I’ll start with a digression here. Several months ago, I made inquiry about James Bond character in Alan Moore’s LoeG Black Dossier (called Jimmy there). In a way that I find surprising how Moore interpretated the guy as sleazy douche, which I perceived as very sly parody. And I never read any Bond book before. Until now.
In recent days, I did Casino Royale, yesterday finished Moonraker, and soon plan to start with Live and Let Die. I must say, my feelings are divided. It’s not something I used to (par for movies) and yes, my naive played a big role there. I did not expected the gadgets or some well laid joke, but the Bond character… Fleming portrayed him as far less positive and less than life we’ve seen in movies. Well, in most of. My favorite Bond actor is Moore (RIP btw), and then Connery and Brosnan. Some call him sexist, jackass and others see him, like Vesper, cold and alienated; instead, he appears confused and brooding about his mission. On top of that, in both novels, Bond barely survived the brutal ordeals at the hands of major antagonists. At point, it forces him to reconsider his job at Secret Service. I have to say, for his alleged sexism, that he he showed a compassionate and tender side to Vesper, especially in later chapters of Casino Royale, despite calling her “stupid wretch, she let herself getting caught”. I think he wasn’t pleased with her presence at first, but later when they started the affair. And IMO, Fleming perfectly described male lust.
Sure, Fleming’s prose is absorbing and really sets into the mood (like the beginning of CR), but at times tedious. For e.x, I hate the rocket description in Moonraker and barely understanded anything form that advanced V-2.