“A product of their time” – Observations on racist (but lauded) writers after Octopussy

Octopussy CoverYesterday I decided to use my last Audible credit on a collection of Ian Fleming short stories.

I’m working through Fleming’s original canon very slowly and when I saw that the audiobook for “Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and Other Stories” was read by Tom Hiddleston, I just had to have it. Tom Hiddleston reading James Bond seems like the perfect combination of my interests and I have been talking about how badly I wanted to see Hiddles in a Bond movie. I figured that this was the closest I’d get.

Here’s the thing though: as much as I have complained about the racism in the James Bond films, the books are much worse.

The audiobook does not help. In fact, hearing Tom Hiddleston narrate Fleming’s weird and clunky prose on top of the racism that the first story is rife with is pretty terrible.Read More »

Bond Girl: Octopussy

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This week’s Bond Girl post is about the awkwardly-named Octopussy. 

Here’s an excerpt:

I love how take-charge Octopussy is in this. She’s powerful in this film, her gang of smugglers immense enough to fill an entire palace. I think that while her character is superficially similar to that of Pussy Galore, she gets to do more. She’s not just a smuggler.

She takes care of the women that come to her and has an empire built up that has many avenues for them to be successful. These avenues range from owning hotels to carnivals and her famous circus. After the death of her father – a man that Bond went after on orders from his superiors for stealing gold – she turned what could’ve been a chance to spend her life trying to get revenge into a successful life that has her as a powerful, wealthy, and feared name in the world. She made smuggling her profession and proved that crime really does pay if you’re good at it.

If you liked this and want to read more about what I liked , check out Bond Girl: Re-Watching and Re-Evaluating Octopussy on The Mary Sue site! And comment (if you want) or feel free to chat me up on Twitter about everyone’s slightly sleazy favorite man of international espionage!