Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • iamurospiamurosp Belgrade, Serbia
    Posts: 11
    After all the 21st century ones, I went to the beginning and now I'm finishing DAF. Man, does this one tire with the horse races!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    edited December 2020 Posts: 12,066
    I was going to start the novelisation of TSWLM, until I realised that I has missed Solo, so I have been reading that instead. Finished Solo. Like DMC, I read this a few years back, but don't think I finished it. Uh... it's not awful, but not top tier Bond either. I expected Boyd to make Bond being 45 and the world changing, more prominent. It is the mandatory retirement age for 00's afterall. Bond sits down outside a cafe, and notes the short dresses on the women, and the baggy army surplus hjackets on the men, and that's it. And the ending, was Boyd expecting to write another book, because that's an odd way to end Solo.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,636
    Christmas re-read of OHMSS, now I have a shiny new copy :) I love this book more every time. I really enjoyed Tracy's rescue of Bond at the ice rink when he's at the end of his tether, and their drive through the night to Zurich.

    My flatmate expressed interest in reading the novel (we watched the film together after Diana Rigg's death) so I lent her a copy. She immediately skipped to the last page to get it over with so she wouldn't have it hanging over her for the whole book!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,636
    We'll see how it goes - plenty more to lend her if she enjoys this one!
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,959
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    We'll see how it goes - plenty more to lend her if she enjoys this one!

    If she doesn't like OHMSS, I'm afraid she's a lost cause....
  • After finishing GoldenEye, the last of Gardner's I had yet to read, I decided now would be as appropriate a time as any to revisit Benson's Tomorrow Never Dies.

    GoldenEye (John Gardner)

    ...or an exercise in how to take an exciting film with interesting characters and reduce it to the blandest, most joyless version of itself. This was the second to last book Gardner wrote for Bond and he was clearly well over writing for the character at this point. The fact that it was a novelization only compounded his disinterest I'm sure. The tank chase unfolds over a narcolepsy-triggering fourteen pages during which Bond gradually learns the controls of the tank with all the excitement of preparing for one's driving exam and Orumov receives a fairly ridiculous and wholly unnecessary backstory involving a tank encounter in some skirmish that's meant to explain his excessive flask swilling (as if anyone needs a reason to be terrified of being run down by a tank!). I actually am a fan of much of Gardner's output for Bond, but GoldenEye was unexpectedly a low point in his Bond oeuvre. Given the "let's get this over with" spirit with which the novel reads, I suspect Gardner himself probably would agree.

    Tomorrow Never Dies (Raymond Benson)

    Conversely, this might actually be the best thing Benson wrote for Bond. Now don't get me wrong, we're not dealing with Fleming here. Nor even Wood nor Amis nor Boyd. But there's an excitement that perhaps comes from Benson's lifelong fandom and from being fresh and new to fiction writing, and his prose seems to read better here than in his later novels. He does precisely what a good novelization should do: he captures the spirit of the film on page while expanding and enriching the story with better developed characters, new scenes, and alternative routes through and outcomes for scenes in the film. Unlike his novelization for TWINE, you're not simply reading a rote translation of what's on the screen. Rather, it's the same story but a whole new experience. Much like Wood's novelizations actually, only Benson's prose is nowhere in the same league and some of his own tics like writing characters' thoughts in a rather juvenile and exclamatory manner are unfortunately here from the outset. Stamper and Carver, particularly the former, are rather too cartoonish at times, too. But it's a pleasure to see Benson combine Eon's Bond with Fleming's, adding some nice touches like a sly explanation for YOLT's Oriental Languages at Cambridge guffaw and even providing Tanner (who replaces Robinson here) a nice long passage where he reflects on his relationship with Bond. Among the changes, the stealth boat climax in particular is quite different from that seen in the film. I suspect some of this may be serendipitously due to the film's haphazard production—new pages of the script being written as they went. The novelization is therefore an interesting combination of the finished film, early ideas that were dropped, and Benson's own inventions. It's been a long time since I've read any of Benson's other books, but I strongly believe this might be the best of his work for Bond.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,950
    From John Gardner's newly relaunched website:

    https://john-gardner.com/2020/11/22/revisiting-goldeneye/
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,320
    Very interesting detail shared there, @Dragonpol, thanks.

