Posts Tagged ‘James Bond’
Alarmed at the growing popularity of James Bond in schools, Ian Fleming acted like a gentleman; he tried to destroy his hero’s reputation by writing a cautionary tale. Villains and spies are dirty little men and you shouldn’t fall in love with them. Or so he said, after the newspapers called this book salacious drivel and he was taken to task over it on a television programme. And so the policeman says to Vivienne Michel, the woman who wrote this book, just before she puts on her fur-lined goggles and zooms off on her Vespa.
Thanks to Ian Fleming’s mastery with words and images, I didn’t make her mistake. I didn’t fall in love with James Bond. That sweet brutality can’t fool me. I’m unmoved by the sight of a bronzed chest gleaming with water after a dip in the lake. Bond’s manly way of seizing a woman and pressing his body tight against hers won’t work with me. Oh no! And as for that heavy duty pistol. Phooey!
Thank you Ian Fleming. Lesson learned.
Note: The headline is a quote from Charles Stainsby, editor of Today newspaper, 1962, writing about The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming
Neil Gaiman is a stunningly original writer at times and at times he’s quite pedestrian. For me his best work is still in his comics.
He gathers his ideas from many sources and half the pleasure of reading his works comes from appreciating his allusions. I can’t claim I get them all. In this one, the hoodlums Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar reminded me of the two thugs, Slugsy and Horror, who come calling on Vivienne Michel in The Spy Who Loved Me, one of the least-read James Bond novels. Does Neil really expect everyone to pick up on this? Hardly. But I suppose thugs like these crop up everywhere in fiction and films.
The playful treatment of London’s place names probably works best for those of us lucky enough to live in London. The grimy reality is so different from the fantastical images conjured up by the author’s imagination that we can’t help but be impressed.
Still, the novel was a bit of a slog in the middle section and the ideas seemed somewhat forced.
I believe there is nowhere to hide when you are a writer. Try as you may, your personality will shine through. Sooner or later. This is not a James Bond novel. This is a Jeffery Deaver novel.
I can say this with certainty even though I have never read a Jeffery Deaver novel. Not all the way through. I have read bits.
Jeffrey Deaver likes bits.
I prefer people whole.
That’s why I didn’t finish this book.
I wouldn’t date this guy. I would have dated Ian Fleming for sure. He would have been fun. But Jeffery Deaver? No, sorry.