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ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > Two New Michael Crichton Novels Found

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message 1: by Jackie (last edited Apr 07, 2009 08:13PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments HarperCollins is getting ready to publish two new novels written by the late author Michael Crichton, who died of cancer last year at 66. He was known for such hits as "Jurassic Park" and "ER."

The action adventure "Pirate Latitudes" is set in Jamaica in 1665 and revolves around plans by a notorious pirate named Hunter and the governor of Jamaica to raid a Spanish galleon filled with treasure. The novel was written before Crichton's death and was discovered in his files by an assistant.

HarperCollins plans a first printing of 1 million copies, with the novel set to hit stores on November 24th.

The other book is a yet-to-be-titled technological thriller that was left unfinished by Crichton. It will be completed based on the writer's notes and released late next year. An author has not yet been hired to finish the work.

Creative Artists Agency is handling the film and TV rights of the books. Crichton's agent, which had represented the author, continues to broker deals for his estate.

Hollywood has long been interested in adapting Crichton's novels, with "The Andromeda Strain," "Congo," "Disclosure," "Rising Sun," "Sphere" and "Timeline," in addition to "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World" all turned into pics, while "Airframe" and "Prey" have been optioned.

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline...

I've enjoyed quite a few Crichton novels. Timeline and Jurassic Park are my favorites. I sure wouldn't mind reading more of his work.


message 2: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 08, 2009 03:11AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie, thanks for an interesting post and topic. I've never read anything by Michael Crichton.

I looked at the Goodreads review of his book, _Timeline_ (one of your favorites). It uses the words "pulse-pounding action". Sounds like quite a thriller.

One of the Goodreads reviewers (Isreal) says: "Time machine, renaissance, and Love story all in one. Excellent read."

I guess I should try reading the book one of these days. The title caught my eye because I love time lines. They give one an instant orientation to history. I also like the idea of a time machine taking one back in time. I remember an old movie about a time-machine. What was the name of it?
PS-The name of the movie was "The Time Machine" (1960). Surprise, surprise! (lol) It starred Rod Taylor and was based on the H.G. Wells novel of the same name, _The Time Machine_ (1895 !).


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments It's fast paced and thrilling. I'm a sucker for Time-travel. I love medieval themes too, so it was especially enjoyable to me.


Margaret | 75 comments "Timeline" and "Jurassic Park" are my favorites too. Towards the end of his career I felt that he let his far-right politics run away with him a bit - I remember reading State of Fear I think it was, and all the bad guys were global warming activists and environmentalists and all the good guy heroes were, I kid you not, corporate attorneys. I thought it was a satire for like the first quarter of the book, and then realized OMG it wasn't!


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I haven't read that one, I don't think. That's a bit of a twist...and a bit of a stretch too.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't read many of his, Airframe comes to mind, and Andromeda Strain, both enjoyable. I have seen the film Timeline and a couple of the Jurassic Park films. Most enjoyable.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments The book Timeline was far surerior to the movie. The movie left out so much. It was good, I even bought it but the book was still better. I just could not put it down. I read it non-stop til I finished.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, that makes me went to get to the book even more now. :) Thanks.
I actually saw the movie by accident...on TV. I think I still haven't seen 100% of it. Weirdly enough, it was hearing Billy Connoly's voice that drew my attention. He constantly surprises me as to his acting range. He absolutely astonished me in Mrs. Brown.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4073 comments The Terminal Man was the first book I read by Michael Crichton, unless it was The Andromeda Strain. Might have been the latter since I liked the movie.


message 10: by Jackie (last edited Apr 09, 2009 09:15AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments Pontalba,
I love Billy Connolly. He's totally mental in his comedy. And Gerard Butler played Marek. Gerry is my all time favorite actor. It was a foregone conclusion that I'd buy that movie, LOL

I had actually gone to the theater to see Timeline. Both my husband and I felt that they changed too much. I'd say, definitely read the book, you should really enjoy it.


message 11: by Werner (last edited Apr 09, 2009 03:47PM) (new)

