Saturday, December 23, 2006

Short Story Break: “Risico”

Writer: Ian Fleming 1959
Due to the deserved success of “Casino Royale,” the army of James Bond bloggers is alive with the rumor that the next Bond film will be based on Fleming’s short story, “Risico,” which was part of the five stories included in “For Your Eyes Only.” I thought I would reread the story, and pulled off the shelf my Signet paperback, second printing June 1962. I was eleven when I first read this book. So much for Franklin W. Dixon. This is an interesting collection. In some stories, Fleming owes a debt to his friend Somerset Maugham (really a friend of Fleming’s aristocratic wife, Ann). Others are straight-out adventures. “Risico” follows Bond to Rome and Venice, tracking a drug kingpin. Fleming was an excellent travel writer, and this skill shows in “Risico.” There’s also a nice chase on a beach and assault by sea on the kingpin’s warehouse. Plus a few colorful characters. Obviously, the screenwriters will have to expand the premise, and heroin is too unexciting to work as a 21st Century McGuffin. No doubt, these problems will be hurdled. Still, it’s nice to think that the Bond people are looking to Fleming for inspiration.


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