Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,085
    Venutius wrote: »
    I've always admired the cavalier attitude the British have towards c**t. Not that it needs to appear in a Bond film.
    You should hear Aussies - it's every fourth word! :))
    Yup, the C word here is even used as a positive, from one friend to another. I remember in my twenties, a mate once asked me if, "Ya comin' clubbin' tonight, c***?" I was just glad to be asked.
  • Bondfan68Bondfan68 Columbus, GA USA
    Posts: 14
    Currently rereading Raymond Benson's DOUBLESHOT.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,345
    Bondfan68 wrote: »
    Currently rereading Raymond Benson's DOUBLESHOT.

    I have that one in first edition, minus the dust jacket. Found it in a secondhand bookshop once, much to my surprise.
  • edited November 2022 Posts: 12
    I've completed Colonel Sun for the third time but I must say I enjoyed the novel far more this time. The first two times I was a young teenager who had just finished the Fleming set and I must admit most of the Amis novel simply was hard to break in. But now with a more mature mind I can truly appreciate the richness of Amis's poetic use of imagery throughout. For example, there's a wonderful moment after Bond collapses in the forest outside M's house, one can almost hear the sounds and tranquility of the scene as the Head of the SIS is being whisked off and Bond is laying powerless to stop it (a single blackbird lets out a lonely cry - very effective). He gives wonderful descriptions of the sea and land (e.g using colour names such as gamboge and ochre for the hills) on the Greek islands that deserve re-reading a few times to increase the effect of immersion in the locale. Colonel Sun truly is a piece of literate art in places. I'm considering buying Amis's direct successor novels "I Want It Now" (1968) and "The Green Man" (1969) as I've become a fan of his writing style through CS. My only minor drawbacks with CS are the ending (just ever slighlty unsatisfying?) and perhaps a little more insight into why exactly Sun or his superiors concocted this plan in the first place? Other than that it was excellent and I'm going to read Solo next to see if they work well one after another..
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    I've completed Colonel Sun for the third time but I must say I enjoyed the novel far more this time. The first two times I was a young teenager who had just finished the Fleming set and I must admit most of the Amis novel simply was hard to break in. But now with a more mature mind I can truly appreciate the richness of Amis's poetic use of imagery throughout. For example, there's a wonderful moment after Bond collapses in the forest outside M's house, one can almost hear the sounds and tranquility of the scene as the Head of the SIS is being whisked off and Bond is laying powerless to stop it (a single blackbird lets out a lonely cry - very effective). He gives wonderful descriptions of the sea and land (e.g using colour names such as gamboge and ochre for the hills) on the Greek islands that deserve re-reading a few times to increase the effect of immersion in the locale. Colonel Sun truly is a piece of literate art in places. I'm considering buying Amis's direct successor novels "I Want It Now" (1968) and "The Green Man" (1969) as I've become a fan of his writing style through CS. My only minor drawbacks with CS are the ending (just ever slighlty unsatisfying?) and perhaps a little more insight into why exactly Sun or his superiors concocted this plan in the first place? Other than that it was excellent and I'm going to read Solo next to see if they work well one after another..

    Great review. Although I think Devil May Care (1967) comes before Solo (1969). If true continuity is counted. I’m interested in your reviews either way.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper By the powers *in*vested in me by this parish, I hereby do commandeer this message board
    edited November 2022 Posts: 7,190
    I haven't read a Bond novel for about 10+ years, but have returned for research purposes required by the Geoguessing Thread on this board (https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/21358/the-great-bond-geoguesser-game#latest,). That being said, I still have a few non-Fleming Bond novelsI haven't read yet but am tempted to do it soon.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,972
    I re-read Moonraker for possibly the tenth time or thereabouts.

    Still my favourite.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,322
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    I re-read Moonraker for possibly the tenth time or thereabouts.

    Still my favourite.

