Not Bond

I mentioned in this space that I’d acquired a library copy of Casino Royale so that I could read James Bond books in order as part of my reading old(er) books project. The James Bond books have all just been deleted from my list. Why? Let’s just say that the movies soften Bond. The one book that I’ve read is pretty raw, and I’m not really interested in that kind of reading material. I posted a link to my previous Bond post to facebook and one friend commented that the movie character and the book character were completely different. He’s right. I prefer the Hollywoodized Bond.

I’ve found this with other book/movie pairings. The movie leads me to the book looking for the fuller experience that the books usually provide, then the book turns out to be full of scenes I’d rather not read. The fuller experience has too much information. The movie softened the book, made it more palatable for viewers, broadened the audience. The movie basically has less sex and/or violence than the book. A short list of books I remember that fall into this category includes BeachesEverything is Illuminated, and now Casino Royale.

Of course movies change books, that cannot be helped. But I’m still surprised when I find that the movie softened the book substantially. The accepted view in society  is that movies are full of sex and violence. But the written word can carry a lot of both those elements as well. Should books have rating systems? Just a random thought on a Saturday morning.

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1 Comment

Filed under fiction

One response to “Not Bond

  1. That is quite the thought! Perhaps they should have a rating/readability system for books. What would be the best criteria though? How would we determine the standard sensibilities on which to base our system? With so many differences in background and sensitivities should we go with the mean or the ‘most sensitive’ common denominator? Would it be age based like movies and elementary school libraries or separated by categories from “Sunday afternoon in a sunny spot” to “Oh-God-No-Please-say-this-author-did-not-reproduce?” In short – lets do this.

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