I never read Fleming's "James Bond" books. Are the movies true to the books Bond character or not?

Just curious. I have seen most (not all) of the James Bond films but I have never read any of the Ian Fleming novels. Is the literary character markedly different from the movie character or not?

I read them back in high school. I recall Connery and Lazenby as being really close to the literary character but Moore gets progressively silly.

I read all the books Fleming wrote (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Fleming) and found them fun reading. But I was well aware of the liberties the movie makers took with many aspects of what Fleming put in the books. I was never enough of a student to know all the ins and out of the whole business, though. They were just great fun for me.

Dr. No and *Goldfinger *and From Russia With Love are very close to the books. The other movies, not so much.

One of the major divergences between novel Bond and movie Bond is that the former wasn’t particularly suave at all. He routinely smokes ~70 cigarettes a day (and not light cigs, either) so his ability to appreciate refined tastes is sharply limited. He deliberately seeks out sharp intense sensations in danger, gambling, alcohol and women, and is nothing like the movie gourmand with encyclopedic knowledge of wines and foods.

Book Bond is pretty much a glum thug.

I’m on disagree.
The books are much better than the movies, though when you read them you will think of Sean Connery as the model.

The books aren’t as silly mainly. I read them all before I started seeing the movies and the fims were a real letdown. The books have all the fetish drink food cars and girls, and Bond is the brutal survivor.
You should get
On Her Majestys Secret Service
Dr No
Live and Let Die
in that order.

Agreed, and agreed.

However, in at least one instance, the movie is better. The movie “Goldfinger” is MUCH better than the book. It’s because it’s better thought out. The book makes A. G. into an imbecile. Goldfinger kidnaps Bond, and makes Bond put together the details of his raid on Fort Knox. Bond is tasked with the timetables, personnel roster, table of equipment and organization, etc.

Right… Kidnap your most deadly enemy…and let him prepare your wicked plan for you…

In the book, G. is just trying to rob Ft. Knox. In the movie, the plan is much more clever: to lay waste to the gold, thus disturbing the balance of the world’s gold markets, for which he has prepared by buying/selling futures.

(Much like the 9-11 terrorists, who, adding insult to injury, invested in airline futures knowing that there would be massive disruptions to worldwide air travel. Blow up our buildings…and make a gob of money out of it too!)

Finally, in the book, Bond rapes Pussy Galore, who then switches sides because she has been had by a Real Man ™ and, oh, oh, those creamy orgasms totally reversed her perverted lesbian hormones. In the movie, she was already looking for a way out, not liking G.'s plan because it involved mass murder. She sided with Bond because he offered her an escape from a hellishly evil plan.

Movie 10. Book 4.

The Man with the Golden Gun also has a really big central flaw. In the opening, Bond tries to kill M. And M just shrugs, says, “Poor man,” and lets him right back into the service. BULLSHIT! Stupid, inane, untenable, hokey crap.

In the books that I’ve read, Bond fucks up quite regularly and yet manages to stay alive by the skin of his teeth. In OHMSS, for example, his cover is blown quite easily (even before another agent accidentally fingers him), and he can’t ski worth crap (in the movie, he seems to be a world-class downhiller). He’s lucky to get away at all.

I think when the hero has setbacks and imperfections its called “the plot” and it helps to extend the story to novel length, and give it conflict, thereby making it more interesting.


Except for Timothy Dalton in* License to Kill*, I cannot say any actor caught the book Bond totally.

They all had their moments, even Moore, in *For Your Eyes Only *and to a lesser extent in The Man with the Golden Gun. However, the dark uncompromising Bond is really on seen in Dalton’s interpretation.

Nuts to the books and the movies - here’s my favorite Bond moment. :smiley:

Book Bond is more somber than movie Bond. He isn’t an emotionless assassin, but I don’t recall him tossing out quips and one-liners as movie Bond often has. The Dalton Bond was the closest screen Bond to the book version.

Ian Fleming described James Bond as looking like Hoagy Carmichael with a wicked facial scar — https://www.google.com/search?q=hoagy+carmichael&biw=1440&bih=772&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=BKyGVbq3K4SoyAT2m5fYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

That’s pretty good. :smiley:

Well, I gotta admit that I think Daniel Craig has totally nailed Bond’s character. Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan were the closest in physical looks.

In the early books, Bond is middle-aged, and on the verge of mandatory retirement. He seems to get younger as the series progresses.

In the early books, Bond is described as looking like Hoagy Carmichael. (Although frankly, I think Fleming was visualizing himself performing the heroic deeds.) When the film version of Doctor No was being cast, Fleming wanted either David Niven or Roger Moore. He thought Sean Connery was completely wrong for the role. He seemed to change his mind, though. In the later books, his descriptions of Bond sounded like descriptions of Connery, and he also added a Scottish element to Bond’s backstory.

I respect the Bond from the books.
He is a man with a job to do, and, although he has an occasion twinge or regret, he does it.

The movie Bond jokes about killing, & the people he has killed. Sick, and a tad psycho.
The book Bond does not.

I read the books as a teenager in the 1970s, when they were just barely dated; it would be interesting to re-read them as 60+ year old period pieces.

Pity he didn’t live to see the 1967 version of Casino Royale. (snicker)