Fleming, Ian: The Man with the Golden Gun
(researched by Jill Johnson)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Fleming, Ian. The Man With the Golden Gun. New York, NY, New American Library, 1965. First edition, second printing.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The cloth bound book appe ared in stores first in 1965, marking the second hardcover book by Ian Fleming to make the bestseller list. The paperback version appeared in 1966 and was a Signet book from the New American Library.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
100 leaves. [12], 1-183, [5] p.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The first edition contains no introduction or editorís remarks.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations in the first edition.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The bookís cover has held up well over time mainly due to its rebinding by the library. The text is still very readable.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper type was not available, but is heavyweight and durable. It is yellowing in all areas and contains numerous stains throughout the book. The stains and yellowing do not hinder the textís legibility.
11 Description of binding(s)
The book is 22 centimeter s long. Bindings are not assessable due to rebinding by the library.
12 Transcription of title page
[begin italics]Ian Fleming[end italics]| THE MAN |[begin italics]with the[end italics]| GOLDEN GUN| [New American Library icon]| PUBLISHED BY THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
The manuscript holdings were not found.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
The book was issued in at least two editions. The cloth edition was printed in 1965 by the New American Library and the paper edition appeared
in 1966 as a Signet book of the New American Library. Though the illustration for the cloth book is unavailable, the paper book was printed with a graphic of Scaramanga holding a golden gun with Mary Goodnight perched in his arms. The chapter pages for t
he two books remain the same, though the paper edition contains fewer pages.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There are at least three printings of the first edition and ten printings of the Signet paperback. There were 91 printings of all paperback James Bond books combined in
1965. The individual printings for each book are not available.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
London: J. Cape, 1965. London: Book Club, 1965. Toronto: Pan, 1966. Stanley Thomas, Dec. 1976. London: Hutchinson, 1976. (by Patrick Nobes, for "slow-learning students") St. Albans Triad, 1978, 1965. G.K. Hall and Company, June 1980. Toronto; Coronet/General Paperbacks, 1987. Simon & Schuster Trade, May 1987. Hodder, Feb. 1989. Shelton, Connecticut: The First Edition Library, 1995.
6 Last date in print?
Shelton, Connecticut: The First Edition Library, 1995. A collection of James Bond novels was printed by MJF in 1997, but there is no evidence that this book was among them. This title is not available by that publisher in several on-line databases.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
95, 134 copies of the cloth edition were sold in 1965. Th
e book itself stayed on the bestseller list for 15 total weeks, peaking at number 6 and ending in November, 1965. These are the only statistics found. Source: New York Times Book Review, Publisher's Weekly
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
No sales figures were found among several sources, including "80 Years of Bestsellers." A letter is currently written to the publisher, but statistics may be hard to find as the publisher does not
exist anymore.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
No advertisements were found for the book, but there were advertisements for other James Bond books.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
N/A
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
The Man with the Golden Gun, motion picture, 1974, United Artists. starring Roger Moore as James Bond
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
The Man with the Golden Gun. French and European Publications, Inc. June, 1990. (French and Spanish) The Man with the Golden Gun. Tokyo: Hayakawa Shobo, 1965. (Japanese) Chelovek s zolotym revol/verom. Novosibirsk: SPAS, 1992. (language unknown) Rvhe se nat' nhan'/ran' su. Ran' Kun'; Rvak' Lha Mruin' Ca Pe, 1968. (language unknown) Na tainoi sluzhbe ee velichestva. Moskva: "SKS," 1992, 1991. (language unknown) Chin Ch'iang jen. Taipei: Hsing Kuang ch'u pan she, 1981. (language unknown) L'homme au pistolet d'or. Paris: Plon, 1965. (French) OO7 James Bond and der goldene colt. Bern; Switzerland: Scherz Verlag, 1968, 1965. (German) Manden Med Den Gyldne Revolver. Copenhagen, Denmark: Skrifola. (Danish) De Man Met De Gouden Revolver. Utrecht (The Netherlands): Zwarte Beertjos, 1984. (Dutch) Altin Tabancali Adam. Istanbul: Basak Yayineri, 1966. (Turkish)
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
There are no sequels or prequels, but the book is a part of the James Bond series.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Ian Lancaster Fleming, the mastermind behind the espionage tales of James Bond, was born in London, England in the district of Mayfair on May 28, 1908. Fleming was not born into a poor family. His parents, Vale
