The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond, #13) The Man With the Golden Gun discussion

James Bond

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message 1: by Jrodbarr (last edited Mar 29, 2009 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jrodbarr This is a really interesting book, it has many characters, different conflicts, and a very interesting anti-hero. But, the characters tend to be very predictable, and so is the story line, Bond escaped time and again to impossible odds, and after a couple of daring escapes, it gets quite boring. On the other hand, even though the story is extreemly predictable, it has a very nice touch of the old coldwar days, and it is interesting to read of how people thought obout current events in their time, and compare those with our thoughts about them. James bond faces a proffesional hitman named Francisco Scaramanga, AKA the man with the golden gun. He infiltrates Scaramangas organization by getting hired as a guard for some meeting Scaramanga is having with the stockholders of his hotel that is about to go bankrupt. James then has to try to assasinate him, and succeds only after Scaramanga has shot him with a poison bullet. Bond wakes up in a hospital, and is given the title of Knight by the queen, but he refuses for fear of having to go to public events. Overall, I think this is a pretty avarege book, but it does not come close to the rest of the Bond novels. No wonder they changed the story for the movie...

Adrian Kendrew They changed most of the story lines when making the films - I read them all years ago but I remember Moonraker is nothing like the film, they just used the title as an excuse to put Bond in space, and Octopussy for example couldn't be more different but its a great short story. I personally think 'On Her Majesties Secret Service' is one of the best Bond novels. Dodgy film good book.

Mark TMWTGG is in essence the epilogue of Flemings Blofeld trilogy. After losing his memories due his adventures in Japan he is found by the Russians who reprogram him to assisinate M. He is thus returned to London and naturally fails. Then starts the redemption of James Bond with a job he has a 50% chance of surviving. At the end Bond reflects on his life and loves.
I quite like the way Bond is not himself while his core still is and he still has that edge of survival instinct that works very well.

TNWTGG does seem to be less polished than its previous books but that can be explained that this was an unfinished tale by Fleming, or a first draft. Kingsly Amis is rumored to have done the actual polishing or finishing of TMWTGG. He did write the first continuation novel (James Bond contra Colonel Sun)

message 4: by Feliks (last edited Jan 17, 2013 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Feliks Yes, okay--I too will agree that this particular work is a little rough-around-the-edges. Strange topic to fix one's attention on, though.

Its also one of the most controversial films in the franchise; nearly killing off the series. It polarized the Bond audience at the time and still does; OHMSS is another one which took "too many chances".

The movies are thin, campy and self-parodying (excessive gadgets, excessive women; and the 'Bond formula' which came to dominate every structure of every film).

The books have a lot more subtlety and grittiness; they play in a much lower register than the hysterical style of the film franchise. TMWTGG has a certain luridness that I enjoyed, though; of course you can't expect any of the rather childish movies to come anywhere close to Fleming's writing. As for his style and craftsmanship; its pretty robust and solid and well--I don't mind an occasional off-chord when a man gives us thirteen amazing books, total.

Mark While I agree that the movie franchise does run with a certain formula which is harder to pin down with the more truefull adaptations of Flemings books as with DN, FRWL, GF & TB (essentially the first 4 movies). OHMSS however did not take any chances and is perhaps one of the more truthfull adaptations of Flemings hero. If you have read the book you know the movie, but it was visually perhaps more stunning than Fleming could ever envision. The risky bit was the new chap Lazenby, but looking back he did a splendid job and would have been a much better option for DAF than the return of Connery, who fell back on the old formula which OHMSS had left for what it was.

TMWTGG did get a new 007, one which Fleming had hoped at first for the part but got Connery instead, perhaps the best casting ever done for a movie. WHile the movie did not do so spectacular it did quite well as did its sequel LALD. The reinvention of a new 007 came with the movie version of TSWLM, coincidentily also the first solo Broccoli movie. It then became sometimes silly, but very popular with Roger Moore being the best 007 of those times.

Perhaps a tip if you fancy Flemings writing so much namely the novelisations of TSWLM & MR were written by Christopher Wood, also responsible for the script and original story, but are in my view some of the best non-Fleming books written about 007. They are really worth your while.

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