Book #31 (of 72, so far) Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
Of the three Bond books I've read (as research, of course), this one offered the most consistent thrills. Each book has had its gripping moments; LALD just happened to have more of them. There was actually very little attention paid to card-playing and 007 actually faced a significant death threat just about every day in this story. The frighteningly calculating Mr. Big was really a grim, fantastic villain. Aided by the fact that over half the story took place in the U.S., this story is James Bond on the streets. Everything is very gritty, real, and brutal. It also deals with elements of Voodoo and Caribbean mysticism, which is just creepy.
I was actually pretty impressed with this short novel. It's violent, it's racy, it's definitely not for kids, but it's some of the best "popcorn reading" I've ever done.
# of pages: 229
Total pages; 9,937
# of books: 31
Avg pages/book: 320.55
Still working on The Game, but first I have another Bond book (Diamonds are Forever) that I've got to get back to the library by first-thing Thursday. Dryden's book is due back next Monday. It's really very good (though a bit melancholy) and hopefully I'll riff on it a bit next week.
Then, I'm going back to my original list for a bit, I think. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring and Gold's Carter Beats the Devil will be next.
For my own record's sake: I've read 20 of my original 60. I'm technically a third of the way through!!