On Poynter Online I discovered Writer’s Tools, and in that book I read a passage from Fleming’s James Bond. For more such prose I read Man with the Golden Gun and liked the brisk narrative. But, Bond—he surprised me. He was chaste all through—even on the last page. His only act, that he could speak of at the confessional, was a mere fantasy about Mary Goodnight in the middle pages. His intense emotions were for his man-friend, Felix Leiter. The thriller-action was simple (the high point—blowing up a bridge—was executed by Felix). And in these days when they push dollars in billions or at least hundreds of millions, the fuss about a million here and a few million there read like big talk about small doings. All the action happened in a short radius within Jamaica. For Bond’s work M offered him knighthood, and Bond refused. But I must admit I enjoyed the book. I’d known only the grand Bond of the movies, not this Bond, smaller in his undertakings, but an equal in his penchant for life and risk, a Bond rendered in clean straight energetic prose.
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