Friday, May 1, 2009

Indie and Bond

"Indie" doesn't refer to Indiana Jones, but to Buy Indie Day, which is today, May 1st. You are encouraged to support your local independent bookseller by paying them a visit and making a purchase.

"Bond" does refer to Indiana Jones's spiritual progenitor James Bond, however. I had occasion recently to pick up an ancient copy of Ian Fleming's second Bond novel, Live and Let Die (nobody did titles better than Fleming), from way back in 1954. My edition is a Signet paperback (priced at 60 cents) that I swiped from my older brother when we were both teenagers. If he finds out I've got it, it'll be license-to-kill time. It creaks in spots, and the Bond of the books is a fairly humorless character, but the story moves along nicely. What struck me is that no other Fleming novel has provided so much inspiration for the Bond filmmakers.

There was, of course, the 1973 film of the same name, which used basic plot elements and characters from the book, along with its Voodoo theme.

Then there was 1981's For Your Eyes Only, in which the villain tries to kill Bond and his heroine by dragging them behind a speedboat as shark bait. That's straight from Chapter 22 of Live and Let Die.

Another film, 1989's Licence to Kill, has the bad guys dropping Bond's pal Felix Leiter into a shark tank, and then leaving him for Bond to find along with a note that says, "He disagreed with something that ate him." You'll find that in Chapter 14 of the novel. The subsequent scene in which Bond causes mayhem at a bait warehouse (memorably called Ouroborous Worm and Bait in the book) is from Chapter 15.

Something to think about when you visit that independent bookseller today. Expect to pay a bit more than 60 cents though.

Oh yeah: There's also a song. Do you know this version?

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