Saturday, June 21, 2014


I finally read every James Bond novel/collection of short stories written by Ian Fleming! It's a big goal and I'm so happy I did it. I read Casino Royale twice before, and then from August 2013 - June 2014 I conquered the rest. Eleven of those I read between April and June of this year, so I'm feeling pretty proud of that, too. I did a lot of reading to fit those in by my deadline of June 22.

I wanted to read all these because having a 007 tattoo on your hand means you know all things Bond, and people like to challenge you. And while 99% of those people comment on the movies, I needed to be prepared for the book lovers as well. Plus, I want to know where the film hero came from!

I will post a few more in-depth reviews of most of the books, but here's my rough analysis: LIKE! 

How do they rank? Here's what I think.

  1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  2. You Only Live Twice 
  3. Casino Royale
  4. Diamonds Are Forever 
  5. Doctor No 
  6. Live And Let Die
  7. The Spy Who Loved Me 
  8. Moonraker
  9. Goldfinger
  10. Thunderball 
  11. The Man with the Golden Gun
  12. For Your Eyes Only
  13. From Russia With Love   
  14. Octopussy and The Living Daylights 
The top four are stellar. Just stellar. The bottom four I could have lived without. I found the plots and characters compelling--but overall they didn't capture me as much as I had hoped. They present a pretty different Bond than the one we see in the movies, though, which I find really interesting. He's not someone unrecognizable, but less confident, more sexist, more emotional, weirder about women. Now that I've read the books, I really like that you can't see inside Bond's mind in the films. Not seeing his sappy thoughts about women makes him a more compelling character (for me) but the trade off is that you don't see his internal struggle or thought processes as he works - so he comes off as more automatic in the films. It makes it harder to connect with him in the films than in the books, I think. 

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