Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ian Fleming and James Bond

As I’ve written before, for the past few months I’ve been reading all of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels. As of last week, I was down to a single short-story, “007 in New York”, which is the last story in a book of Bond short-stories released after Fleming’s death.

Before I started the story, I discovered that today, August 12, 2014, is the fiftieth anniversary of Fleming’s death. I put aside my Kindle so I could finish the final Bond story on the anniversary. This afternoon, I read that story, an odd little narrative of Bond daydreaming about what he’ll do in New York City while on an assignment. The story ends suddenly on a humorous note, with absolutely no action, and with a recipe for scrambled eggs! So now I’m done.

I loved reading the Bond novels. Not only were they well written, interesting and exciting in their own right, but comparing them to the movies was a lot of fun. There are, of course, many differences and seeing the choices made by the filmmakers when adapting the stories was a fascinating lesson in filmmaking. The films Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are the closest to the source material, while Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever and The Man with the Golden Gun are probably the farthest. The films Goldfinger and Doctor No made notable improvements on excellent novels because the process of filmmaking resulted in tighter, more logical and action-packed stories. Reading these novels has made me excited to see all the Bond films again (even the Roger Moore ones).

Thanks, Ian Fleming.

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