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David Niven...?

Monday: A scene with the delightful Deborah Kerr, with whom I’d shot “Eye Of the Devil” just recently. She reminded me of our wonderful scene in “Separate Tables”, for which I’d won an Oscar. “Oh yes”, I said, “that was just before I made “Please Don’t Eat The Daisies” with the charming Doris Day.” Doris was in a film called "That Touch Of Mink" with Cary Grant who made a film with me called "The Bishop's Wife".

Tuesday: John Huston, a lovely man, was directing a scene today and acting in it as well, as M. There’s not many who can do both jobs at the same time, one being the wonderful Orson Welles who’s also in this film. Orson was once in a film called “The Third Man”, though he didn’t direct that, with the great Trevor Howard who I knew from back home. Trevor was in a film called "Father Goose" with Cary Grant, who was in a film called "The Grass Is Greener" with Deborah Kerr, with whom I'd been filming yesterday.

Wednesday: Had lunch with the very funny Peter Sellers, with whom I’d made “The Pink Panther” some years earlier. Peter was accompanied by his wife, the beautiful Britt Ekland, who said she’d love to be in this film too. “Don’t worry”, I said, “Bond films are like busses, you’ll get in one sooner or later”.

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ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Like I said, the diaries of Bond actors would be very interesting  ajb007/bond  ajb007/biggrin

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I've made a strange discovery while reading Roger Moore's LALD diary. While filming on Jamaica he got  two script in the mail from a producer. One of them was ".. a proposed series of Westerns a long the lines of cowboy Bond called 'Morgan Kane' ".

What's strange about that, you ask? Morgan Kane is the main character in a series of 83 western novels by a Kjell Hallbing under the pseuydonym Louis Masterson. He wrote the first one in 1966 and must have written several of them each year until he stopped in 1978. The books were very popular in Scandinavia and was translated into about 11 languages, selling a total of 22 million books. Yes, there is a very successful series of western novels written in Norway by a Norwegian. I know there has been several unsuccessful attempts of making film(s) about Morgan Kane, but I had no idea there was a script that early and it was sent to such famous actors as Roger Moore.

Last edited by Number24 (14th Jul 2018 23:08)

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I've been re-reading Fleming's Bond and am up to Enemy Action in Goldfinger.

Goldfinger is the only Bond story that I think the film-makers actually improved Fleming's story.

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Just finished Live & Let Die whilst on holiday in Morocco.

Infinitely better than the dreadful film.

Moonraker is in order.

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I finally found a copy of the Lycett biography, and am randomly flipping through it.
The store actually had two hardcover copies, one British and one American, both hardcovers in perfect shape … I decided the British one had a classier layout, less hype blurbs, more fonts with serifs.

I like how the section on Casino Royale starts right after the section of photos. I suspect my book will have more wellworn spine splits in it's second half by the time I'm done, like certain record albums where you can tell the owner has only ever played one side.

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Just finished Thunderball and am now reading The Spy Who Loved Me.

Re-reading Fleming it's been interesting to rediscover two things that Bond really disliked: Flying and SCUBA diving.

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Moonraker my prefered !!

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I've been making my way through Ian Flemmings original books in order gradually, 1st time reads, and just recently finished Diamons Are Forever.

I liked the first three in there own way.  Diamonds is kind of a mixed bag, but it picked up rather well for the last stretch.  Thinking back, so much of it is just things happening without much tension; smuggling the Diamonds, meeting Shady Tree, going to the horse race with his good buddy Felix.  It's nice to get see Felix again, and get a sense of how his life is going after his injuries.  I kind of enjoyed their road trip in the Studillac, until Bond (and the reader) have to read through a nearly incomprehensible article about corruption behind the horse race scenes.  I was baffled by the need of a whole chapter devoted to a mud bath rendezvous, the chapter is long just to get to the point where Bond is basically straight-jacketed just in time to make a couple of gangsters entrance more suspenseful.  Why did he let Felix talk him into doing this...?  It doesn't seem like Bond's thing, particularly given how detached he seems to be about Felix's activities.

There's an ironic moment when Bond grows impatient with going through the motions while the gang he's trying to infiltrate evaluate him, and decides to shake things up.  It seems ironic because it risks drawing the reader's attention to the author's own writing sins, dragging a story out unnecessarily.  I wanted to communicate to Bond my sympathy that he was stuck in a storyline that Flemming was taking too long with.

It kicks into gear with a car chase.  I was uncertain about Specterville but ended up liking it, I'm glad it was taken seriously and it was fun to have a confrontation in such a colorful setting.  The torture seems unnecessary, even though it happens off screen (does Flemming shred Bond in every single book?).  But then there's a fun getaway that really feels like classic Bond of any era, set the place on fire as a distraction and then make good one's escape.  And I loved the set up where they re-route the tracks, and Bond waits in dueling pose to make his shot as the train goes by, awesome imagery there!

