Friday, May 08, 2009

When I'm Wrong...

...I admit it.

I was wrong about Ian Fleming. When the movie Casino Royale came out and introduced Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, I knew I had to actually read the Ian Fleming novel. So I did. And was very disappointed. Now maybe this was because I watched the movie first and well, couldn't get Daniel Craig's amazing performance out of my head and kept trying to transfer all that action onto the page. Maybe.
But then I decided to give Fleming another try. I went to the library and picked up From Russia with Love, one of my favorite Bond movies. This time, I wasn't disappointed. I was completely drawn into the plot, the characters, and the setting. I saw and tasted Istanbul. I felt the Orient Express moving through the Turkish countryside. I experienced doubt and anger right along with Bond. This time, I had Sean Connery pictured in my mind and it all just clicked.
Here's one thing I found very interesting. Bond is not introduced in the From Russia with Love novel until well into the book. I'm talking five chapters or more. Instead, we're given a lot of information on the Cold War Russians and their plot to throw the British Intelligence realm into chaos. An entire chapter is dedicated to their main assassin and to be honest, I didn't think I needed to know all about this cold-blooded killer. Fleming gave much more information on this guy's background and his upbringing than on Bond. I found that odd.

But I can no longer deny Fleming's talent as a writer. But here's the thing that makes reading Bond novels all the more exciting. Fleming actually worked as a spy for British intelligence during World War II. So he knew what he was talking about. He lived the world of espionage. And that definitely adds a unique flavor to his books.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Bond novels, but I'm going to try and take the actor and the movie versions out of the equation. Since I've seen all the movies, it's going to be a natural leap to put those actors and their mannerisms into Bond's character. But that is doing Fleming a disservice. Instead, I plan to try and think of Bond as Fleming meant him to be - a flesh and blood man, and not as an actor playing a part.

Though that may be hard...

15 comments:

  1. Hard to concentrate on your intelligent words with Daniel on your page...

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  2. Wow. You had to close with that pic, didn't you? :P

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  3. I've never read Ian Fleming...but damn if that last picture of Daniel Craig didn't make me completely forget if I ever intended to...

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  4. Interesting how we really can't judge an author by one book ... If you never picked up the 2nd book, you wouldn't have been a fan. Nice to keep an open mind like that.

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  5. You know, sprinkling posts with pictures like that... I had to read it like four times to actually get content and not just melt into an incoherent puddle each time my gaze fell across one of those wonderful pictures.

    On the books, I've only read two, but I really enjoyed Fleming's books. Your posts are making me want to go pick up some more of them!

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  6. Nope. Sorry, I couldn't concentrate on the words. I'll have to come back for another look later... ;o)

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  7. Perhaps you could have skipped the Ian Fleming picture and put the Daniel Craig swimsuit picture in instead.

    Sorry, I was so turned off by "Casino Royale" I haven't had the heart to try again. Hubby just raves about the books. He thought "The Spy Who Loved Me" was the best because the primary focus is not on Bond.

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  8. Sigh! That picture is so wonderful. I wonder if his eyes are naturally that blue, or if he wears contact lenses.

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  9. Daniel Craig is just hot. Debs, Daniel Craig's eyes are naturally that blue. I read an article on it somwhere, LOL.

    Very nice post! I have yet to read a Bond book. I really need to. Thanks for the reviews and pictures! I'm still drooling.

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  10. Haha - I love the comments I get when I put up a picture of Daniel Craig! For the record, if he ever breaks up with his girlfriend, I'm first in line. ;-)

    Hi Lady Glamis! Nice to see you here. :-)

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  11. How weird. Guess what I'm watching on TCM right now? A Bond marathon!

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  12. Happy Mother's Day! Hope you and the kidlet get in some good...."Bond-ing" today. :)

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  13. A lovely Mother's Day to you Melissa! You and your daughter are both lucky to have each other!
    Enjoy!

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  14. Hmmm, maybe one of these days I'll have to try one of the Bond novels myself. We still have my dad's copies - they were the ONLY fiction I know of him reading!

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