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Topic: #Flemingreadingchallenge

DZ has started this # recently. I am definitely not a reader, but I am picking up a copy of CR today from a local bookstore. I will also see what else they have on their shelf. Any recommendations of ones I should pick up that are good reads? As a gift, my father bought me LALD, I think Dr. No and FRWL.


As an aside, he also bought me all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock series.  I am looking forward to trying to disconnect from my phone, PC, FB, IG, etc. for long enough to try to "become a reader."

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

This should be fun - Moonraker is a novel that is way better than the film.

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

ajb007/cheers  Agreed Moonraker is a fantastic read but I'm sure you'll also
enjoy Dr No

“I remember the last thing my Nan said to me before she died.
‘What are you doing here with that hammer?’”..... Lee Mack.

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

The Flemings should all be read in order of publication. The stories have threads that intertwine. If you have Casino Royale and Live and et Die you are good for a few weeks read since the are the first books in the series.

Bond: "But who would want to kill me, sir?"
M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors . . . the list is endless."

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

I have enjoyed the MR readings on James Bond Radio. My father just messaged me and told me he was able to find Moonraker as well. So I shall have plenty of things to read.

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

I envy you, reading them all for the first time. You are in for a treat. As mpoplawski said above, you should try to read them in order of publication.

That's slightly less important with Sherlock Holmes, but it does help.

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

My goal is to try and read them in order. I am not a reader. I don't really like it. I am different. ADD maybe. I do want to read more though.

Question though. I have found two different listings for the orders they are in, publication and chronological. Here is the link. Can you shed some light as to which list I should follow?

https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/james-bond/

Barbel wrote:

I envy you, reading them all for the first time. You are in for a treat. As mpoplawski said above, you should try to read them in order of publication.

That's slightly less important with Sherlock Holmes, but it does help.

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

hey JTullock23 I concur with the others above, read the books in order. Publication order. They're all short, quick reads, and when read in sequence add up to a saga.

Since you're not much of a reader by your own admission, don't get too hung up on that alternate chronology you found. I can explain it, if you like:
It is the work of John Griswold, who wrote Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. Griswold stared very close at Fleming's use of dates, which are ambiguous and often contradict, and reconciled them into a detailed timeline.
His logic makes sense if you think about the minute details enough, but if you've never read the books before there's more important aspects you'll be paying attention to: the plot, the descriptions, Bond's interior monologs.
Thing is Fleming himself didnt seem to care about the precise dates enough to make them consistent, but you will note even in that alternate chronology the novels are, with one subtle exception, still in publication order, and its mostly the short stories he's resequenced, and its mostly the ones in Octopussy that have got moved around.

so Octopussy is the one book you might want to read out of order. The final volume was a collection of short stories previously written and mostly previously published over the last couple years. Man with the Golden Gun was the last thing Fleming wrote. If you choose to read that one out of publication order, the simplest thing to do is read Octopussy between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice. But it doesn't make a big difference.

Last edited by caractacus potts (30th Jul 2020 14:28)

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

Thank you for this explanation. I started CR yesterday. I’m six chapters in. So far it is good. I had to reread some page because I had no idea what was being said, who was saying it and what was the purpose for it being said. I think it clicked. For me, I had no idea who was talking/ thinking until I reread it. Bond just met Vepser and a bomb went off. That is where I stopped. My plan is to just read them as published. Eventually, I’ll get to the non-Fleming Bond stories. Have you read those? If so, any suggestions for where to go after Fleming? It will be some time before I get there. 

caractacus potts wrote:

hey JTullock23 I concur with the others above, read the books in order. Publication order. They're all short, quick reads, and when read in sequence add up to a saga.

Since you're not much of a reader by your own admission, don't get too hung up on that alternate chronology you found. I can explain it, if you like:
It is the work of John Griswold, who wrote Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. Griswold stared very close at Fleming's use of dates, which are ambiguous and often contradict, and reconciled them into a detailed timeline.
His logic makes sense if you think about the minute details enough, but if you've never read the books before there's more important aspects you'll be paying attention to: the plot, the descriptions, Bond's interior monologs.
Thing is Fleming himself didnt seem to care about the precise dates enough to make them consistent, but you will note even in that alternate chronology the novels are, with one subtle exception, still in publication order, and its mostly the short stories he's resequenced, and its mostly the ones in Octopussy that have got moved around.

so Octopussy is the one book you might want to read out of order. The final volume was a collection of short stories previously written and mostly previously published over the last couple years. Man with the Golden Gun was the last thing Fleming wrote. If you choose to read that one out of publication order, the simplest thing to do is read Octopussy between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice. But it doesn't make a big difference.

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

After Fleming, definitely read "Colonel Sun" by Kingsley Amis (using the name Robert Markham).

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

Colonel Sun was the first one published after Fleming died, and arguably the only essential one. Its been reprinted many times, so you should be able to find a copy.
There have been many written since then, but are a mixed bag.
The ones I liked best are unfortunately long out of print and not easy to find.
The two recent books by Anthony Horowitz are the best of the more recent ones, and will be easy to find. Grab those two when you see them and keep looking for Colonel Sun.

If you are finding the reading a slog or confusing, I have a recommendation:
Most of the books have been adapted very closely as radio plays by the BBC.
see this thread, which includes links to youtube uploads of those radio plays.
Listening to those may give you a better sense of the shape of the story, and who's talking and all that.
Unfortunately Casino Royale has not been adapted to radio yet, but you will find the plot is generally the same as the second half of the Daniel Craig movie.

oh and there were also recent comic book/graphic novel adaptations of Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, that also may help clarify if you're getting confused. published by Dynamite Comics.
https://www.dynamite.com/images/TNJBCasinoHCCovTemp.jpghttps://www.dynamite.com/images/TNJBLiveLetDieTempCov.jpg

Last edited by caractacus potts (30th Jul 2020 15:10)

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

Thank you for the info. If anyone that has the Dynamite CR Graphic Novel and wishes to part with it please let me know. I will look for one in the meantime. Thanks!

"History isn't kind to men who play God." - DC "I gave him the limp." - PB  "Better make that two." - TD

"Keeping British end up, sir." - RM "This never happened to the other fellow." - JL "I must be dreaming." SC

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Re: #Flemingreadingchallenge

JTullock23 wrote:

Thank you for this explanation. I started CR yesterday. I’m six chapters in. So far it is good. I had to reread some page because I had no idea what was being said, who was saying it and what was the purpose for it being said. I think it clicked. For me, I had no idea who was talking/ thinking until I reread it. Bond just met Vepser and a bomb went off. That is where I stopped. My plan is to just read them as published. Eventually, I’ll get to the non-Fleming Bond stories. Have you read those? If so, any suggestions for where to go after Fleming? It will be some time before I get there.

I bought all the Flemings today in a charity shop for a tenner, so I'll be starting them soon too.

I hope you like reading as I think it's one of the best things ever. It's the original virtual reality experience.

I'm a slow reader, however, and even though I've been doing it for years I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish one.

James Patterson is good for readers who may be slightly less than confident, as they are short chapters with fast-moving plots. He sells a book every three seconds, apparently.

Even though I'm 31, and have published short stories myself, I see no shame in reading Young Adult fiction. There's plenty of teenager-as-spy books I would recommend, like Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series and - which I'm soon to start - Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series. Then, of course, there's the Young Bond books.

I've also read Benson's first three and Gardner's first six, and liked them all.

My Top 10 Bond Films: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.