Thursday, 19 October 2017

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN...



It's funny the things we remember and the things we forget.  I remember buying this paperback from JOHN MENZIES in my local town centre, either in 1974 or '75.  I can't say with certainty precisely which year, because I no longer recall if I bought it prior to seeing the movie or afterwards.  My local cinema usually got the 'big' movies several weeks after the Glasgow cinemas, so I suspect it would've been 1975 before myself and one of my pals trotted along to see it, returning again not long after to repeat the experience.  I remember also that I treated my parents to a viewing of it, though I'm unsure whether it was on either of the same days that my friend and I attended.  (If it was, it would've been on the second occasion.)  I repeated this treat for them in 1985 (at the same cinema) when ROGER MOORE's final 007 film, VIEW TO A KILL, was screened.  Three years later, that cinema began the process of being converted into a Bingo hall, which it's now been for quite a while longer than it was a cinema.

The scans you're looking at are of the actual book I bought back then.  I've just finished re-reading it, 42 years after I first read it back in the mid '70s.  Although I've looked after it, I'm slightly disconcerted to see that in the first and last few pages, some discolouration has set in along the edges.  I hate it when this happens, but must accept it as part of the aging process that all things succumb to over time.  It's no great consolation, but the book has probably withstood the passing of the years better than I have.  The story bears little more than a superficial resemblance to that of the movie of course, but it's a cracking read and, if you're a BOND fan, I heartily recommend it to you.  Funnily enough, although I'd forgotten, a Glaswegian by the name of Mr. ROBSON, otherwise known as 'The HARD MAN', makes a brief appearance in the first chapter.  (Any of my friends reading this will be laughing at the very idea.)

It's strange but comforting to have re-read the story on my bed in the same room of the same house I first experienced it back in the day.  Not the same bed, but in the same corner of the room where my original bed was once situated.  (If you want to keep score, my current bed in this room is the fourth, although I once had another bed in another room of the house.)  Regarding the movie, I thought it was a belter when it first came out, but it isn't generally regarded as one of Roger's best nowadays.  I think one of the reasons for this is because, at SCARAMANGA's remote island hideaway, the lone technician working in the reactor plant (or whatever it is) detracts from the impression of the usual 'big budget' scale associated with Bond films, though I think it was intended to suggest that Scaramanga's solar-powered technology was low-maintenance.  Whatever, I still think it's an entertaining film, though LIVE & LET DIE was better.

Anyway, it was nice to revisit the '70s for a while, though on returning to the present, I find myself quite saddened by the realisation that Sir Roger Moore is no longer with us.  However, for most of us, he's only a DVD or a Sunday afternoon repeat away, so his Bond will always be around.       

4 comments:

Dave S said...

I know what you mean about the feeling of rereading something on the same place as you first read it. I read Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke on a bench in my local park one sunny day many years ok, and during the (brief) heatwave this summer sat on a bench in the same spot and reread it. Really enjoyed it too, so much that I sat much longer than I'd intended and ended up sunburnt!

Kid said...

I often do things like that. A few years ago, after obtaining a replacement for the wind-up Marx robot I'd had as a kid, I took it along to my old neighbourhood where I'd had the original, to sort of re-establish the 'connection'. Mad, I know, but who cares.

Dave S said...

I have a really strong memory of standing at a bus-stop on a summer evening in the late 80s passing time waiting for the bus by reading the novelisation of V (which I'd bought at stall in the Barras earlier that day). I walked past that same bus stop on Friday afternoon and felt just for a second like I was back on that warm night again, spellbound by that book (which I still have).

Kid said...

That sort of thing happens to me a lot. With that in mind, have a read of my post entitled 'Past Imperfect, But Welcome Nonetheless...' You'll find it by typing the title into the blog's search box.

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