Comedian Charlie Higson to condense 12 original James Bond novels into 140-character tweets

The 007-fan was tasked with condensing the classic series in a way that would appeal to both diehard and new readers

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The Independent Culture

Comedian Charlie Higson is to celebrate the premiere of the new James Bond movie Skyfall by turning 12 of the original Bond novels into 140-character tweets.

The 007-fan, famous for his role in hit BBC sketch show The Fast Show, was tasked with condensing the classic series in a way that would appeal to both diehard and new readers.

Speaking to the London Metro newspaper, Higson said: ‘I was asked to capture the essence of the books and tie them up and make them entertaining for someone who hadn’t read them… Also to put in stuff that the real Bond nuts can relate to.”

Despite the entire project containing only 1680 characters, Higson said it took about two weeks to complete.

“140 characters is not much space to try to encapsulate the books…luckily, Ian Fleming’s plots are not very long,” he said.

“They tend to be Bond meets M who tells him ‘this is the villain go and sort him out’ and Bond goes and sorts him out. So it’s about getting the key elements and trying to make them fit the length,” he added.

“One thing I learnt quite early on was 007 is one less character than Bond.”

Between 2005 and 2009, Higson wrote seven successful ‘Young Bond’ novels focussing on the spy’s school days at Eton in the 1930s.

The series, aimed at a younger audience than the original Ian Fleming novels, went on to sell over five million copies, but was met with tough criticism from fans of the original books – who accused Ian Fleming Productions of a cynical attempt to milk the franchise.

Higson provided Metro with two tasters of his tweets, summing up both the short story and film version of Quantum of Solace.

The short story: Host at dinner party in Nassau tells Bond that the boring couple were actually involved in a scandal. No car chase, no guns, no explosions

The film: There’s a car chase, I think, a villain, I think, something about an opera & water supply. Posh hotel in desert blows up. Bring on Skyfall

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