Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,636
    Amazon had a bunch of Gardner Bonds for 99p each a while ago. I've embarked on For Special Services. (I know I read some Gardners in the 90s but I can no longer remember which!)
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,959
    Live and let die. Bond just meets 'the big man'.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,125
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Diamonds are Forever. Boy the movie should have stuck more to the original story!

    Just finished DAF. Slightly a step down from the first 3 books, namely in the main villains department. However, it definitely has the strongest written Bond Woman at this point. EON should definitely use the handcar on the train tracks at some point in the future!
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,518
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Diamonds are Forever. Boy the movie should have stuck more to the original story!

    Just finished DAF. Slightly a step down from the first 3 books, namely in the main villains department. However, it definitely has the strongest written Bond Woman at this point. EON should definitely use the handcar on the train tracks at some point in the future!

    AVTAK?
  • Posts: 1,908
    I just finished man with golden gun a few months ago. You can really tell Ian Flemming didn't finish the novel
  • Posts: 5,912
    fjdinardo wrote: »
    I just finished man with golden gun a few months ago. You can really tell Ian Flemming didn't finish the novel

    For all it's fault, I really love TMWTGG. Maybe because of its faults? I love how Bond tries to kill M at the beginning, and then the more stripped down story-telling that leads to the one on one battle between Bond and Scaramanga.

    I really do love it!
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 700
    Reading the novels for the first time.
    I had gotten back into Bond through a combination of hype for NTTD and somehow finding the Dynamite Bond comics. After I've read those, including Casino Royale and LALD, I thought I should go for the novels. With CR being the first, I thought I should start there, but after finishing that I felt the comic adaptation was quite close, so I jumped the LALD novel and went straight to MR. Loved that, so DAF and FRWL soon followed. Starting DN with the Strangways murder and then Quarrel entering the scene I felt I missed a connection to the characters, somehow.
    So now I'm back to LALD the novel (currently in Big's office and Solitaire has just entered the picture) and technically 4 or 5 chapters into DN, although I will start that fresh once I'm done with the earlier book.
  • Posts: 5,728
    I've read the novels first when I was about 8 or 9. About the same time I read the entire Jules Verne collection, some Graham Green's books and Aldous Huxley's Brave new World. They all made quite an impression. I've since returned many times to all of those. I've got this ritual, I like to start the Summer with Lawerence of Arabia (the film), and with Dr. No (the novel) :) Ian Fleming's novels are always comfort reading, light and fast. And a blast for us who have to do some more heavy literature reading during the year. I'd advise reading them all in order, it's quite an experience of continuity, unlike the films.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,190
    Moonraker novelization. Very similar to the film but reads much more seriously then what transpires on screen by cutting out some of the most silly parts. Which don't get me wrong MR is my favorite film and I love the silliness in addition to the more serious moments. Just found it interesting how straight it plays in the book.
  • Posts: 5,912
    Reading them in order in between other books. So late summer I read, The Spy And The Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of The Cold War, then I read Casino Royale; after CR I read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and now I'm reading Live and Let Die (a novel which was never my favourite, but this time round it's entertaining and I find it more intriguing than I have in the past).

    I love that brief glimpse that Bond gets of Mr. Big in the back of the car (being driven about my a woman decked out in full chauffeur uniform); I keep picturing Big as Bill Duke (but with paler skin and a larger head)...
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 12,066
    Per Fine Ounce
    I have included this into my Bondathon, even though it is more of an oddity than a legitimate part of the cannon. My 2nd attempt, and I don't believe I got this far the last time. I have never read a book before with so many mistakes. One or two... ok, but this is starting to take the proverbial.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 12,066
    Per Fine Ounce
    Finished today. I have never read a book that was so riddled with grammar errors and contradictions. The thing is, I actually enjoyed the story, and the character of Peace. I also liked the villain of the book having some unusual pets. If this became a series, I would follow it. But the ammount of mistakes.... it boggles the mind. Someone should lose their job. It is such a popr quality that if it were a plane, the pilot would nose dive into the ground, right after takeoff.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 700
    Done with LALD and now back to DN.
    I would assume a lot of ink (or pixels or whatever) has been spilled about LALD from the perspective of the modern reader. All I am going to add to this is that I find the way Fleming writes what I assume to be Jive or something (?) and other ethnic dialects (specifically Quarrel's) to be really hard to read. Not because I have some moral problem with it, just straight up understanding what people are saying is hard sometimes. Well I also wince a bit at the extreme othering of black and other minority characters, but I just accept that as Fleming in the 50s just portraying the massive gulf between the life he led (and ergo Bond leads) and what he perceived the lives of others to be.

