Thunderball (James Bond, #9)

Thunderball (James Bond, #9)
author: Ian Fleming
name: Matthew
average rating: 3.78
book published: 1961
rating: 4
read at: 2018/09/19
date added: 2018/09/19
shelves:
review:

James Bond is BACK!

After a disappointing outing in Goldfinger and an appetizer of juicy vignettes from For Your Eyes Only, Fleming has brought Bond back to all his former, pulpy glory in a new adventure in an exotic locale with a brand new enemy–SPECTRE–in the ever-thrilling Thunderball!

The first few chapters seem to play with the audience’s criticisms about Bond: M thinks he’s tired, possibly washed-up, and sends him on a mandatory holiday at a health spa in the country learning to fast, eat vegetables, cease smoking and drink, and other “un-manly” things that were the new health craze at the time. The retreat really serves as a reboot in the series. Bond casually investigates a fellow inmate, the inmate tries to kill Bond in retaliation, and Bond responds in kind. Very typical “tough guy” Bond that we all know and love. All the while, Bond begins to soften somewhat and take on a more healthful visage; he returns from the retreat energetic and healthy, much to the delight of M but receiving the uncharacteristic reprimand from his faithful housekeeper who knows more about his life than Bond might’ve suspected.

After the delightful opening act, physically rejuvenating Bond and reminding the reader what made them love the character in the first place, we are introduced to our new villainous organization, SPECTRE (the SPecial Executive for CounterTerrorism, Revenge, and Extortion)–led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld–to take the place of (the now, apparently, defunct) SMERSH in a more “realistic” capacity and, ostensibly, to allow Fleming more freedom to write around the confines of the Cold War rather than from within. It’s a bold move, and one that–as we look back historically–has worked out well for the franchise staying relevant.

The novel is paced well, much like the early films, and reads like one of Connery’s outings. Bond is back to being his introspective tough guy, and Felix Leiter returns in a starring role (hook, peg leg, and all). The stakes are the highest that they’ve ever been in a Bond novel, and the action stays intense throughout!

Pick up a copy on Amazon (affiliate link)

10Q: Special Bonus Question

As in years past, we are offering you a Special Bonus Question in which you get to predict what you think will happen in the coming year–not just to you, but to the world around you. For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with Larry Smith’s  Six-Word Memoirs, which recently published Six Words Fresh Off The Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity & Coming To America.  For this bonus question, be as local or as global as you like, so long as you answer in exactly six words.

So much change. So much disruption.

Previously

10Q #10: When September 2019 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

When September 2019 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

It’s really amazing to look back, specifically at last year’s questions and see exactly how things have come since then! In almost all instances, each answer of “I want to do X. I plan to do X.” has come about thanks to sheer determination on my part (and maybe a few lucky breaks). I hope to look back in a year and see where I was right when I took another major leap in my life–pushing headlong into uncharted waters of entrepreneurship! I hope to, at that point, look back to now and see that I was headed this way just as I look back to last year and see how I was putting everything into place to get here!

I’m really hoping to continue to grow from now until then (and beyond)! This is only the beginning!

Previously

10Q #9: What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

One thing that I fear is becoming irrelevant to the next generation. I don’t have kids of my own, and I don’t really plan to, so I have to be content with being “Uncle Matt” to my sisters’ kids. Which, for the most part, I am. My nephews and my niece light up my world–even though I see them only maybe once a year. There’s a lot that I feel that I can teach them, lots of those odd little life lessons and so forth that they might not get from their parents. My uncle Homer was like that for me. Homer’s a kooky old codger–somewhere between Jimmy Buffet and the Dalai Lama–that I really only saw at family reunions, but he took a shine to us kids. I remember him telling old tall tales of his adventures when he was younger–bootlegging, private investigating, and a whole slew of jobs that a young boy really only encounters in adventure books and films! On top of that, he was the man who introduced me to some of the greatest (underrated at the time) minds in science: Tesla, Bucky Fuller, and Philo Farnsworth to name but a few!

I want to be The Most Interesting Man In The World to these kids. I want to be the lighthouse when they inevitably have issues that they don’t feel comfortable bringing to their parents. I want to be the man who does everything and anything and spins yarns about his adventures to these kids. I suppose that, at least for now, I just gotta do it!

Previously

10Q #8: Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2019?

Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2019?

As always, I strive to learn as much as I can about as much as I can. Picking up work from element14 Presents has been challenging in that I don’t know as much about all the different boards and programming languages as I feel like I should. I continually remind people that I’m not Ben Heck, but I also realize myself that I’m not Ben Heck in that I don’t have the decade(s) of experience that he has working with microelectronics. I have a passion for these things, and I have enough knowledge and experience to–for example–take apart a VCR and put it back together again or to rewire old gaming equipment, but I don’t have a background in design, I don’t have a robust relationship with Ki-CAD or Blender, and I don’t have a Felix or a Karen to fall back on when I need to bounce ideas around.

I started a crash course in Blender this week, and I should be somewhat up to speed very soon. At least versed enough to build the simple designs that I need for an upcoming project. The next goal will be Ki-CAD, and from there I’ll just start adding to my skills repertoire until I’m at least as functional as The Heckendorn!

Previously

10Q #7: How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

I’m really playing on the professional level with this year’s answers–as in, I’m mostly concerned with my professional quality and my career development right now. By next year, I would like to have my production flow down pat. It’s been evolving since I’ve been concentrating on quality last year, and it’s received a decent shot in the arm from having worked within the element14 Presents world for a few months now.

Just keep hustling! Don’t be afraid to take a risk! Seize your opportunity. Follow your bliss!

Previously

10Q #6: Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

I’ve been doing incredibly well staying on my goals for the past few years. Like, really well. I want to keep that streak going. I just celebrated dropping to part-time at my day job, and I’d like to be fully self-sufficient by next year. That’s going to be a tough job, though, as I’ve got to not only keep pushing with the video work, but also pay off a significant chunk of revolving debt. Barbie and I are working together now, throwing bales of dynamite at this mountain that we’ve accumulated, so it’s going to be a challenge. We’re primed and ready–it’s time to take charge!

Previously

10Q #5: Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Two funerals inside of a week is enough to affect anyone. Next question, please.

I dare say that I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching as of late, and I’m simultaneously terrified and optimistic about the future. Check back with me next year.

Previously

10Q #4: Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?

Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?

This has been a quieter year for “world events”–at least in my sphere. I dare say the biggest issue that has impacted me is the burgeoning US trade war with China. Components that I use in my business are getting more expensive, so I have more overhead to contend with. Thankfully, I have a corporate sponsor that is willing to front the cost of so many components, but any of my personal projects have to be set aside until I get more funding.

Previously

element14 Presents — Project Mooninite: Raspberry Pi Asteroid Tracker

Whether you call them “blinkies”, “throwies”, “sparklers”, or anything else, LED art is an interesting nexus of street art and hacker culture.

Connect with Matt on element14 and find the B.O.M at: http://bit.ly/2C2dhEt

Events such as DEFCON even have exhibitions for the most creative blinky designs while maker storefronts sell them in every conceivable shape. In this video, Matt collaborates with his friends at the National Upcycled Computing Collective to build a solar-powered “smart” blinky that not only looks cool at night, but contributes its computing power to a worldwide network that’s looking for disease cures, extraterrestrial intelligence, rogue asteroids, and more!

Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle