Tuesday, December 6, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #52 Dr. No

OK, so this is James Bond book #6 on the list of original books written by Ian Fleming and, so far (I've read 8) this my least favorite. I enjoy campiness and, in relation to James Bond novels, I can tolerate misogyny, racism and impossible plot structures and devices. I could not do that with this book...and, I find it strange that Eon Films elected to pick this book as it's first Bond film (I like the film way loads better), I'm sure that had something to do with Honey Ryder, but I digress.

I'm trying really hard to find something that I liked about this book (and, have just successfully lowered it's stars from 3 to 2), I suppose I can start with what I didn't like.

1] Honey Ryder...there's no white bikini in this book and she spends half her time half-naked looking to James to save her. Now, usually this works and I find myself thinking, yes, James should be in charge here. However, I'm supposed to believe that Honey is so inculcated into the culture that she can live on her own, can go to this remote island alone to fish et cetera, but once James comes along she's weak and helpless...

2] The setting...a remote island off of Jamaica where Chinegros (a Fleming word, not mine...really, I would never use the word Chinegro, what a word!) work for this strange man. The only thing stopping him from taking over the world...bird poop.

3] Dr. No...he sounds asexual and weird and not in a good Blofeld kind of way...I was not scared of this man, nor could I pretend to be intimidated, I was too grossed out.

What I liked (see I knew that if I started writing about what I didn't like these things would come to me):

1] that it's set in Jamaica, I love reading about this country through the eyes of Ian Fleming. I have no desire to go to Jamaica, too darned hot, I have no desire to live in Jamaica, too darned hot, and I also dislike the beach, however, every time I read a passage describe this road or that restaurant I feel a little yearning in my heart.

2] The opening sequence and every detail seems to have been used precisely in the movie. What a fun opener...

Anyway, I could really take or leave this book...and, that makes me sad. I guess out of 14 books, I couldn't be expected to love them all, right!?


  1. I vastly preferred the book to the movie. The great fight with the giant squid alone makes the book a favorite.

    1. You know once he's in No's compound it does get better and that obstacle course did keep me on my toes...hmm...



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