Staff members from the Greenfield Public Library will write about recent developments at the library, staff book recommendations, new materials, updates on the new library, upcoming events and programs, and highlights of specific collections. For more information about the Greenfield Public Library, check out our web site.
Fifty years after Sean Connery drank, lusted, and tuxedoed his way towards his first strike against the diabolically evil SPECTRE organization in exotic Jamaica in Dr. No, the 007 film series remains as fresh and popular as ever. The 23rd and most recent Bond epic, Skyfall, was critically acclaimed and its DVD is currently well-sought by Milwaukee County Library patrons (currently over 500 holds for the first copy returned). The James Bond series is the second-highest grossing film series in cinematic history (Harry Potter) and the highest grossing after inflation is accounted.
The answer to why Bond is still popular is simple: James Bond is really cool. The movies have tons of explosions, cool gadgets, exotic locales, plus a charming Bond and the beautiful women he “loves.” Plus, Bond never ages, yet, he does look different every couple years (Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have all played 007). There is something for everyone to enjoy.
While the film franchise has been an amazing success and millions (perhaps billions) of people have seen the Bond films, the Bond books are just as exciting, if not more than their cinematic counterparts. For your reading pleasure, Greenfield Public Library has acquired the complete Ian Fleming James Bond run, including all 12 novels and two sets of short stories, which include the formula for future feature films Octopussy, The Living Daylights, For Your Eyes Only, A View to a Kill, and Quantum of Solace. While not on the shelves yet, they will be soon.
The books are as exciting as the films and have their benefits over the movies. While Hollywood has to stuff a complete, complicated story into a two-hour bracket of time, the books offer a much more thorough picture of 007. For instance, the Fleming novels delve much deeper into Bond’s personality and character, especially his vices. Bond in the novels likes to drink…a lot. Besides his famous martinis, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, novelized Bond has 46 drinks alone via all sorts of boozes and liquors. Literary Bond is also a heavy smoker, averaging 60 custom-made, high-nicotine cigarettes (3 packs American) a day. It’s amazing he could fulfill his duties to Britain while drunk and wheezing for air. The books also show more of Bond’s domestic life and a bit about his family. Altogether, the books show Bond as flawed, yet human and extremely dangerous if you are on the other side of his Walther PPK or his Beretta. He lives the high life and the life Fleming’s readers would barely understand but could deeply fantasize about by reading his books, and eventually, the subsequent film series.
Whether you have seen the films or not, the Ian Fleming James Bond books are fascinating, thrilling reads. We highly recommend you come in and pick one up. You can pick up any book and begin reading since Bond is perpetually ageless and most of the novels are adventures on their own standing and do not necessarily tie to other novels in the series. While the order of novels is a little off from the cinematic titles (first film: Dr. No; Fleming’s first novel: Casino Royale and other differences in order later on), the espionage and excitement is ageless and Bond, 50+ years later, is still cool.
Feel free to ask the reference desk for assistance in finding the books or chronological order of the Fleming series. We can also find the films for you if you want to compare to the Fleming novels. Over and out.