I've read Diamonds Are Forever and the bulk of the other books. Most of them are far too low-key to have satisfied audience expectations after Goldfinger and Thunderball. Most diehards, including us, regard OHMSS very highly. But it was a relative box office disappointment. Some of that is undoubtedly due to the departure of Connery. But I strongly believe that the more grounded Bond didn't meet the escapist expectations of the Bond audience at that time. As far as the books go, the real bummer for me is that the Blofeld trilogy wasn't filmed in order. You Only Live Twice is such a cinematic book that it's hard to believe they tossed the plot aside because they couldn't find the right locations for OHMSS (after Thunderball). Throw out that one decision and it's possible that they could have kept Connery satisfied a lot longer. Diamonds Are Forever (the film) works much better for me than any of the Brosnan films and all the Moore films with the exception of TSWLM and FYEO. I find I feel like nitpicking a lot of individual elements (like the fey Blofeld, Connery's pink bib tie, and the move toward outright comedy). But for whatever reason, it holds up to repeat viewings for me in a way that many of the Brosnan and Moore films don't. It's certainly bolstered by one of Barry's best scores--including the very effective usage of his criminally underused (recently) 007 Theme during the climactic assault. And I like the fact that more of the oil rig scenes revolve around Connery's verbal jousting with Charles Gray than another soulless group shoot-out. I haven't checked the run-times. But the actual assault on the rig SEEMS to move at a much brisker pace than similar scenes toward the end of the Brosnan films especially. It's interesting that the FYEO score turns off so many of you. I'd take that over any of David Arnold's recent work--in a second. I especially like the revved up version of the gun barrel theme. Some of the other pieces definitely aren't up to Barry's standards. But I'm more willing to accept them as Bond music than Arnold's generic-sounding recent contributions. It sounds like some of you guys don't know why Blofeld isn't overtly named or shown at the beginning of FYEO. Kevin McClory's lawsuit against EON granted him the cinematic rights to SPECTRE and Blofeld. Apparently some type of accommodation was worked out to allow Eon to continue using those elements in the film series through Diamonds Are Forever. But after that they were unable to specifically reference either--which is why the script to TSWLM had to be rewritten and why Blofeld isn't named or shown explicitly at the beginning of FYEO. The literary rights to the characters stayed with the Fleming estate, which is why John Gardner was able to use SPECTRE in several of his novels. I also feel the need to weigh in on the fake film grain controversy. The transfers of the early Connery films are some of the most impressive, FILM-LIKE transfers of movies from that era, period. If those transfers resulted from judicious use of DNR and the addition of digital film grain it should become standard practice. I continue to be astounded by the level of detail visible in those transfers. They're really that impressive.