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Re: Bond After Fleming

I would like to assert that IF’s comments on his writing likely contain a fair dose of modesty. Bond certainly was never intended to be high art. But as a thriller writer, Fleming was a master craftsman.

While the films and thrillers have a very symbiotic relationship (at least when IF was alive) I wouldn’t say scriptwriters made any meaningful improvements over the novels. Most folks now living saw the movies and then read the novels. Because of that and the passage of time between the film/novel it is practically impossible to measure the effect the films have on the perception of IF’s writing.

Like so many others, I saw FRWL in 1963 and then read the novel. But I really enjoyed the differences and found the thriller much richer. After TB the movies morphed into another dimension and without Fleming’s influence became “rice cakes” and there was nothing to distinguish them from run of the mill pop culture drivel... with a slight exception for CR’06 which actually used elements from the novel.

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Re: Bond After Fleming

emtiem wrote:
Barbel wrote:
Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

how many of us would have read Fleming if the movies had never been made? Very few I'd imagine.

Count me in that small group, but we're a rare breed and soon to be made extinct.  ajb007/crap

Can you know that for certain though? Did you read any of them before 1962?

Yes, I know it for certain. I inherited my grandfather's books and read them voraciously. It wasn't before 1962 (even I'm not that old, though it wasn't long after) but he'd been reading and collecting them before that. I just carried on where he left off.

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Re: Bond After Fleming

DavidJones wrote:
Charmed & Dangerous wrote:
DavidJones wrote:

Benson seems to have been chosen because he had written The James Bond Bedside Companion, and as such was already known to IFP. He was a journalist, but had never written a novel, which arguably shows in his work.

Ironically, of course, Fleming was also a journalist who had never written a novel before Casino Royale.

Good point! Even more amusingly, Gardner wasn't pleased with Benson as his heir, and disparaged him for being a journalist ajb007/smile

I didn't know that about Gardner! Curious thing, snobbery.

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: Bond After Fleming

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:
DavidJones wrote:
Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

Ironically, of course, Fleming was also a journalist who had never written a novel before Casino Royale.

Good point! Even more amusingly, Gardner wasn't pleased with Benson as his heir, and disparaged him for being a journalist ajb007/smile

I didn't know that about Gardner! Curious thing, snobbery.

Definitely, it's my biggest pet peeve  ajb007/mad

He didn't even like Bond that much either, and said the character couldn't come alive to him as he wasn't his own (which, perhaps, fair enough). Also, he disparaged the films, as the last one he had seen had been MR. Shame, as he may well have liked the more realistic FYEO.

This criticism worked both ways, as Michael G. Wilson claimed to have read For Special Services and not liking it. My impression is that there was a certainly amount of animosity between Eon and Glidrose (IFP at the time). Both, I think, wanted to be the only Bond supplier in town.

Boyd and Faulks criticized the films too, with the former calling the film Bond "a cartoon character". Of all the continuation authors, only Benson, Horowitz and perhaps Deaver were fans of the movies.

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Re: Bond After Fleming

DavidJones wrote:
Charmed & Dangerous wrote:
DavidJones wrote:

Good point! Even more amusingly, Gardner wasn't pleased with Benson as his heir, and disparaged him for being a journalist ajb007/smile

I didn't know that about Gardner! Curious thing, snobbery.

Definitely, it's my biggest pet peeve  ajb007/mad

He didn't even like Bond that much either, and said the character couldn't come alive to him as he wasn't his own (which, perhaps, fair enough). Also, he disparaged the films, as the last one he had seen had been MR. Shame, as he may well have liked the more realistic FYEO.

This criticism worked both ways, as Michael G. Wilson claimed to have read For Special Services and not liking it. My impression is that there was a certainly amount of animosity between Eon and Glidrose (IFP at the time). Both, I think, wanted to be the only Bond supplier in town.

Certainly now Eon could shut them down if they wanted, couldn't they? James Bond is a trademark of Danjaq, although I guess IFP have a contract which allows them to do whatever they want with the trademark for a set amount of time or something. I've always been a bit hazy on how that works.

Yeah looking through my books, it seems that neither Gardner nor Benson's books have a note to say James Bond 007 is owned by Danjaq, but the more recent books (and reprints of the Gardners) do have that credit. Did they get the total ownership of the name when they got Thunderball and Casino Royale I wonder?

Last edited by emtiem (3rd Aug 2020 11:05)

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Re: Bond After Fleming

I thought Eon had to to get the okay from IFP, but I could be wrong.

Perhaps, when Michael G Wilson made that comment in 1985, he thought IFP was piggy-backing off the success of the films (which,  of course, they were).

It's maybe worth mentioning that Bond continuation authors making snide comments about the others was something of a tradition until recently (Kingsley Amis wrote a negative review for Licence Renewed, Gardner said the Benson jibe, Benson himself had disparaged Gardner in Bedside Companion, Faulks said he only read Fleming and not anyone after etc etc).

As an aside, I bought a box set of all the Flemings today (Penguin, 2006 paperbacks) in a charity shop for a tenner ajb007/smile

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Re: Bond After Fleming

DavidJones wrote:

I thought Eon had to to get the okay from IFP, but I could be wrong.

Ooh no I don't think so, certainly not now anyway: Danjaq own pretty much everything to do with the name and licence it to IFP. I think IFP wouldn't be able to sell Bond books (maybe not even the Flemings?) without Eon's allowing it.