Dismal winter weather getting you down? Yes?……….
In lieu of a foreign holiday in exotic climes, I’m pinning my escapist hopes on re-reading some high-octane, pacey thrillers from yesteryear. Central library is packing a bulging display of goodies from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s including some thriller writing greats: Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Hammond Innes, Ian Fleming, Gavin Black etc.
So if you see yourself as the resourceful man/woman-alone hero type pitting your wits against foreign agents and megalomaniacs seeking total world domination, fancy the odd saucy encounter with beautiful, mysterious women/men, want to drive fast cars and visit glamorous locations, head into Popular for your thriller fix. Or failing that you could book a holiday somewhere nice instead, I hear Monte is to die for at this time of year dahling!
Ian Fleming would have reached the venerable age of 100 on the 28th May; instead his final mission was in 1964, when his heavy smoking, skirt-chasing and boozy lifestyle finally caught up with him and stilled the old ticker. Not a bad way to go some might say and the Bond series which he himself referred to as “trivial piffle” also made him a very rich chap indeed, $2.8 million US from the thirteen Bond titles alone.
Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR is best known now through the twenty-one Bond movies and we’ve had the lot; the blond Bond, butch Bond, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Australian and English Bonds. The film character has seen a new interpretation with each incarnation but the novels have a more static version of the Bond that Fleming first envisaged. Fleming considered Bond to be ” an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happen…a cardboard dummy” but others like Kingsley Amis have waxed lyrical on the theme of Bond’s “fine natural physique…ravaged countenance, dark and brooding in expression” and George Grella said “James Bond is the Renaissance man…lover, warrior, connoisseur. He lives the dreams of countless drab people, his gun ready, his honor intact, his morals loose: the hero of our anxiety-ridden mythless age”
So if you’re feeling drab and want to live the life of a Renaissance man, lover, warrior or connoisseur this could be the perfect time to escape into the wonderful world of Bond, James Bond.