Anthony Burgess discussion

chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
edited May 2013 in General Discussion Posts: 16,156
I was recently doing a search of Destroyer books to decide which to read first (decided on #3) when I accidentally came across an Anthony Burgess spy novel...
As a kid, I saw Kubrick's Clockwork Orange, and even though I was disturbed a bit by it, I wanted to go to the source material out of curiosity. The book was awesome, and made its point even better than the film IMO. But I never read another Burgess novel.
So, now I find that Burgess had written a spy novel entitled "Tremor Of Intent" so I ordered a copy. I expect it to be horrorshow! ;)
Any droogs here ever read Burgess, or have fond memories of Kubrick's take on his Clockwork Orange?
«134

Comments

  • Posts: 4,622
    I haven't read Burgess but probably worth checking out. Kubrick's Clockwork is a great film, but that's hardly a newsflash. Disturbing but very well presented.
    Destroyer is great edgy pulp-fiction with a dash of the mystical and lots of ottp social commentary, violence and humour.
    #3 (Chinese Puzzle) isn't a bad book to start with. As the authors will acknowledge, it wasn't until the 3rd book, that they got the Remo/Chiun relationship figured out, and the whole vibe of the series down.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 12,670
    Anthony Burgess is my favorite writer. He wroter a foreword to YOLT (I think) where he drew parallels with James Bond and Sherlock Holmes and said there was something continental about Bond that gave an original and in depth perspective to the literary character. He had a genuine love and respect for the work of Ian Fleming, going as far as saying that it was literature, not merely popular literature.

    Now about Tremor of Intent, it is a brilliant novel, but the spy aspect is a secondary aspect. The book is about moral, duality and identity. It uses elements of spy fiction (and of Fleming's books especially the sex and gluttony) but turns them on their head. You will find in it some of the themes of A Clockwork Orange, about free will and conditioning. And not to give too much away there is a torture scene that is both funny and chilling.
  • Posts: 12,670
    More about Burgess: he was also involved in the early stage of TSWLM, writing a script that was a bit too out there for EON.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited March 2019 Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    More about Burgess: he was also involved in the early stage of TSWLM, writing a script that was a bit too out there for EON.

    I intend to write something for the blog on Burgess and Bond - I do think that it was a piss-take of the stereotypical James Bond film, though, more than a serious attempt. That's the impression that I got, anyway! Otherwise I don't understand the Fleming purist that is Burgess' reasoning.

  • Posts: 12,670
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    More about Burgess: he was also involved in the early stage of TSWLM, writing a script that was a bit too out there for EON.

    I intend to write something for the blog on Burgess and Bond - I do think that it was a piss-take of the stereotypical James Bond film, though, more than a serious attempt. that's the impression that I got, anyway! Otherwise I don't understand the Fleming purist that is Burgess' reasoning.

    It was a really strange take and I cannot picture any Bond actor playing in it, let alone Roger Moore. There was a S&M relationship with the Bond girl, for instance. It was more Burgess than Bond, definitely. But some of his ideas remained pretty far in the development of TSWLM. SPECTRE taken over by youthful anarchist was directly taken from Burgess's script, where an evil terrorist organisation is strictly motivated by the arbitrary (and eccentric) use of power.I don't think Burgess seriously thought they would accept his script.

    Other anecdotes: he wanted Sean Connery to play the main character of Beard's Roman Women in the movie adaptation that never happened and he once had the same agent as Ian Fleming.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    More about Burgess: he was also involved in the early stage of TSWLM, writing a script that was a bit too out there for EON.

    I intend to write something for the blog on Burgess and Bond - I do think that it was a piss-take of the stereotypical James Bond film, though, more than a serious attempt. that's the impression that I got, anyway! Otherwise I don't understand the Fleming purist that is Burgess' reasoning.

    It was a really strange take and I cannot picture any Bond actor playing in it, let alone Roger Moore. There was a S&M relationship with the Bond girl, for instance. It was more Burgess than Bond, definitely. But some of his ideas remained pretty far in the development of TSWLM. SPECTRE taken over by youthful anarchist was directly taken from Burgess's script, where an evil terrorist organisation is strictly motivated by the arbitrary (and eccentric) use of power.I don't think Burgess seriously thought they would accept his script.

    Other anecdotes: he wanted Sean Connery to play the main character of Beard's Roman Women in the movie adaptation that never happened and he once had the same agent as Ian Fleming.