Werner | 1614 comments I'm not very familiar with Crichton's writings or his politics; Timeline and Jurassic Park (both of which I really liked, too!) are the only two Crichton novels I've read as yet. But in those books, he doesn't really come across as "right-wing" (if by that you mean always siding with the wealthy and with Big Business) --his principal villains in both books are Big Business moguls, and corporate greed run amok causes the problems. (Some readers probably saw his politics, based on that, as "left-wing." :-)) From what I've read on the web, he had a problem with the global warming theory, on purely scientific rather than ideological grounds; he viewed it as lacking sufficient empirical validation to be regarded as a legitimate scientific fact. That was probably what colored his casting of global warming activists as villains in State of Fear (which I haven't read --and probably won't!)


message 12: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 09, 2009 06:19PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments OK, you all convinced me. I'm putting "Timeline" on my Netflix queue. :)

BTW, the Netflix description of the movie says:
=====================================================
Timeline(2003) PG-13
"In the near future, a technology corporation has created a method of traveling into the past. When a history professor (Billy Connolly) is trapped in 1357 France, his students and son (Paul Walker, Frances O'Connor and Gerard Butler) travel back to rescue him. Once there, they have to deal with untold perils before they can complete their mission. Based on the titular novel by best-selling author Michael Crichton."

=====================================================


Regina (luncrest) | 26 comments I like Crichton too but haven't read "Timeline", I'll have to add it to my list. I loved "Eaters of the Dead" but I read it years ago and should probably reread it too.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I haven't read Eaters of the Dead but it sounds very much like Beowulf which I did read.
There's a very good movie version with Gerard Butler in the lead as Beowulf.


Regina (luncrest) | 26 comments Yes, he based the book on Beowulf.


message 16: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 14, 2009 03:25PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "I haven't read Eaters of the Dead but it sounds very much like Beowulf which I did read.
T..."


Hi, Regina and Jackie!
Jackie, can you post a link to the Beowulf book which you read? I'm having trouble finding it. There are so many Beowulf books. Thanks.


message 18: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12... "

Thanks for the link, Jackie. Below is the link where the inside of the book can be read:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0451...

Below are some links to other versions available:

1. Beowulf by Gareth Hinds
This exhilarating graphic-novel edition of an ancient classic ... The epic tale... is reinvented for a new generation with Gareth Hinds’s masterful illustrations. ...

2. Beowulf by Stefan Petrucha
For this graphic novel version of the story, Stefan Petrucha has adapted the story for middle graders...

3. Beowulfby James Rumford
James Rumford forges his own account of Beowulf... together with Rumford’s pen-and-ink illustrations...

4. Beowulf by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Brilliantly reimagined by acclaimed, award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan, based on the screenplay by #1 New York Times bestseller Neil Gaiman and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Roger Avary...

I've reserved versions #1, 2, and 3 at the library. I'd like to compare the illustrations.


message 19: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 14, 2009 08:14PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "I haven't read Eaters of the Dead but it sounds very much like Beowulf which I did read. There's a very good movie version with Gerard Butler in the lead as Beowulf."

Jackie, I guess you're referring to the movie: "Beowulf & Grendel" with Gerard Butler (2005)

There's also another version, the movie "The 13th Warrior" (1999) with Antonio Banderas:
====================================================
"It's feast or famine when Arab ambassador Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Antonio Banderas) is sent to make peaceful contact with the barbaric Vikings in 922 A.D. Soon, he finds himself in the midst of a battle between the Norsemen and their fearsome, flesh-eating enemies. Based on the Viking folklore of Michael Crichton's novel _Eaters of the Dead_, this epic fantasy also features Omar Sharif, Vladimir Kulich and Diane Venora." (from Netflix)
=====================================================


message 20: by Werner (last edited Apr 14, 2009 09:01PM) (new)

Werner | 1614 comments I've watched The 13th Warrior and liked it --it's basically a reinterpretation of Beowulf, which explains its phenomena in naturalistic terms. I haven't read Eaters of the Dead; but from what I've read about it, Crichton's premise (which isn't brought out clearly in the movie) is that the Vikings' cave-dwelling, flesh-eating enemies are supposed to be surviving Neanderthals. That's a view of the Neanderthals that's very different (and probably a lot less accurate) from the portrayal in, for instance, Jean Auel's novels.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I liked The 13th Warrior too. I like the Beowulf story, in it's many incarnations.
Yes, Joy, that's the one. I'm sorry I forgot the mention the name. Beowulf & Grenbdel is probably my favorite version. I bought it when it first came out, mainly because Gerard Butler was in it. But I really liked it and have watched it at least 5 times already.


message 22: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 14, 2009 09:17PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Werner wrote: "I've watched The 13th Warrior and liked it --it's basically a reinterpretation of Beowulf, which explains its phenomena in naturalistic terms. I haven't read Eaters of the Dead; but from what I've..."

