A few months ago someone pointed out that a careful buyer could collect the entire Fleming Bond series for a pittance. So, being the sort of person that likes such things, I did just that.
Of course, being the sort of person who does things like that, I also had a lot of other stuff to read before I got round to them. But get round to them I did, and they were mighty good. I had read half a dozen of them about ten years ago, so I knew what they were like, but I hadn’t read any of the short stories. And they turned out to be the best part.
Mr Toaster’s thoughts about the subtle differences between the books and the films have been playing on my mind a little bit, but from a different angle. I’m actually more interested in the things that carried through. When you consider that there are less than twenty stories by Fleming (all of them short), and more than twenty films, I think that it’s amazing that there are still bits of the books to populate the films with. The way that The Living Daylights story carried into the opening of the film was pretty clever; the way that Bond XXI kept at all true to the book; the way that From Russia with Love carried over, These things please me greatly.
However, there was a bit of a surprise for me. The latest film, Quantum of Solace was a bit shit. However, the story was pretty much my favourite out of the lot. Which doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense: there is no action, there’s just really a bit of gossip and social awkwardness.
Out of the lot of them, that’s the one I think I’d be most likely to go back to for a quick re-read. Which I suspect I will do at some point.