A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart
Based on an original screen treatment by Jacques Stewart and two strapping young chaps he met in the pub. Several pints of wine later, he can’t recall who suggested what, officer, but once you’ve struggled to the end, you’ll know they won’t sue for credit. Defamation, perhaps.
Datedly jiggerscreeched at the outset of many a DVD:
You wouldn’t steal a car. Correct. That’s not “couldn’t”, so presumably it’s not a challenge. I wouldn’t steal two nuclear bombs either (he writes, attempting to discipline this drivel). As for “couldn’t”, that’s for me to know and for you to find out. Top tip: stock up on tinned food before 29 August 1997. No, that hasn’t been and gone; you were told that by The Man and chose to believe it because “they” fed you distracting consumerist pleasures. If the views dripsneered onto message boards establish a date by spot-testing social mores of the age, it’s currently June 1959.
You wouldn’t steal a handbag. True again! Oh, how you know me. You complete me. I love you.
You wouldn’t steal a television. Spooky now.
You wouldn’t steal a movie. Well, not so much steal as sorta borrow it. Don’t worry, nobody really minds. Trust to luck that the same nobody notices.
Unfortunately, despite clever hiding of it in the next hugely anticipated adventure of the singlemost culturally significant fictional character of the twentieth century, “notice” is what they did. “Mind”, too. James Bond did not believe in luck, we are told. Ian Fleming patently didn’t believe in good judgment, save for the one handed down that accelerated his demise. Did he learn his lesson? The Spy Who Loved Me suggests not: he pinched that from a “Vivienne Michel”, although she wisely kept quiet and chose instead to pursue a more rewarding career as a motel nymph.
Hindsight rendering the question a fat lot of use, but it’s questionable whether the Thunderball litigation was interested in preserving the sanctity of contribution per se or rather the incredible opportunity that presented itself to secure rights to the tale as a springboard for the ancillary cash graspable in selling toys and “lifestyle” tat; worth suing for. “Exploitation of intellectual property” rarely had a rawer example. It’s difficult to regard Never Say Never Again as bettering the cultural stock of the human experience, ars gratia artis and all that, but squeezing the golden thunderballs at our expense made someone rich and kept shareholders and pension funds all smiles. Doubtless – and indeed, legally – those promulgating the case were entitled to do so, just as I’m legally entitled to unblock a toilet with my bare hands, although exercising such entitlement seems grubby.
This is in obvious contrast to the altruistic fluffiness of Danjaq, a charitable enterprise of greater benevolence than a rest home for insufficiently wounded kittens.
It’ll be on the litigious side of unwise to comment – even within a facetious piece – about who did what to whom because a ) there’s probably still someone kicking around with a stake in the outcome of the Thunderball trial and b ) rich people squabbling about who gets to relieve us of yet more money is unedifying. The case’s legacy is mixed: the brace of films it spawned are peerless, at differing ends of that scale, although it seems that Blofeld could now appear in future Eon films. Given their previous loon-based depiction of him, and multiple parodies since, it’s moot why the Broccoli factory would want to reintroduce his roundly-mocked persona to disrupt the current balance of begloomed despair, peevish insubordination, a half-naked drunk and a M named Gareth. Possible that the implausibility of The Cackling Wig O’Skyfall buttered us up for insertion of Ernst. It wouldn’t be our first time, either, although it strikes me that making Silva an information exploiter shoots Blofeld’s bolt, unless there’s opportunity to pick up the Skyfall plot thread of the leaking of British agents’ names, mysteriously abandoned half way through in favour of Grab a Granny.
The spavined whining about recent Bond ripping off Bourne forgets that Bond’s most successful film, pre-rebooting, was itself spawned of a rip-off. Perhaps that’s what the film-makers mean when they umpteenthly claim they’re “going back to Fleming”. “Perhaps”. Choppy waters, and dangerous to stay in too long: the sharks, they circle. Query whether Thunderball should even come into an exercise of finding the core of a Fleming Bond, if it’s not all his own work. It might be a diversion to try to work out what’s plainly him and what’s more doubtful. Whilst the idea of (say) SPECTRE could be the result of collaborative work (don’t know and don’t care, in equal measure), the articulation of the ideas one assumes is his alone otherwise Blofeld sharing Fleming’s birthdate and his antipathy towards Germans is one mother of a coincidence.