ntine and Evelyn Beatrice Ste. Croix Rose Fleming were financially stable and Fleming's grandfather, Robert Fleming, had his own multi-million dollar banking company. Fleming attended several schools as a child, and was often characterized as lazy. He attended the Durnford School on the Isle of Purbeck for five years and then transferred to Eton. After a shaky relationship with the headmaster at Eton, Fleming attend
ed the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and then the Universities of Munich and Geneva. Fleming took the Foreign Office Examination and did not receive an office, hence his interest in the area of espionage. He then worked at various stockbroking firms and news agencies. His first novel, Casino Royale, was not published until 1953, when F
leming was 45 years old. After the success of the novel, he then proceeded to publish the other James Bond novels in the series: Live and Let Die (1954); Moonraker (1955); Diamonds are Forever (1956); From Russia, With Love (1957); Doctor No (1958); Gold
finger (1959); For Your Eyes Only (1960); Thunderball (1961); The Spy Who Loved Me (1962); On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963); You Only Live Twice (1964); and The Man with the Golden Gun (1965). In addition to these books, he printed two non-fiction
books, Thrilling Cities (1963) and The Diamond Smugglers (1957). Fleming also penned a famous children's story that was turned into a Disney movie: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964). Most of his novels were first published by J. Cape in England. One of the main topics behind the James Bond novels are the hero's relationships with women. During Fleming's life, the author also liked to indulge in numerous affairs. He was engaged to a French-Swiss woman, Monrique de Mestral, but the engagement wa
s broken after he realized that he could not support her. Later, he married Anne Geraldine Charteris, formerly Lady Rothermere, on March 24, 1952. They had one son, named Caspar. Fleming wrote most of his Bond books at his beach house in Jamaica, termed "Goldeneye." It was at this house that he married Anne and he spent much of his time. Throughout his adult life, Fleming would smoke between sixty and seventy cigarettes a day a
nd drink a large quantity of alcohol. In 1961, he suffered a major heart attack, and on August 12, 1964, he had a hemorrhage. He died at 1:00 that day at Canterbury Hospital. He was 56 years of age. After his death, his last novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, was found finished. However, Fleming did not get a chance to edit this book for the publisher, and so the editing was done with another's hands. In addition, a short story, Octopussy: The La
st Great Adventures of James Bond 007 was printed in 1967. All of the James Bond stories have been made into movies, and eventually became more famous than the books. Sean Connery is famous for his potrayal of Bond. Also, other authors have continued t
he Bond saga by writing additional books. Most of Fleming's correspondence, typescripts, and interview notes, as well as annotated copies of some of his books are held in the Lilly Library at Indiana University.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Man with the Golden Gun, Ian Fleming's posthumously published last Bond novel, elicited different opinions from critics in 1965. Some were impressed with the novel's villain, the golden gun-toting Scaramanga,
while others thought he was a weak excuse for one of Bond's foes. Universally, critics admitted that the novel contained less excitement, sex , and blood than previous novels. "This book is never boring," states Simon Raven of The Spectator. "It inclu
des an imaginative cabaret, instructions of how to prepare and eat a raw snake, and some amusing business with an old-fashioned virgin tied to a railway line." Concurrently, the New Yorker believes "Scaramanga is a satisfactorily detestable monster." Bu
t both of these publications acknowlede the novel's shortcomings. "Construction is patchy and both sides get away with incompetence which would have been unthinkable or immediately fatal a few years earlier in Bond's career," says Raven. The New Yorker
writes "There is little else here to recall those earlier days. There is no cheerful fornication, no breathless chemin de fer, no gourmet meals, no joyous drinking, no extraordinary physical exertions, and only the merest dribble of spilled blood." Other critics either whole-heartedly enjoyed the novel or hated it. Time calls Scaramanga a "reliable villain, Punch praises the book's "drive and coherence," and the Library Journal bemoans Fleming's death. "If only Fleming were as indestructible as B
ond," it states. On the flip side, Anthony Boucher of the New York Times Book Review claims "this poshumous story contains no imaginative criminal plot, no worthy Bond-antagonist, and not even a Bond-girl." Kingsley Amis, normally a Bond supporter, also
blasts the novel, calling it "a sadly empty tale" with a thin main plot with violence and sex at a minimum. Finally, the Christian Century seemed joyous at Fleming's death and the end of the Bond line: "We're spoilsports, kill-joys and affirmers of life