Werner, you've reminded me of how much I enjoyed Jean Auel's _The Clan of the Cave Bear_.

I'm still debating whether to put one of the Beowulf-type movies on my Netflix queue. That would be "Beowulf & Grendel" (2005) and/or "The 13th Warrior" (1999).

PS-I just found out that "The Clan of the Cave Bear" was also a movie which came out in 1986 with Daryl Hannah as Ayla.


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I preferred Beowulf & Grendel out of the two.



message 24: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 14, 2009 09:24PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "...Beowulf & Grenbdel is probably my favorite version. I bought it when it first came out, mainly because Gerard Butler was in it..."

I didn't know who Gerard Butler was... so I looked him up at IMDb. Here's the link:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0124930/
Another good-looking Scot!
But you can't beat Sean Connery! :)


Regina (luncrest) | 26 comments Joy, you'll just have to watch both and post comments so the rest of us will know which to watch (-:


message 26: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Regina wrote: "Joy, you'll just have to watch both and post comments so the rest of us will know which to watch (-:"

I'm going to try to do that, Regina. I always enjoy making comparisons.


Regina (luncrest) | 26 comments Thanks Joy! I always enjoy your comparisons.


message 28: by Jackie (last edited Apr 15, 2009 08:01AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I'm a huge Connery fan...I've refused to watch a James Bond movie without him. He is Bond..."there can be only one". (A nod to Highlander)

I've been all over Gerry Butler since he played the lead in Attila(2001?). And I've followed him ever since. I see every movie he's in. Oh yeah, good looking Scotsman, I love his accent. He's a leading actor who nobody knows his name. It amazes me that anyone can not notice him. I only had to see him once to know he was a good actor with a nice-looking face.

He played the lead role of King Leonidas in 300, since then people know him but not as much as I would have thought. He's also the lead in one of favorite movies, P.S. I Love You. I was just thinking about this movie last night, I'll probably watch it later on today. Another good movie he was the lead in was Dear Frankie.


message 29: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 15, 2009 08:22AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "I'm a huge Connery fan...I've refused to watch a James Bond movie without him. He is Bond..."there can be only one". (A nod to Highlander)
I've been all over Gerry Butler since he played the le..."


Jackie, I've got "P.S. I Love You" on my Netflix queue.

Below are Netflix descriptions of the two other movies you mentioned:
====================================================
300 (2007):
"Zack Snyder directs this faithful adaptation of Frank Miller's (Sin City) graphic novel about the storied Battle of Thermopylae, a conflict that pitted the ancient Greeks against the Persians in 480 B.C. The film, which blends live-action shots with virtual backgrounds to capture Miller's original vision, co-stars Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Vincent Regan, Rodrigo Santoro and Dominic West."
----------------------------------------------------
Dear Frankie (2004):
"Faced with the prospect of raising her son, Frankie (Jack McElhone), with a good-for-nothing man, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) spirits him away to Scotland and pretends the boy's father is aboard the HMS Accra. After years of pretending, including sending Frankie fake letters detailing his dad's adventures, the jig is up when Frankie learns the ship is docked by their home. Now, Lizzie must find a man to pose as Frankie's father … fast!"
=====================================================

"Dear Frankie" sounds as if I might enjoy it. On the list it goes. :) I might even nudge it up near the top of the list. I'm curious about this Scot you like so much (Gerard/Gerry Butler). I'm going to compare him to my darling Sean Connery. :-)


Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments 'Dear Frankie' is a touching movie. Simple, yet full of depth. I loved it. Maybe I'll do a Gerry weekend...


