#Flemingreadingchallenge

JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
DZ has started this # recently. I am definitely not a reader, but I am picking up a copy of CR today from a local bookstore. I will also see what else they have on their shelf. Any recommendations of ones I should pick up that are good reads? As a gift, my father bought me LALD, I think Dr. No and FRWL.


As an aside, he also bought me all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock series. I am looking forward to trying to disconnect from my phone, PC, FB, IG, etc. for long enough to try to "become a reader."
"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

Comments

  • tsholdtshold TorontoPosts: 148MI6 Agent
    This should be fun - Moonraker is a novel that is way better than the film.
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  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    {[] Agreed Moonraker is a fantastic read but I'm sure you'll also
    enjoy Dr No
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • mpoplawskimpoplawski New Jersey, USAPosts: 128MI6 Agent
    The Flemings should all be read in order of publication. The stories have threads that intertwine. If you have Casino Royale and Live and et Die you are good for a few weeks read since the are the first books in the series.
    Bond: "But who would want to kill me, sir?"
    M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors . . . the list is endless."
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    I have enjoyed the MR readings on James Bond Radio. My father just messaged me and told me he was able to find Moonraker as well. So I shall have plenty of things to read.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,801Chief of Staff
    I envy you, reading them all for the first time. You are in for a treat. As mpoplawski said above, you should try to read them in order of publication.

    That's slightly less important with Sherlock Holmes, but it does help.
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    My goal is to try and read them in order. I am not a reader. I don't really like it. I am different. ADD maybe. I do want to read more though.

    Question though. I have found two different listings for the orders they are in, publication and chronological. Here is the link. Can you shed some light as to which list I should follow?

    https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/james-bond/
    Barbel wrote:
    I envy you, reading them all for the first time. You are in for a treat. As mpoplawski said above, you should try to read them in order of publication.

    That's slightly less important with Sherlock Holmes, but it does help.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent
    edited July 2020
    hey JTullock23 I concur with the others above, read the books in order. Publication order. They're all short, quick reads, and when read in sequence add up to a saga.

    Since you're not much of a reader by your own admission, don't get too hung up on that alternate chronology you found. I can explain it, if you like:
    It is the work of John Griswold, who wrote Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. Griswold stared very close at Fleming's use of dates, which are ambiguous and often contradict, and reconciled them into a detailed timeline.
    His logic makes sense if you think about the minute details enough, but if you've never read the books before there's more important aspects you'll be paying attention to: the plot, the descriptions, Bond's interior monologs.
    Thing is Fleming himself didnt seem to care about the precise dates enough to make them consistent, but you will note even in that alternate chronology the novels are, with one subtle exception, still in publication order, and its mostly the short stories he's resequenced, and its mostly the ones in Octopussy that have got moved around.

    so Octopussy is the one book you might want to read out of order. The final volume was a collection of short stories previously written and mostly previously published over the last couple years. Man with the Golden Gun was the last thing Fleming wrote. If you choose to read that one out of publication order, the simplest thing to do is read Octopussy between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice. But it doesn't make a big difference.
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    Thank you for this explanation. I started CR yesterday. I’m six chapters in. So far it is good. I had to reread some page because I had no idea what was being said, who was saying it and what was the purpose for it being said. I think it clicked. For me, I had no idea who was talking/ thinking until I reread it. Bond just met Vepser and a bomb went off. That is where I stopped. My plan is to just read them as published. Eventually, I’ll get to the non-Fleming Bond stories. Have you read those? If so, any suggestions for where to go after Fleming? It will be some time before I get there.
    hey JTullock23 I concur with the others above, read the books in order. Publication order. They're all short, quick reads, and when read in sequence add up to a saga.

    Since you're not much of a reader by your own admission, don't get too hung up on that alternate chronology you found. I can explain it, if you like:
    It is the work of John Griswold, who wrote Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. Griswold stared very close at Fleming's use of dates, which are ambiguous and often contradict, and reconciled them into a detailed timeline.
    His logic makes sense if you think about the minute details enough, but if you've never read the books before there's more important aspects you'll be paying attention to: the plot, the descriptions, Bond's interior monologs.
    Thing is Fleming himself didnt seem to care about the precise dates enough to make them consistent, but you will note even in that alternate chronology the novels are, with one subtle exception, still in publication order, and its mostly the short stories he's resequenced, and its mostly the ones in Octopussy that have got moved around.

    so Octopussy is the one book you might want to read out of order. The final volume was a collection of short stories previously written and mostly previously published over the last couple years. Man with the Golden Gun was the last thing Fleming wrote. If you choose to read that one out of publication order, the simplest thing to do is read Octopussy between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice. But it doesn't make a big difference.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,801Chief of Staff
    After Fleming, definitely read "Colonel Sun" by Kingsley Amis (using the name Robert Markham).
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent
    edited July 2020
    Colonel Sun was the first one published after Fleming died, and arguably the only essential one. Its been reprinted many times, so you should be able to find a copy.
    There have been many written since then, but are a mixed bag.
    The ones I liked best are unfortunately long out of print and not easy to find.
    The two recent books by Anthony Horowitz are the best of the more recent ones, and will be easy to find. Grab those two when you see them and keep looking for Colonel Sun.