," it states. Overall, it seems the reviewers and readers alike were tired of the Bond books and their subsequent movies. After twelve action-packed tales, Fleming began to lose steam and a bit of his creativity. This shows in the critics' words and the seeming sigh
of relief that appeared in reviews after his death. Reviews: Books and Bookmen. May 1965: 29. Best Sellers. 15 Sept. 1965: 243. Christian Century. 25 Aug. 1965: 1040. Encounter. Sept. 1979: 46. Kirkus Reviews. 15 July 1965: 699. Library Journal. 1 Oct. 1965: 4115. Amis, Kingsley. New Statesman. 2 April 1965: 540. Newsweek. 23 Aug. 1965: 83. New Yorker. 28 Aug. 1965: 124. New York Review of Books. 14 Oct. 1965: 18. New York Times. 26, Aug. 1965: 35M. Boucher, Anthony. New York Times Book Review. 22 Aug. 1965: 26. National Review. 7 Sept. 1965: 776. London Observer. 4 April 1965: 26. Publishers Weekly. 27 June 1966: 103. Dickinson, Peter. Punch. 31 March 1965: 487. Raven, Simon. Spectator. 2 April 1965: 447. Times Literary Supplement. 8 April 1965: 280. Time. 10 Sept. 1965: 100. Wall Street Journal. 23 Sept. 1965: 12.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Man with the Golden Gun, Ian Fleming's posthumously published last Bond novel, elicited different opinions from critics in 1965. Some were impressed with the novel's villain, the golden gun-toting Scaramanga,
while others thought he was a weak excuse for one of Bond's foes. Universally, critics admitted that the novel contained less excitement, sex , and blood than previous novels. "This book is never boring," states Simon Raven of The Spectator. "It inclu
des an imaginative cabaret, instructions of how to prepare and eat a raw snake, and some amusing business with an old-fashioned virgin tied to a railway line." Concurrently, the New Yorker believes "Scaramanga is a satisfactorily detestable monster." Bu
t both of these publications acknowlede the novel's shortcomings. "Construction is patchy and both sides get away with incompetence which would have been unthinkable or immediately fatal a few years earlier in Bond's career," says Raven. The New Yorker
writes "There is little else here to recall those earlier days. There is no cheerful fornication, no breathless chemin de fer, no gourmet meals, no joyous drinking, no extraordinary physical exertions, and only the merest dribble of spilled blood." Other critics either whole-heartedly enjoyed the novel or hated it. Time calls Scaramanga a "reliable villain, Punch praises the book's "drive and coherence," and the Library Journal bemoans Fleming's death. "If only Fleming were as indestructible as B
ond," it states. On the flip side, Anthony Boucher of the New York Times Book Review claims "this poshumous story contains no imaginative criminal plot, no worthy Bond-antagonist, and not even a Bond-girl." Kingsley Amis, normally a Bond supporter, also
blasts the novel, calling it "a sadly empty tale" with a thin main plot with violence and sex at a minimum. Finally, the Christian Century seemed joyous at Fleming's death and the end of the Bond line: "We're spoilsports, kill-joys and affirmers of life
," it states. Overall, it seems the reviewers and readers alike were tired of the Bond books and their subsequent movies. After twelve action-packed tales, Fleming began to lose steam and a bit of his creativity. This shows in the critics' words and the seeming sigh
of relief that appeared in reviews after his death. Reviews: Books and Bookmen. May 1965: 29. Best Sellers. 15 Sept. 1965: 243. Christian Century. 25 Aug. 1965: 1040. Encounter. Sept. 1979: 46. Kirkus Reviews. 15 July 1965: 699. Library Journal. 1 Oct. 1965: 4115. Amis, Kingsley. New Statesman. 2 April 1965: 540. Newsweek. 23 Aug. 1965: 83. New Yorker. 28 Aug. 1965: 124. New York Review of Books. 14 Oct. 1965: 18. New York Times. 26, Aug. 1965: 35M. Boucher, Anthony. New York Times Book Review. 22 Aug. 1965: 26. National Review. 7 Sept. 1965: 776. London Observer. 4 April 1965: 26. Publishers Weekly. 27 June 1966: 103. Dickinson, Peter. Punch. 31 March 1965: 487. Raven, Simon. Spectator. 2 April 1965: 447. Times Literary Supplement. 8 April 1965: 280. Time. 10 Sept. 1965: 100. Wall Street Journal. 23 Sept. 1965: 12.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
"The Man with the Golden Gun:" A Bad Book Amongst a Popular Craze
"We don't want to have Bond to dinner, or go golfing with Bond, or talk to Bond. We want to be Bond!"--Ann S. Boyd
This perception of this James Bond phenomenon seems an accurate one--Bondmania has infiltrated modern society since its introduction in the 1950's by author Ian Fleming. Every Bond book graced the silver screen in an action-packed thriller, several Bond
movies have been made without a book as its predecessor, and new authors have continued the Bond literary tradition despite Fleming's death. It seems as though the world cannot give up James Bond. And based on the success of the newest Bond flick, "Tom
orrow Never Dies," the craze does not intend on fading. What is the allure behind James Bond? The books began the fad forty years ago with a suave British hero who always beat the bad guy and always won the girl. Sean Connery as James Bond in Hollywood
