The Many Facets of Diamonds Are Forever: James Bond on Page and Screen (Paperback)
Diamonds Are Forever-the fourth James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, published in 1956-is widely recognized as one of the most intriguing and original works in the 007 series. With its exciting settings including West Africa, Las Vegas, and the horse-racing center of Saratoga Springs, the novel explores the thrilling themes of diamond smuggling, gambling, gangsters, sex, and espionage. Moreover, the novel is unique in being set outside the conventional Cold War milieu of other Fleming novels, allowing readers to explore Fleming's views of America without reference to its Cold War antagonist, the Soviet Union. This collection of essays is the first to explore Fleming's novel in depth, as well as delve into the remarkable 1971 film adaptation directed by Guy Hamilton (who also directed Goldfinger), and starring Sean Connery in his final "official" appearance as 007. Updating Fleming's novel for the post-1960s culture of sexual liberation and mass-market consumerism, Hamilton's film departs from the novel by introducing Ernst Stavro Blofeld-the head of SPECTRE and James Bond's nemesis-as the arch-villain. The ten original essays in this collection focus on diverse themes such as the central role of Tiffany Case-one of Fleming's most memorable "Bond girls"-in novel and film; Fleming's fascination with diamonds, reflected in this novels intertextual connections to the non-fiction book The Diamond Smugglers; the author's ambivalent relationship with American culture; the literary style of Diamonds Are Forever, including its generic status as a "Hollywood novel"; and the role of homosexuality in the novel and film versions of Diamonds Are Forever. Bringing together established Bond scholars and new emerging critics, this collection offers unique insight into one of the most influential works of modern popular culture, casting new light on the many facets of Diamonds Are Forever.
Oliver Buckton is professor of English at Florida Atlantic University.