Things that you feel didn't belong in the James Bond Novels (Original Fleming & the Continuations)?

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  • YOLT: The Bond obituary in YOLT banging on about novels being written about Bond. Aw man you've just ruined that this Bond universe is an actual place by being so meta and odd... and also would an MI6 agent even have anything written in a newspaper?

    Right, it's also the main thing from Fleming that shouldn't belong in a Bond novel in my opinion. It doesn't make sense in the contexte of the novel (why would novels being written about Bond while the latter is still active?), and even less considering YOLT was followed by TMWTGG (how could Bond be again active when his obituary was public and when he was the main character of novels?).
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    (how could Bond be again active when his obituary was public and when he was the main character of novels?).

    I get the complaints about the Bond novels more-less existing in the Bond universe, but I don't really understand this problem; surely if a spy comes back into service, a previously publicly released obituary would only be a good thing, because everyone will think he's dead.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,060
    YOLT: The Bond obituary in YOLT banging on about novels being written about Bond. Aw man you've just ruined that this Bond universe is an actual place by being so meta and odd... and also would an MI6 agent even have anything written in a newspaper?

    Right, it's also the main thing from Fleming that shouldn't belong in a Bond novel in my opinion. It doesn't make sense in the contexte of the novel (why would novels being written about Bond while the latter is still active?), and even less considering YOLT was followed by TMWTGG (how could Bond be again active when his obituary was public and when he was the main character of novels?).

    It's the winking fish of the novels.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 549
    I agree the YOLT obit smacks of self-indulgence and it's really out of place in that novel, whereas I thought the Ursula Andress reference was sweet and subtle. I could've done without the 'semi-rape' line in TSWLM but if I listed all the problematic stuff in Fleming's works we'd be here all day.

    By Royal Command: Bond meeting the future Queen Elizabeth. I know that (until now, I guess) the fates and fortunes of Bond and the Queen have always been linked but especially as he already meets the future King Edward VIII it strains credibility.

    Red Nemesis: Bond's Beretta having been his father's pistol. It does add another layer to why Bond is so angry at M in Dr No but, I'll go into more when I get around to writing a proper review of it, the decisions taken in that book are in some ways unforgivable, and I say that as someone who loves No Time to Die.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited November 2022 Posts: 3,401
    I agree the YOLT obit smacks of self-indulgence and it's really out of place in that novel, whereas I thought the Ursula Andress reference was sweet and subtle. I could've done without the 'semi-rape' line in TSWLM but if I listed all the problematic stuff in Fleming's works we'd be here all day.

    By Royal Command: Bond meeting the future Queen Elizabeth. I know that (until now, I guess) the fates and fortunes of Bond and the Queen have always been linked but especially as he already meets the future King Edward VIII it strains credibility.

    Red Nemesis: Bond's Beretta having been his father's pistol. It does add another layer to why Bond is so angry at M in Dr No but, I'll go into more when I get around to writing a proper review of it, the decisions taken in that book are in some ways unforgivable, and I say that as someone who loves No Time to Die.

    I though agreed with the obituary of Bond in YOLT, it just make things a bit confusing to me, it doesn't even makes that sense in Skyfall either, and yes even in YOLT (the film version).

    I also liked the Ursula Andress quite a bit there, the only thing that I could live without aside from the semi-rape line in TSWLM, was Tracy's "Treat Me Like The Lowest Whore In Creation" line.

    I could also live without the aspect of Red Grant killing in the full moon, it's just felt out of place for a serious espionage novel.
  • Posts: 1,030
    Benson's clitoris.

    That's all I'm saying.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited November 2022 Posts: 17,921
    Benson's clitoris.

    That's all I'm saying.

    Benson certainly was a lot more graphic with the sexual detail than Fleming ever was. I remember an interview with him where he put it down to moving with the times and that Fleming was a man very interested in sex and that he would be adding more details too if he were still alive at the time. I think some people did find the sex a bit much in the Benson novels. However, I suppose the graphic depiction of the violence had been increasing since the eras of Amis and Gardner so Benson probably thought that the sex was a fair cop too. Sadly, I think it crossed the fine line from being classy to being crude.
  • Posts: 5,871
    Indeed. And it wasn't the only thing that I didn't agree with in this novel. The treatment received by Mathis, and the fact that Marc-Ange Draco became a traitor made me wonder if Raymong Benson hadn't let himself be dragged by the wave of francophobia that was so prevalent in the US in 2003.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,921
    Gerard wrote: »
    Indeed. And it wasn't the only thing that I didn't agree with in this novel. The treatment received by Mathis, and the fact that Marc-Ange Draco became a traitor made me wonder if Raymong Benson hadn't let himself be dragged by the wave of francophobia that was so prevalent in the US in 2003.

    I doubt that was the reason given that the book in question, Never Dream of Dying, was published in 2001. I take it the 2003 Francophobia had to do with France (wisely, as it turned out) not joining the coalition for the Iraq War?
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited November 2022 Posts: 3,401
    Actually I understand Draco becoming a villain here, I mean Benson explained it that he's still a gangster, a mob gang boss, almost similar to Blofeld being a head of an organization, and the fact that his daughter died because of Bond makes it all up for me, that's there's really a possibility of him becoming a villain.
    It's understandable given his background and his situation.