    This is the Folio Society edition I'm asking for for Christmas this year. [-O<
  • edited November 2022 Posts: 12
    My review of SOLO by William Boyd. Just got to the end of it and got to say very impressed with it. It's clear to see that Boyd put a lot of effort and research into his Bond opus. It is late 1969 (sometime after the moon landings - which are mentioned in one passage). Bond seems to be at his most dangerous and single mindedly cold and focused in this one and perhaps this is the culmination of years of highly pressurized and stressful missions. Every part of the novel has clear and well thought out structure. We get a cinematic picture of every hotel, roadside, forest, house, street that Bond experiences from the King's Road to the the West African state of Zanzarim to Washington DC.
    SOLO kind of reads a bit like a multipart bingeworthy Netflix series. It's a slightly different style with a few more cliffhangers thrown in than perhaps say for example OHMSS or Casino Royale. The novel leaves one with a vivid impression of colours, smells and tastes. The main scheme of the villain Kobus Breed and Hulbert Linck is perhaps a bit of a letdown (I won't spoil). And some of the violence is a little unrealistic and over the top. But apart from that I would recommend it to any Bond fan to have a read but I would caution that the novel definately requires a quiet room for a few hours (maybe even treat yourself to a room at The Dorchester ;) ). Oh and some scrambled eggs and bacon plus a decent whiskey and some ice may help to recreate the mood...
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 1,708
    @HoagyCarmichael , I agree with your assessment. Aside form CS and the Wood adaptations, SOLO is the only Bond continuation novel that I whole-heartedly recommend. Though the Horowitz novels are enjoyable if expectations and comparisons are kept top a minimum.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,972
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    I re-read Moonraker for possibly the tenth time or thereabouts.

    Still my favourite.

    This is the Folio Society edition I'm asking for for Christmas this year. [-O<

    Hope you get it! I have this edition and it's gorgeous.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited November 2022 Posts: 7,322
    Same here! I'm also hoping to get Moonraker and LALD this year... I'm always a little bit nervous they're just going to stop printing that one at some point... :)) Might pick one up for myself this year.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    edited November 2022 Posts: 1,776
    I recently read The Living Daylights short story again. I love it more upon each read.

    There's something really magical when they adapt Fleming onto the screen and they capture the atmosphere of his writing in the film.

    Dalton nailed that scene, he really understood what made Fleming's Bond.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Vauxhall Headquarters, London
    edited November 2022 Posts: 1,906
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    I recently read The Living Daylights short story again. I love it more upon each read.

    There's something really magical when they adapt Fleming onto the screen and they capture the atmosphere of his writing in the film.

    Dalton nailed that scene, he really understood what made Fleming's Bond.

    But I think the short story is much better still because it has that realistic "Behind The Iron Curtain" type of Espionage thing, typical like Le Carre thing.
    There's a tension and quietness in danger, I could easily picture each scenes in my mind.
    It's my favorite Fleming Short Story.

    The problems with the film was it added so many things in it like the Mujahideen for example, the plot was convoluted, and there's Brad Whittaker and Georgi Koskov whom I considered weak villains, but nonetheless, a great watch, entertaining, as long as I turn my brain off.

    Agreed about Dalton, the way he translated Fleming's Bond to the screen, he comes close, he nailed it!

    Although the sophistication lacked a bit, I mean the literary Bond's a gourmand, more on style and his humor comes off as a bit sarcastically natural, but I'd say Dalton's comes close.

