Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Descriptions from "The Man With the Golden Gun" by Ian Fleming

In my quest to see more of Ian Fleming's work, I read his novel The Man With The Golden Gun. Besides being filled with a lot of witicisms, the book was a fairly interesting read. There were a few coincidences to move things along. The Bond of this book isn't much like the bond of the movies. This Bond has feelings and fears and the book is a book, not a rewrite of a movie script.

Here are a few of the more remarkable descriptions in the book that I liked.

The prairie fire of the sunset raged briefly in the west and the molten sea cooled off into moonlit gun-metal.

Instead of the severe shirt and skirt of the days at Headquarters, she was wearing a single string of pearls and a one-piece short-skirted frock in the colour of a pink gin with a lot of bitters in it--the orangey-pink of the inside of a conch shell.

Two birds fly into a cafe.
They strutted up and down imperiously, eyeing Bond without fear from bold, golden eyes and went through a piercing repertoire of tinny whistles and trills, some of which required them to ruffle themselves up to almost twice their normal size.

Scaramanga shoots the birds:
The explosions from the Colt .45 were deafening. The two birds disintegrated against the violet back-drop of the dusk, the scraps of feather and pink flesh blasting out of the yellow light of the cafe into the limbo of the deserted street like shrapnel.

Bond is wounded and scrambling through a mangrove swamp.
Bond dropped to one knee, his senses questing like the antennae of an insect.

I hope you find these quots as interesting as I do. What do you think? Is this better than average writing? Do you think Fleming should be considered a master storyteller?


Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, those are amazing descriptions. He uses similes and is very colourful with his descriptions. Thanks for this in depth review of his work.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Richard, I love these descriptions. They make visualization easy. I envy writers who are masters of the sensory details.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog.

Emily R. King said...

I enjoyed these descriptions a lot. Fleming has a knack for making you feel like you're right there.
And you've made me realize, I've never read a James Bond book. Huh, I'll have to fix that!

Jarmara Falconer said...

Wow, what an interesting blog... It makes me want to take a closer look at his work. I've always thought of his work as a Man's book.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

Mark Noce said...

It's interesting how Bond can exist as a 2-dimension figure on-screen, but more 3-dimensional in the book.

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh My! I am in love with that bird description. I was just trying to describe a swan last night,and after reading that, I must admit, I suck big time. Damn that is some sweet writing, that is.

Clarissa Draper said...

Thanks for the lovely comment, Richard. Hope you like it when it comes out.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. I have read some of his books, and seen some of the films - but the passages you highlight here are incredible for their depth of descriptive art.

I had to check if this was his last book by chance .. and I see it was - and that he filled out the descriptive parts after the manuscript had gone to the publishers and the copy editor ... he died before he completed this.

However the words ring true, and if they match his other works - the 'ghost' fillers have done a great job ..

I agree with Tanya - the birds .. don't they just do that ..

cheers Hilary