    And the Bond reading recommendations I've received so far for 2021 are Gardner.

    md14958349734.jpg winloseordie.jpg?1589897366


  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    With us under lockdown again, I'm re-reading a few Favs. I'm starting with OHMSS.
  • Just read Casino Royale for the first time, and plowed through most of it in a day. This book practically reads itself it’s so well paced. I really love the setup to this one, and the gambling scenes are wonderfully tense (also appreciate that Fleming teaches you how Baccarat is played, and it’s a lot more simple than I would have guessed!). The extended epilogue with Vesper gives the book a unique flavor compared to the other Bond books I’ve read, which lean more into pulp adventure and end shortly after the climax rather than ruminating in character with some philosophical debates thrown in. Going to start Live and Let Die soon, which I read probably three years ago and remember enjoying (particularly the last third or so) but nowhere near as much as this. We’ll see if I feel differently this time around.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,320
    Casino Royale is my favorite, @SomethingThatAteHim, it's easy to relish your first reading and your assessment.
  • Moonraker was my previous favorite of those I’ve read (up until now: LALD, MR, FRWL, & Dr. No) but I think I might have enjoyed Casino even more.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Moonraker is a great read and one of my Favourites.
  • Just finished Live and Let Die. I enjoyed it much more this time around. It’s certainly not as good as Casino Royale (though there are numerous sequences that match, or even exceed, it) but it’s an ambitious expansion of scope. In some ways the book doesn’t feel like the second book in the series, but something that comes much later, in its turn away from small-scale espionage to full blown pulp-adventure. Pirate treasure? Elaborate traps? Supervillain? Globetrotting adventure? I love it all though. Because of the expanded scope and due to its lack of any real twists or mystery this novels pace is a bit uneven and, alongside the well documented outdated terms and ugly racial views of some characters, is its biggest flaw. Particularly the stretch between Bond escaping Big’s clutches in Harlem and Felix getting chomped by the shark lags in a way that Casino never once did. But that slower pace has its advantages as well, because another element that separates this book from its predecessor is the extended travelogue elements. Each of the three distinct locations — New York, Florida, and finally Jamaica — is described in wonderful detail that gives each leg of the book a distinct atmosphere, and even though it’s not a terribly long book it fully captures the feel of a jam packed and lengthy adventure.

    The book really kicks off with the Ouroboros bait shop setpiece which is a brilliantly tense setpiece, and really never lets up from there. Mr. Big is an excellent villain and his meticulous plans and his own bored artisty add the perfect amount of colorful flair to this pulpy entry. Despite being perhaps more low-brow than its predecessor, Live and Let Die does engage in more of a broad theme, as it’s preoccupied with fate and death.. Imagery of death persists throughout, from Mr. Big’s own zombified appearance, down to the oldsters that come down to Florida to live out their final days. There are omens that can help guide one through life, like Solitaire’s supposed premonitions or the undertaker’s wind, but as Bond notes there’s not much use in trying to decipher fate but rather live in the moment. It’s not a particularly deep bit of subtext, but it adds a solid thematic layer to an at times uneven adventure. Overall I really enjoyed this though and it’s last third is pretty much ideal for a grizzly and tense Bond thriller. Up next is Moonraker, which I have very fond memories of as a much more tightly paced and structured novel that may be lacking in the globetrotting and exotic atmosphere but more than makes up for it with good characterization and some real intrigue.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,959
    I'm glad LALD is getting some love. For me it's one of Fleming's best. And personally I don't understand the problem with the racial views. It just makes for a realistic setting. If anything Bond simpathises with the black people he meets. Bond is far more progressive for his day and age than people give him credit for.
  • Ian Fleming was certainly no HP Lovecraft in terms of his racial views where everyone different is something to be hated and feared, but there’s a very paternalistic quality to Bond/Fleming’s views on race. You can see this in moments where he describes Quarrel’s unspoken subservience to Bond and how he “hardly looks negroid at all”, and Mr. Big’s genius is partly due to his “French blood” and is in sharp contrast to the thoroughly charactured black characters who are all incredibly superstitious, physically powerful, and all speak in dialect (which is not very realistic at all and clashes with his obviously well researched travelogue elements). I will say that one can sense a real desire on Fleming’s part to give a pseudo anthropological exploration and humanization (in his own flawed way) of a group of people that many of his social contemporaries probably wouldn’t have been as charitable towards, but it still comes through a very ignorant lens. So I guess judging by that bar it could be considered somewhat progressive, but I don’t think among the actual progressives of the time he would have gotten much credit. In the end it did come from a time where language and views like these were commonly espoused so while I don’t like it, it’s not as if Fleming was a unique case in the literature world. By that same token though I wouldn’t judge anyone for not being able to get past some of that language in LALD as this book more than many others is preoccupied with race, but for me there’s so much I really like about the book that it doesn’t drag it down enough to the point I can’t still enjoy the novel.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,125
    @SomethingThatAteHim have you considered trying the LALD graphic novel from Dynamite Comics? The story is done justice, with visually impressive characters and images. Fingers crossed that Moonraker will be adapted soon.
  • MaxCasino wrote: »
    @SomethingThatAteHim have you considered trying the LALD graphic novel from Dynamite Comics? The story is done justice, with visually impressive characters and images. Fingers crossed that Moonraker will be adapted soon.

