Monday, August 25, 2008

He Strikes Like Thunderball!

Finished Ian Fleming's "Thunderball" during my lunch break earlier today. Got the above Centenary Edition hardback with the painted cover. This novel is one of Fleming's most action-packed with Bond going after Emilio Largo who was planning to blow up Miami with an atomic weapon. It is also the first part of the "Blofeld Trilogy" featuring SPECTRE. Bond doesn't really run into Blofeld in this novel but his defeat of Largo is a prelude to their epic struggles in later stories such as "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "You Only Live Twice". Bond again teamed up with the American Felix Leiter and romanced the lovely Domino, who was cruelly tortured by Largo towards the end of the book. The main draw of the book is definitely the underwater fights. Fleming was obsessed with diving at this point and the prose descriptions of the underwater wonders are among the most breathtaking in the English language. There were two movie adaptations of "Thunderball" both starring Sean Connery (the second one was "Never Say Never Again"). Of the two movie adaptations, the earlier one is far more accurate and is still a joy to watch after all these years. The latter one is a total piece of crap - imagine Bond and Largo playing video games, Domino doing aerobics, etc.

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