The dangers of collaboration laid bare, not just in Thunderball’s genesis but also in its story. Tickled fitfully in waspish references to the inadequacies of SHAPE in From a View to a Kill, here Fleming prods further with a warning about the loopholes created by bringing together nations of differing temperament – such as the British and, y’know, Italians – in preservation not of individual nationalistic goals, just been through a war where that was the villain’s “journey”, but pursuing instead the abstract, conflicted, exploitable ideological nonsense of “peace”, each partner nation having its own definition. The advantage of teamwork is that no individual is responsible for errors; a problem shared is a problem blamed. That absence of responsibility is also its disadvantage, also a tendency to be infiltrated, a notion that Mr Gardner ran with many (many, many) times. Loopholes through which private enterprise without an ideology other than wealth can skip freely, causing merry hell.
Collaboration allows a pantomime Italian – a wartime enemy – onto the Vindicator, leading to disaster. It’s not an Englishman who steals the bombs, is it? The mutually suspicious and fractured cabal that defends Britain is in contrast to the (…erm) union of crooks – a U.N. of crime, a largely European union at that – headed with fierce purpose by a Greek Pole connected to the Abwehr (inevitably). Bond, knackered instrument of a weakened state, undergoes a futile rebooting at Shrublands, starkly juxtaposed with the introduction of the ruthless SPECTRE, itself a collaborative entity but one with energy, one with a point. How can an exhausted and unfit Britain Bond cope?
In this atmosphere of fractious marriage, where stands the purpose of a James Bond? 007 is no team-mate; the sports he favours are single-player mode. After a distressing episode with a yoghurt, he recaptures his single-minded, booze-and-eggs fuelled identity and saves the day. Come on Britain! Don’t let your identity be subsumed! This is what we need! Ish. The book leaves me with a question: under which flag does Bond sail? The threat here is to an American interest and 007 seems integrated into and comfortable with the culture: the amused, detached observer of the USA in Live and Let Die and Diamonds are Forever is gone, as has the paternalistic riding to the rescue of Dr No. He’s a fuzzier World citizen who happens to be British, something the films cling onto when they can’t justify (beyond bolstering the opening weekend’s grosses) why 007 should (say) stop Max Zorrrrr’n giving California a much-needed bath. There are neither Americans nor British in (the book version of) SPECTRE. Special Relationship takes on the Special Executive? I suppose that’s what the concluding battle represents, that Britain and the US depend on each other and it’s a relationship best consummated. In Felix Leiter’s dreams, anyway,
Identity is eroded, be it Bond a (momentarily) changed man via the Shrublands digression, or Britain’s capacity to determine and defend itself by itself withered by the political expediency of NATO. Too many cooks spoiling an undecided broth and SPECTRE – pragmatic and determined, unburdened by any political belief that can be turned against it – strolls by and nicks its nukes. One way of preventing war is, through eroding the psychological frontiers of statehood, diminishing the egregious nationalism that often allies itself with it. Accidentally on purpose, that allows private enterprise to thrive. There are no nations; just companies. No populace; just shareholders. The only boundary is the amount of disposable income one has. That it’s revealed that SIS has bought information from SPECTRE in the past, and now it’s SPECTRE giving them the run-around, only emphasises how ineffectual, how wheezily behind the pace of the game, post-war nationhood is.
Whilst it’s stretching things to suggest Thunderball is a communist tract, there is a small-p political edge, SPECTRE as an exaggerated extraction of post-war consumerist and corporate opportunism and building a infrastructure of a “state” unlimited by physical frontiers, the commoditisation of violence that doesn’t even have an ostensible excuse in religious fanaticism or flag-waving simple-headedness, making it difficult to infiltrate and undermine. You knew where you were with SMERSH; behind it there was a belief that could be analysed, turned. It’s not the case when the only purpose is money. The Russians are now out of the game and when they return in The Man with the Golden Gun, they’re also in it for the cash. With national culture confused, co-dependent and cross-fertilised, the lacuna in power is filled by private enterprise out to make a fast buck. Look at all the millionaires who stand for election without any evident policies, f’rexample.
A politically-associated multinational corporation provoking international incidents to bloat the income stream? As if.
The 007th Chapter – Thunderball: ‘Fasten Your Lap-Strap’
We’re in the midst of an amusing structural trick; during this 007th Chapter, we learn that the bombs have been stolen and in a few pages’ time, we’re told how it was done. That way around, any accusation of implausibility in the execution of the scheme struggles to be heard. When Petachi’s tale is told, we’ve been primed to know it works. Cunning.
