I have now read every single one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, except for Live and Let Die, which I had to stop once I hit the chapter title which includes the N-word. Here’s a list of things you will encounter in these books:
James Bond throws up due to trauma at least once per book
No, really, more racism than you’re expecting
Yes, even for the 50s
At one point Bond writes a letter in his own pee
“All the real hep-cats smoke reefers!”
Many comments on the nature of American culture, including the “exotic pungency” of American road signs
Extended passages of James Bond being racist against various ethnicities you didn’t even know one COULD be racist towards
No seriously, James Bond inexplicably despises Bulgarians
A lengthy passage in which Bond shares his opinion that homosexuality is caused by giving women the right to vote
Bond gets tortured for the first time and immediately comes over all political and philosophical like, “Maybe communism is good actually, and also the Devil is a good guy?”
At one point Bond gets brainwashed by the KGB into trying to kill M
Bond is a grade-A Karen who delivers all of his restaurant orders with lengthy specifics as to how the food should be prepared, and gets pissy if it’s not up to his specifications.
“a gay, happy little crocodile”
Bond is very excited to learn that in New York there are places where you can watch porn with sound AND color.
James Bond is The Most Boring Man in the World. His hobbies include golf and complaining about food.
Late in the books, Bond’s fiancee is killed right in front of him, and he starts showing PTSD symptoms and, instead of being all macho-man “I don’t need no help,” immediately starts going to every doctor available trying to get treatment
At one point the government tries to offer him a knighthood or some such and Bond messages back that he refuses the knighthood and that “My principal reason is that I don’t want to pay more at hotels and restaurants.” When told that this is too rude, he amends it to, “I am a Scottish peasant and I will always feel at home being a Scottish peasant.”
At one point the Bond girl is tied down by the villain of the book to await being eaten alive by crabs. Bond is terrified for her, but she, being something of an amateur zoologist, knows perfectly well that crabs aren’t gonna eat a living human, so she just chills there on the beach and waits for them to go away.
There is literally a damsel in distress tied to the actual train tracks, presented without irony
An MI6 agent speculates, in an official report to headquarters, that the target may be homosexual because he can’t whistle. Apparently men who can’t whistle are gay.
Bond is drafted to act as the villain’s secretary not once, but two separate times in two separate books.
When Bond is at a boring party at a hotel conference room and is ordered by his employer to liven up the party, he accomplishes this by ORDERING THE HOTEL BAND, who were previously singing a censored version of some song, TO PERFORM A STRIP SHOW FOR HIM AND THE GUESTS WHILE SINGING THE DIRTY VERSION. This is his second idea, after he previously livened up the party by using one of the girls in the hotel band - the same one he wants to strip for him - as target practice by balancing a false pineapple on her head and shooting it.
Bond exchanges a look with a fellow secret agent that is said to be “the recognition that exists between crooks, between homosexuals, between secret agents.”
“A hand-painted sign said ‘SNAX’ and, underneath, ‘Hot Cock Soup Fresh Daily’.”
The backstory of the villain of The Man with the Golden Gun is as follows: there was once a circus elephant who got REALLY HORNY and then went on a rampage and was shot by the cops, and then came back to the circus to pathetically and tragically attempt to perform its circus act one last time. The child who was supposed to ride the elephant in the circus act witnessed all of this, and when the cops shot the elephant dead while performing its tragic act, the boy grabbed a pistol and SHOT ONE OF THE COPS in revenge for HIS ELEPHANT DYING. And that boy grew up to be a deadly, womanizing, hired gun, with three nipples, whom MI6 speculates must be gay because he can’t whistle. And that’s the villain of the book.
These books will make you hate the British as much as every single villain seems to
Waaaayyy more casual drug use than you would expect
like, seriously, at one point Bond is AT DINNER WITH HIS BOSS in his boss’s fancy-ass club, and he orders an envelope full of benzedrine from HQ and just casually pours it into his glass to drink with his champagne.
M lives with the man who used to be M’s Chief Petty Officer on his last naval posting, and who had followed M into retirement, and I am pretty sure they are boyfriends.
When Bond sleeps with the Bond Girl of Dr. No, she orders him to “Take those off and come in” and “You owe me slave-time. Do as you’re told,” proving once and for all that James Bond is a switch, I rest my case your honor