I just finished a terrific book I simply MUST share with you…. Simply MUST. …. Shaken Not Stirred.
Then we’ll get into the most recent ebbs and flows of local gridiron activity. Despite a growing “epidemic” of concern over plummeting NFL ratings, the status of regional bragging rights still is paramount to far too many.
Longtime BL Buddies know my two avocational passions are (1) following “my Cardinals” and (2) listening to audiobooks. Not necessarily in that order. I have averaged over 100 audiobooks / year for the past five years. The average book is 8–15 hours. The longest one I’ve read was 26 hours. If one puts on bluetooth earphones with one’s morning coffee and taps “play” thruout one’s day when not performing pediatric brain surgery…. or similar moments of intense concentration, one can “read” a lot of books. Beach-read action fiction are usually 11-12 hours. I go thru A LOT of those.
I am evangelically pentacostal about “audiobooks”. The whole logistical process is soooo simple and uncomplicated…. everything is an MP3 file in your smartphone. I appreciate those who love “holding a book and seeing the words blah blah….” but the advantages of listening outweigh THAT…. in my opinion. If you are curious, go to Audible.com for complete details. If you can’t figure out “how” let me know and I’ll walk you thru it. Really. Even Albert could figure it out…… maybe.
So…. I just finished The Man With The Golden Typewriter by Ian Fleming. Yes…. that Ian Fleming. It is a compliation of Fleming’s correspondence over the decade he was writing his James Bond novels. Correspondence back/forth with friends, colleagues, publishers, editors, fans, et al. Quite fascinating.
If you are not fascinated about all things James Bond just scroll to the bottom and re-live that missed chip-shot FG in Death Valley.
Fleming wrote 11 Bond novels between 1954 and his death in 1966. Casino Royale was his first but after that the order of books versus order of movies go in different sequence. Two movies – Dr No and From Russia With Love – were produced by Broccoli / Saltzman before his death. Goldfinger was in production.
This book does not focus at all on the movies or on Sean Connery etc but rather the books. His first was totally a crapshoot drawing on Fleming’s own WWII experience in British Naval Intelligence. He was NOT “Bond” at all but did know some “spies”. The first print run was 10,000 which was quite a gamble that both author and publisher were leery of.
When answering fan mail… Fleming assumed the role of Bond’s “biographer” as if Bond actually existed and he was simply chronicling his actual adventures. Reader suggestions that Bond use a different type of gun or prefer a different drink or cigarette were “passed along to Mr Bond” for his consideration. “Bond’s gun” was the subject of extensive debate and discussion as was his choice of car.
I wonder if Ian had a NCSU’68 among his readers ???
His 11 Bond novels have sold over 100,000,000 copies. One out of five humans on Earth have seen at least one Bond movie. One of those other four is the CFO of SaidWhatMedia Corp – “Kick Butt Carrie” The Slumlord. Even Albert has seen a few. I think “Kick Butt Carrie” is kidding.
Like so many authors…. Ian “had some issues”. His genius as James Bond’s creator was a result or in spite of his moodiness…. depression… bouts with alcohol…. marital woes… et al. And here I thought I was the only literary genius “with issues”.
The book is full of fascinating anecdotes. My fave is the origin of the catch phrase – “Shaken Not Stirred”. You will NEVER guess where that came from…. Unless you read the book. …. Oh… and he explains what Quantum Of Solace means.
Somewhat related…. As a devotee of the “espionage/crime thrillers genre”, I “read” all the top tier of authors…. Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Stephen Hunter, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Ben Coes, Mark Greany, CJ Box, Robert Crais, Michael Connolly, David Balducci, Clive Cussler et al; but have never got into Daniel Silva’s “Gabriel Allon”.
Silva’s Gabriel Allon is a Mossad super-assassin in a 17-book series. His books are internationally popular but I never could get into him. I have five Silva books in my queue but they were sitting unread.
With audiobooks the narrator plays a huge role in one’s enjoyment. A good book with a poor narrator is a not good listen. Ray Porter is my #1 fav narrator. Scott Brick, Dick Hill, George Guidall are other good ones. Narrating audiobooks has become a lucrative niche profession.
Allon is in the Mossad so there are lots of Israeli characters. Israeli names all tend to sound like a cat hacking up a hairball. Throw in a lot of Euro locations I could never keep straight in the first hour of listening…. BUT, I persevered. I just finished my first Silva “Gabriel Allon” book and am now conditioned to go thru the series. YIPPEE….
Imagine the pure joy of having 17 new “thriller yarns” awaiting me. Here’s hoping the possibility of a Hillary administration does not mean audiobooks will be outlawed and listeners sent off to indoctrination camps….
So… how many of you Wuffs cussed Mr / Mrs Bambard’s son Kyle late last Saturday afternoon? ‘Fess up…. Other than Kennell who legally adopts every single Wolfpack player in every sport every year…. Really, BK writes each of’em into his Will. Did any of you decry Young Mr Bambard?
I have conflicting opinions re: athletes “on the big stage”. Everyone dreams of being the BMOC …. The conquering hero …. The champion winning the race…. Etc. Throw in the buzzer-beater…. Throw/catch the Hail Mary…. Hit the walk-off HR …. Kick the Golden Goal …. Etc etc etc. Applicants for “sports hero” are innumerable. That Dream comes at a price.
Applicants to “be Kyle Bambard” post-miss late Saturday…. Not so numerable. Kyle Bambard missed the chip shot…. And his team (and their fans) left Clemson’s Death Valley most unrequited.
Interesting about Kyle Bambard’s situation is had he made that FG he would NOT have been a HERO. It was such a routine kick that simply “doing his job” was the best he could expect…. Or “be the goat”.
I did see, OF COURSE, where “that certain faction” of Wuff loyalists did BLAME THE REFS…. Making this an Official crushing Wolfpack defeat. The sun set in the West over Death Valley…. And “State fans blamed the refs”. Life’s Predictable Certainties…. Ahhhh.
Me?… I was not surprised that State played The Dabos so tough to where a W was “a can-taste-it conclusion UNTIL …..” The Men of Doeren had not been really tested since their Disaster @ Dowdy-Ficklin. Notre Dame in The Hurricane was an anomaly. No one really knew how good the Pack might be. How will Bambard’s Miss affect them henceforth. …. Yes, I realize the Dabos turned the ball over a dozen times in The Red Zone otherwise it would not have been up to Kyle Bambard. State’s defense had something to do with those turn-overs.
The Fedorians completed their Victory March Thru Florida thumping The ‘Canes thereby giving The Fabulous Comparato Twins bragging rights at U of Miami Law. Have I mentioned that The Fabs are #1 and #2 in their L3 class? They are …. yawn.
Game Three of ALCS in Rogers Centre-Toronto featured A FIRST. A Duke & a UNCCH pitcher played in the same MLB PLayoff game. Duke’s Marcus Stroman and UNC Super Reliever Andrew Miller (who ARod says is as good as Mariano Rivera) …. WHOA!
Congrats to Chief Wahoo and his Indians. Keeps the WS in America PLUS really pisses-off the Indian Name Loonies.
Speaking of Fickle Fans…. CHAOS Reigns on Waveland Avenue. Bandwagon Cub fans are screaming for Maddon’s Head…. Theo’s Head…. Steve Bartman’s Head…. And even “the goat”. The Cubs can’t hit if they set the ball on a tee. Oh Me… Oh My! …. Should Vin come back to call the final inning as Clayton drives that fatal stake thru their heart ?? ….. Not so fast my friends. It’s Baseball and it ain’t over til that 27th out.