September 25th, 2007

magikist

(no subject)

Swiped from lourdesmont. I wasn't going to post this, but it's funny:


John Holton
"Be nice to your enemies - it will drive them crazy"
'What is your personal life motto?' at QuizGalaxy.com


I've been reading the James Bond novels of Ian Fleming lately, some of them the original paperbacks from the Fifties and Sixties. The new Penguin editions have about three times as many pages, to give you an idea of just how small the print is in the old ones. I'm not reading them in any order, just pretty much in the order in which I find them, which is why I'm getting ready to read You Only Live Twice (the next-to-last) when I have yet to read Casino Royale (the very first) and why I just finished On Her Majesty's Secret Service (the second book featuring Blofeld) before Thunderball (the first).

I enjoy them, because they're politically incorrect as hell, at least when seen through 21st Century eyes, but more so because Fleming is such an idiosyncratic writer. He'll spend a whole chapter on Bond getting dressed for a casual evening out, for example, and devote several pages to the life and mating habits of birds (the real James Bond wrote a book for bird watchers). The sex and action scenes are, by today's standards, tame and almost amusing, even though they were considered scandalous when they were first written. (I remember my mother forbidding me to read Goldfinger when I was eight. Thirty years later, I got it from the library in a sort of act of defiance and read it. It was less racy than books I read as a teenager for school. I called her up and we had a good laugh about it.) Still, he's a very good writer, and I'm learning a lot by reading them.

Just thought you'd be interested.

(Edited later to fix a formatting error.)