RARA-AVIS: Re: Bond & Colonel Sun

Wed, 24 Nov 1999 16:09:28 -0600

I agree with Doug Bassett about Fleming as an example of the classic British adventure writer, rather than a hard-boiled character. In terms of crime/suspense fiction, the author Fleming most evokes for me is Sax Rohmer. Dr. No particularly seems like a recycled version of Dr. Fu Manchu and Bond is, in many ways, a less gentlemanly version of Sir Denis Nayland-Smith.

Regarding Bond's obsession with brand names and his technical expertise, there's an amusing story about that. In *Dr. No*, Bond is ordered to trade in his tiny Beretta .25 for a Walther PPK, with a snub-nosed .38 revolver as a back-up piece, then is issued a Berns-Martin shoulder holster in which he carries the Walther. Problem with that is the Berns-Martin is specially molded for revolvers and the Walther PPK is a semi-automatic which would never fit. Fleming didn't care. The brand names sounded neat, so Bond packed a Walther PPK in a Berns-Martin holster for the rest of the series.

Try to imagine Donald Hamilton making a mistake like that in a Matt Helm book!


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