Those Who The Gods Love Die Young
Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:06 PM
Those Who The Gods Love Die Young....
Bond visits Paris to investigate the businessman and antiquities dealer Andreas Chivry.
Arriving in late September, Bond is less than impressed with Paris...
Bond didn’t like ostentatious hotels. For that reason he appreciated the ease and efficiency of the Terminus Du Nord, a traditional station hotel situated directly opposite the main entrance of Le Gare du Nord, the Paris hub for the Euro-Star express. The Du Nord wasn’t quite as grand as it had been between the wars, when the whole of European high society travelled by luxury train and the hotel was a signature destination for all. It had recently down graded itself to three stars, but even so the renovation was stylish, slick and simple in fashion, which matched the starched service and the business customers who frequented it.
Bond arrived at lunchtime on the Friday, giving himself an afternoon to prepare for the auction viewing. He checked in with the minimum of fuss. The receptionist, a pretty brunette with tiny spectacles perched on the bridge of her equally tiny nose, reminded him the rooms were all non-smoking. Bond gave a resigned sigh.
She caught his mood and whispered: “Monsieur Aubrey could always smoke on the balcony.” Bond returned her smile of conspiracy and thanked her for the suggestion.
The room was as functional as the welcome. Bond opened the balcony doors immediately. He ordered a double Croquet-Madame from room service and as he waited for the toasted sandwich, he completed his minimal unpacking. Then he poured himself a large Bell’s, watered down with a dash of Canadian Ginger, and went outside to smoke. He sucked the dry heat of the tobacco into his lungs and took in the everyday bustle along the Boulevard de Denain.
Paris had changed a lot since his youth. Bond wondered if every visitor thought the same. There was certainly less tawdriness to the city. It was clean and unspoilt. The monuments sat prominent above the skylines. The hidden gems of streets, arcades, shops, restaurants and hotels sat obediently beneath them. A few distasteful modern constructions, the legacy of successive Mayors and Presidents, all intent on leaving their personal mark, still blighted the once serene esplanades and avenues envisaged by Haussmann. Now an effort was being made to restore Paris back to its cultural roots. Green spaces were planned. The dreaded ring road was to be covered over. The farthest suburbs were finally to be linked to the centre by tram and train rather than tarmac. Yet Paris lacked a spark. The atmosphere was grey and cold despite the warmth of the sun. The city needed another riot to brighten it up, thought Bond, and tossed the filter absently over the balcony. There were still a few hours to kill before the evening. He thumbed his copy of Gilgamesh again; it seemed there was nothing for it but to finish the damn thing.
The city needed another riot to brighten it up, thought Bond,
Now I really could not have predicted that any better!
Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:40 AM
Our hero arrives in Iraq - this very much seemed like an intermission chapter, something to get our characters from point a to point b. But that doesn't matter, when we know things are building towards an explosive finale and will come to a head within a few chapters. I look forward to seeing how Sylvia manipulates her father and what further use he can be to Bond.
Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:55 AM
Posted 02 November 2010 - 01:15 PM
Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:55 AM
I'm not sure exactly who's reading it, but I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I just re-read a few chapters and some of my writing is so atmospheric, so alive, that I had to pinch myself to remind myself I actually created it. Chapters 15 - 20 have an ominous sense of danger, the pall of death and doom, hanging over them; even when Bond is indulging his phyisical desires, there's an undercurrent of mystery and fear to the proceedings. And the penultimate chapter "The Long Shadows" is about as poetic as a stand off and bloodbath can get. I drift a bit here and there, but the slow build up of tension works really well, for the most part, and rewards the dedicated reader. Not a slam 'em 'n' shoot 'em, but good enough none the less.
Thanks again to everyone who's read TWTGLDY.
Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:17 PM
Thanks to all my readers anyway.
Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:21 AM
It's very good, and strongly recommended to all.
Agreed. Very good piece, Chris.