Werner | 1614 comments Joy, re your comment about The Clan of the Cave Bear, you and I are part of a (discerning :-)) minority on Goodreads who like this novel! My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed all the books of the series (even though Auel has her literary faults, and really could use an editor at times, especially in The Plains of Passage). Barb's still very eager for the final volume, though the lapse of time now is so great I doubt Auel will write another one, and Shelters of Stone does really bring the story to an appropriate close.

If you liked the novel, you'll probably like the movie version, too. Of course, they had to leave a lot out (it's a long book!), and it's a different art form; but Daryl Hannah is a very believable Ayla. I actually like the ending of the movie better than that of the book (the scriptwriters only modified it slightly, but for the better, IMO).


Margaret | 75 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Jackie wrote: "I'm a huge Connery fan...I've refused to watch a James Bond movie without him. He is Bond..."there can be only one". (A nod to Highlander)
I've been all over Gerry Butler since he p..."


Hi Joy - Butler has a very good singing voice as well, which you can hear in the extremely bad film of Lloyd Webber's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which manages to be both ridiculously overblown and totally inert at the same time. He's quite effective though, in the title role.

Connery will always be the ultimate Bond for me too, although I think I may agree with whatever critic it was who said recently that while no one will ever be a better Bond than Connery, Daniel Craig may be the best ACTOR ever to play 007. And I have to say, pretty snacky himself too!







Jackie (thelastwolf) | 3942 comments I didn't care for Phantom, mainly because I don't care for musicals. He was a good Phantom though. But if you really want to hear Gerry's strong rock and roll voice, watch him sing 'Mustang Sally' in P. S. I Love You. He also does a great rendition of 'Galway Girl'.


message 34: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Werner wrote: "Joy, re your comment about The Clan of the Cave Bear, you and I are part of a (discerning :-)) minority on Goodreads who like this novel! My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed all the books of the..."

(G) Werner, I haven't looked at the Goodreads reviews of Clan of the Cave Bear. I'll have to do that. I remember enjoying the whole idea of the book... the evolving of the human race. I'm looking forward to seeing the DVD of the movie.


message 35: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Margaret wrote: "Hi Joy - Butler has a very good singing voice as well, which you can hear in the extremely bad film of Lloyd Webber's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"

I haven't seen the film version of THE PHANTOM... (with Gerald Butler in the title role).
I saw the play on Broadway years ago. Unfortunately Michael Crawford (the original Phantom, I think) wasn't starring in the show at that time. They say he was great. So I missed that performance too.

Below is Daniel Craig's page at IMDb:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185819/
I missed seeing him as James Bond as well.

Where have I been all my life? (lol)
I'll be years catching up! :)


message 36: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jackie wrote: "I didn't care for Phantom, mainly because I don't care for musicals. He was a good Phantom though. But if you really want to hear Gerry's strong rock and roll voice, watch him sing 'Mustang Sally' in P. S. I Love You...."

Oh, good. I'll get to see Gerry Butler sing when I watch "PS I Love You". Thanks, Jackie.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been a fan of Sean Connery ever since the beginning of Bond, to me he was the only Bond. But this new guy, Daniel Craig is Bond, now. He is grittier, more physical, displays more angst than Connery, but Craig is Bond. What I like too about the last two Bond pictures is the explanation of Bond's emotional life. What happens in these two films goes a long way in explaining why Bond was the way he was, his emotional detachment, his reluctance to truly connect with anyone.

I didn't think I'd ever say that about anyone besides Connery, but there ya go. :)




message 38: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 18, 2009 06:30AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Pontalba wrote: "I've been a fan of Sean Connery ever since the beginning of Bond, to me he was the only Bond. But this new guy, Daniel Craig is Bond, now. He is grittier, more physical, displays more angst than ..."

My first knowledge of James Bond was from reading the James Bond books by Ian Fleming quite a while ago. I had a stack of the pocketbooks but I gave them away and now I'm sorry that I didn't save them, just because they had sentimental value.

I loved reading those books and can remember, at certain parts of the stories, cheering out loud like a kid while reading, even though I was probably in my 30s or 40s. I think the books were published around the 1950s. I probably read them during the 1970s.

The movies never thrilled me like the books did... but who can resist Sean Connery! I've never watched a different actor in the part.

