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Journal of No. 118

March 7th, 2012

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, by Ian Fleming @ 04:00 pm

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OHMSS turns out to be one of the best Bond novels I've read. This is also an interesting case where the film adaptation hews pretty close to the source material. Sure, there are some problems in the plot, like the way Teresa's profound ennui, anomie and Weltschmerz is cured by some good hard dicking by James Bond. But there's still plenty to like...
Bond's disaffection with his job
Plenty of corking action
A rather prescient use of agribioterrorism
Some amusement as Bond visits the College of Arms and ultimately has to swot himself into a genealogical and heraldic expert.
And something that distantly approaches a tragic love story, ending with Bond going a bit off his head.
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Date:March 8th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
That one is one of my favorite Bond novels. (Mind you, I only read the Fleming ones. I tried the John Gardner reboot back in the 80s and UGH!)

I think my favorite 007 novel is still From Russia With Love, although Live and Let Die gives it some competition occasionally, mostly because of Felix. ;)

Edited at 2012-03-08 12:13 am (UTC)
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Date:March 8th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I read the first Gardner Bond and (among other things) just couldn't get past the fact that Bond's car of choice was a Saab.
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Date:March 8th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
I am always reminded of William Donaldson's majestic put-down of Ian Fleming: "…the writer of the James Bond adventure books for children."

Though I must admit to the odd bout of adult partiality for the first of the "Shopping and Fucking" thriller-writers.

My favourite is the first "Casino Royale", followed closely by Russia with Love (again almost a real spy-story) and thereafter the series descends into absurdity.

Kingsley Amis, or Amis père as he is known nowadays, wrote a mildly entertaining novel in the sequence: "Colonel Sun". Not as good as Fleming alas: and Amis, in most other respects, was by far the better writer. "Lucky Jim" to my mind is the funniest non-Wodehousian novel of the post-war period, with the possible exception of William Kotzwinkle's "The Fan Man".

Some digressions for you to ponder, anyway.

Journal of No. 118