Thursday, 9 April 2009

Dr No (The Novel)


As a Bond novel Dr No is oddly extremely close to the film, its is actually book 6 of the Bond novels as opposed to story 1 in the movies.

This creates a few continuity errors in the film series the main ones being that bond has already met Quarrel in the books (Live and Let Die) causing the need to create Quarrel Jr for the film adaptation of that novel.  Also of note is the fact that Strangways rather then being a guy that is killed as in the film was personally known to Bond after the events again of Live and Let Die.

Intact (and unexpectedly so) are the Dragon, Dr No's mechanical hands and the whole concept of the secret base. Some changes are of note as well. Honeys full first name is Honeychile and being very poor she cant afford luxuries  like bikinis and is gloriously naked when we first meet her (except for the knife belt) she is flawed by a broken nose caused when she was raped at a young age.

Bond is a gent in this novel (towards Honey at least) apologising for killing people and actively resisting HER advances.

The radioactive control centre is not in the novel, instead Dr No is running a Guano mining operation as a front for his missile toppling activities which Bond stumbles across. He is actually sent to look for Strangways as a punishment for nearly dieing at the end of Diamonds are Forever.

The main change is to the silly spider scene. Fleming acknowledges in the book itself that tarantulas are not deadly and Bond encounters lots in a different context. His night-time visitor is actually a centipede in the novel. I think to far greater effect.  Sadly it still wouldn’t kill him.

Reading through the Bond novels I think Dr No is certainly the closest I have seen Book Bond get to Film Bond. If you have never sampled Flemings work i recommend wholeheartedly that you do. They are fantastic page turners.

Like the film, great fun.

My film review

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