Which Bond novel are you currently reading?

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  • edited January 2023 Posts: 6,844
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    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!

    I'm looking forward to finding out who they choose for the next continuation author. Horowitz produced mixed results for me. Boyd was much more my speed. Hopefully that'll be an announcement that comes this year.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,351
    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.

    It's still Fleming’s best IMO. Brisk, no-nonsense, finger on the pulse, exciting, and not a word wasted on self-indulgent prose from the writer.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,373
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    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.

    It's still Fleming’s best IMO. Brisk, no-nonsense, finger on the pulse, exciting, and not a word wasted on self-indulgent prose from the writer.

    One of my favorite novels, I prefer it than the movie, the movie is still good though.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,968
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    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!

    I'm looking forward to finding out who they choose for the next continuation author. Horowitz produced mixed results for me. Boyd was much more my speed. Hopefully that'll be an announcement that comes this year.

    I think Kim Sherwood is the main writer for now. I’d like to see some more modern day setting for the future of the books. I think that certain villains could use a modern day literary adaptation.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,968
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    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!

    I'm looking forward to finding out who they choose for the next continuation author. Horowitz produced mixed results for me. Boyd was much more my speed. Hopefully that'll be an announcement that comes this year.

    I think Kim Sherwood is the main writer for now. I’d like to see some more modern day setting for the future of the books. I think that certain villains could use a modern day literary adaptation.

    New logo from IFP. Happy anniversary Bond fans!

  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 2,161
    If someone else wants to run the Bond Novel Meter this year, feel free. It never got the traction that I was hoping it would, actually appearing to die off this year. Whoever takes over may want to consider adding the spin-off series, which I personally have never really considered looking into but obviously have an audience on here. I will continue to participate!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,850
    I have just started the Bond Novel Meter 2023 thread.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,639
    I have just started the Bond Novel Meter 2023 thread.

    Sorry to see @Birdleson step down from hosting the thread but it'll be in safe hands with you, @MajorDSmythe. I'm currently rereading Colonel Sun so I should have one to put down at least. :)
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,850
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I have just started the Bond Novel Meter 2023 thread.

    Sorry to see @Birdleson step down from hosting the thread but it'll be in safe hands with you, @MajorDSmythe. I'm currently rereading Colonel Sun so I should have one to put down at least. :)

    I appreciate the compliment, but it comes down to how members take part. If the thread runs out of steam, we'll let it go.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,639
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I have just started the Bond Novel Meter 2023 thread.

    Sorry to see @Birdleson step down from hosting the thread but it'll be in safe hands with you, @MajorDSmythe. I'm currently rereading Colonel Sun so I should have one to put down at least. :)

    I appreciate the compliment, but it comes down to how members take part. If the thread runs out of steam, we'll let it go.

    Yes, like all threads it depends on member participation to keep it going but hopefully in this 70th anniversary year for the literary Bond more people will contribute than has been the norm of late.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 2,161
    I’ll try to get back to some soon.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,850
    SilverFin
    This has been my first time reading any of the Young Bond books. In my head, I wrongfully wrote them off as probably being too childish. But there were parts of SilverFin that wouldn't be out of place in a normal Bond book; all the bleakness with the Caste, the experimented on pigs and Algar. And Lord Hellbore was such an obnoxious brute, he wouldn't be out of place lined up with some of the villains that Bond will be pitted against in adulthood.

    Next up: Blood Fever
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,968
    Just finished OHMSS. I liked it, it was like reading the movie, almost. Next up, YOLT.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,639
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Just finished OHMSS. I liked it, it was like reading the movie, almost. Next up, YOLT.

    Glad you enjoyed OHMSS. The film is very faithful to the novel. The next one, YOLT, certainly won't be like reading the movie and it's all the better for it!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,850
    Blood Fever
    I liked this one too. I should have read these Young Bond books before now.
    The thought of all those mosquitos :-&

    Next Up: Double Or Die
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 533
    Blood Fever
    I liked this one too. I should have read these Young Bond books before now.
    The thought of all those mosquitos :-&

    Next Up: Double Or Die

    I don't want to say I told you so but... 😉

    Also Double or Die might be my favourite, or at least it was on my last reread, so enjoy!
  • Posts: 9,671
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    And at page 241 Gardner is off the rails

    Is that Death is Forever then?

