You have just enough time before Skyfall drops on November 9th to catch up on the original story of the greatest spy who never lived. Sure, you could watch the other 22 Bond films in a monster weekend orgy of Blofeld and bomb-defusing and Pussy Galore, but nobody wants to watch Never Say Never Again again.
Better plan: Treat yourself instead to Amazon’s rereleased collection of the original Ian Fleming books that inspired the Greatest. Movie. Series. Ever. Here are five reasons the books will prep you better:
1. Thanks to heavy censorship in Hollywood at times over the series' 50-year history, Fleming’s original books are way darker and a lot sexier than their on-screen counterparts, and rely less on wacky spy gimmicks and more on classic machismo and dame management. Magnetic watches that magically work from across the room, or more explicit scenes featuring double-entendre-named women? You decide.
2. Films are a two-hour synopsis, and can only carry over so many of the book’s details to the screen. What kind of content gets lost in translation? Here's one example: Bond fights a giant squid, and not with no damn magic watch, neither. He fights it with his hands and with his guts...well, not literally with his guts... You know what we mean.
3. The magnificent Q appears in all his brilliant, frustrated, infinitely patient glory in all of the original works, and would totally approve of this Kindle-exclusive digital edition that grants you fingertip access to all 14 books in the palm of your hand.
4. The writing is completely addictive. Not only is Ian Fleming’s pen mightier than the sword, it could totally dominate a blade-tipped bowler hat in a duel -- especially if a magnetic watch is in play anywhere in the area, which would suck in your opponent's bowler hat by the blade, but leave your plastic-and-chrome pen free for unfettered carotid artery perforatin'. Just saying.
5. Reading the Fleming masterpieces will instantly transform you into a dangerous international superspy, with all the requisite skills needed to save the planet again and again from curiously wealthy madmen and their dastardly half-baked schemes. The series literally comes with a license to kill, straight from Her Majesty, or so we have led ourselves to believe.
Intrigued? Check out this video introduction to the series, sure to leave you -- wait for it -- both shaken and stirred. Yeah, went there.