    Other than that I mostly enjoyed the book, but would say that my original thought was correct that the comic adaption is faithful enough to the novel (at least in the text, that specific book has some weird picture/text differences, but here is not really the place to discuss that).

    So now I'm back with Dr. No with the slightly strange added effect, that in my botched reading order, was basically just in Jamaica in LALD and all the "ah yes that treasure business five years ago" comments are slightly funny. I again have the small problem with understanding Quarrel sometimes, but other than that I like the set-up so far.
  • MSL49MSL49 Finland
    Posts: 368
    I ordered today my first James Bond book.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Costa Mucho
    Posts: 41,943
    MSL49 wrote: »
    I ordered today my first James Bond book.

    And which one is that?
  • I re-read 'The Spy who loved me' for the first time in about twenty years this week.

    I have to say even though reading contemporary reviews of the book showing a very hostile reception, I probably enjoyed it now more than the first time.

    I wasn't around when Fleming published his books so the narrative of negativity doesn't really make sense to me. Much like how some of my favourite Agatha Christie novels on Hercule Poirot were panned by reviewers at the time.

    I think 'the spy who loved me' as a stand-alone spy thriller would be greatly received in today's era. I have read several spy thrillers like this where the hero does not appear until well into the book. It would make a good movie in a faithful adaptation if you ask me.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,190
    Moonraker novelization. Very similar to the film but reads much more seriously then what transpires on screen by cutting out some of the most silly parts. Which don't get me wrong MR is my favorite film and I love the silliness in addition to the more serious moments. Just found it interesting how straight it plays in the book.
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I love those adaptations.

    The rest of Moonraker delivered for me. Both adaptations were fantastic. TSWLM provided more backstory, deviations from the film, but MR delivered as well. Was surpised with how straight MR read and not silly, despite the novel playing out very similar to the film. I give TSWLM an A- and MR a B grade.
  • Moonraker novelization. Very similar to the film but reads much more seriously then what transpires on screen by cutting out some of the most silly parts. Which don't get me wrong MR is my favorite film and I love the silliness in addition to the more serious moments. Just found it interesting how straight it plays in the book.
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I love those adaptations.

    The rest of Moonraker delivered for me. Both adaptations were fantastic. TSWLM provided more backstory, deviations from the film, but MR delivered as well. Was surpised with how straight MR read and not silly, despite the novel playing out very similar to the film. I give TSWLM an A- and MR a B grade.

    I just wrapped up Moonraker too. Wood's greatest strength and weakness are one and the same: his elaborate descriptive writing. When he's on, he's really on (much of The Spy Who Loved Me for instance). But when he's writing with his left hand or creatively tapped, those pages upon pages of tedious description can make the experience a chore (much of the latter half of Moonraker in particular). His tendency toward hyperbole can spill over into the absurd at times as well, as in Moonraker's "Her smile challenged the sun." But when Wood is in top form, his style makes for an engaging read.
  • edited November 2020 Posts: 8,787
    Per Fine Ounce
    Finished today. I have never read a book that was so riddled with grammar errors and contradictions. The thing is, I actually enjoyed the story, and the character of Peace. I also liked the villain of the book having some unusual pets. If this became a series, I would follow it. But the ammount of mistakes.... it boggles the mind. Someone should lose their job. It is such a popr quality that if it were a plane, the pilot would nose dive into the ground, right after takeoff.

    Didn’t Saltzman want that to be film for 1971 and not diamonds?

    Also still on Death is forever it’s actually kind of interesting I am realizing later gardener is better then early Gardner
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 700
    Just finished Goldfinger and saw now that I hadn't checked in after finishing Dr. No.

    I reeally liked DN. The sequences after they get captured by the dragon are really good and I like the weird "clinic" cover. Nice shift in mood and really disconcerting to go from the fight with the dragon and Quarell's death to suddenly being in the lobby of an upscale spa. The good Doctor's challenge run is also a really good read.

    Goldfinger is probably the "classic" film I know the best, so for me a lot of intrigue came from recognition or difference. I must say, I sometimes find it hard seperating the villains in the books. Of course, I often have the actors who portrayed them in my minds eye, but to me they often read very similar. Am I wrong or is Goldfinger's speech about achievements in crime very similar to somthing Mister Big says in LALD?
    As for the rest of GF. I liked it, although I felt it has lengths in the third section. Operation Grand Slam itself is over so quickly, it feels a bit weird. Although the feeling evoked during the "Journey into Holocaust"-chapter is quite chilling.
    Of course the overt racism and the ideas about sexuality are annoying, but easy enough to just breeze past in these two.