elevated the series from the literary genre, and turned the Bond phenomenon from the books to the movies, where it continues to thrive today. "The Man with the Golden Gun" was Fleming's last Bond novel and was published posthumously in 1965. Despite F
leming's success with his famous creation, this novel was not well-liked by critics, even though it graced the bestseller list for fifteen weeks in a row. Its movie portrayal in 1974 fared no better and was equally slammed by critics. However, despite t
he negative reviews of "The Man with the Golden Gun," the book and movie shared a very important role: they continued the James Bond tradition, added to its mystique, and kept the Bond image alive in the minds of modern society. Even Fleming's staunch supporters were not kind in their reviews of "The Man with the Golden Gun." "It's a sad, empty tale," claimed Bond fan Kinsley Amis of The New Statesman. "The rank-and-file villains, too, have been reduced in scale." Anthony Bou
cher of the New York Times Book Review concurred: "This posthumous story contains no imaginative criminal plot, no worthy Bond-antagonist, and not even a Bond-girl." These observations are in part correct. The book's villain, Pistols Scaramanga, is not
frightful to any extent, and never seems to pose a real threat to Bond's prowess. Even Goldfinger and Doctor No made Bond sweat. Additionally, Fleming did not bother to invent a new and exciting Bond girl. He reverts to an old favorite, Mary Goodnight,
who does not play a major role in the plot, is not ever in any, and who meekly claims she will nurse Bond to health in the end. The few supporters of the book did so only on the grounds that some old Bond elements still existed. The New Yorker claimed
that "Scaramanga is a satisfactorily detestable monster, and the setting, as so often in Bond's distinguished past, is Jamaica." But even the nice reviewers had something negative to say about the book. "There is little else here to recall those earlier
days," the New Yorker continued. The movie, though retaining nothing of the original book's plot, was equally detestable. Mr. Showbiz, and Internet movie review site, calls it the "worst James Bond film of all time." As Time magazine put it, "It may h
ave been just as well that Fleming died when everybody still thought he could do no wrong." If "The Man with the Golden Gun" was such a terrible book, then why was it a bestseller? There are several reasons for this phenomenon. This was the last book in a long line of 13 action-packed novels. Presumably, the final bout of Bondness should hav
e been satisfying to fans. Strong predecessors probably helped to boost the sales of "The Man with the Golden Gun." Secondly, this book was published posthumously, so it was the final true Bond story to come from Fleming's typewriter. Today, there exis
t such writers as John Gardner who continue Bond's adventures, but 007 was Fleming's brainchild. In addition, Fleming's name carried the ratings. In fact, Fleming's publisher claimed that one "Casino Royale" was sold every six and a half minutes--and th
at was only Fleming's first book (Lane 148). Bond's popularity was so large that President Kennedy named "From Russia, with Love" as number nine on his top ten list of favorite books (Lane 148). This sort of publicity increased Bond's popularity immens
ely, and fans continued to buy the books, regardless of the critics' words. Bond novels were always guaranteed to pack a lot of action and a lot of vice in 150 pages. Readers were not looking for great literature. "Don't try to read any of the Bond adv
entures seriously!" cries Ann S. Boyd, author of "The Devil with James Bond!" Though "The Man with the Golden Gun" contains considerably less sex, alcohol, and violence then normal, readers still learn such nuggets of knowledge as how to skin and eat a r
aw snake. Even if the book didn't deliver, it carried such an enormous amount of weight (Fleming's name, Bond's name, and a notorious reputation) that it was sure to sell. And sell it did: almost 100,000 cloth copies in the first year. By the time "The Man with the Golden Gun" was published, the world came to expect a certain Bond image. What does this image consist of? To most, it is one of extreme adventure, intellectual prowess, and smooth, suave conduct. Bond always wears the m
ost expensive of suits, does the most daring of acts, and completes his mission. Additionally, he always gets the girl, and the last chapter of every book is devoted to a love scene. Many of the themes and figures in Bond novels are blatantly sexual. S
caramanga's golden gun is hinted at as a manifestation of his penis size. Fleming's women all have sexual names: Octopussy, Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, Plenty O'Toole, Goodnight, and Onnatop. "He is a gentleman always knowing what he wants, where to g
et it, and always having the money to pay for it" (Ibarguengoitia, 98). James Bond has retained a certain mystique since the 1950's that has not diminished despite a span of forty years:
James Bond is the best marksman of the Secret Service, has a magnificent body, is very handsome, dresses like no other, drinks like a fish and never gets drunk, conquers all women. If that's not enough, he has a knife attached to the sole of his shoe. (
Ibarguengoitia, 99).