Breakkytime chez Bond but – hoots! – everything’s changed. A faddy breakfaster at the best of times, it’s now much, much worse. Yoghurt, served with a lecture on enzymes. Can’t even have a nice chucky-egg. Deliberate detail with the Bulgarian / Gloucestershire heritage of his meal that even yoghurt cultures have mixed-up nationality? Why not: it amuses. “He masticated each mouthful thoroughly”. That amuses even more, but I have a tawdry mind.
This business about the release of ptyalin and its brethren could incentivise a truculent child refusing to chew its food, that it will never grow up to be James Bond if it doesnae. Why it would – or could – be an ambition of a child, or those childish of mind, to emulate a tobacco-addicted misogynist bigot remains unclear, but then some persons buy cars or watches or suits or (yikes) guns out of such desire so it would appear to be a common problem, or a problem of the common. James Bond rarely seems like a man one would wish to meet, but banging on about his digestive tract and cheerily embracing his paperwork and ectually being good at his job, he’s now unbearable. I suspect that’s the point. Where’s the barely-competent drunk who just about gets by, who defeats clear-headed efficient (and probably Hun-inspired) planning by furry-tongued chance? Don’t worry; by the end of the next chapter he’s blitzed out of his skull on something eggy. As it stands, though, his diet of Energen rolls and efficient memoranda has turned him into the worst sort of earnest, superior, self-satisfied creep. Beginning to see why Mr Gardner gave him a SAAB.
In another corner of the forest, the one known to the locals as “Dead Man’s Plagiarism”, I wonder what, or who, was the original source of this tract about the benefits of mastication. It reads a more than a little “textbooky” yet hasn’t adopted either the Harvard or OSCOLA referencing norms. Fleming Junior: see me after class. I’ll show you what mastication’s all about. Not that I disagree with the advice. I have my five / seven a day and have learned to love the prune. But enough about “relations” with Mrs Jim. I’m not averse to nibblin’ on a firm young carrot now and again. That one is back on topic; promise.
Bond’s priggishness and general insufferability – always strumming away in the background but now turned up to 11 – is affecting the supporting cast, especially the “delectable” Loelia Ponsonby, of whom Miss Moneypenny, her best friend, is otherwise jealous. The cow. Interesting parallel that Moneypenny draws in canteen gossip between toiling for M and “working for a Gandhi or Schweitzer or someone”; yeah, those callous bastards. Oh, aren’t men awful? I do like your hair (you look like an electrocuted hedge), I think you look better with hips (you fat bitch), you know, as if you get outdoor exercise (you dried-up husk of lesbo), no I’ll get these, I insist (because you’re poor). “It’s when they get godlike one can’t stand them.” What, not even if they’re like Min? Go on, bet you’d love a piece of that.
Necessary product placement with the brand of death-stick, the Morlands smoked “since his teens” (tsk!) now abandoned (temporarily) in favour of an American brand, the melding of cultures once more, and here comes the comic relief to clear away the breakfast things (Bond, like all children, is allergic to both trays and washing-up). As with Macbeth’s drunken porter, or these pieces, it “may” have been funny in its day, but it’s now tiresome and we want killings. “May’s elderly, severe features were flushed.” Sign of a poor diet, that. Somehow she thinks she’s in the right, depressingly undereducated maggot. May McThing. I’m not suggesting that she’s related to Mr Big’s lusciously-named henchman McThing, although her dialect is equally ludicrous, but I can’t recall whether Fleming surnamed her or whether this was inflicted by a successor-in-title. Her views on nutrition now seem only to harden both the arteries and the stereotype of the Scottish diet.
May, played by With Special Guest Star Richard Dreyfuss, angrily crushes a yoghurt pot in her “strong fingers” (hands like gammon; circulation issues), and accuses Bond of “poisoning” himself, a callous thing to say to a man who nearly died a few books back. What’s wrong with yoggie-poggie, anyway? May’s endorsement of his “wee bitty smoke” doesn’t help. She’s a public menace. Lord knows what she would make of Gwyneth Paltrow. Fritters, probably. How on Earth would this creature and the equally loopy Tracy occupy the same flat? Perhaps that’s why May paid Blofeld to blow her head off. Bond thinks Tiffany Case walked out, and sees no coincidence in May suddenly having mounds of bacon to feed him. No wonder she needs him to eat it all, otherwise even Thicky Bond would get suspicious. Yes, she’s a cereal killer. (I am so sorry).
