The Fast Show's Charlie Higson tweets 12 Bond novels in 140 characters each
It's the star-studded premier of new James Bond film Skyfall tonight and to celebrate, Twitter tasked Charlie Higson - comedian, actor and author of the Young Bond series of novels - to condense each of Ian Fleming's 12 full James Bond novels into 140 character tweets. No mean feat.
Today, the star of the Fast Show published the entire run of massively shortened versions on his Twitter feed at @monstroso, and Pocket-lint caught up with the writer and self-confessed Bond fan in order to find out how difficult a task it was to fit the essence of each book into a tweet.
"There were several tricks I learnt, such as the realisation that '007' is one less character than 'Bond'," he told us. He also explained that it dawned on him early on that the hashtag "#BondTweets" would not be able to appear in each synopsis. Instead, he had to precede each one with an introductory tweet including the hashtag. It was a move that allowed for some finely crafted creations.
"The end results actually ended up more like poetry," he said. "I tried to add humour. I like the Goldfinger one as it allowed me to include a smutty joke."
Higson's other favourite is the tweet for The Spy Who Loved Me, which threw up an interesting challenge as the book is vastly different from the 1970s movie. "The Spy Who Loved Me is a strange book," he told us. "It's written in three parts and told from the perspective of the girl [Vivienne Michel]. Bond doesn't appear until the last third.
"I've tried to capture that in the tweet."
Certainly, it is perhaps only when armed with that knowledge can you fully understand the posting: "Me- Hi I'm Viv & this is my story. Unhappy lovelife now work in a motel. Them- 2 gangsters with dirty minds. Him- The name's Bond. Job done."
And that's perhaps the point of this exercise. Yes, we have a new film coming out (this Friday, 26 October). And yes, watching the last 50 years worth of movies is a wonderful way to spend your time - especially on Blu-ray. However, with those 140 characters each, Higson is hoping the tweets will get people to pick up one of the original Ian Fleming novels.
"That's what's been nice, reacquainting myself back to Fleming again," he said. "And being able to share that with other people. So many people know Bond from the films, but quite a lot have been tweeting me saying that it's made them want to go and read the books.
"That has probably been the most fun part."
Pic: (cc) nottinghamgamecity