Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Report: Devil May Cry, by Ian Fleming (Sebastian Faulks)

To this point in my life, I had not read Ian Fleming. Nor had I so much as dabbled in the numerous 007 books created by various authors under license. I had, however, enjoyed most of the movies up to and including Octopussy (forgive me).

When I saw this lying around, I thought, 'Why not?' I knew the Bond of the books was quite different from the Bond of film, so I went in with no real idea what to expect. What I got was a spy thriller set in the mid 1900s during the cold war, in which a deformed pharmaceutical producer with a hate on for Britain tries to heat up the war after growing impatient with promoting heroin addiction in the English underclass. Add in exotic locales (Iran, Turkey, Cold-war Russia), a psychotic henchman and twin damsels in distress who aren't what they seem.

It was a decent enough read, but I really didn't think the book got going until the second half when Bond discovers the villain's lair and begins to investigate. The pages before that read more like a seedy travelogue with occasional bits of intrigue and violence. I did not find much tension in the first part, and had things not picked up when they did, I'd have laid this aside.

As I say, I haven't read Fleming or a book about Bond before, and there may be conventions or traditions associated with them of which I remain unaware. My dissatisfaction may be due entirely to having uneducated expectations.

Ulysses Rating: 1 - I finished this, but I didn't enjoy it.

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