Worst Fleming Bond Novel?

245678

Comments

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,696
    are any of the continuation novels worth reading once I've finished the Fleming books?

    Colonel Sun. Definitely.
  • chrisisall wrote:
    are any of the continuation novels worth reading once I've finished the Fleming books?

    Colonel Sun. Definitely.

    Cheers, I'll be sure to give that one a read.
  • edited January 2013 Posts: 11,189
    I've only read MWTGG once and didn't mind it. Overall I preferred it to the film (but oddly I prefer Christopher Lee's version of Scaramanga).
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,696
    Word is that the writer of Colonel Sun was assigned the job of finishing TMWTGG, it being not totally ready for publishing at the time of Fleming's death.
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I've only read MWTGG once and didn't mind it. Overall I preferred it to the film (but I prefer Christopher Lee's Scaramanga).
    Same here.
  • Posts: 3,279
    chrisisall wrote:
    are any of the continuation novels worth reading once I've finished the Fleming books?

    Colonel Sun. Definitely.
    I second that.

  • chrisisall wrote:
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I've only read MWTGG once and didn't mind it. Overall I preferred it to the film (but I prefer Christopher Lee's Scaramanga).
    Same here.

    Where I am in the book, Scaramanga hasn't been in it yet. I'm guessing Lee's version was fairly different then? That's intresting.
  • Really, the only one that was a problem was LALD - "cringe-worthy" is an apt description, although it got less embarrassing after the location shifted away from NYC.

    The NYC section is problematic (both in terms of political incorrectness, and its complete lack of story momentum). But it does have some great prose. I think the description of the topless dancer might be the sexiest thing Fleming ever wrote.


  • I have a question for all of you who have read all the books: are any of the continuation novels worth reading once I've finished the Fleming books?[/quote]

    Colnel Son is up there with the top Flemings. The spin off series "Young Bond" and "Moneypenny Diaries" are both excellent and the first five Gardner's are well worth reading.
    The rest are absolute crap!

  • TSWLM is much vilified but I have a strange affection for it because it was Fleming's attempt to do something different and it was the book that nearly got me expelled from school.
    For me, DAF was the turkey and TMWTGG was well below his normal standard. The rest are peerless.
  • edited January 2013 Posts: 3,279
    chrisisall wrote:
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I've only read MWTGG once and didn't mind it. Overall I preferred it to the film (but I prefer Christopher Lee's Scaramanga).
    Same here.

    Where I am in the book, Scaramanga hasn't been in it yet. I'm guessing Lee's version was fairly different then? That's intresting.
    There has been numerous attempts to resurrect the Scaramanga character since TMWTGG too. Sanchez was an attempt in LTK (even had the same initials) and in Skyfall there are nods to Fleming's last novel too with Silva's character (tall blonde, homosexual undertones, shooting the glass off the girl's head, etc.)

    Scaramanga was the flipped side to the same coin as Bond. There was lots of untapped potential in Fleming's last novel, and its a shame he never got chance to polish it fully.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,029
    TSPWLM i find far less interesting, probably becouse the main character is a lot weaker and we miss out on a lot of the action when Bond is going round the blazing motel (is this perhaps source material for QoS's ending?)
    And then there's Thunderball, which I love, but I have the feeling Fleming is somehow not completely at ease with Bond. It certainly is influenced by the fils though, as I find it has more humour then the previous books.
  • Posts: 3,279
    TSPWLM i find far less interesting, probably becouse the main character is a lot weaker and we miss out on a lot of the action when Bond is going round the blazing motel (is this perhaps source material for QoS's ending?)
    And then there's Thunderball, which I love, but I have the feeling Fleming is somehow not completely at ease with Bond. It certainly is influenced by the fils though, as I find it has more humour then the previous books.

    I find TB to be the weakest novel. It reads more like an adapted script, which is what it essentially was anyway.
  • Two novels that get a lot of flack - TSWLM and TMWTGG - are ones that I still enjoy. TMWTGG is rather derivative but I find it interesting. Bond knowing that he was making a mistake by *not* putting a bullet in the back of Scaramanga's head when sitting behind him because he wanted to see what his scheme was all about was a great example of Fleming's Bond showing his curiosity and his boredom! No film Bond has gotten to this point with the character yet; could Craig's Bond evolve to this point by a fifth film?

