Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,455
    Wasn't the original title of GF The Richest Man in the World? Even Fleming's draft titles are better than the dross Eon tends to come up with...
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited June 30 Posts: 14,718
    echo wrote: »
    Wasn't the original title of GF The Richest Man in the World? Even Fleming's draft titles are better than the dross Eon tends to come up with...

    Yes, it was indeed his original title for Goldfinger. It's a good one too. He later revisited the sentiment behind it with The Man with the Golden Gun. Eon could always turn to the Fleming chapter titles as there are plenty of cracking titles there too. However, so far they have elected not to do so. They probably won't even consider it until they totally run out of original Fleming titles.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    As much as I love many of the chapter titles, that isn't the direction I'd like to see them go. Sadly, due to the success of SF, we will probably continue to get empty, '90s-Bondish feeling titles for the foreseeable future.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I'd be happy if they cut down on words like Kill, Die and Death. Plenty of other lines
    from Poems and quotes that could be used.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,455
    I still hold out hope for Risico and The Property of a Lady, when the right films/mood come along.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,942
    Finished Brokenclaw yesterday. Ohhh.... that challenge that Bond goes through at the reservation, had me wincing. Just thinking about it now, makes me feel queasy. Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
  • I finished Goldfinger and unfortunately did not love it. I was already not 100% on it during the first half, and it turns out that the first half is significantly better than the second! Every book so far has delivered a thrilling climax, even Diamonds are Forever really picked up, but here it felt totally perfunctory on almost every level. Oh well, they can’t all be winners. There was still some good stuff in here, Bond’s opening musings and the stretch from the golf game until Bond’s torture is pretty solid, but quite a bit less to enjoy than the others. It made me appreciate the film adaptation more though, at least. Hopefully things pick up again with the next novel: Thunderball.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    Sums it up. My favorite of the films and possibly my least favorite novel (in the end, DAF probably comes out ahead, because it at least ends so strongly, where as, as you point out, GF does the opposite).
  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 3,278
    Finished TMWTGG a few weeks ago and it was quite a thrill, although different from what I expected. I had heard that it was an unfinished second draft lacking the more colourful characterizations that Fleming apparently added as a last touch.

    Nevertheless, there were many scenes I rather enjoyed, like the conversation with the barmaid at the playhouse and Scramangas first appearance. I like the fact that they talk about the local birds (did not like them going up in a feathery explosion) and that Bond cleverly manages to get hired by Scaramanga. Different to the film, Scaramanga is a much more youthful character, bragging with his shooting skills. He feels more like in his mid-twenties than Christopher Lee's 50 yeras of age in the movie.

    The middle part with Bond spying on the party in the conference room has a very 1950's feel to it, with the cheap entertainment, the communists and gangsters.
    It seems odd that his former secretary Mary Goodnight intrudes right in the lion's den, but then Fleming presents a satisfying explanation for it, and it is a prerequisite for waht happens in the finale.

    The finale is a wild scene involving an old "funfair"-style train and a lot of shooting and hunting action. Now I get where the idea in CR came from to have Vesper lying on the road. The final showdown between Bond and Scramanga is a bit anti-climactic and I must say I have forgotten its details already.

    All in all surprisingly enjoyable. I checked current pictures of Savanna-La-Mar, and it looks exactly as I imagined it after Fleming's vivid descriptions. Even the Frome Sugar Factory is still there and on Google Maps. I like that kind of realism, it helps to embed the more silly parts of the story into a realistic framework.

    I wonder which novel to read next, though, as I started with the last one.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Kingdumb of Norway
    Posts: 41,543
    @zebrafish , the logical step is to continue with YOLT.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,718
    @zebrafish , the logical step is to continue with YOLT.

    Go backwards, forwards quickly as a great sage once said. ;)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited May 20 Posts: 30,989
    @zebrafish , I find it quite enjoyable. There just seems to be a lot missing. But the fleshed out scenes (intro, meeting Scaramanga, duel in the swamp) stand with the best of Fleming.

    And please update the Bond Novel Meter! https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/20180/bond-novel-meter-2021#latest
  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 3,278
    @Birdleson , I just updated the Bond Novel Meter. I have to say 2 things: 1) People definitively should read more. 2) I almost subtracted 2 points out of habit.

    Another interesting scene in TMWTGG is a drunken Bond shooting a fake pineapple head-dress off an unsuspecting dancer. For me that was quite a bit out of character for the film Bond and certainly for today's times, but I can believe such things happen under those circumstances. It certainly was the inspiration to the "duel" that cost Severine's life in SF.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,989
    I never thought of that.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,718
    zebrafish wrote: »
    @Birdleson , I just updated the Bond Novel Meter. I have to say 2 things: 1) People definitively should read more. 2) I almost subtracted 2 points out of habit.

