Rank the Fleming Bond Novels-Readability

DB5DB5
edited March 2012 in Literary 007 Posts: 408
Omitting the short story collections (FYEO and Octopussy/TLD) how would you rank the twelve Fleming Bond novels in terms of readability? (1 being most readable, 12 being absolute torture to get through).
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Comments

  • echoecho Piz Gloria, I hope you enjoy it.
    Posts: 2,677
    It's been a while for me but they're all readable, with special mentions to CR, OHMSS, and YOLT. TMWTGG is a bit of a slog but that's not really Fleming's fault as it was incomplete when he died.
  • Posts: 63
    Readability? They're all readable, immensely so. But they were written half a century ago, so the conventions of the genre - many of which Fleming introduced or helped establish - have changed; for the average reader today they may feel different. If you pick up a Fleming with the expectation of wham-bam-thankyoumam you may easily be surprised, perhaps even frustrated. But then if you give these books a chance you can discover an entirely new world of detail and some of the most intriguing studies of a character under severe pressure in literature. I can only recommend them, the entire run and especially the unconventional ones.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Well I've heard TSWLM is difficult to get through, partly because unlike the other Fleming Bond novels it's written from the perspective of the woman. I'm currently reading OHMSS. The book is simply fantastic, I can hardly put it down! I just wanted to know whether I can expect the same level of excitement from the other Fleming Bond novels.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 14,906
    TSWLM for me is an unexpected treasure. I love the idea of Bond intruding, by pure happenstance, on a dangerous situation that could involve all of us, ordinary folks.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited March 2012 Posts: 11,548
    I find MR a blast to read. I could read it twice in the same week and still enjoy it. And yes, I'll be 'controversial' again : When I read this novel I picture Moore from TMWTGG as Bond. MR's novel is full of benign bizarre that feels the same like watching DAF or TMWTGG.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    I find MR a blast to read. I could read it twice in the same week and still enjoy it. And yes, I'll be 'controversial' again : When I read this novel I picture Moore from TMWTGG as Bond. MR's novel is full of benign bizarre that feels the same like watching DAF or TMWTGG.
    Darn. I'm about to read it and already I feel lukwarm towards it.
    :( Too bad all the Fleming can't be like CR, a truly realistic espionage book instead of over the top tripe.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 11,548
    I find MR a blast to read. I could read it twice in the same week and still enjoy it. And yes, I'll be 'controversial' again : When I read this novel I picture Moore from TMWTGG as Bond. MR's novel is full of benign bizarre that feels the same like watching DAF or TMWTGG.
    Darn. I'm about to read it and already I feel lukwarm towards it.
    :( Too bad all the Fleming can't be like CR, a truly realistic espionage book instead of over the top tripe.

    No no read it, it's an exceptional novel.
  • Posts: 11,016
    Na, don't be 0Brady. MR is a great read - better than the movie :)
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 11,548
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Na, don't be 0Brady. MR is a great read - better than the movie :)

    Not for me. Both are equal in their own league. MR the OTT film, MR the very serious novel ( but I can still picture Rog as Bond in it)

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    I find MR a blast to read. I could read it twice in the same week and still enjoy it. And yes, I'll be 'controversial' again : When I read this novel I picture Moore from TMWTGG as Bond. MR's novel is full of benign bizarre that feels the same like watching DAF or TMWTGG.
    Darn. I'm about to read it and already I feel lukwarm towards it.
    :( Too bad all the Fleming can't be like CR, a truly realistic espionage book instead of over the top tripe.

    No no read it, it's an exceptional novel.
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Na, don't be 0Brady. MR is a great read - better than the movie :)

    I'll take your words to heart gents. Many thanks. ;)
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    OK, just finished OHMSS. Definitely one of the best novels I have ever read! From the other comments, MR and CR seem to be the next two recommended titles in the series. Any others?
  • JWESTBROOKJWESTBROOK BeyondJamesBond.kinja.com
    edited March 2012 Posts: 5,741
    What do people think of You Only Live Twice? Apparently it has to do with suicide gardens and Blofeld? It sounds amazing to me.
  • Posts: 4,727
    I'm in the midst of reading Goldfinger right now, and I find it to be extremely readable. I'm never finding a dull moment and it's a blast, which is funny, because I dislike the movie quite a bit.
  • Im about to start live and let die...anybody have any things to say About LALD? good or bad?
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    edited May 2012 Posts: 9,959
    It was one of the first ones I read ages ago; I liked it, but there is racism in it.
    The really interesting part to me (but it won't be to anyone else) is that part of it takes place in my hometown, St. Petersburg, Florida. He described the place perfectly. I did find a lot of it exciting and fun.
  • Posts: 1,492
    Im about to start live and let die...anybody have any things to say About LALD? good or bad?