“It’s no recht…” Hang on, she’s not German is she? My, Bond has changed. “It’s no recht for a man to be eating bairns’ food and slops and suchlike.” The experience of unleashing offspring has permitted me insight into childhood diets and it’s hardly as if he’s guzzling five Chambourcy Hippopotamousse, wet twigs and Lego, is it? Bairns’ food; yeah, and scrambled eggs aren’t repressed-British-male-public-school -clinging-onto-nanny muck, are they? Difficult to dip yoghurt in batter and deep-fry it, but I bet she’d try. “Ye needn’t worry that I’ll talk, Mister James, but I’m knowing more about yer life than mebbe ye were wishing I did.” Loose talk such as the ensuing monologue may cost Bond his life, but it’s probable no-one would understand her. When she bangs on about “anuither fight”; what is that? Aneether? Anweether? Anoother? Min alone knows. Bond, who is shortly to learn that he is himself Scottish, doesn’t speak like this, even after a crack on the head and being lobotomised twice, first by the Russians and thereafter by the obscenely sinister Sir James Molony, patently the inspiration for the Albert Finney character in Skyfall that Bourne film. Her suggestion that Bond could pack her off to Glen Orchy (ratio of chip shops to health clubs 33:1) reveals that she doesn’t know his life as well as she thinks. He’s more likely to shove her in a bin bag and hurl her into the canal. Better weigh it down with a dead dog; the fat in her veins will make her too buoyant.
All this hands on your hips timewarp stuff achieves, May, is to set him off again on his righteous, unsettlingly evangelical lecturing. I know, they’re so precocious these days. Is this Ian Fleming trying to do “funny”? What is this; a sitcom pilot – the classic / clichéd odd couple? She’s an auld maid determined to serve him lard! He’s a psychopath with a penchant for mastication! When they met, it was (politically expedient, government licensed) moidah! Hilarity ensues. Needs a snappy title.
“James and May”: sound, but exposes a flaw when, demanding “mair poonds”, May is replaced for season series five with a sass-ay jive-talkin’ racial stereotype for the requisite zingy opposites-attract heartstopping cack; let’s say a morally loose / heart-of-gold Inuit whore or a housekeeper from “Manchester” despite sounding as if the closest she’s been to Manchester is a misguided attempt to gargle the Ship Canal. Whatever: no Germans. He’s not a fan. If that doesn’t work, try a CGI ocelot. NB this is not “James May”. That’s a different situation tragedy. That a patently intelligent man can do… such things… I need a lie down. Music by Ronnie Hazelhurst.
“Last of the Breakfast Booze”: can’t see it lasting. Ectually, it doesn’t; by the end of chapter eight he’s ordered up a cholesterol nightmare, the drinks tray and a stroke, and this sorry yoghurt episode is barely mentioned again. Was Shrublands quasi-autobiographical filler for what is otherwise a thin narrative? Discuss.
“SPECTRE at the Feast”: not bad, but is the world ready for broad domestic comedy mixed with a virulently ignorant depiction of international terrorism? Oh yeah, True Lies. That did it so, so well, so… comfortably. We’ll pass.
“Housekeeper of the Secrets”: a “housekeeper” is old-fashioned and we don’t want to emphasise it. If we changed May into Marco the Thai houseboy, it’ll appeal across wider demographics for sponsors to target, and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover desperately need a new vehicle, don’t they? “One’s a ladykiller – and the other’s a ladyboy! Put them together and watch the juices flow! Don’t eat that ‘Special Yoghurt’!”. Houskeeper of the Secrets is filmed in front of a medically live studio audience. It could work: splenetic bigot expressing decrepit and ridiculous views learns the error of his ways in unthreateningly neutered comedy, despite inexplicably returning to his unreconstructed ways at the start of each episode because he has to “learn” some more. What do you mean “it’s been done before”? What do you mean “before as in every-bloody-thing-on-television before”? What do you mean “have you never read your own piffle?” Despite the mass-audience appeal / just desserts of seeing this Mr Gibson person mincing about in a gingham frock, it’ll get cancelled when Hyundai pull sponsorship after an ill-judged Superbowl episode, not so much jumping the shark as munching the pussy, involving an aggressive Korean neighbour, the “missing” cat and “lesbian golf”.