The Queen Elizabeth confrontation was genuinely tense and dramatic, getting into the subtleties of how precisely Bond has to be to survive a standoff between Wint and Kidd.  The sequence reminds me of The Living Daylights movie briefly ("Get in the bathroom, and lock the door" while he does the dirty part of the job).  The approach here is a far cry from the movie Bond going around killing with impunity, without much care or thought, then flashing his licence to kill and walking away.  I'm intrigued by this idea that here he makes the kill and stages a scene that will pass the scrutiny of the immediate investigation, then Bond and M only talk about it obliquely without hard confirmation of what happened.

The final wrap up isn't much of a fight, more a turkey shoot; and easy wrap up for Bond.  Somehow, even though the book as a whole is uneven and has long stretches of uneventfulness, the last stretch of the novel from the car chase with Ernie and after that was very memorable and enjoyable.  I loved Tiffany's pronouncement, that ends up closing the story, "It reads better than it lives."

And now I am ready for From Russia With Love.  I've deliberately held off on re-watching the movie, so that I can approach the book with my expectations minimized.

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Finally finished Steve Cole’s “Heads You Die.”  I struggled and wrestled with it for over six months but finally built the momentum in the past three weeks to finish it.  It’s not really so bad and I enjoyed the Cuban setting.  I accidentally read it out of order, so I only have one more Cole book to read, Red Nemesis; I’ve been downloading these on Kindle so I’ll have something to read in the car, oftentimes in the dark, where I spend literally hours when driving the wife or daughter to their oh so important activities!

I coincided finishing Heads You Die with the arrival of Forever and a Day at my library, with a loan period of three weeks; that’s enough time even for nightly bedtime reading and it also coincides with the holidays, providing me one of my favorite Bond related pastimes that immensely helps add to my enjoyment of this time of the year!  I’ve only finished Chapter One and I already have questions, hopefully healthy ones!

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Tonight I'm re-reading Goldfinger. The enormous 1910 wood stove is burning nicely, I'm sitting in the (litteral) grandfather rocking chair, it's snowing outside. I'm happy  ajb007/bond

Last edited by Number24 (15th Jan 2019 19:52)

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Just started reading Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz enjoying it so far

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In adition to Anne Applebaum's "Red famine" about the famine in Ukraine Stalin engineered in 1931-33 (highly recomended!) I'm re-reading Fleming's Bond books. I just read the short story "The living daylights" and I think it's among Fleming's best work. An excellent short story thriller  ajb007/bond

Last edited by Number24 (4th Feb 2019 23:53)

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Denbigh wrote:

Just started reading Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz enjoying it so far

Hope you enjoy it.

I am currently going retro and reading Victor Canning's Rex Carver escapades. Number 4: The Python Project

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I am now reading Shoot to Kill by Steve Cole

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chrisno1 wrote:

I am now reading Shoot to Kill by Steve Cole

I liked that one. Didn't think it was as good as Higsons series, but there was some nice touches there.
Will you be adding a review of it to your continuation thread?

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
-Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

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Musings of a Budo Bum by Peter Boylan. "The techniques are really a vessel for carrying all the things that are budo..."

Here is an excerpt from google books: "Most books about martial arts (budo) focus on techniques, although some tell the history, and a few wax philosophical. It is rare indeed to discover a book that so fluently combines all this within the broader context of culture and lifestyle, and does so in such a humble, engaging, and accessible way. "Budo Bum Anthology" is a book that answers not so much "how" or "what" as it does "why?" "

In addition to works by Dave Lowry, "The Musings" is one of my personal favorites. If you are interested in Peter Boylans writing or about budo in general, he has a blog: http://budobum.blogspot.com/

"I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
-Mr Arlington Beech

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Heads You Die by Steve Cole

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Strike Lightning by Steve Cole

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Forever And A Death by Donald E Westlake

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Sir Miles wrote:

Forever And A Death by Donald E Westlake

Good choice! I'm currently collecting the Hard Case Crime novels, with only a few left that I haven't yet got, and Forever and a Death was one of the first ones I read. It particularly interested me due to the James Bond connection ('the Bond film that never was'). I'd be interested in reading your thoughts when you have finished it!

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Jellyfish wrote:
Sir Miles wrote:

Forever And A Death by Donald E Westlake

Good choice! I'm currently collecting the Hard Case Crime novels, with only a few left that I haven't yet got, and Forever and a Death was one of the first ones I read. It particularly interested me due to the James Bond connection ('the Bond film that never was'). I'd be interested in reading your thoughts when you have finished it!

Tbh, the Bond ‘connection’ is the reason I bought it...roughly 100 pages in and it’s good so far.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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I've really enjoyed the writing of Daniel Silvia and the Gabriel Allon novels.  Any other fans of that series?  Thoughts?

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I borrowed "Victoria - the Queen" by Julia Baird at the library today. Looks promising.
I'm about a third in reading "Arnhem" by Antony Beevor. No-one writes military history better than him.