Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

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A Different Bond

I finished Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita last night, and it is really just superb. From beginning to end: there is nothing to disappoint you in the book. I simply cannot recommend it enough to you, so  if you haven't read this book, you should. Serious joy on a number of levels. I love it.

As is my habit with books, I am now reading something entirely different: Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, which includes Bondesque photo of Fleming on the inside jacket, swathed in smoke. Did you know that Fleming named his house in Jamaica, Goldeneye. I don't know much about the Fleming/Bond stuff, but picking up the book makes them feel like some kind of author fantasy, where Fleming lives out all the things he was unable to do in life (maybe he even did them, I have no idea). This dimension, with the retro cover, and the rumour I's heard that the Bond of the books is not quite like the Bond of the Franchise is why I'm reading the book.

"And then there was this pest of a girl. He [Bond] sighed. Women were for recreation. On a job, they got int he way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings and all the emotional baggage they carried around. One had to look out for them and take care of them.

'Bitch,' said Bond, and then remembering the Muntzes, he said 'bitch' again more loudly and walked out of the room.
"

There's just something so deliciously sleazy about the book, really.

EDIT: And now there's this: "It turned out the Leiter was from Texas. While he talked on about his job with the Joint Intelligence Staff of NATO and then difficulty of maintaining security in an organization where so many nationalities were represented, Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas."

Oh, it was a different time then.
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