In all the world

I’m currently re-reading Thunderball. Last night, I read Fleming’s description of Blofeld, whom he describes this way:

…he was one of those men—one meets perhaps only two or three in a lifetime—who seem almost to suck the eyes out of your head…Certain great men of history, perhaps Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, among the politicians, have had these qualities.

It struck me as a familiar description, and I realized it reminded me of Casino Royale, in which Fleming describe’s Vesper’s dress this way:

Her dress was of black velvet, simple and yet with the touch of splendour that only have a dozen couturiers in the world can achieve.

I think this sort of thing was important to Fleming, that he’d touched upon the best, finest, oddest, most dangerous, or most evil in all the world. I’m wondering if I will be able to dig up other, similar quotes by Fleming. I think I will. (Do feel free to share your own.)

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4 Responses to “In all the world”

  1. Joe Bond Says:

    I always thought Fleming was at his best with two things:

    1) Action sequences
    2) Describing people and things people do

    He wrote some very thrilling passages – (The card scenes in CR and MR, the obstacle course in DN, the fight scene in FRWL, the golf scene in GF, etc, etc.) Additionally, his detailed descriptions of Bond and his nemeses were excellent. Describing what and how one eats, the exotic locations, the physical description of the characters, etc. This was Fleming’s trademark. When you combine the two, regardless of the plot (which in and of itself was, in most cases, plausible) made for a very entertaining novel.

  2. Fleming also wrote women remarkably well. I very much liked The Spy Who Loved Me, and I thought Fleming could have been a wonderful romance writer if he’d wanted to.

  3. Joe Bond Says:

    Agreed. In fact the first two acts of TSWLM are better than the third. I found it to be a very enjoyable novel.

  4. Deborah Lipp Says:

    And Domino Vitale is probably my favorite Fleming character.

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