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Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

See also:  http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart

My name:  Brian Martin

Notes on Dr. No by Ian Fleming

Dr. No (James Bond) - Ian Fleming

* The sixth Bond book.

* Second appearance of Strangways and Quarrel.

* Terrific book, from the opening in which Bond must give up his "ladies' gun," his Baretta, and accept the new Walther PPK, through the wonderful last line kicker.

* Everything clicks. Quarrel (Bond's good-humored man Friday), Honey Rider (his naive yet resourceful damsel in distress), and Doctor No (his mad, creepy nemesis); the mystery and suspense of the first two-thirds, and the excitement of the climax; and the spice of Fleming's sure touch with humor throughout (Bond even aims a zinger in M's direction).

* Once again, ignore complaints of "misogyny" from people who don't appear to know what the word means and "racism" from people who must believe that political correctness is a virtue. The book is neither. In fact, in this book, a black man's intuition proves better than Bond's and a woman's knowledge, had Bond but possessed it, would have saved him a lot of anxiety. And these are just two examples. Another is this: one reason Bond never believes the theory subscribed to by M and other officials as to what happened to a man and a woman at the beginning of the book who have disappeared is because the woman, a professional, would not have acted in such a silly, emotional way.

* The first Bond movie (Sean Connery).

* Sticks generally to the plot, though a number of details are changed and others added, especially during the climax. The most notable addition is that of Felix Leiter. The best is a scene in which Bond cold-bloodedly kills one of Dr. No's cohorts.

* Honey Ryder (Rider in the book) is regrettably reduced to prop status. Dr. No is creepy enough, though; at least, he is when first introduced, in a scene where he is heard but not seen.

* Ok adaptation, but nothing spectacular certainly. The one undeniably great bit of adaptation is the signature Bond theme.