    Agreed, there. Certainly more Burgess than Bond.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,156
    Ludovico wrote:
    Anthony Burgess is my favorite writer.

    So, what are your favourite books by him?
  • Posts: 101
    RE: Anthony Burgess' original TSWLM draft.
    Didn't SPECTRE's plan involve them trying to have the Queen strip down and bare all on live TV? :))
    Also Bond killed a dead villain by drowning him in shark's fin soup.
    And then he seasoned the soup. :))
    Sounds like a riot!
  • Posts: 12,670
    chrisisall wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Anthony Burgess is my favorite writer.

    So, what are your favourite books by him?
    Difficult question. Earthly Powers might be his best. I love particularly Kingdom of the Wicked, Honey for the Bears and Any Old Iron. Oh and The Right to an Answer. And One Hand Clapping, which was adapted in a play recently.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 38
    I'm not sure I understand where Burgess stood in Bond. He loved Fleming enough to write the preface to the set of books released by Coronet in 1989. But then he wrote that (from the sounds of it) spoofs script for The Spy Who Loved Me. And yet, in that preface, he slags off the final film of TSWLM as an "un-Fleming-ian hotchpotch", which, I assumed was sour grapes because they didn't use his script - which would also have been an un-Fleming-Ian hotchpotch, just one written by a more well known author.
    I wonder if he ever read Christopher Wood's novelisation of his final script, as it is one of the most Fleming-like continuation novels of all - in terms of style, description and sweep, not necessarily plot!
    I understand it is possible to like 'serious' Bond and 'far out' Bond (I do) but his comment on the wacky films in that preface seemed slightly at odds with his own wacky script ideas.

    I have just found this article which suggests he at least owned the Wood novelisations and that novelisation rights to Burgess' script are still valid!
    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/03/anthony-burgesss-007-obsession
  • Posts: 12,670
    I'm not sure I understand where Burgess stood in Bond. He loved Fleming enough to write the preface to the set of books released by Coronet in 1989. But then he wrote that (from the sounds of it) spoofs script for The Spy Who Loved Me. And yet, in that preface, he slags off the final film of TSWLM as an "un-Fleming-ian hotchpotch", which, I assumed was sour grapes because they didn't use his script - which would also have been an un-Fleming-Ian hotchpotch, just one written by a more well known author.
    I wonder if he ever read Christopher Wood's novelisation of his final script, as it is one of the most Fleming-like continuation novels of all - in terms of style, description and sweep, not necessarily plot!
    I understand it is possible to like 'serious' Bond and 'far out' Bond (I do) but his comment on the wacky films in that preface seemed slightly at odds with his own wacky script ideas.

    From what he wrote in his autobiography, I think he knew his script had little value. He didn't write it as a spoof, more as a bitter satire of what he considered Bond had become. If I remember correctly (I need to check in his autobiography again), he said he didn't want to write it but felt compelled to give it a try. He ends the film with everybody dying, including Bond. This is way beyond a spoof, almost script as a mean of suicide (for Bond and the series). Tremor of Intent is subtitled An Eschatological Spy Novel. I think hos TSWLM was a bit of an eschatological script.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    RE: Anthony Burgess' original TSWLM draft.
    Didn't SPECTRE's plan involve them trying to have the Queen strip down and bare all on live TV? :))
    Also Bond killed a dead villain by drowning him in shark's fin soup.
    And then he seasoned the soup. :))
    Sounds like a riot!

    Sounds like a well-observed piss-take to me, though you are right!
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited May 2013 Posts: 13,419
    I once had a CBn Main Page Article on this subject - it was pretty short and just a beginning of something really, written back in 2006. I think that it may well be lost to the mists of time, however, sadly, though I have pencilled it in for a forthcoming blog article that will be more in-depth.
  • Posts: 12,670
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited May 2013 Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.

    I have a copy of that novel as I was planning a piece on him again after the start I'd made on an article way back in 2006, so I'll have to read that one soon. I believe that it's very good, if a different type of spy novel from the norm.
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.

    Oh intresting.
  • Posts: 12,670
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.

    I have a copy of that novel as I was planning a piece on him again after the start I'd made on an article way back in 2006, so I'll have to read that one soon. I believe that it's very good, if a different type of spy novel from the norm.