    As for TSWLM I find that I actually really enjoy Fleming's "diversions" like this (and QoS). One of Fleming's strengths was his ability to fully illustrate a world and the life of the person inside it; to break away from Bond's world and follow a different character is still interesting to me. I would have loved Fleming to try this more often than he did - I'd love there to be one last short story collection discovered and have it be, say, five stories something like the non-Bond parts of TSWLM or QoS.
  • I think i preferred the others to Moonraker, but i didn't hate any of them (it took me a while to get into Thunderball). Haven't read TSWLM yet though.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,029
    TSPWLM i find far less interesting, probably becouse the main character is a lot weaker and we miss out on a lot of the action when Bond is going round the blazing motel (is this perhaps source material for QoS's ending?)
    And then there's Thunderball, which I love, but I have the feeling Fleming is somehow not completely at ease with Bond. It certainly is influenced by the fils though, as I find it has more humour then the previous books.

    I find TB to be the weakest novel. It reads more like an adapted script, which is what it essentially was anyway.
    Yes, it does. Funnily enough TB is favorite film, but the book, indeed as you say, is too much anadapted script. It does explain why the humour at least often feels out of place. Humour that works on film doesn't neccessariy do so in print.

  • Posts: 5,767
    TB because of its lack of decisiveness and amount of dead ends in terms of story telling.
    The more than before explicit sexual descriptions may be a matter of taste, I find them crude. At all, I was bored with the description of Domino.
    Blofeld is described in fascinating detail, but after that he practically isn't existing, he has nothing to do with he actual story.
    Similar it is with Bond's car. Bond gets a call on the most-urgent line, and instead of cranking the tension up, Fleming has nothing better to do than rave at length about Bond's car, which after this description isn't used again.

    The novel picks up momentum in he second half, but until then it kind of senselessly meanders along.
  • Posts: 3,279
    boldfinger wrote:
    TB because of its lack of decisiveness and amount of dead ends in terms of story telling.
    The more than before explicit sexual descriptions may be a matter of taste, I find them crude. At all, I was bored with the description of Domino.
    Blofeld is described in fascinating detail, but after that he practically isn't existing, he has nothing to do with he actual story.
    Similar it is with Bond's car. Bond gets a call on the most-urgent line, and instead of cranking the tension up, Fleming has nothing better to do than rave at length about Bond's car, which after this description isn't used again.

    The novel picks up momentum in he second half, but until then it kind of senselessly meanders along.

    Cheers guys. I'm glad its not just me who found TB to be a weak novel.
  • boldfinger wrote:
    TB because of its lack of decisiveness and amount of dead ends in terms of story telling.
    The more than before explicit sexual descriptions may be a matter of taste, I find them crude. At all, I was bored with the description of Domino.
    Blofeld is described in fascinating detail, but after that he practically isn't existing, he has nothing to do with he actual story.
    Similar it is with Bond's car. Bond gets a call on the most-urgent line, and instead of cranking the tension up, Fleming has nothing better to do than rave at length about Bond's car, which after this description isn't used again.

    The novel picks up momentum in he second half, but until then it kind of senselessly meanders along.

    Cheers guys. I'm glad its not just me who found TB to be a weak novel.

    TB was the first novel that I noticed characters speaking in exposition, not dialogue (sadly, it wasn't the last). It was also the novel where I noticed that coincidence and wild guesses really drove the plot which, again, was not the last time. When I reread the Fleming novels last year I was surprised to agree with my girlfriend's father's criticisms of Fleming as a writer, but still find his stories engrossing and entertaining.

  • Posts: 37
    DAF, I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I should read it again as I love all the others. I love Thunderball, one of my favourites. Some of the short stories don't really do it for me, but I love Octopussy.
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    Great thread.
    For me it's The Spy Who Loved Me and I find my self getting irritated with Bond in Diamonds Are Forever as he has clues to the henchmen but keeps forgetting them! He does suffer a damn good kicking though and escape from Spectreville.
  • Posts: 1,817

    I have a question for all of you who have read all the books: are any of the continuation novels worth reading once I've finished the Fleming books?

    Better still, reread Fleming! Or read non Bond books...
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,630
    'Worst' is not my kind of word when talking about the Fleming Bonds. Some books may miss the sparks that others have, but non are tedious or 'bad' IMO. Every single one of those Flemings Bonds oozes brilliance. True, they aren't perhaps as rhythmic and 'simple' as some modern novels, but in their own right they are true page turners. No way I can talk about these books in terms of good and not good, only in terms of good and great. I think Fleming is a diamond. Some diamonds shine and sparkle, others are more robust, but they are priceless nonetheless.
  • Posts: 14,859
    I know TSWLM is a strong contender as Ian Fleming himself disliked it. But I enjoy it as a neat little crime novel. The novel I liked least was DAF.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Ludovico wrote:
    I know TSWLM is a strong contender as Ian Fleming himself disliked it. But I enjoy it as a neat little crime novel. The novel I liked least was DAF.