PS-The first James Bond book was: _Casino Royale_, published in 1953. I was in college then and had no time to read novels. PPS-So I read them when I got older, in the 1970's or 80's.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4073 comments How much of a Bond fan are you? Are you as much as this guy?
http://www.incredible-adventures.com/...

Check out the rest of Incredible Adventures. I glanced at it briefly. It's perfect mid-life crisis relief for someone a lot richer & younger than I am. Why buy a fancy car when you can 'live' a covert-op?


message 40: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jim wrote: "How much of a Bond fan are you? Are you as much as this guy?
http://www.incredible-adventures.com/...
Check out the rest of Incredible Adventures. I glanced at it briefly. It's perfe..."


Hmmm, Jim. It was hard to figure out what that webpage/website was all about.
At the "about" page, it says:
====================================================
"Today, Incredible Adventures ... maintains a full-time staff in Sarasota and Moscow and a worldwide network of really incredible people ready to help fulfill your adventure dreams."
FROM: http://www.incredible-adventures.com/...
=====================================================

So I have to assume that the fellow at your link paid for a REAL LIFE James Bond experience and that particular weg page ("Coldfinger") is his diary of the experience. I wonder how much it cost him. It's hard to believe there's a company planning all these fantasy experiences. Reminds me of the TV series "Fantasy Island".

Hmmm, if I could afford it, what fantasy adventure would I request? I think I would want a completely relaxing vacation filled with luxuries like a masseuse, a personal trainer, and luxurious tropical surroundings and services. I would also need someone to pack my bags and get me there using the least complicated method of travel... perhaps a personal guide to pick me up at my house and lead me to my destination... without my having to plan a darn thing. :) (It's the planning that is the big deterrent for me, not to mention the money. Too much work and tension. Besides, I don't fly.)


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4073 comments It reminded me of Fantasy Island, too. If you look on the main page of Incredible Adventures, it says they'll get ex Special Forces & mercenaries to teach you how to do all the adventurous things you want to do. Maybe they have some pre-planned missions, too. i didn't look into it too much. I can't afford a mid-life crisis. (Instead of a sports car, I bought a farm.)


Margaret | 75 comments Pontalba wrote: "I've been a fan of Sean Connery ever since the beginning of Bond, to me he was the only Bond. But this new guy, Daniel Craig is Bond, now. He is grittier, more physical, displays more angst than ..."

Hi Pontalba - I agree about Craig - partly what's so compelling about him in the role for me is that you're very aware that James Bond basically kills people for a living, and what the psychological ramifications of that are for him, which I kind of lost sight of at some point with Connery in amongst all the things being shaken, stirred and slept with.



message 43: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jim wrote: "It reminded me of Fantasy Island, too. ... I can't afford a mid-life crisis. (Instead of a sports car, I bought a farm.)"

Jim, you have to ask yourself: "Am I happy with the choices I've made?"
If the answer is "Yes... reasonably happy", then you're OK.

I learned this from my son... the one who always seems to be able to get to the root of things.

Fantasy Island items are needed only when we're not feeling satisfied... probably a fleeting mood with most of us.


message 44: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Margaret wrote: "... I agree about Craig - partly what's so compelling about him in the role for me is that you're very aware that James Bond basically kills people for a living..."

Margaret, about James Bond killing people, shouldn't we keep in mind that Bond is a force for good, not evil?


message 45: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2009 03:34AM) (new)

Margaret wrote: "... I agree about Craig - partly what's so compelling about him in the role for me is that you're very aware that James Bond basically kills people for a living..."
and
Joy wrote: Margaret, about James Bond killing people, shouldn't we keep in mind that Bond is a force for good, not evil?

The very act of taking a life is soul killing to anyone. That it is for a so called "good" reason doesn't matter, the effect on the killer.....especially if he is a decent person to begin with is beyond measure.


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4073 comments Bond is a government troubleshooter who is authorized to be an assassin & his reasoning for doing his job is important. That's why I loved reading the books. His character & history are explained more. He's not a particularly nice guy. While a lot of his justification is service to Queen & Country, he's also an action junkie. His work is a game to play. He's a hunter after the most dangerous prey.