    Yup! I’d like to pick that and the Casino Royale adaptation as well.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,957
    Ian Fleming was certainly no HP Lovecraft in terms of his racial views where everyone different is something to be hated and feared, but there’s a very paternalistic quality to Bond/Fleming’s views on race. You can see this in moments where he describes Quarrel’s unspoken subservience to Bond and how he “hardly looks negroid at all”, and Mr. Big’s genius is partly due to his “French blood” and is in sharp contrast to the thoroughly charactured black characters who are all incredibly superstitious, physically powerful, and all speak in dialect (which is not very realistic at all and clashes with his obviously well researched travelogue elements). I will say that one can sense a real desire on Fleming’s part to give a pseudo anthropological exploration and humanization (in his own flawed way) of a group of people that many of his social contemporaries probably wouldn’t have been as charitable towards, but it still comes through a very ignorant lens. So I guess judging by that bar it could be considered somewhat progressive, but I don’t think among the actual progressives of the time he would have gotten much credit. In the end it did come from a time where language and views like these were commonly espoused so while I don’t like it, it’s not as if Fleming was a unique case in the literature world. By that same token though I wouldn’t judge anyone for not being able to get past some of that language in LALD as this book more than many others is preoccupied with race, but for me there’s so much I really like about the book that it doesn’t drag it down enough to the point I can’t still enjoy the novel.

    Lovecraft's racism, much like his sexism, was the product of an isolated upbringing. In fact, rather than as a misogynistic white supremacist, I think of him as an extreme introvert whose anti-social tendencies were an unfortunate side-effect of the tragedies of his youth. His xenophobia was much more universal and less race-related than one is often inclined to think. Lovecraft wasn't a people person in any way. His characters are almost no characters at all but rather, they are mere receivers of horrific truths. Lovecraft couldn't write good or interesting people but he sure could dream up the wildest fantasies, as if originating from psychotropic substance abuse. He treasured endless realms of dreams filled with mostly dormant gods who don't care whether we exist or not. A few of his short stories, 'poems' and essays do smell of a clear dissatisfaction with the forces of migration "taking over" certain local streets, and his words rarely cover up his anger, fear and loathing, but overall, I think he really did not like what was unknown to him, and his mother had made sure that very little was not unknown to him.

    Fleming's case was entirely different. And when I read LALD, I read the book from the POV of a white male in the '50s, and I also allow myself a little of that British chauvinism that Fleming definitely perpetuated. But ultimately, LALD doesn't suggest that we hunt down coloured people, return to the days of slavery, suppress or discriminate others. I can definitely have problems with the book's inherent aversion to the coloured lifestyle if I wanted to, but find it almost non-existent at the core of the spy/adventure story that the book ultimately is. That said, I know I'm a biased Fleming fan, so I can't help not being too offended by either LALD or GF (with its somewhat twisted attitude towards lesbianism.)
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    edited January 26 Posts: 700
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Ian Fleming was certainly no HP Lovecraft in terms of his racial views where everyone different is something to be hated and feared, but there’s a very paternalistic quality to Bond/Fleming’s views on race. You can see this in moments where he describes Quarrel’s unspoken subservience to Bond and how he “hardly looks negroid at all”, and Mr. Big’s genius is partly due to his “French blood” and is in sharp contrast to the thoroughly charactured black characters who are all incredibly superstitious, physically powerful, and all speak in dialect (which is not very realistic at all and clashes with his obviously well researched travelogue elements). I will say that one can sense a real desire on Fleming’s part to give a pseudo anthropological exploration and humanization (in his own flawed way) of a group of people that many of his social contemporaries probably wouldn’t have been as charitable towards, but it still comes through a very ignorant lens. So I guess judging by that bar it could be considered somewhat progressive, but I don’t think among the actual progressives of the time he would have gotten much credit. In the end it did come from a time where language and views like these were commonly espoused so while I don’t like it, it’s not as if Fleming was a unique case in the literature world. By that same token though I wouldn’t judge anyone for not being able to get past some of that language in LALD as this book more than many others is preoccupied with race, but for me there’s so much I really like about the book that it doesn’t drag it down enough to the point I can’t still enjoy the novel.

