Bond Book of the Month

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  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Yes, and one of my favorites -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    {[] Absolutely Fantastic score From J Barry, I find myself humming parts of it
    through the day :)) Yes AOS, I think the Radio version of YOLT was an older one
    as Toby Stevens wasn't Bond.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,084Chief of Staff
    Any updates, TP? :)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Well, YOLT is the current Book of the month, so anyone who hasn' t read it
    Why not give it a go. It's a great follow up to OHMSS, some great passages
    where Fleming describes Bond's travels across Japan. Building to a stunning
    Climax in the villains castle. -{
    I'll be posting my thoughts on it at the end of the month, and would welcome
    Other members thoughts and memories of it or indeed any of the Fleming Bond
    Novels. {[]
    ( by the way I still haven' t finished the Tom Clancy :D , finding time to
    Read it, is sometimes hard :)) )
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,084Chief of Staff
    YOLT is a different kind of Bond story, melancholy and slow-paced (till the end, anyway). I enjoy Bond's characterisation in this one, he feels more fleshed out. Tiger and Kissy are memorable, and avoiding spoilers so are the villains (at this stage I.doubt if anyone doesn't know how it turns out, but you never know).
    Anyone expecting hollowed-out volcanoes and mini helicopters is in for a surprise- hopefully a pleasant one.

    (Enjoy the Clancy. I prefer the Ryan series)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Absolutely, Bond has been hurt, he's if not broken, he is " Damaged "
    Some brilliant elements in YOLT, that would look great on screen. I
    hope they get parts of it worked into other films.
    I also like the idea of Bond almost being blackmailed into doing the
    Dirty work for the Japanese secret service.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,219Chief of Staff
    Barbel wrote:
    (Enjoy the Clancy. I prefer the Ryan series)

    +1
    YNWA 96
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    You Only Live Twice:
    YOLT was the last Bond novel to be Published before Ian Fleming passed away. In Bond Fleming
    mirrors his own failing health with a darker tone to this story. Bond after Tracy's Death is drinking
    heavily and making some silly mistakes, so in a Kill him or Cure him way. M sends him off to Japan
    to get a pipeline set up to get Japanese secret service information directly from the Japanese themselves
    instead of having to depend on the Americans.
    The story in many ways is a travel guide to Japan, as Fleming's descriptive passages brings the country
    to life.It's not until a little over half way through the story that Bond finds out who it is he has to Kill
    for the Japanese secret service, and becomes renewed in his mission.
    Bond's journey to the Island and the description of how the Guards treat the poor victims are brilliantly
    atmospheric, leading to the final confrontation. Which is Brutal! Bond becomes almost an animal choking
    the Life from Blofeld , leading to a thrilling escape by Blimp.
    The book ends with Bond having no Memory of his past life, and "Kissy" looking after him, But on finding
    a piece of paper with Vladivostok printed on it, Bond tells her He must travel to Russia as it means something
    to him, Which sets up the Next and Last Full novel from Ian Fleming The Man with the Golden Gun.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    -{ YOLT is one of my Fav's
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    It's a terrific read, very brooding at times. -{
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Mister BMister B Rennes (France)Posts: 13MI6 Agent
    Oh yes, it's a great novel. I love the part when he's undercover in that Japanese village. It's a shame this part has never been really shown in the movie. And the castle is so much more impressive than that volcano !
    For the moment I only have a French edition from the 1960's of that book (edited by "Plon") and the traduction is not that great (it sure doesn't recapture the unique style of Fleming's writing). I definitely have to buy the original version ! :)
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Agreed YOLT have some great passages that would look fantastic on screen. {[]
    Many have wished ( including me ;) ) that Shatterhand's garden of death could
    be shown in all it's glory. -{
    I remember Loeffelholz put up a post about a "Real" garden of death in Japan !

