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The Month Ahead

What to see, read and listen to in November

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall,” out this month


With the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, out this month, we asked former CIA man Mark Stout—curator of D.C.’s International Spy Museum, which opens the exhibit “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains” on Nov. 16—to shed light on some of 007’s foes and the real-life figures who inspired them.

Bond villain: Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big (Live and Let Die, 1973)
Real villain: Harlem gangster Frank Lucas. “Mr. Big had a big sense of style, but Lucas had a chinchilla coat and a sidekick, ‘Sergeant Smack,’ with whom he devised a plot that would appeal to any Bond villain: smuggling heroin out of Southeast Asia in coffins.”

Bond villain: Franz Sanchez (License to Kill, 1989)
Real villain: Drug lord Pablo Escobar. “Here, the real villain was definitely more flamboyant than the fictional one. Sanchez had a pet iguana, but Escobar raised hippopotamuses and had a park filled with life-size model dinosaurs.”

Bond villain: Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997)
Real villain: Media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. “Carver was a newspaper and TV magnate who wanted to gin up a war between Britain and China so that a new government in China would grant him exclusive broadcast rights. He was a very Hearst-like character.”


A manners maven plays ref in left field

For New York Times etiquette specialist Philip Galanes—whose column “Social Q’s” has inspired a namesake book (out this month in paperback)—no question is too big or too small. Or, as this sampling of actual queries reveals, too loony.

“My grownup brother eats with his hands. Last week he picked up his steak in a white-tablecloth restaurant. I was mortified. What to do?”
Steer clear of spaghetti restaurants. And if you want to speak with him about his table manners, best do it when you’re not at the table.

“I go out with a terrific guy who has an identical twin. Lately, I find myself fantasizing about his twin brother. What do you make of this?”
Fantasizing about a carbon copy of your beau is just plain lazy. Switch to Channing Tatum, like everyone else.

“When my wife and I separated last year, her mother emailed me, ‘I hope you eat rat poison and die.’ Though my wife and I reconciled, I still feel uncomfortable with her mother. What should I do?”
Let it go. People say crazy things when they’re angry. (But I’d avoid Thanksgiving at her place.) NOV. 27

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