    So, on to For Your Eyes Only. The first of the books, where I have no idea what's coming..
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Costa Mucho
    Posts: 41,943
    Just finished Goldfinger and saw now that I hadn't checked in after finishing Dr. No.

    I reeally liked DN. The sequences after they get captured by the dragon are really good and I like the weird "clinic" cover. Nice shift in mood and really disconcerting to go from the fight with the dragon and Quarell's death to suddenly being in the lobby of an upscale spa. The good Doctor's challenge run is also a really good read.

    Goldfinger is probably the "classic" film I know the best, so for me a lot of intrigue came from recognition or difference. I must say, I sometimes find it hard seperating the villains in the books. Of course, I often have the actors who portrayed them in my minds eye, but to me they often read very similar. Am I wrong or is Goldfinger's speech about achievements in crime very similar to somthing Mister Big says in LALD?
    As for the rest of GF. I liked it, although I felt it has lengths in the third section. Operation Grand Slam itself is over so quickly, it feels a bit weird. Although the feeling evoked during the "Journey into Holocaust"-chapter is quite chilling.
    Of course the overt racism and the ideas about sexuality are annoying, but easy enough to just breeze past in these two.

    So, on to For Your Eyes Only. The first of the books, where I have no idea what's coming..

    GF is my favourite book. FYEO starts off weak, but each short story is better than the previous, and so it ends on a very strong, high note.
  • Posts: 5,912
    Moonraker, where James Bond felt more fleshed out and real. Fleming painted more of a three dimensional character who actually has a life back in London, a flat with his treasure, May; an untaxing job in between assignments and his intimate affairs with a small rotation of married women.
    This third novel is really showing a writer coming into his own.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    edited November 2020 Posts: 12,066
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Per Fine Ounce
    Finished today. I have never read a book that was so riddled with grammar errors and contradictions. The thing is, I actually enjoyed the story, and the character of Peace. I also liked the villain of the book having some unusual pets. If this became a series, I would follow it. But the ammount of mistakes.... it boggles the mind. Someone should lose their job. It is such a popr quality that if it were a plane, the pilot would nose dive into the ground, right after takeoff.

    Didn’t Saltzman want that to be film for 1971 and not diamonds?

    Also still on Death is forever it’s actually kind of interesting I am realizing later gardener is better then early Gardner

    I do believe that is correct. I might be wrong, but I think Brocolli wanted to adapt Colonel Sun, but Saltzman blackballed the idea. Then when Saltzman wanted to adapt Per Fine Ounce, Brocolli blackballed that. I think this is mentioned in one chapter of Some Kind Of Hero.

    I am still reading Colonel Sun. I am struggling to stick with it. I am not giving up, as I have only a few chapters left, so I am nearly done with it.
  • I am still reading Colonel Sun. I am struggling to stick with it. I am not giving up, as I have only a few chapters left, so I am nearly done with it.

    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts when you're finished. I re-read Colonel Sun myself this past summer. Amis did some bold things with his one crack at 007, but it's not without its faults.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,959
    Just started ohmss. I wanted first to continue reading everything in order but I'm not much of a fan of mr and ohmss just smiled at me, with that creased walnut face of marc-ange Draco.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,125
    Oddjob part 2 by Greg Pak.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 12,066
    Finished Colonel Sun earlier. This is my 2nd time reading it, and both times I have strugged to stick with it. I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly I struggle with. It's not the voilence, as I have seen worse in films. Glad it's out of the way. Next up: Christopher Wood's TSWLM.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited December 2020 Posts: 14,950
    Finished Colonel Sun earlier. This is my 2nd time reading it, and both times I have strugged to stick with it. I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly I struggle with. It's not the voilence, as I have seen worse in films. Glad it's out of the way. Next up: Christopher Wood's TSWLM.

    I don't know if you felt this way, @MajorDSmythe, but a lot of people seem to find the middle section of the novel set on board The Altair to be where the story loses steam somewhat. You could say that Amis is all at sea at that point in the novel. ;)

    I think they may be on to something with that. In any event, I still consider Colonel Sun to be the best Bond continuation novel of them all by a wide margin.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,190
    I agree with that sentiment @Dragonpol . The start of it read just like Fleming to me and was really thrilled, but the middle parts wained, before it brought me back in at the end. I will return to CS in a few years with fresh eyes and see if I find them middle more engaging.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,959
    Reading ohmss, i just re-found out that operation bedlam was closed and a new name was given..... CORONA. So people, you'll HAVE to read it this Christmas 😊
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