Aug 212004

Having just finished Octopussy and the Living Daylights, I think I can safely say that the Bond books (those 14 masterworks of espionage fiction by Ian Fleming) are far and away better than the movies.

Now, this isn’t to say that the Bond movies aren’t good; they do an adequate job of presenting the Commander’s stories. It’s just that there’s a certain something when it comes to books; in my mind, there’s more possibility for description and character development when you aren’t hampered by a 2-hour running time and the necessary reliance on verbal communication and expression.

Casino Royale, with all credit to Val Guest and Ken Hughes (who did make an entertaining film which was based on the book), wouldn’t really make that good a movie if strict adherence to the book was observed: there’s too much action that isn’t really action, if you get my meaning. Heck, a good quarter of the book is a description of a Baccarat game.

That’s all for now. Maybe in celebration of my finishing the books I’ll watch the movies in order over the next month or so; there are 20, and clocking in at over two hours apiece on the average makes for a long marathon if taken all at once.

Or maybe I’ll just give up on Fleming for a while (I have gotten a lot recently) and read something else. I picked up a copy of Atlas Shrugged earlier at Barnes & Noble (I’ve never read it), along with Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, which I hope will be a good read. I’ve enjoyed all of the Philip K. Dick works that I’ve read in the past, so I think I’ve got good odds there.

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