Here’s the thing: I’m not a fantasy guy.
I never got it as a young reader. I was more practical minded. A story had to be real. Dragons and wizards and elfs were…well, they were silly. And not a road to go down for a teenager looking to lose his virginity.
But I had friends who read fantasy. They were big thick books that they lost themselves in. So i was curious but I just couldn’t get pas the silliness of them.
Tolkien, however, seemed different. I read the Hobbit ve
The last Fleming Bond book I read was the collection of previously published short stories called Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
I like shorter fiction. It’s more direct and immediate. And, let’s face it, it requires much less commitment.
Contrary to what the title says, the book contains four stories.
The first, Octopussy, has Bond as a minor character who has a walk-on role. He’s there to confront a former spy who killed an innocent German during the war and sto
Wikipedia says this was Fleming’s last book not quite finished before he died. Compared to You Only Live Twice, I’m thinking impending death made him better. That action-less, plot-less somewhat contrived novel paled compared to this simple, straight-forward narrative.
Bond is sent to kill an assassin who has killed several British agents. It’s a simple whack-job.
However, in the meanwhile, he also uncovers a plot that involves the Soviets and Cuba and U.S. economic security.
This wasn’t a boring book, nor was it exciting.
Bond, washed up and despondent, after the murder of his wife Tracy is barely hanging on with the Secret Service. To challenge him to snap out of it, he is sent on an almost impossible misson to Japan. Once there, he talks. And talks. And talks for about 80% of the novel.
What does he talk about?
The head of the Japanese Secret Service gives Bond several lessons on Japanese culture to which Bond guffaws and
Visiting the beehive on Saturday….the only one of mine which made it through the winter.
This used to be a very mean hive but it was rather tranquil. I looked inside quiet a bit and they didn’t get upset much at all. New queen, I guess. However, it makes me worry that they are having some kind of problem. I didn’t spot anything obviously wrong but there was less honey than I would have expected. I shut up the hive and asked them to have some honey soon that I could steal in a month or
It’s the one where James Bond gets married.
That’ll make for something different, I thought.
Unfortunately, you can just feel Fleming run out of steam. Or is it interest? The cold assassin is gone. There’s more emotion here. Its’ the emotion of a middle aged man, it seems. Fleming was 55 when he wrote it. He was a year or two off from death. It seems to be written by a man tired of smashing and impressing than by a man interested in contemplating.
The bad guy, Blofeld
“If only someone would come, someone to stay with me, someone to tell me that this was only a storm! But it wasn’t! It was catastrophe, the end of the world! And all aimed at me! Now! It would be coming again! Any minute now! I must do something, get help!”
Well, help does come in the form of 007. But it’s not until 75% of the way into the book.
This is a strange little book. As noted, Bond doesn’t make an appearance until late in the book. When he does, it’s to save the girl
I’ve waited three weeks after finishing this novel to get my thoughts down so this will be incomplete. I’ll probably just bullet point some thoughts as I flip through the novel and review my high lights. I think this is the second or third novel in a row that begins with Bond feeling bad. In Goldfinger, I remember, the novel opens with him stuck at an airport feeling dirty still after having to do a dirty job. This one opens up with him nursing a hangover.
“To begin with he was ashame
I read this years ago in college, I think. It may have been high school.
I’d no interest in reading it again but did so for a book club. Why no interest? Simply put: I thought it’d be boring. Yes, it’s a terrible story about a horrific time in history but I’d heard it all before in various iterations.
And the Narrative was like that. I guess it had to be. The horrors aren’t uncommon but the book does serve as a template for all that came after it. But the narrative was filled