    Yes though I enjoyed more then with a mind to kill
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited January 2023 Posts: 17,639
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    And at page 241 Gardner is off the rails

    Is that Death is Forever then?

    Yes though I enjoyed more then with a mind to kill

    I may be biased but John Gardner is hard to beat. That said, he and Horowitz have a lot in common in terms of writing background. With Horowitz, IFP returned to the tried and tested maxim of "you need a thriller writer to write a thriller" which had stood them in good stead with Gardner previously. My preference is still for the 1968-2002 original line of Bond continuation novels though as those were the ones I grew up with.
  • Posts: 9,671
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    And at page 241 Gardner is off the rails

    Is that Death is Forever then?

    Yes though I enjoyed more then with a mind to kill

    I may be biased but John Gardner is hard to beat. That said, he and Horowitz have a lot in common in terms of writing background. IFP returned to the tried and tested maxim of "you need a thriller writer to writer a thriller" which had stood them in good stead with Gardner previously. My preference is still for the 1968-2002 original line of Bond continuation novels though as those were the ones I grew up with.

    I love the benson novels Gardner is hit or miss with me loved amis as well… to be honest apart don’t Deaver I haven’t liked any of the post Benson writers for Bond
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,639
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    And at page 241 Gardner is off the rails

    Is that Death is Forever then?

    Yes though I enjoyed more then with a mind to kill

    I may be biased but John Gardner is hard to beat. That said, he and Horowitz have a lot in common in terms of writing background. IFP returned to the tried and tested maxim of "you need a thriller writer to writer a thriller" which had stood them in good stead with Gardner previously. My preference is still for the 1968-2002 original line of Bond continuation novels though as those were the ones I grew up with.

    I love the benson novels Gardner is hit or miss with me loved amis as well… to be honest apart don’t Deaver I haven’t liked any of the post Benson writers for Bond

    Which Gardner Bond novels are your favourites? Like me you probably prefer the contemporary settings in your Bond novels over the period setting approach of most of the post-Benson Bond novels.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe "I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it."Moderator
    Posts: 13,850
    Blood Fever
    I liked this one too. I should have read these Young Bond books before now.
    The thought of all those mosquitos :-&

    Next Up: Double Or Die

    I don't want to say I told you so but... 😉

    Also Double or Die might be my favourite, or at least it was on my last reread, so enjoy!

    Indeed you did.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited January 2023 Posts: 3,373
    You Only Live Twice, not going to spoil this to you @MaxCasino

    There may be some dated parts, but overall, it's a great and fun read.

    I've only read those Japanese scenes, not the first half which I do find a bit slow.

    The Japanese scenes, especially starting from when Bond met Tiger Tanaka is really fun and fast paced, all of what happened after that were really page turner, and quick read.

    I laughed many times at the banter between Bond and Tiger, and again, I don't see any of the Film Bonds in here, though kinda weirdly based on some of the dialogues from Bond, I kinda see Sterling Archer :)) lol! But seriously when there's a bit of jokes or sarcasm coming from Bond, it's Sterling Archer whom I really see.

    This dialogue from example:
    Bond took a deep drink of saké and said, “My dear Tiger, I would hate to put you to the inconvenience of having to remove me from the face of the earth. You mean that this time the cedar may not bow before the typhoon?
    So be it. This time you have my very topmost word of honour.”

    Another example:
    You will not be going back to
    your hotel. You will not be seeing Dikko. From now on you are under my
    personal orders.” The voice went very quiet and velvety. “Is that understood?”
    Bond sat up as if he had been stung. “What in God’s name are you talking about, Tiger?”

    Then.....
    “Come on, Tiger,” said Bond impatiently. “Cut the cackle. What is it you want me to do?”

    And.....
    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.”


    Did Bond acted like a bit childish in here 😅

    Bond in this book was kinda naive really, he often act as a bit naughty and fool all around.

    He's sarcastic, being bumbly based again on his dialogues and the way he talked to Tiger.

    It's really funny, I really laughed at the dialogues between Bond and Tiger.

    To be honest, I don't see Dalton (or Craig) in the majority of these books, he comes off to me as more like Sterling Archer to me......😅

    Though sometimes, I picture Lazenby.

    Yes, I do find Bond's actions and dialogues in the books kinda laughable.

    To those who were saying that he's dour and serious in the books, that's not true, i'm telling you now guys! He's a bit naive and kinda bit of immature, with a touch of naughtiness in his attitude, he's a bit bully, sarcastic if he didn't liked what's happening on him or around him.

