James Bond Book Club

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Bond Novels | Ian Fleming | Fleming Essays | The Literary Bond | Book Club

James Bond Books

Come join the <a href="/?t=anon" target="_self">Licensed to Kill</a> community as we work our way through the James Bond canon. The book club begins in January 2009 and we'll start off with the Fleming novels. Each month we'll cover a different novel, which equates to about 50 pages of reading each week. If this is too much or too little, we'll adjust it as we see fit. The discussions will be lead by <a href="/account/joshiorio" target="_self">joshiorio</a> and <a href="/account/JustinAtheropinion" target="_self">JustinAtheropinion</a>, so if you have any suggestions for discussion topics, please let us know. The major topic of the discussions will be to analyze how the literary Bond is similar to and different from the cinematic Bond. Also, let us know if you'd like to be considered for the role of discussion leader one week (or for an entire novel). Future discussion leaders will be chosen at our discretion, based on the quality of the applicant's contributions to previous discussions.

Here's how it works... on the first of the month, the discussion leaders will post the monthly schedule. The schedule will consist of the chapters that should be read each week. On the Sunday beginning each week, the discussion questions will be posted for the chapter that should be read the following week. The purpose of the discussion questions is to give you something to think about while you're reading. Discussions of this nature have a way of taking on their own character, so the questions are meant to guide your reading, not dictate what you're supposed to be thinking about. We're not really trying to "answer" these questions, but they're designed to get the discussion going. The reading assignment for each week is due on Friday, and the discussion will take place over the weekend. Have a look at the schedule for Casino Royale in order to get a sense of the timing and the kinds of questions we'll be working with. At the end of each month, we'll get together as a group and work on filling out the content of the novel pages.

The purpose of the book club is to spark interest in the literary James Bond, and to try and understand some of the differences between the Bond of the books and the Bond of the movies. Moreover, we're concerned with developing an understanding of who Bond is, which will inevitably be a blend of our experiences reading the novels and watching the films. In many cases, we'll see similarities, but more often than not, the two portrayals are quite different. With that being said, we expect the discussions to be serious, thoughtful, and relevant. Discussions shouldn't be based solely on your opinion, but rather your opinion supported by some passage from the novel or a scene from the film. While the purpose of the discussion is to explore some of the more complex aspects of Bond's personality, it can also be a place to clarify any part of the plot or characters that's confusing. Our goal here is to explore James Bond and to think critically about our favorite secret agent. Since we'll be discussing how the novels relate to the films, it might be a good idea to brush up on the film before you read the novel.

In the end, we'll all have a more nuanced understanding of James Bond as we work together to develop an insight into how Ian Fleming's creation and the cinematic adaptations relate to each other and have changed over the years.

Schedule and Instructions:

To contribute to the Book Club, click the chapter links below for discussion and click the novel title to visit that novel's homepage. Each discussion will be associated to the corresponding novel's page, so you can get to the discussion that way as well. Questions are meant to guide the discussion. You don't have to answer any or all of the questions. Feel free to introduce a topic or respond to any other topic that comes up on the discussion board. Please keep your responses on topic and on the appropriate discussion board. Tell us exactly what you're responding to and use examples from the books or films in your response to support your ideas. We're not looking for the "right" answers; we're working together to understand Bond.

March 2009: Live and Let Die (1954)
Due Date:
Question 1:
Question 2:
Question 3:
March 7th, 2009 <a href="/thread/2487008/Book+Club%3B+Chapters+1-6" target="_self">Chapters 1-6</a> Fleming has been criticized for his depiction of African-Americans and Afro-Carribeaners. Which of his descriptions, if any, do you think cross the line? Why or why not? Bond and Felix worked together in Casino Royale. How has their relationship changed? Compare Bond's plan to locate Mr. Big with M's plan to make sure Le Chiffre isn't able to fund SMERSH.
March 14th, 2009 <a href="/thread/2553628/Book+Club%3A+Chapters+7+-+12" target="_self">Chapters 7-12</a> Fleming does something new in "Live and Let Die:" He starts to take the novel beyond Bond's perspective of events. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Bond and "Mr. Big" couldn't be more polar-opposite: But is there anything about their personalities that is similar and makes them evenly matched? Solitaire: film version and book version. What qualities do they share? How are they different? Which do you prefer, and why?
March 21st, 2009 <a href="/thread/2585957/Book+Club%3A+Chapters+13-17" target="_self">Chapters 13-17</a> Beginning around CH 13, the book and movie almost completely depart from one another in terms of plot. What are the differences and why do you think they exist? We see Bond and Felix joking around with each other at the end of CH 13. Humor and wit have come to be a hallmark of the film series. How is Bond's humor different from the humor Moore brings to the character? Bond is tortured in CR. However, we could argue that he struggles more in the first half of LALD than he did throughout CR. What does the root of Bond's struggles in LALD tell us about his character?
March 28th, 2009 Chapters 18-23

Previous Months:

Casino Royale Comparison - James Bond Wiki March Bond Book Club