This probably won't be as exciting as the title makes it sound. I hope this to be the start of my more in depth blog entries, and in fact my girlfriend suggested I call the blog "Insight". In the end I went for my generic username thingy - but of course Insight would have been a very apt name for it. If not an insight into anything particularly deep, then it's an insight into my brain/thought processes/ideas.
This is, as the title suggests, a look at books. Specifically James Bond books, and to write about this now, about a week before I go to the cinema to see Skyfall, seems fitting. I've never read, or got very far, in the Ian Fleming novels, despite my attempts. I've tried Casino Royale, and the description and.. French, gets me down. Dropping French phrases into an English book sounds sophisiticated - but a bit difficult when you're trying to get what's happening. I've also attempted 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', because that's also my favourite film, but that was great until Bond visits the place that Casino Royale is set, and the French words return. I've nothing against the French language, it just distances myself and the book.
I do own all the Ian Fleming novels, and have taken an occasional interest in the past of the ones written by other authors. I bought Sebastian Faulks' 'Devil May Care' when it was released, and got up to the point where someone's tongue is cut out. There have also been others, such as Carte Blanche and another one recently I can't remember the name of. Aside from these, I've been vaguely interested in the other ones, but never assumed I'd find or buy them on the shelves. That is until a couple of weeks back, when I found four of John Gardener's books in a shop, and bought three of them for five quid. Though my mum accurately predicted that I'd never read them and just wanted them for my collection... But that's beside the point. It interests me to occasionally flick through and see how others have written Bond, and to see whether I can get into those books and later the Ian Fleming ones.
What interests me as well, slightly weirdly, are the chapter titles. I've always gone by the principle of 'you can only have a good chapter title if it's obscure'. Most of mine are either non-existent or one word. This always works, I feel. But the Bond titles have never been one word, but always obscure and strangely engaging. In several English Lit tasks I've had to do, I've had to give chapter titles to chapters of Birdsong or names to scenes of Journey's End by RC Sherriff. My Birdsong ones have been one word, but I've given my Journey's End ones more obscure names. One of these was "Blood Rush", a kind of title that gives away nothing but sounds interesting. It wouldn't look out of place in a Bond novel either. I often try quotes from the book/play as well, so today I went for "Gently Snapping Jaws", from the moment in the play when Osborne reads from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
So that's what the Bond books have done for me. I may have never finished one or get very far, though I plan to one day, but I've taken chapter title inspiration from them, and hopefully I'll put a lot more effort into them as a result of it. Of course - I'll have to put effort into the books I write as well though.
That's normally quite useful.