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Martin Amis And Charlie Higson Discuss James Bond On BBC Radio


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#31 glidrose

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:15 PM

I haven't read any Martin Amis as yet. But a Bond novel by him would fantastic just for the comparisons with his father's effort as well as for the different (if so) interpretation of the character he would offer. Doubt it will happen though.


Thing is, as writers Father and Son are/were like chalk and cheese - beyond the gimicky family connection there'd be no comparison to make, interesting or otherwise.


I've read Martin Amis's novels and can assert that as writers the two are/were like chalk and cheese. There is absolutely nothing in Martin Amis's output that makes me think he can (or would ever want to) do Bond. He is a gifted stylist, but he cannot plot and is very sententiously introspective. And his protagonists are pretty much all the same, i.e. an extension of Martin Amis himself and therefore nothing like Bond. Unless you want a Bond who is worried about his receding hairline, cynically sceptical of the world around him and spends much time plotting ways of getting in birds' knickers (and worries that he may not be able to get it up), and who goes down to the local pub to get away from Dench M's nagging and have a smoke or two, and suffers a fair degree of self-hatred, and is relieved the double O section has good medical benefits so he can do something about his bad teeth which are giving him a world of trouble... then no, you do not want him doing Bond.

#32 Secret Treaties

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:13 PM

I've read Martin Amis's novels and can assert that as writers the two are/were like chalk and cheese. There is absolutely nothing in Martin Amis's output that makes me think he can (or would ever want to) do Bond. He is a gifted stylist, but he cannot plot and is very sententiously introspective. And his protagonists are pretty much all the same, i.e. an extension of Martin Amis himself and therefore nothing like Bond. Unless you want a Bond who is worried about his receding hairline, cynically sceptical of the world around him and spends much time plotting ways of getting in birds' knickers (and worries that he may not be able to get it up), and who goes down to the local pub to get away from Dench M's nagging and have a smoke or two, and suffers a fair degree of self-hatred, and is relieved the double O section has good medical benefits so he can do something about his bad teeth which are giving him a world of trouble... then no, you do not want him doing Bond.


Without a doubt, Martin Amis would be a gimmick choice and nothing more. He's much more Saul Bellow than Kingsley Amis. Unless Amis is harboring unknown talents, you wouldn't get anything even nominally resembling a traditional James Bond novel.

A quote from a New York magazine article about father and son -

Father and son also used to disagree all the time about conspicuous literary style, or what Kingsley called “a high idiosyncratic noise level in the writing.” Martin recalled not long ago: “He was always saying, ‘I think you need more sentences like “He put down his drink, got up and left the room,” ’ and I thought you needed rather fewer of them.

#33 The Shark

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:19 PM

Unless Amis is harboring unknown talents, you wouldn't get anything even nominally resembling a traditional James Bond novel.


That's exactly what I want. Something completely out there and breaking from the formula entirely.

I want to see a senile James Bond in a retirement home, nicking supplies of vıagra, trying to get into the knickers of his nurses, recounting his past (with varying degrees of accuracy), and no one believing him. Funny yet tragic.

Jim, are you reading this?

#34 Secret Treaties

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:56 PM

Unless Amis is harboring unknown talents, you wouldn't get anything even nominally resembling a traditional James Bond novel.


That's exactly what I want. Something completely out there and breaking from the formula entirely.

I want to see a senile James Bond in a retirement home, nicking supplies of vıagra, trying to get into the knickers of his nurses, recounting his past (with varying degrees of accuracy), and no one believing him. Funny yet tragic.

Jim, are you reading this?


Well, being a fan of books like Gardner's Man From Barbarossa, I'm all for blowing up the formula. I admire any attempt to find new variations in the Bond universe or taking the character in interesting directions. However, it's apparent that many Bond fans don't want anything of the sort. I don't find fault with that. They love the character and fictional universe as is. They aren't looking for John Le Carre or Graham Greene.

#35 zencat

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 04:01 PM

Well said, Secret Treaties. That's another reason I so enjoy the books. I think you can blow up the formula from time to time -- and then go right back if you like. I was no fan of Barbarossa back in the day, but I recently re-read it and really enjoyed it precisely because it was such a different take on a Bond story,




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