After reading and greatly enjoying Fleming's originals last year I didn't really want it to end so I thought I'd check out some of the continuations. This year I read Markham's, Pearson's, the two Woods and all the Gardners and am currently into the Bensons. I've decided that I'm into this now and want to read every Bond novel ever published.
What I've read so far has been pretty hit and miss and nowhere near up to the standard of Fleming - but I still feel the endeavor is worth it.
My Mum however disagrees.
Like me my Mum is a huge avid reader - and when she was a girl she read all the original Fleming books and got them on the day they were published (she actually has some early editions which she's said I can keep should I stumble across them in an old attic somewhere).
However - she has absolutely NO interest in the continuations. She thinks the books should have died with Fleming and for other authors to write books about Our Man is disrespectful, sacrilegious, cynical - and only to make money - and tells me she doesn't know why I'm wasting my time with them.
I've told her that sometimes if something becomes so popular and strikes a chord with audiences - then it ceases to belong to the author and starts to belong to it's audience. It takes on a life of it's own so to speak. Fleming surely would have written more had he not died. The Fleming estate authorizes these books. There's certainly an audience out there for them - and not only that - it's a good opportunity for authors. I personally think Fleming would be flattered if books and films of his creation were STILL being created and eaten up by audiences well over FIFTY years after it all started,
And there you have two valid arguments for and against from two different generations of Bond readers.
I personally don't really see the harm in James Bond books carrying on with different authors. I mean, why not right?
How do you guys feel?