    If you are finding the reading a slog or confusing, I have a recommendation:
    Most of the books have been adapted very closely as radio plays by the BBC.
    see this thread, which includes links to youtube uploads of those radio plays.
    Listening to those may give you a better sense of the shape of the story, and who's talking and all that.
    Unfortunately Casino Royale has not been adapted to radio yet, but you will find the plot is generally the same as the second half of the Daniel Craig movie.

    oh and there were also recent comic book/graphic novel adaptations of Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, that also may help clarify if you're getting confused. published by Dynamite Comics.
    TNJBCasinoHCCovTemp.jpgTNJBLiveLetDieTempCov.jpg
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    Thank you for the info. If anyone that has the Dynamite CR Graphic Novel and wishes to part with it please let me know. I will look for one in the meantime. Thanks!
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • DavidJonesDavidJones BermondseyPosts: 221MI6 Agent
    JTullock23 wrote:
    Thank you for this explanation. I started CR yesterday. I’m six chapters in. So far it is good. I had to reread some page because I had no idea what was being said, who was saying it and what was the purpose for it being said. I think it clicked. For me, I had no idea who was talking/ thinking until I reread it. Bond just met Vepser and a bomb went off. That is where I stopped. My plan is to just read them as published. Eventually, I’ll get to the non-Fleming Bond stories. Have you read those? If so, any suggestions for where to go after Fleming? It will be some time before I get there.

    I bought all the Flemings today in a charity shop for a tenner, so I'll be starting them soon too.

    I hope you like reading as I think it's one of the best things ever. It's the original virtual reality experience.

    I'm a slow reader, however, and even though I've been doing it for years I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish one.

    James Patterson is good for readers who may be slightly less than confident, as they are short chapters with fast-moving plots. He sells a book every three seconds, apparently.

    Even though I'm 31, and have published short stories myself, I see no shame in reading Young Adult fiction. There's plenty of teenager-as-spy books I would recommend, like Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series and - which I'm soon to start - Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series. Then, of course, there's the Young Bond books.

    I've also read Benson's first three and Gardner's first six, and liked them all.
  • Agent KinoAgent Kino New YorkPosts: 178MI6 Agent
    Before David started this challenge I was already in the midst of trying to read all of the Flemings before the end of 2020. That's not going to happen, however I'm glad to be participating during the discussion panels and seeing the community come together around Fleming is great.
    1. Goldfinger 2. Skyfall 3. Goldeneye 4. The Spy Who Loved Me 5. OHMSS
    "I never joke about my work, 007."
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    So, I am about to add some of the non-Fleming's to my rotation. I have settled on the audiobook versions. I still have several of the Fleming books that I am going to read through too. What I want to get a list of the best non-Flemings. If you are reading this, what is your favorite and one you recommend?
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,129Chief of Staff
    JTullock23 wrote:
    So, I am about to add some of the non-Fleming's to my rotation. I have settled on the audiobook versions. I still have several of the Fleming books that I am going to read through too. What I want to get a list of the best non-Flemings. If you are reading this, what is your favorite and one you recommend?

    I think most will recommend Colonel Sun...other than that, it’s pot luck :s
    YNWA 96
  • JTullock23JTullock23 ArizonaPosts: 284MI6 Agent
    I just got OHMSS, Colonel Sun and Trigger Mortis on audiobook. I think I will start CS today. Not sure.
    "History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB "Better make that two." - TD

    "Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,129Chief of Staff
    JTullock23 wrote:
    I just got OHMSS, Colonel Sun and Trigger Mortis on audiobook. I think I will start CS today. Not sure.

    OHMSS is my favourite book, CS is strong...TM I could take or leave...but you might find it better -{
    YNWA 96
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent
    edited December 2020
    jtullock did you get all the Flemings read then?
    Colonel Sun happens a year after Man with the Golden Gun. Not that it makes a significant difference to the plot, but the opening paragraphs do reference the end of ...Golden Gun. and we see M's house and his household staff, first introduced in OHMSS.

    if you've read some or all of the Flemings since last posting, you should give us some of your thoughts about the books!



    _________________
    EDIT: I see you also have Trigger Mortis
    Trigger Mortis happens in between Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only, and includes the return of a character from Goldfinger.
    If you can find Forever and a Day it actually happens a few months before Casino Royale, it's Bonds first assignment after receiving his License to Kill.

    Aside from John Pearson's Bond Biography, which covers Bond's entire life up til 1973, I think all the other continuation books happen well after Fleming's timeline.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,027MI6 Agent
    edited December 2020
    Colonel Sun written by Robert Markham - a pseudonym for Bond fan Kinglsey Amis - is the natural follow on from TMWTGG, there is something a bit off about it imo. A bit jaded, lacking in charm.

    But you could read Amis's The James Bond Dossier, a highly entertaining appraisal of Fleming's books up to OHMSS I think.

    After that, I'd recommend John Pearson's James Bond, an Authorised Biography. This gimmicky novel has an authenticity, being written by Ian Fleming's biographer, and runs with the idea that in his investigations he discovered that James Bond was in fact a real character and most of his adventures were based on real events. It becomes less plausible as it goes on, but its descriptions of James Bond's early life ring true, in particular his being expelled from Eton and wartime adventures, etc.


    iu.jpg
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,027MI6 Agent
    edited December 2020
    And then, surprisingly, I'd opt for the novelisations of the films The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker by Christopher Wood, though both work the name James Bond into the titles (James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me) to avoid being Fleming's title.

    They have the illicit, sadistic and sexy pulp fiction tone of Fleming's novels, and most of the continuation authors just don't have that, it's like they're trying to put the sex in like putting toothpaste back in the tube, they're not really into it, or the Ian Fleming Foundation will run a red pen through anything they attempt.

    iu-1.jpg

    The James Bond in these books is very much Fleming's character and not Roger Moore.

    Also, the writing is in Fleming's style. The others are just trying it on, it seems to me, and being established writers themselves are unwilling to mimic another writer's style with conviction or enthusiasm.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
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