Monday, 14 July 2014

Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond, #4) by Ian Fleming (2.5/5)

First published: 1956
Page count: 235

The back says: An international diamond-smuggling pipeline has opened up and the British Treasury wants to know who's controlling it. Impersonating a captured courier named Peter Franks, Bond infiltrates the criminal ring and finds an unlikely ally in Tiffany Case, a gorgeous American with a dark past. As the ring's stateside go-between, she may be just another link in the chain, but Tiffany is also Bond's best shot at finding the elusive figure at the head of the operation - a syndicate boss known only by the initials ABC. But if Bond's cover gets blown, he’ll find that the only thing harder than a diamond is surviving the payback of a pair of murderous henchmen. With a sparkling trail of smuggled gems as bait, Diamonds Are Forever leads Bond on a globe-hopping mission where deadly assassins lurk behind every corner

I say: Just as I start praising Fleming and asserting that these novels are getting better, this comes along.

Oh deary me, what a mess.

The most interesting titbit was probably that this is the first time we find out that Bond likes his Martinis shaken, not stirred. He has been very specific about the amounts of spirits and lemon peel before, and I was wondering if the classic line was going to emerge or if it was a product of the film version.

Now I know.

Other than that we are treated to yet another boring assignment - that the synopsis outlines so well that I have nothing to add – with improbable escapes, a love interest, chauvinism, racism and derogatory remarks about homosexuals.

I really dislike Bond.

This instalment has also made me realise that I don’t care for Fleming’s prose. I find reading these novels trying because there is so much excess information and the remind me of watching CSI in that you know all will be concluded in the eleventh hour. Of course, I knew this from watching the films, but it is getting on my nerves.

Assignment. Sexual attraction to a woman. Boring facts and non-happenings. Locating the bad guys. Action. Capture – usually with the woman. Improbable escape. One paragraph conclusion.


Sigh.

There’s a huge probability that I won’t read all of Fleming’s novels about Bond and just stop this project after the next one, simply because it is part of my 100 Classics Challenge.

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