Off-topic book review: “Goldfinger”

Finished reading Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (1959) recently and it’s interesting to see how attitudes have changed in the past 53 years.

At the end of the book, after the danger is over, Bond and Pussy Galore, the leader of a Harlem-based group of lesbian gangsters, are in adjoining rooms on a ship. She enters his cabin and he tells her to undress and get into bed with him. She does, snuggling close.

Here’s what happens:

He said, “I thought you only like women.”

She said, “I never met a man before.” The toughness came back into her voice. “I come from the South. You know the definition of a virgin down there? Well, it’s a girl who can run faster than her brother. In my case I couldn’t run as fast as my uncle. I was twelve. That’s not so good, James. You ought to be able to guess that.’

Bond smiled down into the pale beautiful face. He said, “All you need is a course of TLC.”

“I’d like that.” She looked at the passionate, rather cruel mouth waiting above hers. … “When’s it going to start?”

Bond’s right hand came slowly up the firm, muscled thighs, over the flat soft plain of the stomach to the right breast. … He said softly, “Now.” His mouth came ruthlessly down on hers.

Hmmm … two things immediately come to mind …

First, James Bond is the cure for Lesbianism. It seems that 53 years ago, all you needed to “turn” a lesbian was a real man. The fact that there seem to be a fair share of lesbians today seems to reveal that there are few “real men” left. Maybe they all got married.

Secondly, I don’t know how it was then, but I was taught that when a woman confesses that she was raped by an uncle when she was 12, it’s a little callous to slowly move your hand up her firm, muscled thighs. And when you tell someone they need some TLC, you don’t start by putting your mouth ruthlessly on theirs.

But, maybe that’s just the way I was raised …

How would a 21st century James Bond handle such an encounter? How would Fleming write the scene today? Or would he?

But that may be a little off-topic.


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