Charming but insubstantial memoir from the most prolific James Bond.
Moore, who stewarded the Bond franchise through its arguably most frivolous series of films, recounts his life in a similarly breezy manner, with a relentless chirpiness that eventually begins to lull the reader into a pleasant stupor. Moore dutifully catalogs his cozy early childhood, wartime deprivations, early career, etc., in an agreeably light, jokey tone, reveling in a scatological sense of humor and displaying a talent for the well-turned anecdote. This same jocular, weightless approach extends to the author’s reminiscences of failed marriages, serious illnesses and other major life events. Moore takes us through the production of The Saint and The Persuaders (with some choice stories about eccentric, pot-smoking co-star Tony Curtis), which set the stage for his signature role as James Bond. There are plenty of behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of his Bond films, mostly on the order of stunt snafus and pranks. Moore shows little willingness to gossip about his co-stars—though he includes a poignant curio about Hervé Villechaize’s whoring in Hong Kong—and no inclination to analyze the character of Bond, noting only that his take on the character was “lighter” than predecessor Sean Connery’s. No kidding. Moore seems oddly oblivious to any notions of artistic quality, fondly recalling his work in such universally reviled films as The Cannonball Run and Boat Trip without irony, and evinces little interest in the craft of acting beyond having a nice time with fun people and cashing a big check. Fair enough, as he reserves his passion for UNICEF, which despite being noble makes for very dull reading.
For diehard fans only.