John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton

Your Russian Name Is...

Zhenya Matvey Ivanov

Here, I thought Zhenya was a girl's name, the equivalent of "Jane".

Quite appropriate, because I've been reading From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming the last couple of days. I'm half way through it, and Bond hasn't even made an appearance.

Fleming is an interesting writer. He goes into extraordinary detail in his descriptions of places and people, most of which is not entirely important but which is nevertheless fun and interesting to read. I read two chapters before I reached a line of dialogue. There's a lot to be said for the way that he writes, at least in this book. Maybe I notice it because I'm not very good at description or setting. I was annoyed by it at first, but the more I read, the better I like it and the more value I see in it.

I was talking about the book with a couple of people at work, and one of them said that his favorite scene in a Bond movie was the one with Ursula Andress rising up from the beach in her white bikini. He thought it was From Russia With Love, but it was in fact Dr. No. I have to confess that I haven't watched many Bond movies, even though they're on all the time (or so it seems); maybe I should pay more attention. I'm definitely going to read more of the Bond series. Yeah, OK, the books are 50 years old (Russia was written in 1956, the year I was born), but, hey, they're pretty cool.

Something I learned in my research on IMDb: one of the actors in Russia was Lottie Lenya. Remember Bobby Darin's version of "Mack the Knife"? He mentions her name in that. Turns out she was the wife of Kurt Weill, who wrote "The Threepenny Opera", from which "Mack the Knife" was taken. OK, silly trivia on my part.

I've been reading a lot lately. It probably comes as a shock that I don't read more, but I don't. I've been reading Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, Keith Ablow's Frank Clevenger novels, and I just now received Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller, which I'll probably read after everything else. I've got a couple of Reachers to finish after this one. Also on the to-read list are two books by the same authors: The Pink Panther Gets Lucky, by Marc Cerasini and Alice Alfonsi, who also write the "Coffee House Mysteries" as Cleo Coyle; the latest in that series, Murder Most Frothy, just arrived for me from Amazon yesterday.

I know, this was kind of a dumb post, but it's been too blasted hot to spend much time outside, there's nothing good on TV, and I'm a bit tired of looking at a computer screen after I've spent twelve hours looking at one. Anyway, I'm off to read. Sayonara.
Tags: books, meme

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