    What I don't understand is the treatment of Mathis, why does he need to suffer like that? He's one of the most memorable characters in Fleming, yet he's been given such a treatment or an exit like that, Mathis deserved better.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    In the idea I had for a Lazenby/Savalas/Ferzetti followup to OHMSS that we never got, the plot was similar to the novel YOLT, but had Draco tracking Bond from the shadows so he could get his own personal revenge on Blofeld, and near the end when Bond is close he reveals himself; there's a moment where Bond and Draco meet and have a heated argument where Bond tells Draco he shouldn't go after Blofeld because he's too dangerous, but he does anyway, and Blofeld ends up killing Draco while Bond looks on.
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited November 2022 Posts: 3,401
    In the idea I had for a Lazenby/Savalas/Ferzetti followup to OHMSS that we never got, the plot was similar to the novel YOLT, but had Draco tracking Bond from the shadows so he could get his own personal revenge on Blofeld, and near the end when Bond is close he reveals himself; there's a moment where Bond and Draco meet and have a heated argument where Bond tells Draco he shouldn't go after Blofeld because he's too dangerous, but he does anyway, and Blofeld ends up killing Draco while Bond looks on.

    This is great, I also have my own idea, I wish you would like it, it's in the Your Ultimate Timeline thread.
    I'd liked to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

    This is a great story! Really liked this one! 👍
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited November 2022 Posts: 7,527
    Thanks! I'll definitely have a look for it.

    EDIT: Just had a read of it, and I think it makes a lot of sense that Draco would have the Union Corse (SP?) handle the revenge plot over Tracy's death; I feel like he would need to do it himself because of the importance of her being a blood relative. I also really like how they uncover that it was Irma Bunt that killed her and she becomes an archvillain with a megalomaniacal plot in her own right. Really clever stuff, well done!
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    Posts: 3,401
    Thanks! I'll definitely have a look for it.

    EDIT: Just had a read of it, and I think it makes a lot of sense that Draco would have the Union Corse (SP?) handle the revenge plot over Tracy's death; I feel like he would need to do it himself because of the importance of her being a blood relative. I also really like how they uncover that it was Irma Bunt that killed her and she becomes an archvillain with a megalomaniacal plot in her own right. Really clever stuff, well done!

    Thank you! 🙂
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    One of the wildest parts of the YOLT novel is when Bond's team decide that Irma Bunt is "too ugly to live"; I guess they didn't know she was the one that actually killed Tracy, and I think they were debating getting her out of the castle before they blew it up with Blofeld in it? I'm not sure, I haven't read it in awhile, but that one line is burned into my mind. :))
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited November 2022 Posts: 3,401
    One of the wildest parts of the YOLT novel is when Bond's team decide that Irma Bunt is "too ugly to live"; I guess they didn't know she was the one that actually killed Tracy, and I think they were debating getting her out of the castle before they blew it up with Blofeld in it? I'm not sure, I haven't read it in awhile, but that one line is burned into my mind. :))

    Actually in the novels, it's Blofeld who killed Tracy, in the film, it's Irma Bunt, it's actually reversed.

    Fleming was always describing those female villains as ugly people, think of how he described Rosa Klebb, it's skin crawling.

    He described Klebb as "the oldest and ugliest whore in the world" and a toad like figure :))

    So it's no surprise that he would do the same for Irma Bunt.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    Ah, I forgot that it was Blofeld that killed Tracy in the book, good point. I really need to do another read through soon.
  • Posts: 3,193
    The weird little bit in the YOLT obituary that others have mentioned is the most obvious one for me.

    Apart from that I suppose it'd be Fleming's revelation that the literary Bond wears short sleeved shirts with his suit. It's not something explicitly mentioned in the novels incidentally, but instead something Fleming himself said in an interview I believe (apparently he liked to do this himself).
  • Posts: 5,871
    Another from Benson : the defense of bullfighting in Doubleshot. Granted, it was done by a matador, but still....
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,921
    Gerard wrote: »
    Another from Benson : the defense of bullfighting in Doubleshot. Granted, it was done by a matador, but still....

    I suppose it was in character at least but bullfighting is a controversial subject.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,985
    'Q'ute' 🤮
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    'Q'ute' 🤮

    What? Haha
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,921
    'Q'ute' 🤮

    What? Haha

    Ann Reilly, affectionately known as "Q'ute" in the John Gardner Bond continuation novels. She later became the Head of Q Branch. Gardner said in an interview that she was based on a real person he knew and I think he was even on Irish TV with her!
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,527
    Hah, that is really weird.
  • Posts: 5,871
    Speaking of Gardner, Felix Leiter's daughter Cedar flirting with Bond. Kinda creepy, don't you think ? And with her father's blessing, to boot.

  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,921
    Gerard wrote: »
    Speaking of Gardner, Felix Leiter's daughter Cedar flirting with Bond. Kinda creepy, don't you think ? And with her father's blessing, to boot.

    Yes, that seems to be a perennial complaint about the novel. It almost seemed as if old Felix was pimping his daughter out to someone with Bond's reputation (when it came to the ladies). Leiter's note about "the gift of a daughter" doesn't help either.
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