Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Tiger's Wife and a Quantum of Solace

I've been reading The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, which is absolutely fantastic, but so rich that, like trying to eat an entire Christmas pudding, it's difficult to consume in one go.

To have a break from this, I slept. Most of the day, which is not very interesting to read about, and then I watched Diamonds Are Forever, which is much worse than I remembered, for reasons I can't go into here (I'll get back to this when I've watched another film from 1971), and then I slept some more.

Finally, I launched myself from bed and went out to the shops, to purchase birthday presents and while I was there I picked up Quantum of Solace, a collection of Fleming's short stories.

As time went by, the filmmakers moved from using Fleming's plots and characters to just taking the titles and doing whatever they felt like, so on the page From A View To A Kill has no steroid-abusing, horse-racing, airship flying Christopher Walkens trying to flood Silicon Valley.

It does have men on motorcycles, and some incredibly jaundiced remarks about Paris, suggesting that Fleming was horribly offended by a mime artist in Montmartre once. There's also some casual misogyny, or perhaps Fleming just hates French women. Or Bond hates French women, because when he was sixteen he lost his virginity and his notecase in short order to a French woman.

I'm not sure what a notecase is. Is it an antiquated wallet? A miniature briefcase? A trunk-sized piece of luggage? Perhaps Fleming's work needs to come with a glossary of these antiquated terms for contemporary readers to understand.

Anyway, Fleming still writes a good story, even if the characters and attitudes are contemptible; the plot proceeds at a fair lick, even if it involves covert operations in rosebushes.

After that, we spent three hours eating pizza in Causeway Bay, and then ended up on a rooftop bar overlooking the harbour. This is one of the wonderful things about Hong Kong, being able to sit out on a murky night, drinking girly drinks with umbrellas in them, while beneath you rich idiots drive past in expensive sports cars with poorly silenced exhausts.


No, it's not a bad thing. Honest.


T.S.A.B. said...

Well were you? Wearing leather chaps, that is.

T.S.A.B. said...


that last comment makes more sense (marginally) if you associate it with this post instead:


Mr Cushtie said...

I think that's a valid question to ask at any time, really.

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