Thunderball (Ian Fleming)

The Bond originally conceived by the cinema was very much a creature of the 1960s. Yet the Bond of the books is a man of the 1950s. And like many men in the 1950s, eating an English breakfast 3 times daily and not only being unfit, but unable to even spell the word, seemed to be de rigueur: James is in poor shape it seems, 60 cigarettes a day (think of that in 2017….where would he even find a place to smoke that often!?) do not keep the doctor away. And he drinks like a fish. So M sends him away on a little vacation to recuperate…again. And, of course, each time James goes away to rest, someone tries to take him out. What a life huh? [Read more…]

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LIVE AND LET DIE (Ian Fleming)

a045c6354116a6a3d907c46f16fa055cThe second James Bond novel  established the format in ways that were largely followed in the films also: Bond is briefed by M about an enemy agent (in this case, Mr Big) and sent abroad to break the SMERSH operation. In the course of this New York – Florida – Jamaican adventure, Bond encounters an assortment of villains, henchmen and beautiful women. [Read more…]

DR NO (Britain 1962)

qiiZK2WbtupSSq9TaM57ZtnYH4nIn the beginning was the word and the word was Bond. Here is the genesis of cinematic style over substance. “Dr. No” is incredibly dated but it has a unique, naive quality. There’s no tongue-in-cheek self-awareness here, this is the first glimpse that audiences had of all the different themes that would develop in the series. [Read more…]

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