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James Bond and Me

James and I Go Way Back

James and I Go Way Back

I was a student at Dartmouth College when I first saw Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962). The film hit me right between the eyes, as if it had been fired at me from 007’s Beretta. Here was a guy with the ultimate cool: He was a bon vivant, handsome to women, and pitted against enemies who were the ultimate in evil. In Live and Let Die (1954), the second novel in the series after Casino Royale, Bond came up against the massive Mr. Big, a gargantuan Negro with not only pretensions to Voodoo (as Baron Samedi himself), but an operative of SMERSH, short for Смерть шпионам, “Death to Spies,” a Soviet counter-intelligence agency named by Joseph Stalin during World War Two.

The second part is dangled before us, but we don’t see any real Soviet spy business; and its role in the novel is negligible and could have omitted entirely. As with most of the Bond novels, it’s pretty easy to see what’s going to happen: The plot twists are well telegraphed. When 007 is preparing an underwater incursion on Mr. Big’s Jamaican hideaway and we are told that it would take 48 hours for the shark and barracuda repellent to arrive from the States, well we all know what is about to happen: Underwater feeding frenzy!

I must have read most of the Bond thrillers during my college years. It was candy for the mind and great adolescent wish-fulfillment. I guess that, into each life, some froth must fall.

2 thoughts on “James Bond and Me

  1. I remember reading the Ian Fleming cheesy-looking, tattered and loved, 007 paperbacks in the “family room” downstairs in our vacation home over summer break, during high school. Some former military neighbor gave them to us as a set (he had to leave for an oil job in Iran), and I have been forever grateful. Of course I had a major crush on Sean Connery when I saw the first 007 film.

  2. I read them while on my honeymoon in puerto anges mexico (I was 24) there wasn’t even a road to puerto escindudo a bit to the north, a dirt road to the beach a bit less north, now a paved road I see from maps from apupulco. hd my mother send them. no librarys there, now? our died was pretty much the same as james bpnd’s, lots of langosta.

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