Rediscovered: Under the Xmas Tree

golden type

In recent years I haven’t been finding many books under the old Xmas Tree, but the fact is that I get books all the time — for Xmas, a book would have to have some special vibe to it. And I got that kind of vibe off the blurb for The Man with the Golden Typewriter.

Guy creates James Bond, gifts himself with a golden typewriter to write the series. That’s my meat.

Complete bookman stuff: origins of character, work techniques, back-and-forth with writers and publishers. You almost cannot go wrong with a book of correspondence from a writer, especially a writer as solid as Ian Fleming.

While I have never read the entire Bond series (though I have read the majority, and Thrilling Cities), a decade or so back I did a reread on seven or eight of the titles. Some aspects struck me as laughable by modern standards (like Mike Hammer in Spillane’s I, the Jury saying “Hubba-hubba” when a hot dame walks into the room), other angles were timeless. Any scene with Bond underwater had magic to it. Any scene involving torture.

And the sequence where Bond is sent off to a health farm for some rest is a highlight, by my tastes. Health farm. Pretty funny.

Plus for me I kind of need this book as a companion item for Raymond Chandler’s letters, since they eventually became correspondents and pals. Fleming even interviewed Chandler for the BBC.

Yeah, I might never round up a complete set of Fleming to have the texts around, but I’ve got it for Chandler, and this book will slip easily onto that shelf.

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