On Poynter Online, I discovered Writer’s Tools, and in that book, I read a masterly passage from Fleming’s James Bond. For more such prose, I read The Man with the Golden Gun and liked even more the quick narrative. But Bond in the book surprised me. He was chaste all through — until the last page. His only act that he tell at a confessional was a mere fantasy about Mary Goodnight, somewhere in the middle pages. His intense emotions were for his man-friend, Felix Leiter.

The 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, all that fuss about a few million there read like big talk about small doings. All everything happened within a short radius in Jamaica. For his work, M offered Bond the knighthood, and Bond refused.

But I must say I enjoyed the book. I’ve known only the grand sleek Bond of the movies, not this guy, a smaller fellow in his undertakings, but a Bond rendered in clean, energetic prose.