    Lovecraft's racism, much like his sexism, was the product of an isolated upbringing. In fact, rather than as a misogynistic white supremacist, I think of him as an extreme introvert whose anti-social tendencies were an unfortunate side-effect of the tragedies of his youth. His xenophobia was much more universal and less race-related than one is often inclined to think. Lovecraft wasn't a people person in any way. His characters are almost no characters at all but rather, they are mere receivers of horrific truths. Lovecraft couldn't write good or interesting people but he sure could dream up the wildest fantasies, as if originating from psychotropic substance abuse. He treasured endless realms of dreams filled with mostly dormant gods who don't care whether we exist or not. A few of his short stories, 'poems' and essays do smell of a clear dissatisfaction with the forces of migration "taking over" certain local streets, and his words rarely cover up his anger, fear and loathing, but overall, I think he really did not like what was unknown to him, and his mother had made sure that very little was not unknown to him.

    Fleming's case was entirely different. And when I read LALD, I read the book from the POV of a white male in the '50s, and I also allow myself a little of that British chauvinism that Fleming definitely perpetuated. But ultimately, LALD doesn't suggest that we hunt down coloured people, return to the days of slavery, suppress or discriminate others. I can definitely have problems with the book's inherent aversion to the coloured lifestyle if I wanted to, but find it almost non-existent at the core of the spy/adventure story that the book ultimately is. That said, I know I'm a biased Fleming fan, so I can't help not being too offended by either LALD or GF (with its somewhat twisted attitude towards lesbianism.)

    Me feelings on the matter are close to yours, I think, but I would frame it slightly differently.
    It is pretty evident from Fleming's writing that he believed that there are inherent and general differences in let's say quality between the races, the sexes and the classes. The overarching sense is that the pinnacle of human evolution on average is a white, heterosexual, upper-middle class man from Great Britain who has served in the military. Everyone else is very likely to be inferior. That is the world Fleming lived in and the world he wrote. In the most simple definition of the terms, that makes him a racist, a sexist and a classist.
    But there is one very, very important part of Fleming's writing (and I believe thinking) that counter-acts this: Not only does he not advocate stripping people who aren't white, heterosexual, upper-middle class men from Great Britain of their humanity as you already said, he takes the time to look at the individual person and judge them according to their character and their actions. Yes, the entry-point to Bond's thought on someone is usually one of prejudice (which arguably, is something everyone does) but he is always open to getting to know someone and what they are made of. So then you can have upper-class white people Bond despises and actively fights, and working class people of colour who are great friends and allies to him. Women who he starts out thinking to be "silly bitches" who he then hopelessly falls in love with only to be rebuffed or lesbians he finds weird, but still respects as people. And so on. Granted, there isn't a main villain in the Fleming books I can think of who is British, but everyone has their foibles.


    Edit: I've said this before, but I just find the patois he gives the Black characters in LALD and other books to be hard to understand, because it is so strange.
  • I can agree with all that @ImpertinentGoon. I think chauvinism (or national favoritism in this case?) comes to play as well. For example he is harsher perhaps in his estimation of black people in America than those in Jamaica within the same novel, which is perhaps because he is fonder of Jamaica than America. The Florida sections of the book crack me up with how disdainful Bond is of American commercialization, diner food, old people, etc.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    edited January 26 Posts: 700
    The Florida sections of the book crack me up with how disdainful Bond is of American commercialization, diner food, old people, etc.

    I just now stumbled across this great section in YOLT:
    "The Oriental way of life is particularly attractive to the American who wishes to escape from a culture which, I am sure you will agree, has become, to say the least of it, more and more unattractive except to the lower grades of the human species to whom bad but plentiful food, shiny toys such as the automobile and the television, and the 'quick buck,' often dishonestly earned, or earned in exchange for minimal labour or skills, are the summum bonum, if you will allow the sentimental echo from my Oxford education."

    "I will," said Bond. "But is this not a picture of the life that is being officially encouraged in your own country?"