    The best of the early books and a wonderful evocation of America in the early fifties. For British audiences it must have seemed very exotic. I have taken the Silver Meteor from New York to Tampa.

    Dont expect them to go to N]awlins. That was an invention of the movie.
  • Posts: 11,853
    I've read CR, MR and GF. GF is easily the best for me. Really exciting and just as good as the film (which actually isn't too different).
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Im about to start live and let die...anybody have any things to say About LALD? good or bad?

    It's not great, but not bad. The story really picks up at the end when Bond is in Jamaica.

  • JWESTBROOKJWESTBROOK BeyondJamesBond.kinja.com
    Posts: 5,741
    DB5 wrote:
    Im about to start live and let die...anybody have any things to say About LALD? good or bad?

    It's not great, but not bad. The story really picks up at the end when Bond is in Jamaica.

    The highlights are definitely the Solitaire dialogue and the skirmishes in Florida. But I found it to be an excellent book. Compared to CR, it doesn't surpass it, but in the right mood I'd say it could match it imo. Don't really see what's so wrong with it in others' eyes.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    Not really that much of a plot. A lot of time spent on Bond's train ride from NY to Florida, which is for the most part uneventful. I much prefer DN and OHMSS, which have quite a bit more action.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 9,268
    OHMSS
    DAF
    DN
    TB
    GF
    MR
    FRWL
    CR
    LALD
    YOLT
    TSWLM
    TMWTGG
    FYEO
    OP&TLD

    Love them all but if I was made to order then it would probably look something like this.




  • Posts: 11,853
    I need to start TB. I want to read the whole Blofeld trilogy.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 9,268
    If you like Blofeld you'll love TB. It's got some great exposition.
  • Posts: 2,341
    I always felt that FRWL was written the best. (at least of the ones I've read)

    Was not impressed with TMWTGG

    DN and LALD are good reads too.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.
    Posts: 29,375
    Question: does the Blofeld Trilogy contain the three full finished novels of TB, OHMSS, and YOLT? I'm just shocked that I can technically get three Fleming novels, used, at a total price of $6 or $7 on Amazon. Even when I saw it in Barnes & Noble the other day, it was $22 new, as compared to a total of $45 for the three novels separately. I surmise the only choice there is spending that much more for the individual books to look like a more complete collection.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Question: does the Blofeld Trilogy contain the three full finished novels of TB, OHMSS, and YOLT? I'm just shocked that I can technically get three Fleming novels, used, at a total price of $6 or $7 on Amazon. Even when I saw it in Barnes & Noble the other day, it was $22 new, as compared to a total of $45 for the three novels separately. I surmise the only choice there is spending that much more for the individual books to look like a more complete collection.

    The trilogy are three separate, yes. When I got mine at Barnes and Noble last summer I got once large collection that encompassed the entire Blofeld trilogy of TB, OHMSS, and YOLT. It's this one @Creasy:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Blofeld-Trilogy-Ian-Fleming/dp/0143117904
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.
    Posts: 29,375
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, yeah, that's the one I spotted the other day. The used prices start around $8.00, with minimal wear, but even brand new, it's only $12 or $13 dollars, about $4 a novel. Really not bad at all. Like I said, though, I'm low on cash for the summer, having a hard time finding a job until I get back into college, so I'm trying to save my money. But such a low price for a great trilogy is hard to pass up.
  • Posts: 4,727
    I picked up Goldfinger and a collection of Fleming Bond novels in one volume consisting Thunderball, For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me at a cheap used bookstore for a good price of around $10.00. It was a steal!
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.
    edited May 2012 Posts: 29,375
    00Beast wrote:
    I picked up Goldfinger and a collection of Fleming Bond novels in one volume consisting Thunderball, For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me at a cheap used bookstore for a good price of around $10.00. It was a steal!

    Nice! It's really hard to ignore great deals like that, no matter how low on cash you may be. It's just like when I saw the Skyfall edition of the Empire magazine the other day: I had to purchase it.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    00Beast wrote:
    I picked up Goldfinger and a collection of Fleming Bond novels in one volume consisting Thunderball, For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me at a cheap used bookstore for a good price of around $10.00. It was a steal!
    I'm so glad to see that you got ahold of some Fleming novels! :)
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