, 5:28am

Well, I've just started reading From Russia With Love, and so far it's brilliant. I'm about 130 pages in. When Rosa Klebb emerged from her boudoir in that disgusting orange chiffon thing, I couldn't help laughing out loud! Also, Fleming writes with such an authoritative voice on the Soviet power structure - either he knew his stuff, or he was a damn good bluff.
Is it wrong to be in love with James Bond?

13Cateline
jul 19, 2007, 11:07pm

It's been ages since I've read the Bond books, but I did recently reread Casino Royale to compare to the new film as I'd read it was quite similar. It was, excluding the amazing chase scene in the beginning. LOL Gotta love a good chase scene!

I liked Craig in the role too, surprisingly for me as Sean Connery was the absolute end all be all Bond IMO. Never liked Moore as Bond. He made a great Simon Templar though. Too smooth for Bond.

Has anyone read The Life of Ian Fleming? Nicely done.

Thanks for the invitation for this group! :)

14DoctorRobert
jul 20, 2007, 1:20am

I haven't read the biography, but I'll add it to my list.

I finally read Casino Royale, which I enjoyed, and started Live and Let Die, which made me uncomfortable. I immediately see what DLSmithies was talking about regarding racism. The depiction of African American, Haitian, and Jamaican characters is grossly distorted. Hard to get past that aspect, since Fleming seems to relish it.

15Cateline
jul 20, 2007, 2:38pm

Yes, there are racial stereotypes, in fact there are stereotypes of every sort of person in the various Bond books. In The Spy Who Loved Me there are other sorts of stereotypes...gangsters, woman in distress. BTW, the book is nothing like the film, it is far better IMO.

Really when you stop and think about the over all picture, Bond himself is a stereotype.
That is what Fleming created, a stereotypical world where the bad guys were bad and the good guys were standing on the razor's edge of being villains.

Fleming had been in the business, and I wonder if this series was his way of sticking his tongue out at all the "good old boys' with their "stiff upper lip".
Just a thought.