“Don’t You Masticate at Me!”: like it, but can we really base a show around waiting for delivery of one catchphrase? Still, cretins will put it on T-shirts so we might juice two years out of it. Alternative title: “Lick My Lard”. I’m taking it straight to Netflix if you’re not interested.
“Crash-dive and Ultra Hush”: a working title that’ll have to change when a “person” on Twitter renames it “Muff-dive in Laura Bush” causing the internet to implode.
“Funderbawl!”: wacky time-travel comedy when a Mrs Hudson rip-off from the 1950s is deep-fried deep-frozen and wakes many years later. Laugh! At her attitude to Actimel! Cry! When she doesn’t understand why this confirmed bachelor cannot find the right girl! Excrete! When she finds out Bentley is owned by The Germans! Ian Fleming’s grave is brought to you in association with Hotpoint.
“Muesli, Girls and Guns”: I’m thinking “no”.
“Death for Breakfast”: thematically sound on a number of levels but too knowing an in-reference, perhaps. Tends also to limit the concept to breakfast jokes and there’s only so many times Bond threatening May with the rough end of a banana remains funny rather than domestic violence. Sample dialogue: “If you don’t shut up, I’ll batter you”. “Och, that’s in bad taste Mister James, but everything does taste better in baaaaahhhhtttterrrrrrrrr. The noo.” [Audience whoops] [Audience is taken out and shot].
“May the Farce be with You”: F*** off.
Apparently egg whites will kill you, as will all white foods. Except yoghurt. Ah, the hypocrisy of food-faddists, ordering us to gargle cress smoothies yet cramming their own maws with ripe Brie smeared over roast swan. Anyway, it’s cruel – and unwise – of May to taunt Bond in this way as he’s a recovering alcoholic murderer and shouldn’t be riled. “…ye’re no yerself any more.” No kidding. Big prize to the Walking Heart Attack for spotting the theme. “She went out and banged the door”. Really? Bit of a liberty for the domestic staff to take, and it may be ageist of me but I didn’t think she had it in her. Cheeky old moo, the noo. Bond cracks a stunningly sexist menopause joke and the audience goes wild. Station break.
Into domestic unbliss, international danger must interrupt, and Bond’s Batphone is all a-jangle. “He pressed the receiver to his ear, trying, as in the old days, to read behind the words.” Not sure he’s got the grasp of this telephony lark, but that’s yoghurt-addiction for you. Fruit Corner: it screws you up. Thought I could handle it but then someone gave me some fat-free Passion Fruit and Radish and I was… gone. Rotted me eyeballs and me teeth, but that was probably all the sugar in it.
“Bond had the most selfish car in England”. The way it’s described, he’s butchered something pleasant and turned it into the well-orf equivalent of a Saxo with an iridescent paint-job driven by a pock-marked pubescent booming out dancing tunes of the day and scaring codgers. Mr Deaver giving 007 a Subaru Impreza to berk around in wasn’t far off the mark, after all. It sounds ghastly and Bond’s chat up line – “I’ll pick you up in my locomotive” – might be echt Fleming but it’s also echt creepy. What next – a glass of Madeira and a promise of how to get her into films? Of note that Bond spends half his capital – £3,000 (at a rough guess £60,933.30 by May 2014) – on this desecration, although since the other half’s going on a lifetime’s supply of banana Petit Filous it’s relatively sensible. Not badly off, is he, if he can blow his wad like this? Wonder if all of Goldfinger’s haul found its way to the bottom of Goose Bay after all.
“She went like a bird and a bomb…” – an explosive gannet, then – “…and Bond loved her more than all the women at present in his life rolled, if that were feasible, together.” As they amount to “May”, it’s a distressing image brought on by excessive dairy ingestion. I’m thinking “feasible”, although it’s ungallant to consider May a “rather ugly boot”. “No garage doors to break one’s nails on”. How butch. That the base of the car once belonged to “some rich idiot” that “married” it to a telegraph pole is a bit much: 007’s record with cars isn’t good. His marriage’ll be a car crash, too. “It was nine o’clock, too early for the bad traffic.” Total fantasy. So this “fancy driving” comfortably-off Chelsea-dweller in his souped-up Bentley thinking he owns the road and patently dangerous when hurtling through the park, is someone we should admire? Hm.
