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    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
    Oddcult said: I'm a big fan of the idea of Bond as a fore-runner of the Bourne books, which he literally is, but I mean in terms of the implanted meta-personality aspect. I have occasionally wondered if part of the idea for Bourne came from the ending of You Only Live Twice.

    Well, perhaps that was part of what they were going for in the Bourne movies. In the Bourne books, which are quite a bit different from the films - in case you haven't read them - Bourne isn't quite so "fractured". And since the last movie has come out, I feel safe to say that Bourne actually learns who he is and is retired by the end of the first book.

    I haven't read any of the Bond books, and beyond Goldfinger, both versions of Casino Royale and maybe one of the Brosnan films, I've not seen too many Bond films. But, as usual with Adi, now I want to go pick up some of the Bond books....

    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
    Well, in a lot of ways, Bourne was created as an anti-Bond, so the getting more human aspect makes sense in that light.
  1.  (701.23)

    Start with Casino Royale and work your way through the books in order, as there is a progression in Bond's personality and emotional state. The short story of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is a particularly good one for the inside of Bond's head during an operation he finds particularly distasteful. You will also note there's more than a little overt racism in Bond's views in books like LIVE AND LET DIE.

    You may or may not want to skip THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, as it's Fleming's failed experiment in one of his attempts to break out of the Bond formula and write from the point of view of a women, except it backfires spectacularly because Fleming's creepy brand of misogyny oozes all over the writing and Bond doesn't turn up until the final third of the book to kill the bad guys and fuck the heroine.

    Oddcult -

    Yes, Bond starts out already on the edge in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, and suffers a complete breakdown by the end. At the start of the final novel, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, he returns to England having been brainwashed into an assassination mission against M.

    You might be interested to hear that Fleming was already ailing when he turned in the first draft of MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and died before he could revise it. Kingsley Amis read the manuscript and there's a lot of rumour that Amis might have either rewritten or revised the book to make it publishable, especially since he was hired to write the first post-Fleming Bond novel COLONEL SUN under the pseudonym of Robert Markham. He was slated to write another one after that but Fleming's widow disliked him and his then-leftist politics and had the estate nix anymore books from Amis.

    zenbullet -

    Robert Ludlum was more on the liberal side than Fleming, so you could see that in his writings, especially the Bourne books.
    • CommentAuthorgrnr
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    does nobody else think casino royale was a two-hour sony commercial with little or no discernable storyline?

    bond's tactics throughout the film seemed to be:
    1> beat someone up
    2> steal their (sony) mobile phone
    3> use information from said sony phone to find the next person to beat up

    it's a pity, because i'd agree that daniel craig did make a great bond. the film, however, i found pretty insulting in terms of just how rampant product placement has got.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    Except it makes Sony's phone security look terrible ;)

    Bond gets a pass on that sort of thing with me because it's being used for a purpose(and almost within the realm of reality in CR!). Besides, he's always had 'name brand' (if heavily modified) super cars and watches.

    But I'll duck back out now and continue listening to why I should really read the novels...
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    I love Bond, still, although my favourite moments of Casino Royale were the mesmerising intro and the moments of post-Bourne violence, I have a truly unfounded 'sense' of ownership of Bond that made me convinced that Daniel Craig would be right for the character in a way that, let's say, Ewan McGregor wouldn't be. I'm not sure where that comes from.

    I've never read a Bond novel (although I do have a copy of Casino Royale knocking around, so I'll dig that out), my take on him is based entirely on the cinematic interpretations, that and identifying with an archetypal English bastardness that you sometimes find in Sherlock Holmes or Doctor Who (Warren once mentioned John Constantine in similar vein), I suspect there's earlier archetype that their all tapping into, but I've no clue who it is.

    As an aside, I remember once reading Grant Morrison claimed to have a take on the character (this is before Goldeneye), would love to read that.
  2.  (701.27)
    Interesting modern twists on Bond that I especially like are 'Hamish Bond' in Kim Newman's 'Dracula Cha-cha-cha', the Bond-as-magical-archetype riff in Charlie Stross's 'The Jennifer Morgue' and of course 'Jimmy' in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier. I'd love to see Grant's take - especially after what he did in 'Steed and Mrs. Peel'.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008

    Not just the liberalness, but I remember reading an interview in a....
    hmmm- I guess the best way to describe it would be a Borders Bookstore employee magazine- that he set out to make an anti-Bond; not just in personality, but also how Bourne never gets gadgets or support from anyone.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    Hmm... Bourne did get very extensive training though, which maximised his resourcefulness. He was taught to kill people in all of the ways that Bond seems to manage to do through luck. The often repeated lines like 'a torch is a weapon, a map is a weapon' left a strong impression on me in terms of stylistic approaches to putting tension and action into a story structure.
  3.  (701.30)

    The difference in Bourne and the majority of Ludlum stories is the deep distrust of government agencies and their propensity to play people as pawns. That's more towards the left than Fleming's unquestioning trust in the British government in the Bond books.
  4.  (701.31)
    Anyone else remember Callan?
    Now there was a British intel agent with the real anti-Bond flavour. Badly paid and treated by his agency, hated killing, no women to speak of, best friend was a smelly petty criminal called Lonely. James Mitchell's original books are worth seeking out - and Edward Woodward's portrayal on TV (and one movie remake of the first Armchair Theatre story) was superb.
  5.  (701.32)
    Oh, I have all the Callan novels.
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    It's been a while since I began reading the Fleming books (I think I got up to From Russia With Love before I got distracted), but don't the events of the film version of Casino Royale precede parts of the novel in that he's not quite as emotionally stripped down in the film. I'd hope so at least, as that rather pretty dialogue exchange near the end of the film, about 'stripping of armour' still grates a little. I'd like to think since being betrayed the armour is back up and triple plated. For future films they'll have to be careful with the exact misogyny of the books, but not for PC reasons, but simply because it can smack of the rather campy parts of later Bonds when fucking seemed to be all he was up for.
    • CommentAuthorMathias B
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    In theory, I'm all for a darker, edgier Bond. My problem is that the films that aspire to be closer in tone to Fleming's books are the ones I like the least (along with some of the sillier Roger Moore flicks). The two Dalton films, for instance, I find pretty dull. Casino Royale was allright and I look forward to Quantum of Solace, but I still prefer stuff like Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and Goldeneye. Could it be that the grittier approach works better in the novels or am I simply not man enough for it?
  6.  (701.35)
    I liked the Dalton movies - especially his 2nd outing where you definitely see glimpses of psycho Bond...
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    Funnily enough there were elements of the locked up, hard hearted Bond in Goldeneye, especially in the back and forth on the beach that is similar to the stuff in Casino Royale near the end. The sense of betrayal, clinical end of friendship is quite nice for a commercial film. Shame Brosnan got royally buggered on the subsequent scripts, although Goldeneye does have its fair share of clangers.