    It is a very different kind of spy novel, almost an anti spy novel in a way. Another great novel of his where the Cold War is used as a backdrop is Honey for the Bears, where East West relationship and identities are studied through a very original perspective.
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.

    I wonder which ones exactly though, as the script was really out there.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.

    I have a copy of that novel as I was planning a piece on him again after the start I'd made on an article way back in 2006, so I'll have to read that one soon. I believe that it's very good, if a different type of spy novel from the norm.

    It is a very different kind of spy novel, almost an anti spy novel in a way. Another great novel of his where the Cold War is used as a backdrop is Honey for the Bears, where East West relationship and identities are studied through a very original perspective.
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.

    I wonder which ones exactly though, as the script was really out there.

    On the TSWLM script, it may only have been elements like the hijacking of subs plot, I think, on memory.
  • Posts: 12,670
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.

    I have a copy of that novel as I was planning a piece on him again after the start I'd made on an article way back in 2006, so I'll have to read that one soon. I believe that it's very good, if a different type of spy novel from the norm.

    It is a very different kind of spy novel, almost an anti spy novel in a way. Another great novel of his where the Cold War is used as a backdrop is Honey for the Bears, where East West relationship and identities are studied through a very original perspective.
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.

    I wonder which ones exactly though, as the script was really out there.

    On the TSWLM script, it may only have been elements like the hijacking of subs plot, I think, on memory.

    Got to reread his autobiography but I doubt they kept anything.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Burgess is an amazing writer and I would heartily recommend Tremor of Intent.

    I have a copy of that novel as I was planning a piece on him again after the start I'd made on an article way back in 2006, so I'll have to read that one soon. I believe that it's very good, if a different type of spy novel from the norm.

    It is a very different kind of spy novel, almost an anti spy novel in a way. Another great novel of his where the Cold War is used as a backdrop is Honey for the Bears, where East West relationship and identities are studied through a very original perspective.
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Is he a writer or something for the films sounds good if he has his own thread.

    Do you mean Anthony Burgess?

    Yes! :)

    Well, he was very interested in Fleming and Bond, he wrote a draft script for TSWLM, but that was it. Some of the ideas he had made it into the final film script we know of as the released TSWLM.

    I wonder which ones exactly though, as the script was really out there.

    On the TSWLM script, it may only have been elements like the hijacking of subs plot, I think, on memory.

    Got to reread his autobiography but I doubt they kept anything.

    Yes, I bought his autobiography too in 2008 for this very purpose. I still intend to write an article on Burgess and Bond for my blog at some point.
  • Posts: 12,670
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.

    Yes, one then wonders how much of the stuff on TSWLM is true as it all seems so far-fetched and into the realm of parody.
  • Posts: 12,670
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.

    Yes, one then wonders how much of the stuff on TSWLM is true as it all seems so far-fetched and into the realm of parody.

    According to his autobiography, he lost his virginity three times, so we need to take what he says about TSWLM with a pinch of salt.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.

    Yes, one then wonders how much of the stuff on TSWLM is true as it all seems so far-fetched and into the realm of parody.

    According to his autobiography, he lost his virginity three times, so we need to take what he says about TSWLM with a pinch of salt.

    Yes, quite. That's a neat trick. I think there was an article on Burgess going by the draft TSWLM script, so I shall have to read that before writing on Burgess.
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.

    Yes, one then wonders how much of the stuff on TSWLM is true as it all seems so far-fetched and into the realm of parody.

    According to his autobiography, he lost his virginity three times, so we need to take what he says about TSWLM with a pinch of salt.

    Yes, quite. That's a neat trick. I think there was an article on Burgess going by the draft TSWLM script, so I shall have to read that before writing on Burgess.

    Your Blogs sound intresting may I ask where do you write them?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited June 2013 Posts: 13,419
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I hope you read more than his work on TSWLM. His autobiography is pure invention, but it is such a fun read.

    Yes, one then wonders how much of the stuff on TSWLM is true as it all seems so far-fetched and into the realm of parody.

    According to his autobiography, he lost his virginity three times, so we need to take what he says about TSWLM with a pinch of salt.

    Yes, quite. That's a neat trick. I think there was an article on Burgess going by the draft TSWLM script, so I shall have to read that before writing on Burgess.

    Your Blogs sound intresting may I ask where do you write them?

    At Schloss Drache, the Rhineland.
Sign In or Register to comment.