    Another interesting scene in TMWTGG is a drunken Bond shooting a fake pineapple head-dress off an unsuspecting dancer. For me that was quite a bit out of character for the film Bond and certainly for today's times, but I can believe such things happen under those circumstances. It certainly was the inspiration to the "duel" that cost Severine's life in SF.

    Yes, that's what I thought when I first saw that scene. Both are inspired by William Tell and the apple but the SF scene was definitely inspired by the scene in the TMWTGG novel. It is unusual to see Bond so drunk and reckless in that scene in the novel and it's all the better for being such a rare occurrence in my opinion. He raises the suspicions of Scaramanga in that scene, especially given the fact he is such a good shot.
  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 3,278
    Returning to the TMWTGG novel, I found this gem. It's an illustration from the May 1965 issue of Playboy containing the second installment of the serialization of the novel.

    playboy-ian-fleming-tmwtgg.jpg

    It depicts one of my favorite scenes, leading up to the point where the flirtatious conversation between Bond and Tiffy is interrupted when Scaramanga shoots the blackbirds (named Joe and May).
  • DoctorNoDoctorNo USA-Maryland
    Posts: 729
    Nice find @zebrafish.
  • Posts: 5,971
    Whoa, that's one cool painting, @zebrafish. My favorite scene from the novel as well. That was Fleming writing up to his usual high standards all the way.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Brilliant illustration.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited May 30 Posts: 14,718
    Indeed. The Playboy illustrations to the adaptations of Fleming’s novels and short stories tended to be excellent. This one is no exception to that rule. Thanks for sharing, @zebrafish!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,126
    I read John Gardner's For Special Services a short time ago during travel to and from Dallas.

    This time I note the story has the element for the sale of fake prints as identified by the beautiful female character. A variation of that used recently in Christopher Nolan's Tenet.

    Tenet.jpg 9781398701236.jpg
    making-of-tenet.jpg
  • I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited June 30 Posts: 14,718
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps on the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,055
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps om the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.

    I’d prefer Bond in a contemporary setting. Writing a Bond novel set in the past often shows how the author is desperate to become the next Ian Fleming. The only author who got adult Bond right by setting it in the past was Anthony Horowitz.

    By the way, I’m reading Octopussy and the Living Daylights. A short read it seems.
  • MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps om the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.

    I’d prefer Bond in a contemporary setting. Writing a Bond novel set in the past often shows how the author is desperate to become the next Ian Fleming. The only author who got adult Bond right by setting it in the past was Anthony Horowitz.

    By the way, I’m reading Octopussy and the Living Daylights. A short read it seems.

    I'm now listening to Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Finished Octopussy and The Property of a Lady so far and I really enjoyed both.
  • Dragonpol wrote: »
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps om the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.

    Yes, I think it's the fact that it's set 44 years before it was actually written that contributes a lot to the dated feel for me
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,055
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps om the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.

    I’d prefer Bond in a contemporary setting. Writing a Bond novel set in the past often shows how the author is desperate to become the next Ian Fleming. The only author who got adult Bond right by setting it in the past was Anthony Horowitz.

    By the way, I’m reading Octopussy and the Living Daylights. A short read it seems.

    I'm now listening to Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Finished Octopussy and The Property of a Lady so far and I really enjoyed both.

    Doesn’t Tom Hiddleston narrate the book?
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Octopussy is one of my favourite Fleming short stories.
  • MaxCasino wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I'm currently listening to William Boyd's Solo and I'm approaching the end. Not terrible but it feels dated to me (even more so than the Flemings) and the plot is a bit thin. I really like the flashbacks to the war though, and I think the characters are well portrayed, except from M who I think was characterised slightly off. An interesting read.

    The fact that you think Solo feels dated is an interesting observation considering the novel was only published as recently as 2013. Of course it's one of the period set Bond novels, this time set in 1969.

    Perhaps the attempt to write the novel in a time long past and ground it firmly and convincingly in the period also helps om the other hand to immediately date the story? I've always said that I preferred the tried and tested approach of Fleming, Amis, Gardner, Benson and Deaver of placing the Bond novels in a contemporary setting. That way you get the authentic feel of the times without the attendant rather artificial period set approach which can help to date the novel much more quickly.

    I’d prefer Bond in a contemporary setting. Writing a Bond novel set in the past often shows how the author is desperate to become the next Ian Fleming. The only author who got adult Bond right by setting it in the past was Anthony Horowitz.

    By the way, I’m reading Octopussy and the Living Daylights. A short read it seems.

    I'm now listening to Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Finished Octopussy and The Property of a Lady so far and I really enjoyed both.

    Doesn’t Tom Hiddleston narrate the book?

    Yes he does, brilliant reading
  • Octopussy is one of my favourite Fleming short stories.

    Yes it's exceptional. I understand that it was difficult to adapt a conversation between Bond and Dexter-Smythe for a whole film, but it was so atmospheric. The way that Fleming manages to create that deep atmosphere in practically no time demonstrates how good an author he was. The audiobook only runs for 1 hour 23 minutes.
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