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1965

Dune by Frank Herbert

Published March 13, 2022

Dune by Frank Herbert

I’ve attempted this before but didn’t get past the first couple of pages, this time I was determined to make a better effort - there’s the big film on the horizon and I wanted the inside track. Plus it’s such a cultural phenomenon that it had to be on the list. I got through it this time, which is a bonus, and elements of it were interesting…. but ultimately I did find it pretty dry (pun intended, considering the lack of water on this planet). The characters are all so stiff and hard to invest in, and even the ‘hero’ Paul isn’t particularly sympathetic.

The Man With the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming

Published July 21, 2021

The Man With the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming

You can tell that this book wasn’t fully formed before Fleming died. It was published posthumously and was going through the editing process at the time, and by all accounts Fleming wasn’t very happy with it. So it’s not a surprise that it doesn’t have quite the same impact as other stories. It feels shorter, less complete, and there’s a lot less depth in certain areas. But it has all the elements a good Bond novel should have - a bad guy to chase, a thrilling action sequence, plenty of intense personal danger, and a leading lady or two.