It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
^ Back to Top
The MI6 Community is unofficial and in no way associated or linked with EON Productions, MGM, Sony Pictures, Activision or Ian Fleming Publications. Any views expressed on this website are of the individual members and do not necessarily reflect those of the Community owners. Any video or images displayed in topics on MI6 Community are embedded by users from third party sites and as such MI6 Community and its owners take no responsibility for this material.
James Bond News • James Bond Articles • James Bond Magazine
If part of a series) and filmed as a period piece. It was Fleming's attempt at capturing
The writing style of Somerset Maugham.
I can appreciate the skill in writing but the story, is only of interest to me when
Bond finally appears.
A more successful novel where Bond doesn't show until the one third or even halfway mark is Gardiner's SCORPIUS. Been ages since I read it but I remember thinking it wasn't bad at all, even though Bond comes in late. The front end set up the story well, I recall.
Read them in years. :)
Ok..I swear I am not drunk..only story not to be made into a film ? What ??
There's a TSWLM movie....you probably mean the movie is not as the novel..but MoonRaker is not much as the novel as well. Risico,Property of a Lady and 007 in New York are not made into movies as well. :)
Yes, I agree - I think that would work very well.
Fleming sold the rights to the title only. He was that unsatisfied with the novel, he never wanted it made. That said it is still a good book and would make a decent pre-title sequence.
Very true - it is unique for those reasons among Fleming's oeuvre.
My dream: a stage adaptation.
Well that is going to be difficult. Without being an expert in UK copyright law it appears the earliest would be in 2035 in the UK. 2057 in the US. (assuming no one renews).
That's the subplot Jim Lawrence used when he wrote the comic strip adaptation for the Daily Express, drawn by Yaroslav Horak. He did a pretty good job and managed to include the latter third of the novel as well, featuring Vivienne, Sluggsy and Horror, and the hotel. It's recommended reading and available either in the 2005 edition from Titan (simply titled The Spy Who Loved Me) or in The James Bond Omnibus: Volume 002, which is even more highly recommended because it also contains the only faithful adaptation of You Only Live Twice and a version of The Man with the Golden Gun that improves on the original.
As for the original question: I'd love to see a straight adaptation of Fleming's TSWLM, but that will never happen, unless the novel gets licensed for a small-scale, Masterpiece Theatre-type TV presentation. When modern audiences hear James Bond, they expect a wall-to-wall action extravaganza, not story about the love life of a Quebecois girl where James Bond doesn't show up until the last third. No producer in his right mind would risk money on such a story, since it drastically frustrates audience expectations. That's why the book was never a commercial success.
TSWLM is proof that Fleming was not a formulaic writer. It was an incredible risk--one can't imagine someone like Tom Clancy taking it--and though Fleming was hurt by its commercial failure, it's one of his most intriguing books. But I doubt we'll ever see a faithful TV/film adaptation, since that would require: a producer and director who had enough confidence in the book to not monkey with it; the consent of the Fleming estate, coupled with the consent of EON/DANJAQ; and a TV channel or studio willing to invest money in a project much less commercial than a typical Bond film. Those planets won't line up any time soon. Better to hope for another comic adaptation.
Even when the copyright on the novel expires, the copyright to Bond himself, as well as his movie/TV rights, will likely be enforced. We can all thank the Disney corporation for bribing congress into extending copyright law far beyond its natural life.
BLASPHEMY!!! Joking aside, I don't think Gardner was more successful than Fleming at anything beyond writing generic thrillers.
Liked it as much as the other books.
Couple of notes. Interesting that Fleming said he was talking directly to young girls, via the cop who gently lecturess Viv at the end. - girls that might romanticize dangerous men such as Bond.
Cop warns her to stay clear of such men.
Viv, when she first saw Bond, thought he was another bad guy due to his hard look.
Also we learn Fleming has a flair for dramatic embellishment.
He describes Toronto as a real tough town, or some such, circa 1961.Makes it that much more exciting and dangerous for Bond.
Reality is that it was a very safe big Canadian city.
Pretty tame crime-wise.
I"m sure there were organized crime gangs with international connections even then and they were plenty tough, but unless you were actually part of that underground milieu, the city was pretty safe for Mom dad and brood.
Nowadays, not so much. All big NA cities can be dangerous and cops are kept busy dealing with all sorts of shite.
Interesting. Can you describe what would happen in the PTS? :-)
His depiction of Québécoises was a bit off too. Vivienne Michel seems awfully liberal, if not libertine, for her time.
Aspects of it make it feel positively fresh and way ahead of its time and I'd love to know if Samantha Weinberg read it before writing 'The Moneypenny Diaries'.
I think it was the adverse reviews that made Fleming want to suppress it. I think he was stung by them albeit female reviewers were a lot kinder to the book but unfortunately they (female reviewers) were few in number back then.
My wife also has an interesting perspective on TSWLM, she said: " critics like to portray him as a mysoginist, sexist, sadist must be wrong because she's rarely read a book written by a man that has so successfully got into a women's psyche."
I don't agree with everything she says but I'm with her on this.
That was the same reaction I had to the book, which I also read in my early teens. Had that fan been real, what a great continuation writer she would have been!
Again, I had the same reaction. The movie theatre scene is wince-inducing in a way no other scene in a Bond novel is, because it deals with a level of sexual and social humiliation Bond never experiences. Writing it must have been a raw experience for Fleming as well, since it was based on his own sexual experiences, though this time he placed himself in the woman's role. Critics hated the "literary transvestism" of TSWLM, but today that's what makes it one of the most fascinating and transgressive Bond novels.
Evidently, following initial feedback, Ian had asked Jonathan Cape not to promote the book and to restrict print runs. He also had prohibited publication in paperback.
Consequently, for many, it became the 'missing' Bond book and I only became aware of it when I scrutinised the fly leaf in my hardback edition of OHMSS in 1963.
Up until then, I'd thought that OHMSS had directly followed TB and was the ninth Bond novel rather than the tenth.
When I asked my bookseller about it he explained that they'd been instructed not to carry the book and only to sell it on demand by special order. I made the order and took delivery of a first edition over a year after the launch which would indicate that stock had been held back by the publisher.
When I eventually took delivery I remember being absolutely overwhelmed by Chopping's fabulous jacket design. I think it remains one of his best. The simplicity of the dagger and the rose is quite stunning and remains one of his best designs.
The novel went on to cause me a lot of trouble but that, as they say, is another story.
Do tell! You can't leave us on a cliffhanger like that!