From: Ramon Schenk ( ramonschenk@hotmail.com)
Date: 01 Jun 2004

Hello Bill, I always enjoyed the comic strip version, and knew that there were both prose and strip versions in paperback, but have never come across any. Does anyone have a list or some for sale/trade? Best regards, Ramon

>Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 23:54:24 -0400 (EDT)
>From: William Denton < buff@pobox.com>
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: Modesty Blaise
>I just read MODESTY BLAISE, the 1965 spy thriller by Peter O'Donnell
>featuring ultrasexy international supercriminal Modesty Blaise, who's
>brought out of retirement at 26 and recruited by the British government to
>make sure a diamond shipment goes through. She and her sidekick, who can
>shoot and fight as well as Modesty, plus design gizmos as well as James
>Bond's Q, take on a pancontinental megavillain.
>I thought Modesty Blaise had been mentioned many times on the list, but it
>turns out it's only three or four. Some rare birds regard her as one of
>the top female hardboiled characters, and I'd agree somewhat. She's
>certainly tough, and she can kick ass up and down the Mediterranean.
>She can be cold and hard like James Bond (the one in the books), but
>that's expected of everyone in this kind of spy thriller. Against her we
>must hold the way she breaks down and cries at the end of the book, as she
>does after all her most dangerous escapades. She doesn't have the hard
>inner heart that asks for nothing from nobody.
>There's a nice bit of conversation about her professionalism:
>| "You're an amateur" [Modesty says]. "I'm a professional. You're
>| smart, fast, good with a gun, good with your hands. It's not enough.
>| You rely on your gifts, and it's not enough." There was no cruelty
>| in her eyes, but neither was there any mercy.
>| "Go on," Hagan said.
>| "I wasn't good with a gun, like you. I spent two hours a day for two
>| years, making myself good. It might not seem worth it. How often do
>| you really need to use a gun--I mean to shoot with it? Once in three,
>| four, five years? All right, I spent fifteen hundred hours making
>| myself ready for that one time. Because I'm a professional, Paul. I've
>| spent thousands of hours making myself ready in all kinds of different
>| ways for those few times when being ready means living instead of dying.
>| Thousands of hours. Because I'm a professional. I'm not proud of being
>| professional, or ashamed of it. But that's what I am."
>- --
>William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat

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