    I always thought an English language book would be a verbatim copy into another
    Language, so does it depend on who's translating them ?
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,084Chief of Staff
    Very much so. There's a section on how Fleming suffers in translation in Umberto Eco & Oreste Del Buono's "The Bond Affair", for example. Some books are issued in more than one translation for that very reason.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Very interesting, I never knew that ( as I can barely read in English :)) )
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,084Chief of Staff
    It affects the films as well- some of the jokes just do not work in other languages. I've watched TMWTGG and TSWLM in German and some of the wordplays fall flat.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Might explain why, The Dalton films don't seem to work well in German ! ;) :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,084Chief of Staff
    :)) it might! {[]
  • Mister BMister B Rennes (France)Posts: 13MI6 Agent
    Barbel's right. That's why I personally always try to see or read stories in their original version.
    And since those 1960's Plon editions are cheap pocket books sold for a few francs at the time, I don't think it's the best translator of all time that translated them. But I'm sure you can find some newer and better translation now a days. Although Bond novels have sometimes weird titles in French. For instance FYEO becomes "From Paris With Love" and TLD "From Berlin With Love". :))
  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,119MI6 Agent
    :o TLD became "From Berlin with Love"? I hope no-one tells Bendytoys... :))
    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    I knew some of the Film titles were changed I.e. Dr No was called
    Licence to kill, in Italy etc. :)) Although I thought the books would have
    Been simply translated rather than changed. :D
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Mister BMister B Rennes (France)Posts: 13MI6 Agent
    Well that's the title for TLD short story, TLD movie has a title that could be translated in "Killing is not a game".
    Though, on the translators credit the French equivalent of "Living Daylights" doesn't sound as Bondian.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,616MI6 Agent
    edited June 2014
    You Only Live Twice (1964) is one of Ian Fleming’s most brilliantly bizarre and offbeat pieces of work from a Bond oeuvre which was by that stage already rich with originality (cf. The Spy Who Loved Me and 'Quantum of Solace'). It incorporates travelogue, references to Japanese culture, lists of deadly flora and fauna, a revenge tale, the beginnings of serial killer fiction and fine Gothic horror as well as being the unfolding story of a dystopia on a Huxleyesque scale. Fleming was sadly literally dying from “having lived too much” at the time he was writing this novel and so the fascination with the theme of death throughout really rings true from a man already all too aware of his own mortality. No world domination plot here (cf. the film version) but instead a private estate run by a veritable mad hatter called Dr Guntram Shatterhand who of course turns out to be none other than Bond’s arch-enemy and the murderer of his bride Tracy Bond in OHMSS. The Ernst Stavro Blofeld of You Only Live Twice is a different animal to what went before and here he can be seen as a veritable mad king (called King Ernst I most likely) and a lunatic ready for the asylum. Blofeld shouts in German much like the ranting and raving Adolf Hitler in the Führerbunker near the end of World War II when the war was all but lost and he seems equally as much out of touch with reality. We are told of "that lunatic Hitlerian scream" from Blofeld in the Garden of Death at one point in the novel for instance. One reads of Nazis escaping to Argentina and Spain at the war’s end but perhaps a few escaped to Japan too? It may be that that was what Fleming was pointing at – that there was diverse Nazi evil being spread throughout other third countries as a result of such post-war Nazi SS resettlement organisations as Odessa or Spinne.


    It is notable that Blofeld’s plan here is not to hijack a Vulcan bomber and its deadly nuclear cargo for a grand ransom (Thunderball) or to use biological weapons against the UK (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) but merely to induce the notoriously suicide-prone native Japanese population to kill themselves in ever more eccentric fashion in a “garden of delights” populated by highly poisonous flora and fauna, snakes and fumaroles. This garden is the locale where Blofeld goes utterly insane and indeed it is a veritable anti-Eden where the Fall of Man is all too evident. It is as if the imaginative horrors of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale or a novel by the Marquis de Sade have somehow come to life in the early 1960s with a little Swinging Sixties hocus-pocus thrown in for good measure. Blofeld does his rounds of the garden in a full suit of armour as does his companion Bunt and Fleming seems to be making the point that Blofeld is trying to be a legitimate samurai warrior with all of the code of honour that implies though we the reader see he is woefully inadequate in this role and that he is a mere gaijin and definite bounder. Blofeld and Bunt even plan to eventually sell up from Japan and then take their “death show” on the road in other locations around the world such is their ultimate depravity and inhumanity.


