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As mentioned by others, the opening with the scorpion is great stuff. DAF and TMWTGG have outstanding first chapters but never deliver on this quality level anymore (imo). It's also a good idea to end DAF in the same location as it started.
Unfortunately, I don't like much of the middle section of this book. For example the chapter where Bond and Felix are only talking while driving is very boring (again, only my opinion). Nothing interesting happens in the middle apart from the moment with the jockey.
It is difficult for me to get through the unexciting middle of this book which is why I ranked it at the bottom. #14.
Exactly where I’m at. Reading it now and have been stuck in the middle part for quite some time. No other Bond novel has a section that I have as much trouble with as DAF’s middle section. Despite Tiffany and other positives mentioned above, I had to go for 14th place.
Ironically, so far I must admit that I prefer the TMWTGG and DAF films over their literary counterparts (only based upon my personal enjoyment of them), but TSWLM novel I prefer over the so much more appreciated though unrelated film of the same name.
Actually, I’ll add The Spy Who Loved Me to that small list, but I don’t really count that as it’s not an actual adaptation.
OCTOPUSSY AND THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
OCTOPUSSY / THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS / 007 IN NEW YORK
The first of two short story collections to be discussed, OP&TLD claims a respectable honourable mention, coming in at 11th.
It claimed two top 5 spots, though it just missed out on a medal, ending 4th once and 5th also once. Other notable rankings were one 7th and two 8th places.
Unsurprisingly, 11th was the place that it acquired the most, on five occasions. It also ended up 12th on three occasions. Only one member rated it as his/her least favourite, and one other member ranked it penultimate.
In total OP&TLD ended up with 85 points.
Also love how both films incorporate these stories in their respective films. Both in a different way, but well-done on both occasions.
To be honest, I prefer the short story, the film was fine until that Afghanistan/Mujahideen scenes, I'm not a fan of that.
The Short Story was more grounded and realistic cold war spy thriller.
Property of a lady is good enough but nothing special and 007 in NY is too short to be relevant for my ranking (and almost without a real story).
You forgot about Bond squeezing the cheeks of the sumo wrestler. You're welcome. ;)
There sure were a lot of arse jokes in this film.
I reread it not long ago but I struggle to remember that dialogue with Goodnight.
I'd love to see a Bond villain eat a snake like that. We kind of got it in OP.
I do too. It's the closest we ever get to living Fleming's life in Jamaica.
Scaramanga slaying and eating the snake while lying there half to death was a great scene. Even while dying, he was the world's deadliest assassin and a threat to Bond. That would be a very cool moment to work into some future film.
While "The Living Daylights" is my favorite of the short stories, I did place the other short story collection higher than this one. As others have noted, it's just a stronger overall package. "Octopussy" is a very good story too, though not an all-time favorite of mine, but "Property of a Lady" is rather long and not up to much and "007 in New York" is awfully brief and lightweight. I do really like the humor in "007 in New York" though and the fact it comes with James Bond's recipe for scrambled eggs. Definitely a good deal to enjoy here...For Your Eyes Only just delivers more.
Never quite understood why this one isn't loved more. For me, this is one cracking Bond adventure. Smaller scale than rockets destroying London and raids on Fort Knox, but between the characters, the settings, the travelogue bits, the Felix, the car chase, and the rolling climaxes, there is so much to like it surpasses a good many of Fleming’s “bigger” Bonds for me. (And Tiffany Case may just be Fleming’s best written Bond girl.)
GF is the overall lowest ranked of the bunch who has claimed a gold medal.
Between that one 1st place and its second-highest rankings, three 7th places, there’s a pretty large gap, which explains why it didn’t end up higher.
Moreover, two members gave GF last place, and four more ranked it in their bottom 3 as well.
GF obtained a total of 89 points.
The first half is much stronger with Bond’s reflections on a dirty bit of business in Mexico, the fun card cheating section (even if it feels like a lesser rehash of Moonraker), and the lengthy but enjoyable golf game.
While still enjoyable, this was the first Bond book to me that felt like Fleming had either lost his spark or wasn’t quite sure what to do with Bond that was new. It’s overly familiar and a bit sedate, neither of which make for a very good thriller. Fortunately it laid the groundwork for a much more fun film adaptation.
I am of the impression that many will agree with the statement that the film does a more laudable job than the book--an exceptional case I might add. In truth, I think the character of Goldfinger is still interesting. I love his "villain speak", so erudite and eloquent. When he lectures Bond on the poisons in whine and cigarettes, I'm always having a few laughs.
The girls are the ultimate weakness, though, both in the book and the film, but while the film eventually settles for Pussy, the book just can't seem to make up its mind which girl is the one for us to follow. Until well into the climax, Tilly seems to be it. Yet when she dies, oh well, there's always Pussy, the lesbian Bond gets to "cure" with his magic penis. What I probably enjoy even less than Fleming's ill-informed suggestion that any lesbian is just a 007 away from turning straight is that she was always kinda there, but never really interacted with Bond in that intimate way. Yet when all is done, blown up or killed, Bond mourns Tilly by coercing Pussy into--what?--a victory screw?
Lest I give too much attention to that plot detail, let me also say that while I enjoy the three-part structure Fleming built in, some lulls have to be navigated with dedication and endurance.
I still enjoy the book, but there's a lot of narrative "fat" in it and if it had been "leaned up" by a few dozen pages, it could have found more focus and told the story in a more exciting way.
And Goldfinger was such an Iconic and great villain.
Sure, it didn't aged well, but it's a decent read, there's no foreign languages that much, not so heavy on descriptions, it's not that too hard to understand, just a simple read.
Beyond this, however, I generally don't like revisiting it as much as I do the others. I think it's fair to say that from a plot perspective the film massively improves on this story. I do wonder if the comparatively silly premise got the better of Fleming or if he wan't as invested in this one, but there are many rather bizarre moments that take me out of the book: the fact that Goldfinger decides to take on Bond as some sort of assistant, the fact that his plan is to rob Fort Knox, the series of unlikely events that lead to Leiter getting involved and Goldfinger's plan being thwarted. Again, I think the screenwriters did a great job smoothing out these problems and allowing the audience to believe this story, however silly it is in spirit.
Tilly and Jill are rather weak Bond girls, but I actually find Pussy Galore fun when we first meet her. I'd personally like to see a future cinematic Bond girl who is the leader of a gang of female cat burglars - bisexual or not. Now, the elephant in the room is of course the idea that Galore is in some way 'cured' of her lesbianism through Bond which is... well, it's there, and it's another thing that personally makes my eyes roll and takes me out of the book.