Over at the Wall Street Journal, Reason Contributing Editor (and former staffer) Michael C. Moynihan chews up the new James Bond novel, written by Jeffery Deaver, light some sort of mutant Richard Keel villain:
Plenty of critics have charted the supposed slide of the cinema incarnation of James Bond into the politically correct (Judy Dench's M, his boss, calls Bond a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" in the 1995 film "Goldeneye"), and they will doubtless note that in "Carte Blanche" Bond worries that an attractive female South African police office might construe a glance as sexist and is horrified to hear a fellow British agent using the word "coloured" to describe mixed-race South Africans. But the real problem with Mr. Deaver's Bond is that he's so devoid of personality, unmotivated by a consuming ideological passion (like Fleming's anticommunism, so frequently contrasted with John le Carré's supposedly more sophisticated Cold War moral equivalence) and unburdened by emotional complexity. One gets the feeling that, because most readers will be familiar with the broad strokes of Bond as imagined by Sean Connery or Roger Moore, Mr. Deaver slacks on developing his hero.
As George Orwell remarked about the novels of Jack London, certain books "are not well written, but are well told." Jeffery Deaver is a Fleming manqué, producing a serviceable Bond film script but not a particularly good Bond novel. To carry the torch of Ian Fleming, one must be capable of doing both.
Moynihan hangs his shingle now at Vice magazine. Check it out, why don't cha?
And just to get the thread going, let me say it loud and proud: There's never been a better Bond than goddamned Roger Moore.
Oh Lazenby, will you ever win?