Anyone read the non-Bond Fleming books?

I've read and then re-read the Bond novels, but have never even held a copy of 'Thrilling Cities' or 'Diamond Smugglers.' Has anyone read these? Are they any good?

Comments

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,996
    I've read them all, all are wonderful.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,996
    But, I read those three over 30 years ago. Maybe it's time to reread and reevaluate.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I too thought they were great but it was years ago since I read them :)
  • I read "The Diamond Smugglers" a year or so ago. Pretty good. Haven't gotten a copy of "Thrilling Cities"... but I'm on the lookout for "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" as well as "Colonel Sun."
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited March 2016 Posts: 30,996
    I got them both on eBay recently at a fairly low cost. I try to find the same editions that I had as a kid when I track this stuff down. One day I will invest a finer, more durable set of Fleming's Bond novels. But I enjoy the smell and feel of those Signet paperbacks.
  • Call me an old fogey but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, searching stuff out in used bookstores rather than buying them online. My favorite editions of the Bond novels are the oversized Penguin editions with the great, colorful Richard Fahey covers. I just recently completed my set, including the complete Bond short story collection, "Quantum of Solace."
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,996
    Of course. That was what was so special about finally finding the used paperback ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE at an old book store. It had been a hole in my collection for so long.
  • Posts: 4,779
    Found the french editions of TC ("Des Villes pour James Bond") and TDS ("Les Contrebandiers du Diamant") in the libraries in Brest when I was in my teens, and of course borrowed and read them. Bought TC at the same time in an old book store. Got TDS online more recently. Enjoyed them both.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,948
    I have a Pan (I think it's Pan) copy of The Diamond Smugglers, never read it though.
    Call me an old fogey but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, searching stuff out in used bookstores rather than buying them online. My favorite editions of the Bond novels are the oversized Penguin editions with the great, colorful Richard Fahey covers. I just recently completed my set, including the complete Bond short story collection, "Quantum of Solace."

    Yes, you can't get better then buying books that way. I have nothing against buying online, but nothing can beat going into an old bookshop, and searching through piles of old books, and coming across editions you don't have. That is where most of my Bond book collection has come from, bookshops in Hay-On-Wye.
  • Posts: 2,300
    Bourne wrote:
    I've read and then re-read the Bond novels, but have never even held a copy of 'Thrilling Cities' or 'Diamond Smugglers.' Has anyone read these? Are they any good?

    Thrilling Cities is required reading. It's a showcase of Fleming's most lively and urbane journalism and is a classic travel book. It's also a Mad Men-era look at the jet-set world, so it has historical value as well. Some of the venues Fleming wrote about are still around, along with the many tourist attractions. You won't get bored--Fleming even takes a surfing lesson in Hawaii!

    Diamond Smugglers is also a good selection of Fleming's journalism, but less essential. Fleming himself thought the book had been neutered by the security demands of his clients, and the book does have a certain tameness. However, it's been a while since I've read it, so perhaps it will improve the next time around.
  • Posts: 2,300
    Bourne wrote:
    I've read and then re-read the Bond novels, but have never even held a copy of 'Thrilling Cities' or 'Diamond Smugglers.' Has anyone read these? Are they any good?

    Thrilling Cities is required reading. It's a showcase of Fleming's most lively and urbane journalism and is a classic travel book. It's also a Mad Men-era look at the jet-set world, so it has historical value as well. Some of the venues Fleming wrote about are still around, along with the many tourist attractions. You won't get bored--Fleming even takes a surfing lesson in Hawaii!

    Diamond Smugglers is also a good selection of Fleming's journalism, but less essential. Fleming thought the book had been neutered by the security demands of his clients, and it does have a certain tameness. However, it's been a while since I've read it, so perhaps it will improve the next time around.
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