    Still prefer the short story.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    My review of SOLO by William Boyd. Just got to the end of it and got to say very impressed with it. It's clear to see that Boyd put a lot of effort and research into his Bond opus. It is late 1969 (sometime after the moon landings - which are mentioned in one passage). Bond seems to be at his most dangerous and single mindedly cold and focused in this one and perhaps this is the culmination of years of highly pressurized and stressful missions. Every part of the novel has clear and well thought out structure. We get a cinematic picture of every hotel, roadside, forest, house, street that Bond experiences from the King's Road to the the West African state of Zanzarim to Washington DC.
    SOLO kind of reads a bit like a multipart bingeworthy Netflix series. It's a slightly different style with a few more cliffhangers thrown in than perhaps say for example OHMSS or Casino Royale. The novel leaves one with a vivid impression of colours, smells and tastes. The main scheme of the villain Kobus Breed and Hulbert Linck is perhaps a bit of a letdown (I won't spoil). And some of the violence is a little unrealistic and over the top. But apart from that I would recommend it to any Bond fan to have a read but I would caution that the novel definately requires a quiet room for a few hours (maybe even treat yourself to a room at The Dorchester ;) ). Oh and some scrambled eggs and bacon plus a decent whiskey and some ice may help to recreate the mood...
    Jordo007 wrote: »
    I recently read The Living Daylights short story again. I love it more upon each read.

    There's something really magical when they adapt Fleming onto the screen and they capture the atmosphere of his writing in the film.

    Dalton nailed that scene, he really understood what made Fleming's Bond.

    Great reviews and feelings about Bond literary adventures, everyone. I like it when namely continuation novels get recognized. Solo has some great ideas. Kobus Breed is truly one of the nastiest villains, ever. If EON wanted to adapt it, I’d have William Boyd adapt it.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 404
    Okay let’s cut to the chase, my 2022 Bond read-a-thon has come to the end with the final Fleming, Octopussy and the Living Daylights.

    For the stories themselves, Octopussy a decent jumping off point that was improved for me by having read By Royal Command as a child, which is sort of a prequel to this story, we get to see Hannes and James’ first meeting and their growing bond (pun fully intended) as he teaches the boy to ski. Having that knowledge made his death hit harder and made me despite Smythe so much more.

    Fleming admits that he was rather displeased about how The Property of a Lady turned out and it’s certainly not great, but for what it is, a little fluff piece for Sotheby’s it’s surprising captivating, more so than the analogous part in Octopussy the film.

    Whereas, The Living Daylights is a brilliantly faithful adaptation of what is for my money the quintessential James Bond story. It has all the elements of Bond distilled into their purest form.

    On the flip side, to paraphrase a-ha from the film I 'set my hopes way too high' with 007 in New York, because it always gets said that the final scene in Quantum is loosely adapted from it, I didn't realise quite how loosely. I also wasn't prepared for what Bond gets up to in the final page, but reading Fleming was nothing if not surprising until the last, and the final Fleming contribution to Bond being a scrambled egg recipe is fittingly on-brand.

    I’ve really enjoyed doing this, even though at the end of the day it was self-imposed scheduling a new Bond adventure every month was a really nice thing to look forward to and I like to imagine readers in the 50s and 60s had that same thrill with a new Fleming every year.

    I doubt I’ll read the Benson and Gardner series, I’ve heard much more mixed reviews (to put it mildly) and there are so many of them, I’ve got such a long TBR list as it is.

    For next year I am going to read the one-shot continuation novels though: Colonel Sun, Devil May Care, Carte Blanche and Solo. And maybe I'll go back and write my thoughts out on the novels I skipped whilst I wait for the middle chapter of the Double O Trilogy, if you guys are interested.

    All that's left is to show you my ranking and wish you a very happy holiday.

    Moonraker
    From Russia With Love
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    The Spy Who Loved Me
    Casino Royale
    You Only Live Twice
    Live and Let Die
    Dr No
    Octopussy and the Living Daylights
    Thunderball
    For Your Eyes Only
    Goldfinger
    The Man with the Golden Gun
    Diamonds Are Forever
  • AndrewReedMillerAndrewReedMiller Saint John Canada
    Posts: 3
    Am currently reading Zero Minus Ten. Am new to this community, although I've been a fan for a long time.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,345
    Am currently reading Zero Minus Ten. Am new to this community, although I've been a fan for a long time.

