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Looking Back: 'James Bond And Moonraker'


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#1 Qwerty

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:17 AM

Now on the CBn main page...

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The 1979 James Bond novelization by Christopher Wood


#2 sharpshooter

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:22 AM

Though I think Wood’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ to be one of the best continuation novels, I did enjoy reading this one.

#3 DLibrasnow

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:37 AM

I enjoyed Gardner's early James Bond books, but they were nowhere near as good as Wood's two novels. I consider his "The Spy Who Loved Me" to be the best of all the continuation novels. He really should have been given the Gardner gig in the early 1980s.

#4 Gothamite

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Reading JBAMR right now, closing in on the ending. It's much more run-of-the-mill than I remember JBTSWLM being. So much of it is taken straight from the film and the Fleming elements are even more of a thrown-in pastiche than in the last book.

I am enjoying it though and I think it fixes a lot of the stupider gags in the film usually by excising them entirely (the circus during the otherwise-masterful skydive-fight at the start, the hovercraft gondola, Jaws' girlfriend). Unfortunately most of the Moore puns are still in there.

While I agree that Wood probably would have been better than Gardner, I really don't get the impression that his heart was in the writing of these books as much as fans like to think (he stated a number of times that he didn't really enjoy the Fleming books).

#5 DavidJones

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:37 PM

Why didn't they novelize FYEO and OP etc? I would have loved that!


Edited by DavidJones, 16 May 2014 - 03:37 PM.


#6 AMC Hornet

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 04:52 PM

How do you write the middle section of FYEO without it being a straight transcription of Risico?

 

Octopussy, yes. If only George MacDonald Fraser had had a go, but it was Gardner's gig, and he'd just finished Icebreaker.

 

I suppose EON wasn't so concerned about novelizations in the 80s (until LTK) or perhaps it was Gardner or IFP who passed on the job.

 

Anyway, missed opportunity. If I really wanted to see a novelization of a Bond film, I have a word processor ("I can always print my own").

 

Actually I did tackle JBATMWTGG some time ago, just for the exercise, after being disappointed by Wood's second effort. I concluded that I wasn't as good a writer as he was after all.



#7 Grard Bond

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:06 PM

In The Netherlands a pocketbook of Octopussy, with the story of the movie, was released in 1983.

It was first published in a Dutch newspaper and is not well written, but the book is full of colour photo's of the movie.

So a book exists.

Also a paperback with the story of A view to a kill exist, it also was first published in the same Dutch newspaper (de Telegraaf).


Edited by Grard Bond, 16 May 2014 - 10:08 PM.


#8 AMC Hornet

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 11:32 PM

I have the magazine-sized versions of those, in English (AVTAK even has hard covers).

 

As you say, not well written; basically a synopsis of the story with a few jazzy phrases thrown in to make it sound 'Bondian.'

 

Much like the synopsis of Moonraker in magazine form ("They Fight! Fast! Furious!" etc...).

 

So they hardly count as proper novelizations. It's galling enough that they count as collectors' items.



#9 hilly

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

Wood did a bette job of writing the novel than he did the film.

#10 AMC Hornet

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 06:23 PM

He had 'help' writing the film.

 

Or, rather, he was the last writer to work on it, so he got overall credit.



#11 DavidJones

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:33 PM

His memoir is a quite a decent read. Interesting that, although married with kids, he behaved in rather a Bond fashion while away with Eon...


Edited by DavidJones, 19 May 2014 - 03:33 PM.


#12 Guy Haines

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:49 AM

Of the two Wood novels, I preferred the first, not least because he created such an interesting villain in Sigmund Stromberg. Like Fleming did with some of his villains, he devotes near enough a whole chapter to introducing him, and what a strange fellow he was - murderer (of his parents) corpse robber, swindler and insured property terrorist, as well as those webbed fingers and the fish fixation.

 

Wood's second novel tones down some of the film's excesses, as is pointed out above, and leaves in at least one scene which might not have got past the censors - the "love chamber", when Bond and Holly Goodhead become accidental voyeurs as they watch two of Drax's perfect human specimens, er, getting down to the business of generating "a new super-race" in zero gravity minus space suits or any other clothing for that matter. How would that have fitted into a "film for all the family"? (Then again, how else do families start? ;))






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