So this week was two longer reads– one of which I haven’t even finished yet, but I’m still going to talk about because wow. Very short post this week, because, again, only talking about two books.
Goldfinger (Ian Fleming)
First, best Bond theme. That isn’t even an argument, that’s just a fact.
I had the pleasure of rewatching the film Goldfinger alongside my reading of the book this week. Goldfinger is one of my favorite Bond films, and certainly my favorite of the Connery era. The book is different from the film, of course, but not necessarily in a bad way. The book expands Bond’s first two interactions with Goldfinger to a great extent– particularly the golf game, which was honestly very well adapted in the film in that it got to the point of the sequence without showing us all 18 holes of a golf game. The film shows us Jill Masterson’s murder rather than Bond learning it later, but Tilly Masterson is a much more important character in the book as she is held captive by Goldfinger with Bond, though her fate is almost the same. The film has more Felix Leiter, though, and I like Leiter.
The biggest change from book to film, however, is Goldfinger’s ultimate plot. The book has it very straightforward– Goldfinger wants to steal the gold in Fort Knox– while in the film, the plot is to make the gold radioactive. I think the plan in the film works a little better; while I don’t know if irradiating gold actually makes it less valuable, but it certainly is a more feasible plan than having them carry all of that gold out of there. The film also handles Pussy Galore better than the book (though her character in the book is interesting, if a bit insensitively written. It was the 50’s.)
Rating: 4/5 — rare case where the movie is slightly better, but the book is still very good.
Vanity Fair, Chapters 1 – 12 (William Thackery)
This book is very… dense. In that there’s a lot happening, all at once. I may try to get through a few more chapters this week, but honestly, I’m not hooked. I’m 65 pages in and I’m not particularly attatched to any of the characters. The book’s subtitle “A Novel Without a Hero” already seems very apt. Becky, while compelling, isn’t quite as in focus as a protagonist should be, and the supporting cast is either very distinctive and then immediately gone, or mostly like everyone else. All of this could be the point of the thing, but if you can’t get me to care about the story in 65 pages, I’m not sure what to tell you.
Rating: N/A — I’ll try to get a bit further, but no promises.
Next week: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which came out TODAY. Maybe some more Vanity Fair. Definitely going to try to get to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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