unfortunately, I had to abandon my copy of this book, but 70% fully read and 30% skimmed revealed, I believe, one very good story full of psychological complexity, and the rest being pretty straight formulaic fiction, including some filler based on Fleming apparently needing to write something
and coming up with two or three scuba diving stories that are only incidentally about License-to-Kill #007.
I suppose I could turn this into one of those really clever academic deconstructions of the bond character. eldridge cleaver does a fairly simplistic piece in [b:Soul on Ice|75162|Soul on Ice|Eldridge Cleaver|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320532998s/75162.jpg|1949545], but there is something to be said for Bond as a sort of culture hero, the suave, always-controlled, always-calm type of British colonial leader who presented an alternative to what followed:
i was reading some accounts of the british drawdown of empire in which the retreating british landowners basically outlined their life like this:
imagine you're living life perpetually in a high school, and there's this one kid who always wins; always gets the girls; always aces the tests--but like, he himself, is growing increasingly weary of his own position, and life is becoming this hollow mockery of forms where nobody can act normally. finally one day--thank god--some crazed rebel leader shows up and refuses to act in the same stereotypical ways, and the class ace can now pack up and depart this comedy of errors. but, secretly, a lot of people on some level have nostalgia for like the simplicity of having one final arbiter, and by screaming your way to a more equitable set of affairs, you've also lost the certainty and steadiness of life.
so maybe that's it.