Take a Chance Bonus: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, by Ian Fleming

10: Pick A Method: Pick a method for finding a book from the choices listed below (used in previous versions of the challenge).

  • Random Bestseller. Go to Random.org and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2010 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that Random.org generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.

I wanted to do this option just for fun, and ended up with the NYT best seller list for November 3, 1963. There were several neat books on the list (plus a Peanuts collection), but my library didn't have most of them. Then there was this James Bond novel. I'm not a big fan of Bond movies, and I've never read any of the books, so I thought maybe I should, in the interests of broadening my horizons.

I found that Ian Fleming did not write for mommy-type people like me. The story's main features are cars, girls, alcohol, cars, and violence. Which is not exactly surprising, but it was often pretty funny. This was definitely my favorite bit:

...ordered from room service a bottle of the Taittenger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom and had an ice-cold shower and washed his hair with Pinaud Elixir, that prince among shampoos, to get the dust of the roads out of it.

Not only that, this prince of shampoos actually exists, and it has quinine in it (!), and you can see it at Bond Lifestyle. The Internet is an amazing place.

Also I was quite surprised that James Bond gets married in this book! I was much less surprised when the bride got killed about half an hour after the ceremony.


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