Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fleming Is Forever: Why You Should Read the James Bond Books

I first saw Sean Connery as James Bond when Dr No came out in the early 1960s. I loved the film so much that I went on to read Ian Fleming's novels. I was pleased to discover that his thrillers were darker and more complex than the films and I've been a Fleming aficiando ever since..

I often tell fans of the Bond film series that they ought to read the Fleming novels as well. Edward Platt at Newsweek is telling his readers the same thing.

Spectre is almost upon us. Trailers have made it clear that the 26th James Bond movie—Daniel Craig’s fourth outing in the role and Sam Mendes’s second as director—will feature some reassuringly familiar Bond-movie tropes: death in the snow, sex on the fly, one-liners by the dozen. But while Mendes appears at peace with giving audiences much of what they expect from Bond films, the Oscar-winning director is not in the Bond business just to recycle clichés. Pre-publicity for Spectre suggests that Mendes is continuing the exploration of Bond’s history that he began in Skyfall, the most recent and, so far, most financially successful film in the series. In so doing, Mendes is attempting to fill out the occasionally blank but compelling main character in British author Ian Fleming’s original 12 Bond novels, the first of which was published 62 years ago. Those novels have sold more than 100 million copies, but many of the people who see Spectre in the coming days and weeks may not have heard of Fleming. They’re missing out. Two and a half hours of cold martinis, Craig’s merciless gaze and the producers’ even more chilling devotion to product placement can give you only a limited sense of Bond. For a fuller picture, pick up a Fleming novel once you’re back from the multiplex. The author was himself parsimonious with details about the famous spy’s biography, but he fleshes out 007 with gems of dialogue and description.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read two of my Crime Beat columns on Ian Fleming via the below links:

1 comment:

  1. You leave me no choice. Now I have to read Fleming. As a newcomer to crime fiction blogging, I am pleased to have stumbled upon your blog. All the best from "Police News of the Past."