“Zing and crackle” and “machine-gun rattle” – this is Mr Fleming writing this stuff, innit? Magic onomatopoetry. “What the hell had happened?” Somebody’s probably lost a dog. Signals are firing off all over the place, including “Personal for Dulles”; he’ll hand it straight over to Kristatos, the clown. NATO, MI5 and Portishead, the latter’s message being “When’s your next album out?” Chaos and an international crisis evident, “Miss Moneypenny smiled cheerfully”. Given the earlier anti-Schweitzer sentiments, I fear for her values. A little insight into how she started in the Service makes me wonder how she was promoted and, as I’m speculating, the red light goes on above M’s door. Ooh, uncomfortable timing. But no more uncomfortable than the experience itself.
I seem to recall M sometimes having a Gatsby-esque green light? Might have misremembered that. “The red light went on above M’s door. Bond walked through.” Presumably having opened it first, but he’s never that bright even when on top form, and May is worried about his mental health. At least he hasn’t tried to bang it. Probably hasn’t got the strength, the yoghurt-jockey.
Having lied about trying to give up smoking – ten a day sounds a lot to me – Bond undertakes a sub-Holmesian examination of the Photostats of SPECTRE’s letter, a letter produced without kind permission and it’s amazing that Blofeld didn’t sue as well. He never gets to deducing that it was written by an obese neuter Polish Greek with syphilitic tendencies, persuasions towards both Samurai and female garb, a keen amateur gardener and research chemist with a bath-o-sub and a volcano whose hobbies include breeding white pussies, flying remote control and (it says here) “Hans”. But not cricket. Doesn’t run in the family, then. See, Eon – Blofeld’s a mess and there might not be anything left to say. Don’t. Do. It. “A typewriter with a bold, rather elegant type had been used.” Likes a nice font, does Blofeld. Underacknowledged in chapters gone, his most evil act was inventing Comic Sans. “There was no sealing wax.” What did you expect? Written by quill and delivered by pigeon? You’re up against modern-shaped persons now, Bond.
The letter is “correct and well laid-out”. Begging to differ: although signed on behalf of an organisation it deviates between “I” and “We”; most unprofessional. I suppose if we weren’t in June 1959 this would be an email and sign off with the tautological “Kind Regards” and (horrendously) mistake “myself” for “me”, so best stop moaning. June 1959, then. A point by which Bond has served the King longer than he has the Queen. Over forty years later, this same character who – let’s not bushbeat – starts Thunderball physically past-it, energetically saves the Cannes Film Festival from witnessing yet another bomb. What a guy. When he disappeared for most of the 1970s, must have taken up jogging. It might be all that yoghurt paying off.
“There are also USAF Identification Numbers in such profusion and of such prolixity that I (sic) will not weary you with them.” Oooh, saucer of milk for you. As if pinching nuclear weapons isn’t cheeky enough. Given SPECTRE’s constituent members, and the stated flying range of the ‘plane, the threat is unlikely to be exercised against Mainland Europe or Russia but the reader is ahead of the recipients, and it’s for the next chapter to debate this, including the revelation that SIS has bought information from SPECTRE in the past, something I’ve always found intriguing. As it stands, the threat is well articulated (if grammatically suspect) and the instruction to deposit the bullion on Mt Etna, the previous chapter identifying the Bronte side, makes one wonder whether it’s intentional to drop it into Admiral Nelson’s backyard as provocatively emphasising the neutering of the British lion.
Contract Law: Assuming that blackmailing Western powers into avoiding obliteration is an offer rather than an invitation to treat, please provide your opinion, relying on decided cases, whether by demanding use of the 16-megacyle waveband and threatening to detonate two atomic bombs if its terms are not wholly complied with, SPECTRE is successfully impliedly excluding the Postal Rule in accordance with Holwell Securities v Hughes (1974); additionally, advise whether unleashing 007 is an effective counter-offer (30 marks).
Stupid dialects, Bond delivering an opinionated lecture and driving like a lunatic, the text a transparent means of digressing into something bothering the author to pad out the tale, an exciting cliffhanger, a structural game, mocking of social developments (previously female emancipation: now, very sound nutritional advice) and statutory reference to eggs, it’s definitely Ian Fleming delivering this. Others may have the rights, and the wrongs may have been his alone, but this 007th Chapter gives much of “the essential”. It remains live culture, with the nourishment yet to be refined out. Shame he had to be sued into listing all the additives.
James Bond won’t return in the 007th Chapter of The Spy Who Loved Me, because he doesn’t book into the motel until later in the evening. Jacques Stewart recommends thorough mastication as the key to a healthy lifestyle. The noo.