    Tiger Tanaka's face darkened perceptibly. "For the time being," he said with distaste, "we are being subjected to what I can best describe as the 'Scuola di Coca Cola.' Baseball, amusement arcades, hot dogs, hideously large bosoms, neon lighting--these are part of our payment for defeat in battle. They are the tepid tea of the way of life we know under the name of demokorasu. They are a frenzied denial of the official scapegoats for our defeat--a denial of the spirit of the samurai as expressed in the kami-kaze, a denial of our ancestors, a denial of our gods. They are a despicable way of life"--Tiger almost spat the words--"but fortunately they are also expendable and temporary. They have as much importance in the history of Japan as the life of a dragonfly." He paused. "But to return to my story. Our American residents are of a sympathetic type--on a low level, of course. They enjoy the subservience, which I may say is only superficial, of our women. They enjoy the remaining strict patterns of our life--the symmetry, compared with the chaos that reigns in America. They enjoy our simplicity, with its underlying hint of deep meaning, as expressed for instance in the tea ceremony, flower arrangements, No plays--none of which, of course, they understand. They also enjoy, because they have no ancestors and probably no family life worth speaking of, our veneration of the old and our worship of the past. For in their impermanent world, they recognize these as permanent things just as, in their ignorant and childish way, they admire the fictions of the Wild West and other American myths that have become known to them, not through their education, of which they have none, but through television."

    Damn, Ian. Tell us what you really think, why don't you. :))
  • The Florida sections of the book crack me up with how disdainful Bond is of American commercialization, diner food, old people, etc.

    I just now stumbled across this great section in YOLT:
    "The Oriental way of life is particularly attractive to the American who wishes to escape from a culture which, I am sure you will agree, has become, to say the least of it, more and more unattractive except to the lower grades of the human species to whom bad but plentiful food, shiny toys such as the automobile and the television, and the 'quick buck,' often dishonestly earned, or earned in exchange for minimal labour or skills, are the summum bonum, if you will allow the sentimental echo from my Oxford education."

    "I will," said Bond. "But is this not a picture of the life that is being officially encouraged in your own country?"

    Tiger Tanaka's face darkened perceptibly. "For the time being," he said with distaste, "we are being subjected to what I can best describe as the 'Scuola di Coca Cola.' Baseball, amusement arcades, hot dogs, hideously large bosoms, neon lighting--these are part of our payment for defeat in battle. They are the tepid tea of the way of life we know under the name of demokorasu. They are a frenzied denial of the official scapegoats for our defeat--a denial of the spirit of the samurai as expressed in the kami-kaze, a denial of our ancestors, a denial of our gods. They are a despicable way of life"--Tiger almost spat the words--"but fortunately they are also expendable and temporary. They have as much importance in the history of Japan as the life of a dragonfly." He paused. "But to return to my story. Our American residents are of a sympathetic type--on a low level, of course. They enjoy the subservience, which I may say is only superficial, of our women. They enjoy the remaining strict patterns of our life--the symmetry, compared with the chaos that reigns in America. They enjoy our simplicity, with its underlying hint of deep meaning, as expressed for instance in the tea ceremony, flower arrangements, No plays--none of which, of course, they understand. They also enjoy, because they have no ancestors and probably no family life worth speaking of, our veneration of the old and our worship of the past. For in their impermanent world, they recognize these as permanent things just as, in their ignorant and childish way, they admire the fictions of the Wild West and other American myths that have become known to them, not through their education, of which they have none, but through television."

    Damn, Ian. Tell us what you really think, why don't you. :))

    lol that’s amazing
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 700
    The Florida sections of the book crack me up with how disdainful Bond is of American commercialization, diner food, old people, etc.

    I just now stumbled across this great section in YOLT:
    "The Oriental way of life is particularly attractive to the American who wishes to escape from a culture which, I am sure you will agree, has become, to say the least of it, more and more unattractive except to the lower grades of the human species to whom bad but plentiful food, shiny toys such as the automobile and the television, and the 'quick buck,' often dishonestly earned, or earned in exchange for minimal labour or skills, are the summum bonum, if you will allow the sentimental echo from my Oxford education."

    "I will," said Bond. "But is this not a picture of the life that is being officially encouraged in your own country?"

