live and let die22 May 2005
Is there anything worse I could possibly pollute the internet with than reviews of James Bond novels? Ah well.
I don’t have much to say about Live and Let Die. It was entertaining. And really racist.
On the IMDB discussion, there’s a thread where someone mentions that it’s racist, and a few replies that are basically like “OMG NO IT’S NOT RACIST THEY ARE JUST BLACK VILLAINS!!1”
All I can say is that those people have obviously never read the book it’s based on. Chapter 5 is named “Nigger Heaven” for fuck’s sake.
To some extent the racism is that sort of ho-hum racism that’s merely a sign of the times in which the book was written. He makes the race of every character very clear, and describes the black people (“them”) consistently in terms defined by their race almost exclusively. Though he doesn’t unilaterally demonize black people in the book – for example Quarrel, his guide in Jamaica, is portrayed as a knowledgeable and loyal accomplice – he does then proceed to make a very big deal about how Quarrel is lighter-skinned, with obvious “Commodore blood” in his veins, etc etc.
Once you got over that, it’s an entertaining read.