Bond seems the ultimate fantasy to both men and women. Men want to be him...they want to exude sex and adventure and bed gorgeous women. Today, men take their sons to see the new Bond movies in hope of catching a glimpse of nostalgia (Smith). Conversel
y, women become caught up in Bond's sexy image and fantasize of being a Bond girl and shamelessly caught in his arms. These fantasies were not necessarily formulated because of the novels...Hollywood and Sean Connery have contributed to this rise in Bond
's popularity. The James Bond phenomenon has affected modern culture in many different ways. The Bond image was found everywhere in the 1960's and continues to be popular today. Bond has proved to be very marketable, and this characteristic has boosted the hero out o
f the literary genre and into the lives of Americans and Brits alike. Boyd explains the infiltration of the Bond image in society:
The ubiquitous symbol of secret agent 007 was found everywhere--from bread and bubblegum to men's fashions and toiletries, from parlor games to children's dolls and paper dolls, from his own image to that of imitations in books, films, and television seri
es. More than two hundred commercial products were authorized to carry the official trademark, while hundreds of others hitched onto the Bond-wagon surreptitiously. (Boyd, 26).
Indeed, Bond toys were found everywhere in the 1960's. A child's attaché case full of Bond gadgets manufactured in 1965 sold for $1000 in 1992 (James Bond Toys). Dolls marketed by Sears sell for almost $300 today (James Bond Toys). Today, car replicas
from the movies and video games are still top sellers. A CD-ROM entitled "The Ultimate James Bond Interactive Dossier" has proved extremely popular and is critically acclaimed. In 1996 the first James Bond Jamaica Festival was held at Fleming's home, ti
tled "Goldeneye" in Jamaica, and over 1,000 Bond fans attended (Economist). Obviously, Bondmania has had its toll on Americans' wallets as well as their hearts. But there is more to Bond's popularity than merchandise sales. James Bond offered fans of the 1950's and 60's an escape from reality and a supposedly inside look into the spy world, of which they were curious because of current world events. Hero figures abound in modern society, from Superman and other comic book
characters to Tara Lipinski and other sports figures. These figures act as role models for children and adults alike, and Bond represents the spy genre. On first glance, he has no faults and thus seems perfect for this role. Boyd believes "there is a r
eal need for a hero figure who can cope uniquely with contemporary insecurities" (55). In the 1960's , contemporary insecurities certainly included the Cold War, which was raging at the time. Bond offered a buffer against Cold War fears, and soothed the
minds of the public. Because of the Cold War, public curiosity for the spy world peaked (Boyd 56). During that time it seemed as if spies were all over the world, and that the public was kept in the dark about the secret happenings of their respective
leaders. Bond offered an inside look into this world. No matter how far-fetched Bond's adventures were, they offered a link between contemporary society and government secrecy. Boyd writes:
The very real yet mysterious world of the spies has become an object of concern for the average citizen who suddenly realizes that his own night's sleep might depend upon the activities or information gathered by some secret agent halfway around the world
(57).
The spy world thus seemed to have "appalling relevance to the real life myth and fantasy of the day" (Boyd 57). Bond helped reduce the Cold War tensions to a more human scale. Though he was an imaginary hero, he was nonetheless real, fighting the evils
of the world. In fact, he almost seemed to fit into the friendly neighborhood policeman image, increasing the safety of the public. As ridiculous as this identification might seem, it provided a link between the average citizen and the frightening outsid
e world. In addition, he represented the ideal model of how to deal with human relations. His motto was to use women, not love them (Boyd 62). This seemed perfect...he could fulfill his sexual desires without becoming emotionally attached. Because emo
tional attachment leads to heartache and pain, the public envied Bond because he did not possess this quality. He seemed incapable of hurting emotionally, and this feature contributed to his popularity. Finally, Bond bridged the gap between fantasy and
reality:
It appears that there is a constant tendency in man's nature which results in a flight from reality into fantasy, a retreat into the timeless myths of superhuman heroes who are able to conquer varying symbols of evil. The progression therefore from the s
habby reality of the actual secret agent to that of the fantastic exploits in the Bond movies and their derivations might be expected to result in the even more unrealistic figures of Superman and Batman (105).
