Thursday, 12 April 2012

Boyd, William Boyd

I like William Boyd a lot (well the one book of his I read, Stars and Bars, which was hilarious in 1985, not quite so good twenty years later) but I doubt if I shall read him writing James Bond pastiche

Didn't Kingley Amis write a Bond book? I never read any of the Bond series and never intend to. Bond I know from the films to which I was dragged by my parents as a child is an unpleasant, misogynistic fascist brute. This feeds into what I said about Sapper and Dennis Wheatley in my previous blog post. 

My heroes are Richard Hannay and John Steed who were very different. Hannay and Steed never shot first and rarely shot at all, in Hannay's case not even at a villain who was carrying anthrax that he wanted to release to kill a town. Another great hero Philip Marlowe too is a chevalier sans reproche and is really an English public schoolboy, like his creator Raymond Chandler, just trying hard to be a gumshoe for some reason. Chandler named him after Christopher Marlowe and Philip Sydney, although Sydney's slaughter of the Irish Catholics puts him in the fascist category despite his poetry.

John Buchan, John Le Carre, Graham Greene and the first and by far the greatest, Joseph Conrad, are the best spy story writers. I must try Somerset Maugham.

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