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Topic: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

I've seen a lot of people on this board commenting that Fleming did not in fact finish writing the book TMWTGG before his unfortunate passing.

I have to concur 100%.  Someone else certainly wrote that book.  The descriptions of scenery, and some of the dialog is just lacking a little -or a lot of something.

So here's my question to the group.  Where abouts in the book do you think the author who finished writing the story took over?  My personal thoughts are that Fleming's work on this book stopped relatively early, shortly before the end of Chapter 3.

The whole "crazed elephant" story just seemed a little too contrived for Fleming.  Then, at the start of chapter 4 there is very little description given about Jamaica and the Kingston airport...and in his earlier works it seemed obvious that Fleming loved to describe Jamaican scenery.

Thoughts from the board?

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Re: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

I was just reading up on this--I've always assumed that Fleming died before the full story was finished, and somebody else, I thought Kingsley Amis, wrote the rest.

"Kingsley Amis often has received credit for either completing or editing the novel, but that has been denied by several sources, including Andrew Lycett in the biography Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond, claiming that Fleming had finished it and it was subsequently read and edited only by Fleming's editor William Plomer. John Cork, the co-author of James Bond: The Legacy also claims that the novel was complete and he had seen the original, unedited typescript, although he admits Amis had also read it and subsequently offered ideas that went unimplemented."

So who knows; I'm sure one of the more hardcore literary Bond fans will know which sources are more accurate.

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Re: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

Wow Stjimmy thanks for that, it's interesting stuff.  I've never heard that side of the story before.

I still actually hope someone else did finish the book for Fleming -I find it that bad.

Here's a quick bit from TMWTGG that I found to be a particularly awful bit of writing...it's when Bond meets Scaramanga.

(Bond said, "People don't tell me what to do.  I tell them."  He walked on into the middle of the room and sat down at the table.  He said, "Come and sit down and stop trying to lean on me.  I'm unleanable-on.")

Yeah...that crappy bit of tough guy talk just doesn't seem very Fleming like to me.

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Re: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

I think we should keep in mind that what Fleming produced was a first draft--almost any writer will tell you that the very first version is filled with things the author is not happy with but will revise away at a later date.  For Fleming that later date didn't come.  I also think it's significant that Fleming was in terrible health when he was working on the book, and he probably lacked the physical and mental strength to turn out a real quality effort.

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Re: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

It seems a popular notion that TMWTGG  is a less than stellar Fleming novel, and somehow not his work.

I've read it more times than I can count, and don't agree. I think the charecter of Scaramanga is well done, the whole idea of Bond being brainwashed by the Soviets and turned loose on "M" is pretty radical.

Prehaps, if he had time Fleming would have played up certain aspects of the novel - like the final duel in the swamp or the brainwashing, but all in all I find it a satisfactory novel - more entertaining than TSWLM, which I still find a little "disturbing".

Fleming's routine was to write his novel at Goldeneye, and do revisions - like checking the details of the "Schertal-Shasenberg" system when he got back to the UK. Fleming was not known to extensively revise his initial work. So I believe what we have in the final novel is essentially all Fleming - a very little else.

That said the rumors abound of revisions by others, and have been circulated since the novel came out in 1964. The manuscript is not in the Lilly Library archives, and Lord knows who has it now. Only a study of the original Fleming writing will reveal the real truth.

To me it reads as well as any IF work.

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Re: The Man with The Golden Gun - Question

This theory has been dismissed - Amis did not finish the book, a letter of his says as much - I would say that only William Plomer edited it in any meaningful way at all, as was his position as editor at Cape.

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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).