But what obsession was it that was consuming this man? What was the origin of the compulsive urge that was driving him down the steep hill into the sea? All the signs pointed to paranoia. Delusions of grandeur and, behind that, of persecution. The contempt in his face. The bullying voice. The expression of secret triumph with which he had met defeat after a moment of bitter collapse. The triumph of the maniac who knows that whatever the facts may say he is right. Whoever may try to thwart him he can overcome. For him there is no defeat because of his secret power. He knows how to make gold. He can fly like a bird. He is almighty –the man in the padded cell who is God.
First, the third book in the series (“Moonraker” [US] [JP], with almost no resemblance to the movie [Amazon US] [iTunes]) has several chapters describing a bridge game. It captivated me in a way reading about people playing cards shouldn’t.
Second, Flemming’s use of language is educational. I use Amazon’s lookup feature more for Fleming’s use of outdated English and very British terms than I used it for a Japanese novel translated into English before James Bond came into being.
I’ve long heard the term “chicanery“. I equated it with shenanigans. Basically, chicanery means one resorting to tricks. I never thought about from where the word comes. It so happens that a “chicane” is a serpentine curve in the road. It’s also a card trick (in the “you’re cheating” sense).
By 2018 standards there are … issues with these books. Others can debate them and I’m sure they have.
Every experience carries its lesson, and these books prove no exception.