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JeffreyKeeten

JeffreyKeeten

Live and Let Die - Ian Fleming ”He held the tip between finger and thumb and very deliberately started to bend it back, giggling inanely to himself.
Bond rolled and heaved, trying to upset the chair, but Tee-Hee put his other hand on the chair-back and held it there. The sweat poured off Bond’s face. His teeth started to bare in an involuntary rictus.
The finger stood upright, away from the hand. Started to bend slowly backwards towards his wrist. Suddenly it gave. There was a sharp crack.
‘That will do,’ said Mr. Big.
Tee-Hee released the mangled finger with reluctance.
Bond uttered a soft animal groan and fainted.”


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Roger Moore is BOND in the movie version of Live and Let Die

Wait!...what?
He fainted?
Me...you...nearly every other person on the planet we are screaming and pissing ourselves wishing we could faint faster, but BOND, JAMES BOND? The James Bond of the books feels more pain, is at times guided by fear, and makes more mistakes which I found frankly very interesting. There is no sex in this book. I KNOW I’m still in shock about that myself. He comes close:

”Bond cursed the broken hand that prevented him exploring her body, taking her. He freed his right hand and put it between their bodies, feeling her hard breasts, each with its pointed stigma of desire. He slipped it down her back until it came to the cleft at the base of her spine and he let it rest there, holding the centre of her body hard against him until they had kissed enough.
She took her arms away from round his neck and pushed him away.
‘I hoped I would one day kiss a man like that,’ she said. ‘And when I first saw you, I knew it would be you.’
Her arms were down by her sides and her body stood there, open to him, ready for him.
‘You’re very beautiful,’ said Bond. ‘You kiss more wonderfully than any girl I have ever known.’ He looked down at the bandages on his left hand. ‘Curse this arm.’ he said. ‘I can’t hold you properly or make love to you. It hurts too much. That’s something else that Mr. Big’s got to pay for.’”


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Jane Seymour is Solitaire in the movie.

Are you kidding me!
There is a bit of daytime soap writing in this segment which made me laugh, and left me wondering if Fleming was avoiding writing the grand Bond sex scene although with all the “pointed stigma of desire” and such he was certainly delivering on a little titillation.

Mr. Big is the whole reason that Bond has flown to America. Gold coins, Rose Noble of Edward IV, have been surfacing from the pirate Henry “Bloody” Morgan’s treasure that was never found and by rights belongs to the British government. They have traced it to Mr. Big’s operation and agents have disappeared so it is time for 007 to be sent to find the pipeline for the treasure and if need be put a kibosh on Mr. Big’s organization. Fleming takes us from London, to NY, to Florida, and for the final meeting between Mr. Big and Bond to the island of Jamaica. Mr. Big sees himself as a trailblazer and it wouldn’t be a Bond if the villain didn’t give a speech.

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Yaphet Kotto is Mr Big in the movie

”In the history of negro emancipation,’ Mr. Big continued in an easy conversational tone, ‘there have already appeared great athletes, great musicians, great writers, great doctors and scientists. In due course, as in the developing history of other races, there will appear negroes great and famous in every other walk of life.’ He paused. ‘It is unfortunate for you, Mister Bond, and for this girl, that you have encountered the first of the great negro criminals. I use a vulgar word, Mister Bond, because it is the one you, as a form of policeman, would yourself use. But I prefer to regard myself as one who had the ability and the mental and nervous equipment to make his own laws and act according to them rather than accept the laws that suit the lowest common denominator of the people.”

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The book is rampant with racism, a time capsule of the way people felt in 1954, and from a quick glance through some of the reviews this aspect has certainly shadowed the enjoyment of other readers. I guess I just sort of flew over the top of those segments, not wanting to become bogged down in outdated thinking. Voodoo plays a role in this book. In fact, Mr Big has a heart ailment that gives his black skin a gray tinge giving him the look of a Voodoo Zombie further enhanced by the fact that he participates in Voodoo practices. Bond spends hours reading and researching on Voodoo. Fleming gets points for mentioning The Travellers Tree by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a writer I happen to really like. In that book Fermor talks about the Voodoo religion/cult.

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I first came to Bond through watching The Saint episodes late at night. My Dad in an effort to get more than three channels on our TV, one of which flipped every few seconds, built this antenna the size of a small Cessna and hoisted it on a pole that soared high above the tallest trees. He connected a remote to it that would rotate the antenna allowing us to fine tune certain channels. We could now get seven channels, sort of. One of the channels put on The Saint and there was Roger Moore, young, dashing, and boy did I want to be him when I grew up. The first Bond I went to in the theater, which for the life of me I’m not sure which one, but it starred Roger Moore. So for me RM was BOND. I couldn’t say Moore was my favorite Bond or the best Bond, but like a first kiss it is hard not to be biased by that first experience.
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Ian Fleming