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.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service
- You Only Live Twice
- Casino Royale
- Diamonds Are Forever
- Doctor No
- Live And Let Die
- The Spy Who Loved Me
- The Man with the Golden Gun
- For Your Eyes Only
- From Russia With Love
- 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.