Donald Hamilton did a similar figure, Matt Helm. (Nothing like the crappy movies with Dean Martin.) In Death of a Citizen, the first of the series, he shows a guy that has spent 10 or 15 years as a 'good citizen' after WWII where he was an assassin. He's now married, 3 kids, journalist/photographer, PTA & all that. He gets sucked back in to his war time past when it looks him up one night.

Could he have stayed a 'citizen' & kept out of it? Yes, but he wanted to save his kid & didn't trust anyone else to do it as well as he could. He catches then tortures the woman who kidnapped his child into revealing her location. Then he kills her. He gets his daughter back safely because of his ruthless actions, but his wife can't bear to be around the 'real' him. He doesn't blame her, but he doesn't blame himself either. He's not a bad guy, just someone that looks at life a little differently than most.


Margaret | 75 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Margaret wrote: "... I agree about Craig - partly what's so compelling about him in the role for me is that you're very aware that James Bond basically kills people for a living..."

Margaret, abou..."


Hi Joy - Well, I agree with Pontalba actually that taking a life takes a toll on one's fundamental self regardless of the "justification". I wasn't intending to make a moral observation one way or the other about Bond's activities, just a practical/factual one about the demands of his career. I like that Daniel Craig has obviously read Fleming's books and that he (and the franchise) aren't shying away from the idea that Bond is, at the very least, someone with some significant personal issues that burden him, as well as a man pursuing a very intense line of work that makes incredible demands both physically and emotionally, and that as a result he may not be, as Jim notes, an entirely nice guy. I think you must have to give up some part of yourself, or develop some pretty impenetrable and damaging psychological armor, in order to be a licensed assassin, regardless of whose side you're on.


message 48: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Pontalba wrote: "The very act of taking a life is soul killing to anyone..."
Jim wrote: "Bond is a government troubleshooter who is authorized to be an assassin & his reasoning for doing his job is important. ... He's not a particularly nice guy..."
Margaret wrote: "...I think you must have to give up some part of yourself, or develop some pretty impenetrable and damaging psychological armor, in order to be a licensed assassin, regardless of whose side you're on."


Pontalba, Jim, and Margaret, well said. I have to admit that I never really thought of Bond as a killer, strange as that may seem. He was more of a hero to me. But I guess I wasn't really seeing the whole picture.

Good discussion!


Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4073 comments Joy, if you've just watched the movies & never read the books, I can see where you'd get the idea of a nice hero. I always liked Bond & Helm because they were OK with what they were. They had a job that they liked because of the 'game' nature & they got to travel. It's pretty clear in all the books that the adventures we read about are the occasional, exceptional ones. They didn't go around killing dozens of bad guys.

In between assignments, they got long periods of time off, but otherwise had to sit & do paperwork that they hated. They might kill a person or two on assignment, but it was an enemy of the state & quite often it was after a life & death struggle that left them with hospital time. The torture of Bond in "Casino Royale" is well done & the ramifications are mentioned in at least the next book, if not the following one. He is 'spanked' with a racket that does damage to the family jewels & makes him wonder about his future performance. He almost quits then & several other times.

They're much more realistic in their equipment & abilities than in the movies. They don't usually have a lot of angst & when they do, they generally quit, only to be sucked back in. Not like Morrell's assassins who are fanatics or terribly haunted, like Rambo. "First Blood" was actually a good book. The rest are pretty over the top, though.

You should put one or two of both Fleming & Hamilton's books on your reading list. They're quick reads & would give you a much better appreciation of their characters.


message 50: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 11897 comments Jim wrote: "Joy, if you've just watched the movies & never read the books, I can see where you'd get the idea of a nice hero. I always liked Bond & Helm because they were OK with what they were. They had a j..."

Jim, as I said in my Message #38, I did read most of the James Bond books. However, it was quite a while ago and all I can remember is the pleasure of reading them. (See details in my post here at Message #38.)

Actually, I didn't watch the James Bond movies. I may have watched only one. So my knowledge of Bond comes mostly from the books.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Timeline (other topics)
The Time Machine (other topics)
State of Fear (other topics)
The Andromeda Strain (other topics)
The Terminal Man (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Michael Crichton (other topics)
Ian Fleming (other topics)
Donald Hamilton (other topics)