    I also liked how Blofeld treated women quite properly compared to how Bond treated them, but again, Blofeld was the villain :))

    Blofeld treated Irma Bunt like his equal really, like telling her "What do you think it, my dear?", I'd say it, Blofeld was more of a good partner than Bond in terms of treatment of women :))

    Like, OMG! Fleming why?! Blofeld was a psycho, but he treated women better than Bond did!
  • Finally got around to reading For Your Eyes Only after going through all Fleming’s novels. Part of me is glad I read it out of order as it’s a wonderful palette cleanser after TMWTGG largely failed to satisfy, but I think reading it in its proper place between Goldfinger and Thunderball would have helped alleviate some of the feeling I had that the formula, and Fleming’s enthusiasm, was starting to stagnate in this period. FYEO of course is a perfect antidote for that because Fleming experiments with both form and content here, and his writing is fresh with enthusiasm that is palpable in the amount of detail and excitement he packs into a short amount of space. Eagerly looking forward to Octopussy and The Livingdaylights whenever Folio Society gets around to putting it out.

    Some brief thoughts on each of the stories:
    1. From a View to a Kill
    “What does a James Bond short story even look like?” is a question I had on my mind before reading this, and FAVTAK is a solid opener to answer this question: for the most part, it looks exactly as one would hope, a mini-Bond adventure that is like one of novels in Bonsai form, expertly trimmed to keep the satisfying structure in short form. I had hoped for a little more depth to the plot here, as having Bond try to sus out a mole in the military base could have added some nice espionage thrills but what we get is short and sweet. Probably my second least favorite of the collection, which is high praise since I enjoyed this.

    2. For Your Eyes Only
    Now we get to the main course (well, actually this collection offers two of them). Absolutely loved this one. Like the previous story it’s a fully condensed Bond adventure centered around a sniping mission to get revenge on behalf of M. Amazing opening scene hooks you right away, there’s some interesting wrinkles with the morality of the mission, and then the bulk of the story is the delightfully atmospheric trek through Canada and Northern America that builds suspense along the way. The resolution comes a little easy, but for the most part this is Fleming in top form.
    3. Quantum of Solace
    This is the clear odd man out as Bond or even any Bond like hallmarks hardly figure into this tale of domestic strife. It’s my least favorite of the collection on its own terms and as a Bond story, but I think it’s well placed in the middle of the book as a sort of intermission that also sets-up some themes the later stories tackle in more interesting ways.

    4. Risico
    Like For Your Eyes Only this is practically another fully formed Bond adventure in miniature, maybe even more so since this covers a lot more ground. Love the focus on honest to goodness espionage here, and the villain/ally dynamics recalled From Russia With Love in the best of ways, and the action is well written and exciting. Top marks, this one fully satisfied my craving for more Bond antics.

    5. The Hildebrand Rarity
    This one is another oddity in a way, because like Quantum of Solace this is almost entirely a tale of domestic strife and there is no spy work at all. That being said, it still satisfies as a Bond story since he’s front and center in the action, and it still contains a memorable villain, death, and exotic locations. I found it much more successful at its aims than QoS, but it was also strengthened by having that earlier story in mind as a read it. This one also gives Fleming a great opportunity to write about undersea life again, which is always a delight because his passion and knowledge burst through with captivating and vivid descriptions. While not as good as the titular story or Risico this was a very good tale as well and again I found perfectly sequenced in the collection as it offers itself as a strange, macabre, denouement instead of a more typical resolution.

    On the whole this collection is stronger than the sum of its parts (and many of those parts are very good!) due to the sequencing of the stories and their cumulative stacking of themes, making it feel nearly as cohesive as the novels that surround it in the series. Had all the stories been as good as FYEO or Risico this would be among the best of the novels, but even if it doesn’t quite reach those heights it marks a very good entry into the series and is a jolt of fresh air particularly where it’s placed in the 14 books.
  • Posts: 9,671
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Risico007 wrote: »
    And at page 241 Gardner is off the rails

    Is that Death is Forever then?

    Yes though I enjoyed more then with a mind to kill

    I may be biased but John Gardner is hard to beat. That said, he and Horowitz have a lot in common in terms of writing background. IFP returned to the tried and tested maxim of "you need a thriller writer to writer a thriller" which had stood them in good stead with Gardner previously. My preference is still for the 1968-2002 original line of Bond continuation novels though as those were the ones I grew up with.

