Your thoughts on Raymond Benson's three James Bond Short Stories?

DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
edited June 2016 in Literary 007 Posts: 14,723
As there's never before been a specific thread on the subject of Raymond Benson's three James Bond short stories before I thought that I would create one here to garner people's thoughts and opinions on them.

Just as a reminder here are the three short stories in question:

'Blast from the Past'
(Playboy, January 1997)
'Midsummer Night's Doom' (Playboy, January 1999)
'Live at Five' (TV Guide, November 1999)

So far I have only read 'Live at Five' and while it was a slightly written tale I did enjoy it. I invested in the US TV Guide edition that contained the story and read it for the first time last night. I have copies of the other two short stories in the Benson Bond omnibus collections The Union Trilogy (2008) Choice of Weapons (2010). I'm planning to read the other two remaining stories soon.

I'm really curious to hear other members' opinions on these short stories. Are they worthy additions to the literary Bond canon or are they more filler than thriller?

As always, I'd really love to hear from you. :)

Comments

  • Posts: 772
    Well if you have read Live at Five, you will probably enjoy the two other because they are better. Perssonaly I like them, espacialy Midsummer Night's Doom.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Not a big fan of Benson, Blast from the past was good. To be honest I can't
    remember reading the other two.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited June 2016 Posts: 9,117
    I remember reading Blast from the Past in Playboy back in the day.

    Isn't it about his son James Suzuki being killed by Irma Bunt or something?

    When I read the line (bearing in mind this is from memory from about 20 years ago) 'Bond had flown over to Japan to visit him several times and James had visited London' I decided this is horseshit.

    Kissy Suzuki's baby is nothing that should ever be addressed in Bond books or films. Even less so in films. If P&W were writing they would make him Blofeld.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    I remember reading Blast from the Past in Playboy back in the day.

    Isn't it about his son James Suzuki being killed by Irma Bunt or something?

    When I read the line (bearing in mind this is from memory from about 20 years ago) 'Bond had flown over to Japan to visit him several times and James had visited London' I decided this is horseshit.

    Kissy Suzuki's baby is nothing that should ever be addressed in Bond books or films. Even less so in films. If P&W were writing they would make him Blofeld.

    Yes, that's the one. Gardner was not allowed to use this plot device that was a hangover from the end of Fleming's penultimate Bond novel You Only Live Twice (1964). Clearly Glidrose (as it then was) changed their mind on this and so it followed that this was Raymond Benson's first piece of writing on James Bond where he got the opportunity to introduce Bond's forgotten son.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Are there any other members that have perchance read these and want to give an opinion or review? :)
  • I always felt his novels were better than the short stories.

    I really, really didn't like Midsummer's Night Doom. At the end, it's revealed Hugh Hefner knows who Bond is and has been following his career. The finale line recycles the final line from the Goldfinger novel.
  • Posts: 532
    This was my take from a 2014 discussion I started on this short story.

    For some reason this short story has eluded me for years. I finally came across it the other day after just having read YOLT again. There were so many directions, so many places Benson could have taken this story. Instead of a blast, it was a fizzle.
    I gather the irony wasn't intended, but a Bond who had to be pushing 60 and shagging a girl who might not even be 18 felt like an homage to Hugh Hefner.

    I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts on this story.

    I'll now add the following observation. There is no question children enrich our lives, but in fiction they become problematic. I don't know how many television shows have been wrecked by the introduction of marriage and children. Again, not against kids. I have three of my own and grandchildren. But in fiction children have to be dealt with in some way. Benson thought killing off the son of Bond was appropriate. It was cheesy and lazy. Irma Bunt could have hurt Bond in so many other more interesting ways. Son of Bond should have never have been introduced again.

    Changing up Bond is rarely satisfying. Most of us, I gather, don't relate to Bond because he represents reality. He is a work of fiction and fantasy. He needs to stay that way.
  • Posts: 630
    I remember liking them all, but can't say I've reread them this century. In fact, I don't remember the plot of Midsummer at all!
  • //I don't remember the plot of Midsummer at all!// Bond goes to party at Playboy mansion to capture enemy agent, has sex at end. "His lips came down ruthlessly down upon hers."
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