Re: RARA-AVIS: Reading Series in Order?

From: Patrick King (
Date: 21 Jun 2008

--- On Sat, 6/21/08, David White <> wrote: SPOILERS AHEAD:

I believe the Thunderball, OHMSS, You Only Live Twice, The Man With the Golden Gun novels are loosely connected for a few reasons.  One, it begins the Blofeld plot--with him as an ongoing villain.  Then Blofeld kills Bond's wife in OHMSS, Bond goes after Blofeld (Dr. Shatterhand) in You Only Live Twice and ends up with Amnesia, and the half completed (by Fleming anyway) has him regain his memory.

**************************************************************** Well, yes, I see your point especially concerning YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. I don't think, though, that if you missed YOLT you wouldn't understand TMWTGG, which is the case with the Ellroy novels Mario mentioned. To my mind Blofeld is a Joker kind of villain and the continuity of his villainies are the McGuffins in the books where he appears. They're the fulcrum to the plots but the reader really doesn't care about what Blowfeld's doing. Fleming was on friendly terms with most of the leaders of the free world due to the popularity of his books and was encouraged to end the evil Russian theme as Kennedy and Macmillan were doing their utmost to avert WW III. Apparently SMERSH was a real Soviet organization. The emergence of freelance SPECTRE as the Bond nemesis seemed a little forced to me at the time. Little did I realize that Fleming was inventing history and that freelance terrorists would be the major problem three years
 after his death and remain the major threat today. One has to wonder, however, how real-life freelance terrorists obtain financing. Blowfeld, of course, used drug dealing and Nazi gold to fund SPECTRE. That said, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE remains my favorite of the Bond novels. I read the entire book from cover to cover for the first time on New Years eve 1964. That remains one of the happiest and most memorable New Years Eves of my life. Hopefully the best is yet to come!

Patrick King


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