    Agreed. The first chapter of FRWL is entirely better than all of DAF.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,696
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Some books may miss the sparks that others have, but non are tedious or 'bad' IMO. Every single one of those Flemings Bonds oozes brilliance.
    True enough.
    I thoroughly enjoyed TSWLM as well, even though it was a bit experimental.
  • Posts: 14,859
    JWESTBROOK wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I know TSWLM is a strong contender as Ian Fleming himself disliked it. But I enjoy it as a neat little crime novel. The novel I liked least was DAF.

    Agreed. The first chapter of FRWL is entirely better than all of DAF.

    There are still good things about DAF, it is still a good book, but it is often lacking. The villains are barely developed, for instance. I often have the feeling that it is a hardboiled crime novel with James Bond in it, larger scale than what Raymond Chandler would have written, but lacking its authenticity. As crime fiction, I actually think TSWLM works better, even though it is as atypical a Bond novel as it can be.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Ludovico wrote:
    JWESTBROOK wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I know TSWLM is a strong contender as Ian Fleming himself disliked it. But I enjoy it as a neat little crime novel. The novel I liked least was DAF.

    Agreed. The first chapter of FRWL is entirely better than all of DAF.

    There are still good things about DAF, it is still a good book, but it is often lacking. The villains are barely developed, for instance. I often have the feeling that it is a hardboiled crime novel with James Bond in it, larger scale than what Raymond Chandler would have written, but lacking its authenticity. As crime fiction, I actually think TSWLM works better, even though it is as atypical a Bond novel as it can be.

    Oh I agree with you, but the first chapter of FRWL is still better than all of DAF. There's more development to Grant (one character) in the first three chapters of FRWL than all of the characters in DAF.
  • Posts: 1,817
    I think if one doesn't expect TSWLM to be a traditional Bond novel, it could be very entertaining. I read it in that way -as a general literature work- and I like it a lot. The first chapters even remind me of Pavese's "Beautiful Summer" and then comes Bond, the biggest hero of fiction to save the girl. Very enjoyable!
  • Posts: 14,859
    JWESTBROOK wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    JWESTBROOK wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I know TSWLM is a strong contender as Ian Fleming himself disliked it. But I enjoy it as a neat little crime novel. The novel I liked least was DAF.

    Agreed. The first chapter of FRWL is entirely better than all of DAF.

    There are still good things about DAF, it is still a good book, but it is often lacking. The villains are barely developed, for instance. I often have the feeling that it is a hardboiled crime novel with James Bond in it, larger scale than what Raymond Chandler would have written, but lacking its authenticity. As crime fiction, I actually think TSWLM works better, even though it is as atypical a Bond novel as it can be.

    Oh I agree with you, but the first chapter of FRWL is still better than all of DAF. There's more development to Grant (one character) in the first three chapters of FRWL than all of the characters in DAF.

    FRWL was indeed far superior, you could tell Fleming worked a lot and hard on it. Maybe his most accomplished work.
    0013 wrote:
    I think if one doesn't expect TSWLM to be a traditional Bond novel, it could be very entertaining. I read it in that way -as a general literature work- and I like it a lot. The first chapters even remind me of Pavese's "Beautiful Summer" and then comes Bond, the biggest hero of fiction to save the girl. Very enjoyable!
    Many of Fleming's short stories were like this, masterpieces of intimate dramas. QOS was like this, it's almost a modern Madame Bovary. TSWLM is not much of a Bond novel, but it is certainly a solid. entertaining novel, both a neat little crime drama with larger than life characters and a coming of age story. Oh and Vivienne Michel has to make it to the big screen one day as a Bond girl. Obviously in a more typical Bond story, but we need more Bond girls like her: outsider to the world of crime or espionnage, trapped in a game bigger than what they know.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    OHMSS. Never really a big fan of the book.

    Bearing in mind that this is in response to the title of the thread - Worst Fleming Bond Novel? - it has to be one of the most ludicrous statements ever uttered.

    We can all argue about the merits of TSWLM (my personal pick for worst novel - just a low rent melodrama) versus TMWTGG and perhaps DAF and TB in the scrap for worst but when you start including OHMSS in the debate you just embarrass yourself.

Sign In or Register to comment.