Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Solo William Boyd
Boyd's Bond is very much Fleming's Bond - a carnal, chain smoking, action man. This is a Bond who can't talk to a woman without his eyes falling to the small nippled breasts or the bra-busting bouncers. In an early segment of the book Bond breaks into a woman's house and watches her undress. It's all good unclean fun and by the time the story starts proper I was completely sucked into the world of Bond in a way I have not been for a great many Bond novels. It helps, of course, that Boyd sets his novel in 1969 when Bond is 45 and ageing quite disgracefully. We don't need Bond updated for our overly sensitive times, nor do we want him to treat women as equals. The man Fleming created was a chauvinistic bastard and so too is the Bond that Boyd successfully recreates.
Bond admired the small-nippled breasts of the girl on the next table, clearly visible through the transparent gauze of her blouse. There was something to be said for modern fashions after all.
There were several nice touches in the book - Bond bumping into an old school friend and then naming many of his classmates for one and also the recipe for James Bond's salad dressing is painfully detailed. These may seem like minor points but they do add colour to the book, and make Bond seem real in a way that he hasn't for a great many years.
Overall then Solo is a success and the Bond here owes much more to the literary character than the cinematic one. This guy is nasty and even makes Daniel Craig looks like a pussy, and thankfully he does it all with so much style.