    Tiger Tanaka's face darkened perceptibly. "For the time being," he said with distaste, "we are being subjected to what I can best describe as the 'Scuola di Coca Cola.' Baseball, amusement arcades, hot dogs, hideously large bosoms, neon lighting--these are part of our payment for defeat in battle. They are the tepid tea of the way of life we know under the name of demokorasu. They are a frenzied denial of the official scapegoats for our defeat--a denial of the spirit of the samurai as expressed in the kami-kaze, a denial of our ancestors, a denial of our gods. They are a despicable way of life"--Tiger almost spat the words--"but fortunately they are also expendable and temporary. They have as much importance in the history of Japan as the life of a dragonfly." He paused. "But to return to my story. Our American residents are of a sympathetic type--on a low level, of course. They enjoy the subservience, which I may say is only superficial, of our women. They enjoy the remaining strict patterns of our life--the symmetry, compared with the chaos that reigns in America. They enjoy our simplicity, with its underlying hint of deep meaning, as expressed for instance in the tea ceremony, flower arrangements, No plays--none of which, of course, they understand. They also enjoy, because they have no ancestors and probably no family life worth speaking of, our veneration of the old and our worship of the past. For in their impermanent world, they recognize these as permanent things just as, in their ignorant and childish way, they admire the fictions of the Wild West and other American myths that have become known to them, not through their education, of which they have none, but through television."

    Damn, Ian. Tell us what you really think, why don't you. :))

    lol that’s amazing

    Well, it's not like he lets the UK off easily:
    But Tiger was not to be hurried. He said, "Bondo-san, I will now be blunt with you, and you will not be offended, because we are friends. Yes? Now it is a sad fact that I, and many of us in positions of authority in Japan, have formed an unsatisfactory opinion about the British people since the war. You have not only lost a great empire, you have seemed almost anxious to throw it away with both hands. All right," he held up a hand, "we will not go deeply into the reasons for this policy, but when you apparently sought to arrest this slide into impotence at Suez, you succeeded only in stage-managing one of the most pitiful bungles in the history of the world, if not the worst. Further, your governments have shown themselves successively incapable of ruling and have handed over effective control of the country to the trades-unions, which appear to be dedicated to the principle of doing less and less work for more money. This feather-bedding, this shirking of an honest day's work, is sapping at ever-increasing speed the moral fibre of the British, a quality the world once so much admired. In its place we now see a vacuous aimless horde of seekers-after-pleasure--gambling at the pools and bingo, whining at the weather and the declining fortunes of the country, and wallowing nostalgically in gossip about the doings of the Royal Family and of your so-called aristocracy in the pages of the most debased newspapers in the world."


    James Bond roared with laughter. "You've got a bloody cheek, Tiger! You ought to write that out, sign it 'Octogenarian,' and send it in to The Times. You just come over and take a look at the place. It's not doing all that badly."


    "Bondo-san, you have pleaded guilty out of your own mouth. 'Not doing too badly,' indeed! That is the crybaby excuse of a boy who gets a thoroughly bad end-of-term report. In fact, you are doing very badly indeed in the opinion of your few remaining friends. And now you come to me and ask for some very important intelligence material to bolster up the pitiful ruins of a once great power. Why should we give it to you? What good will it do us? What good will it do you, Bondo-san? It is like giving smelling salts to a punch-drunk heavy-weight just before the inevitable knock-out."


    Bond said angrily, "Balls to you, Tiger! And balls again! Just because you're a pack of militant potential murderers here, longing to get rid of your American masters and play at being samurai again, snarling behind your subservient smiles, you only judge people by your own jungle standards. Let me tell you this, my fine friend. England may have been bled pretty thin by a couple of world wars, our welfare-state politics may have made us expect too much for free, and the liberation of our colonies may have gone too fast, but we still climb Everest and beat plenty of the world at plenty of sports and win Nobel Prizes. Our politicians may be a feather-pated bunch, but I expect yours are, too. All politicians are. But there's nothing wrong with the British people--although there are only fifty million of them."


    Tiger Tanaka smiled happily. "Well spoken, Bondo-san. I thought your famous English stoicism might break down if I hit hard enough."
  • Fleming must have been in some sort of mood for when writing that one haha
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,950
    Fleming must have been in some sort of mood for when writing that one haha

    Well Fleming was literally dying at the time so that might explain his low mood.
  • Dragonpol wrote: »
    Fleming must have been in some sort of mood for when writing that one haha

    Well Fleming was literally dying at the time so that might explain his low mood.

    That would certainly do it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,950
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Fleming must have been in some sort of mood for when writing that one haha

    Well Fleming was literally dying at the time so that might explain his low mood.

    That would certainly do it.

    Yes, that's why the novel is his darkest and it explains the morbid obsession with death which permeates it.
  • I’m excited to get to it, I haven’t read any of the novels past Dr. No (and that one I read ages ago).
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 14,950
    I’m excited to get to it, I haven’t read any of the novels past Dr. No (and that one I read ages ago).

    It's one of his best Bond novels. You'll like it I am sure. :)
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