    Welcome aboard, @AndrewReedMiller! Always good to have a literary Bond fan join us.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Am currently reading Zero Minus Ten. Am new to this community, although I've been a fan for a long time.

    Welcome aboard, @AndrewReedMiller! Always good to have a literary Bond fan join us.

    Welcome to our site, @AndrewReedMiller! Please let us know what you think of the book!
  • AndrewReedMillerAndrewReedMiller Saint John Canada
    Posts: 3
    thanks! I read my first Bond book when I was a lad in grade 8 (about 13 years old) it was the odd "James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007" that was back in 1977 or so.At that time I had never seen a
    Bond film.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Am currently reading Zero Minus Ten. Am new to this community, although I've been a fan for a long time.

    Welcome aboard, @AndrewReedMiller! Always good to have a literary Bond fan join us.

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,345
    thanks! I read my first Bond book when I was a lad in grade 8 (about 13 years old) it was the odd "James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007" that was back in 1977 or so.At that time I had never seen a
    Bond film.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Am currently reading Zero Minus Ten. Am new to this community, although I've been a fan for a long time.

    Welcome aboard, @AndrewReedMiller! Always good to have a literary Bond fan join us.

    That was indeed an odd introduction to the literary Bond. My first Bond novel was Fleming's Moonraker in the summer of 1997 and it remains my favourite to this day.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. This is a first time read.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Vauxhall Headquarters, London
    Posts: 1,906
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. This is a first time read.

    Tell me how do you feel about it, not really a fan of the book tbh.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. This is a first time read.

    Tell me how do you feel about it, not really a fan of the book tbh.

    Will do!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,345
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. This is a first time read.

    Hope you enjoy it! That's certainly one of Fleming's more epic and dramatic stories.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 404
    Just read Casino Royale, it's interesting rereading it after finishing all the Flemings. It really does nail it on the first attempt. Bc of the film you forget how taut and pacy it is. It's just as shocking and titillating as it was nearly 70 years ago. A true masterpiece.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    Just read Casino Royale, it's interesting rereading it after finishing all the Flemings. It really does nail it on the first attempt. Bc of the film you forget how taut and pacy it is. It's just as shocking and titillating as it was nearly 70 years ago. A true masterpiece.

    Good observations. Also, I recommend the Dynamite Comics version as well. A visual classic!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Moderator
    Posts: 13,108
    As it's the 70th anniversary of literary Bond, I am reading the books from the beginning, starting with the Young Bond books, which I have never read before. I am a few chapters in to Silverfin. That prologue got grim real quick. But I liked how the first line(s) of chapter 1, echoed the opening line(s) of Casino Royale chapter 1.


    Is there going to be a Bond Novel Meter for 2023? What with the anniversary, the books will get more attention this year than usual.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,051
    As it's the 70th anniversary of literary Bond, I am reading the books from the beginning, starting with the Young Bond books, which I have never read before. I am a few chapters in to Silverfin. That prologue got grim real quick. But I liked how the first line(s) of chapter 1, echoed the opening line(s) of Casino Royale chapter 1.


    Is there going to be a Bond Novel Meter for 2023? What with the anniversary, the books will get more attention this year than usual.

    I honestly wish the continuation authors and novels got more attention and love. Meanwhile, here’s a Tweet from IFP.



    I think we’ll have some more interesting news from IFP than EON. Fingers crossed that they have more adventure books!
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 404
    As it's the 70th anniversary of literary Bond, I am reading the books from the beginning, starting with the Young Bond books, which I have never read before. I am a few chapters in to Silverfin. That prologue got grim real quick. But I liked how the first line(s) of chapter 1, echoed the opening line(s) of Casino Royale chapter 1.

    I also love the playful twist on the 'Bond, James Bond' line. I'm happy there's some more love for the Young Bond books. I hope you enjoy the rest of the novel, I won't spoil it but I will say it gets more Fleming-esque as it goes along.
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