    In You Only Live Twice there is no world domination master plan but in its stead there was just the mad king Blofeld lobbing off people's heads with a samurai sword, years before the serial killer fiction craze of the 1990s that Blofeld's plan to maximise Japanese suicides in his Garden of Death is akin to. In this sense Blofeld can be seen as a forerunner to that other madman in a Castle of Death, John Gardner’s creation the serial killer ex-actor David Dragonpol in Never Send Flowers (1993). Indeed, there are many interesting connections between both Bond novels. Like Dragonpol with his assassination targets, Blofeld attracts the suicidal Japanese seemingly for his own sick enjoyment and the delectation of the squat and grotesque Irma Bunt also. Bunt has the type of wardress face often associated with a Nazi death camp guard and as she is German and of the right age that could well have been her occupation. Of course, Fleming’s novel is as far away from the dire Roald Dahl-scripted 1967 film version as it is possible to get, but one can only hope that it will someday be filmed as a new chapter in Bond villainy where evil is seen to have had no point than glorying in evil itself. That seems a good theme for a Bond film that could sit along with the Bond film villains Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax (of the films The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker respectively) who were not interested in money or extortion but rather in creating new worlds in their own inherently evil image, just as it could be said Blofeld did originally in his Garden of Death in Japan. Ian Fleming's other villainous creation Dr Julius No was of course also an influence on Stromberg and Drax. Blofeld has seemingly single-handedly turned the Godly garden and the Englishman’s dwelling place of a summer day into a dark and grotesque “Disneyland of Death”. In opposition to this perversion of the sacredness of the garden is the fact that the English county of Kent is known as "The Garden of England" (cf. The Garden of Eden?) and this was of course on the side of the angels and was a haunt of Ian Fleming's and was where the majority of his third novel Moonraker (1955) was set with a duplicitous Nazi called Sir Hugo Drax is based with his answer to Britain's defence, the Moonraker rocket. This was done in much the same way as Stromberg wanted his underwater civilisation at the expense of the rest of the world or Drax wanted his new Super Race of perfect physical specimens to repopulate the Earth after its annihilation in a Hitlerian holocaust of his own creation.

    One can easily see the seeds of these barking-mad characters in some of the villains of the Roger Moore era Bonds in the Blofeld of You Only Live Twice. In this sense, perhaps a bit of the You Only Live Twice Blofeld has rubbed off on some of the cinematic Bond villains that came in the years after Ian Fleming’s death. One also thinks of Richard Maibaum’s original plot suggestion for The Spy Who Loved Me film to have real-world terrorists blow up the world’s oil fields with stolen nuclear submarines and watch the world burn just for the sheer hell of it. That would have been close to the Blofeld of You Only Live Twice it seems and it was sad that Maibaum’s vision for something “completely different” never made it onto the screen. The producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli ruled it out as being too overtly political for the James Bond film series, although he did like the idea. Of course sections of the recent Skyfall was based at least in part on events near the end of You Only Live Twice where Bond is shot in the head and loses his memory, and for the Fleming enthusiast that was surely a great thing to behold and it gives one hope that more of this criminally neglected novel will make its way on to the cinema screen.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    -{ Wonderful review SM. {[]
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,616MI6 Agent
    -{ Wonderful review SM. {[]

    Thank you, TP. It is a little offbeat as a review perhaps but then so is the YOLT novel I guess. :)
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    :)) Nothing wrong with being a little off beat . Yes YOLT is a little brooding, reflecting
    Fleming's own health problems, and this continues on in his next book TMWTGG.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,616MI6 Agent
    edited June 2014
    :)) Nothing wrong with being a little off beat . Yes YOLT is a little brooding, reflecting
    Fleming's own health problems, and this continues on in his next book TMWTGG.

    OK, thanks! When is TMWTGG going to be Bond Book of the Month then?
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    It just follows on, hopefully you'll give another excellent review of it
    Next month. ;) ( July )
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,616MI6 Agent
    Yes, I'll try my best to review it! :)
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    Even a brief overview of the Fleming books so far ? If you have the time or indeed
    if you'd like to. I know with work and life we don't always have the time. :D but
    you are very knowledgeable on the subject, so any views / thoughts, I think
    Would make interesting reading. -{
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,616MI6 Agent
    Even a brief overview of the Fleming books so far ? If you have the time or indeed
    if you'd like to. I know with work and life we don't always have the time. :D but
    you are very knowledgeable on the subject, so any views / thoughts, I think
    Would make interesting reading. -{

    I'd be up for something like that, yes. :) -{

    Are the continuations going to be looked at as well?
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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