Making the secret image seem more real and more plausible gave something to Bond fans that comic book characters didn't give: a sense of identity. Viewers watched Connery in seeming reality outwit the most vile of characters and identified with his human
qualities. This sense of identity boosted public morale, heightened their sense of security during the Cold War, and gave Bond one of the most popular hero ratings in history. The Bond books were written during the same era, but the movies have appeared over the last forty years. This large time span of Bond movie production provides a map of cultural change since the 1960's. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker claims:
007 is riding higher than ever in the cinemas, and therefore in the public mind--a ride that is pulling him ever further away from the mind that conceived him. Fleming's fiction, both in spirit and in detail, is now deemed to be so outdated that I should
probably have looked for it on the history shelf. James Bond is doing just fine; it is Ian Fleming who needs help (148).
This new Bond image is the one today's fans see in "Goldeneye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies." What are the differences? Firstly, the foes are quite different. In the early days, Bond fought such villains as SMERSH and SPECTRE and communism. Now, he spars
with Elliot Carver, the "media baron" from "Tomorrow Never Dies." Claims Daniel Leab, a Seton Hall University professor, Bond as "gone from being an anti-Communist, to fighting rogue generals, to being against a combination of Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch
and William Randolph Hearst" (Smith). Even the women have changed. In the new flick, Bond works with a Chinese communist (Michelle Yeoh), instead of fighting against her. Toby Miller, a New York University professor, states "the women are the key to th
e evolution of the Bond films" (Smith). He refers to one of Yeoh's own fight scenes, in which Bond is not even present. "She doesn't need Bond's approval and protection," Miller says (Smith). The Cold War is over, yet the Bond craze persists. This lon
gevity has to do with Bond's chameleon effect: he changes with the times. The foes are different, the girls may be more aggressive, but the movies still offer a suave hero that always saves the day. Despite Bond's fame, he is by no means without strong criticism. Bond has faults too, even though his fans don't like to admit it. Fleming was obviously not without faults, either. After all, he produced a terrible novel: "The Man with the Golden Gun.
" Bond's image is centered around superficiality. This is seen in the novels as well as the movies. For example, the phrases "Bond, James Bond" and "shaken, not stirred" originated from the novels, not from the movies. Such lines make Bond out to be
as a superficial hero that relies on such trivialities as his name and his liquor preference to carry his mystique. This superficiality is readily admitted in The Economist: "Bond, of course, is a fiction. Perhaps the real secret of his staying-power is
as a marketing device. Bond taught fans less how to kill (himself or others) than how to shop, for Cartiers, Aston Martins and designer clothes." And these comments were just centered on the novels. The movies offer this same superficiality as well.
Bond drives a new car in every film. Also pertinent are Bond's faults overlooked by the audience. He drinks and smokes way too much, though he never seems intoxicated. He is a womanizer. "Men's Health" claims: "the drink, the smokes and the brothel-cr
eeping would have got him long before Oddball or political correctness did" (Economist). Additionally, Fleming constantly faced criticism about his unpolitically correct themes and even for racist passages aimed at Jamaican natives. "Fleming's creation
has long been chided, with naive literalness, for racism, sexism and countless other failings in regard to others" (Economist). Despite these problems, and despite their glaring visibility, Bond thrives. Lane writes: "There is something dark and nasty a
bout slipping into the poisoned moral swamp of Fleming's tales while the bright, silly plots fade from view." Forty years later, the James Bond craze is still going strong. Granted, "The Man with the Golden Gun" has long faded from the public's memory, and remains just one in a successful series. But despite its shortcomings, it nonetheless continued the Bond
tradition. Based on the ratings of "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The Man with the Golden Gun" did its job, because the tradition is still successful. The new audiences enjoy the suspense of new movies, while older viewers enjoy the nostalgia. At such a large
success rate, it seems as if Bondmania will never die. But as all fads go, it must die sometime, possibly when the world no longer needs a secret agent as a hero.
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