    I love the benson novels Gardner is hit or miss with me loved amis as well… to be honest apart don’t Deaver I haven’t liked any of the post Benson writers for Bond

    Which Gardner Bond novels are your favourites? Like me you probably prefer the contemporary settings in your Bond novels over the period setting approach of most of the post-Benson Bond novels.

    Well I haven’t read all of them but of the ones I have read

    I loved Seafire and enjoyed death is forever

    Icebreaker is ok
    Liscence to kill is also ok

    Liscence renewed I didn’t like I didn’t hate it either


    Again I put Gardner third but secretly I put benson first because that is who I grew up with I know I am supposed to put Fleming first because he created bond but for me benson is who I grew up with
  • SilvermothSilvermoth Australia
    Posts: 27
    I just finished with a mind to kill. I enjoyed it but I think I liked Forever and a Day more. Still, I would happily read more Horowitz 007
  • Finally got around to reading For Your Eyes Only after going through all Fleming’s novels. Part of me is glad I read it out of order as it’s a wonderful palette cleanser after TMWTGG largely failed to satisfy...

    I'm reading FYEO next, after reading all the full-length novels again (started in March 2020). I also last read TMWTGG and found it wanting. I haven't read the rest of your post but I'll look forward to reading it all after I've re-read the fyeo book.
    Looks like we're on the same page (so to speak).

  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,640
    I must admit I haven't been reading many books over the last three or four years. This has something to do with having had a cataract that was operated on by exchanging both my eye lenses in July...with the effect that I now need reading glasses, but can see everything else clearly for the first time in about sixty years.

    Still, I haven't really got back to reading a book continuously. But regarding Bond, I've been browsing through the Fleming novels I've had on and off, in order to find locations for the Geoguesser game and the Trivia game. One of these days, I'm going to re-read them all in their entirety.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 3,968
    Just finished YOLT. I enjoyed it. I’m happy with the film adaptation we got, though. There’s still some decent stuff for the movies to use for sure. Tiger Tanaka is a great ally that I would approve coming back in the movies. He’s one of my favorite IF allies, I’m glad other authors brought him back. As for the story itself, it was truly unique, in a good way. I will start TMWTGG tonight or tomorrow. Then I’ll probably take a break from Bond novels. I’ll let you know what I think!
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,373
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Just finished YOLT. I enjoyed it. I’m happy with the film adaptation we got, though. There’s still some decent stuff for the movies to use for sure. Tiger Tanaka is a great ally that I would approve coming back in the movies. He’s one of my favorite IF allies, I’m glad other authors brought him back. As for the story itself, it was truly unique, in a good way. I will start TMWTGG tonight or tomorrow. Then I’ll probably take a break from Bond novels. I’ll let you know what I think!

    I do find the novel really fun, I don't get what many people saying that this is a dark novel, sure because of the Blofeld climax thing, but in tone, it's actually fun, especially those scenes with Bond and Tiger Tanaka practicing Japanese culture, I really laughed at their dialogues.

    What I do find weird was I keep seeing Sterling Archer everytime I read Bond's dialogues in those scenes.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    edited January 2023 Posts: 3,968
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Just finished YOLT. I enjoyed it. I’m happy with the film adaptation we got, though. There’s still some decent stuff for the movies to use for sure. Tiger Tanaka is a great ally that I would approve coming back in the movies. He’s one of my favorite IF allies, I’m glad other authors brought him back. As for the story itself, it was truly unique, in a good way. I will start TMWTGG tonight or tomorrow. Then I’ll probably take a break from Bond novels. I’ll let you know what I think!

    I do find the novel really fun, I don't get what many people saying that this is a dark novel, sure because of the Blofeld climax thing, but in tone, it's actually fun, especially those scenes with Bond and Tiger Tanaka practicing Japanese culture, I really laughed at their dialogues.

    What I do find weird was I keep seeing Sterling Archer everytime I read Bond's dialogues in those scenes.

    I’m getting that same thing with Bond in general, lol. With Blofeld in YOLT, I can see both Dr. Evil facial expressions and his voice talking with his speeches. Probably because of Donald Pleasence. I still think IFP should give Blofeld a chance to headline his own novel. At least once. With Irma Bunt at his side.
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