Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peter O'Donnell

New York Times obituary

Modesty Blaise comic strip collections

Penguin India "retro revival" reprints of the Modesty Blaise novels

Joseph Losey's film adaptation:

Tarantino-generated prequel My Name Is Modesty

A couple of the "extras" included in the DVD edition of "My Name Is Modesty" arguably are more interesting than the vidpic itself. A 52-minute interview with Peter O'Donnell may seem plodding to the uninitiated, but the author's anecdotes likely will enthrall diehard fans of Modesty Blaise. A 42-minute joint interview with Tarantino (billed as the vidpic's "presenter") and [director Scott] Spiegel are instructive mini-seminar on the nuts and bolts of low-budget vidpic production. That's a Modesty Blaise graphic novel John Travolta's character is reading in "Pulp Fiction." And Tarantino indicates he would like to eventually direct a lavish feature showcasing Modesty.
Sparks' tune "Modesty Plays", dis-used TV movie theme song, re-titled but not re-recorded.
“I just want to thank you and congratulate you for writing the Modesty Blaise books,” the novelist Kingsley Amis once wrote in a handwritten note to Mr. O’Donnell. “They are endlessly fascinating. I read them for the second time recently when laid low by a very depressing bout of flu, and I’m sure they did quite as much as the doctor did to put me on my feet again.”


Tulkinghorn said...

Unimpressed by the Amis bit: his weakness for schoolboy porn makes his judgment here suspect..

However, I was struck by this pronouncement from the anonymous obituary writer for the Telegraph:

His Modesty Blaise novels have often been compared to those of Ian Fleming, but while there are obvious resemblances in subject matter (right down to the sinister criminal masterminds), O'Donnell was altogether a better writer. His fiction is easily the equal of the Bond books, more than matching it for tension, authority, humour and, perhaps surprisingly, panache.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

RIP. I love Modesty to death, and I've loved the novels I'm scraped together. Bye bye, O'Donnell.

Generic said...

I've gotten to the point now that the only action movies I really want to see are the ones featuring women in leather jumpsuits. The Underworld and Resident Evil series are prime guilty pleasures in this sub-genre. Unless I'm very mistaken Modesty Blaise was the original jump-suit action heroine, and therefore my hat is off.

Tulkinghorn said...

TMI, bravely candid, or humorous exaggeration?

Your call.....