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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday book review - Ian Fleming's YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

My book club - which, oddly enough, is all women - picked James Bond for this meeting. And we all picked different books.

I picked YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE mostly because I loved the theme song and every time I looked at the cover or thought about the book I started singing it. It reminded me not only of the movie - which I don't remember that well - but of my dad who died two years ago this month. One of his favourite gifts from me was a cassette tape with the theme songs from all the Bond movies. Nancy Sinatra sings this one and while I'm typing this I'm listening to it on YouTube. And thinking of my dad and how much he would enjoy this song again.

I've just finished the book and I can't believe how good it was, how well written and how surprising. I wasn't bored for a minute and I didn't, as I sometimes do, put it away until I the day before book club.

It's a completely different (I think) story from the movie. One of the things I'm going to do in the next couple of weeks is to watch the movie because I haven't seen it for many, many years and I want to see how the book I enjoyed so much got translated into the movie. This story - because it happens right after Bond's wife is murdered - is quite sombre. And the setting and the story all seem to fit into that sadness. Fleming did a terrific job in making everything work around Bond's sadness.

What I particularly liked, I think, was the way the book explored the Japanese culture from the perspective of the 1950s and how the English saw that culture.

I also picked up QUANTUM OF SOLACE (trying for the old and the new) not realizing that it was a book of stories. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it - partly because I enjoyed YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE so much and partly because I'm teaching a short story course right now so reading any stories is probably good for me.


P.S. - don't let anyone from my book club read this blog or they'll know everything I'm going to say at our meeting.

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