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Reading the beginning of "Casino Royale" after all these years is like visiting with a long forgotten and missed old friend. Last fall I returned to my native United Kingdom to retake my vows for family members who we're not able to attend my wedding here in the United States. Reading a verse from a piece of poetry was a friend I had known in high school and it dawned on me that we had not spoken in almost 20 years. So much time had passed and our lives so different (I live in the United States and have three cats and two dogs he has two children with one in high school and having moved to London has lost his local dialect). It seemed so much time had been lost. In a way I get the same sensation returning to Fleming.

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I read "Casino Royale" originally in the early 1980s. I was in middle school and was excited by a school French trip to Le Touquet (which was mentioned on the back of the Pan paperback I owned) not because it was France but because it was connected to "Casino Royale" (by the way I was somewhat disappointed that Daniel Craig's movie version was not set in France though the film overall is excellent).

Reading Fleming just confirms (as if any confirmation is needed) that nobody writes James Bond as good as Fleming. I am of the opinion that the writer that came closest was Christopher Wood and his 1977 novel "James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me". His narrative is so rich and so vivid and if I ever get cracking on my own novel (yes, like everyone with a journalism background I have a half-finished novel), I would like to employ his tactic of the 'Fleming sweep.'

For those unfamiliar with that term Fleming would apparently write his novels quickly and then go back later and add the descriptions and details later. His novel "The Man With the Golden Gun" was completed by others after his death and so you can somewhat see what these looked like before his polish. That novel is viewed as one of the weakest Fleming's (along with the experimental "The Spy Who Loved Me" but more on that later) for that very reason. This writing style by Fleming gave his novels their characteristic 'Fleming sweep' in that the narrative moves along at a fast pace and a certain fluidity.

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Notes - One of my favorites.

Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 02/25/2018






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