All posts by baconbond@gmail.com

Doubleshot’s Gala Debut

DOUBLESHOT will rocket into bookstores within a matter of weeks (May 2000 in the U.K.; June 2000 in the U.S.) and before writer Raymond Benson takes off to Europe for a publicity tour, he graciously dropped by and chatted with friends and new fans Monday night, even revealing a suprise or two.

DOUBLSHOT will be excerpted in the June issue of Playboy Magazine which goes on sale the first week in May. Apparently they had a particular interest in this story and you U.K. readers who have already gotten your hands on the novel will understand what we are talking about (but we won`t give away the surprise!)Benson also confirmed to our intimate chat group that he`ll be researching locations in France next month for his follow-up to DOUBLESHOT, and Corsica will play a part in the book as well. The tentative title for his next novel, to be published in Summer 2001 is: NEVER DREAM OF DYING.

NDOD is Benson`s own idea, and so far the editors have had no objections. Also revealed were the original, working titles for DOUBLESHOT: “Doppleganger” and “Reflections In A Broken Glass”. See what kind of fascinating information you can learn in a celebrity chat? Our sincere thanks again to Raymond, for his patience and time, and a special thanks to our chat group members who came well prepared, well read, and quite enthusiastic! We will post the full transcript of the chat session later in the week!

Collecting the Books of James Bond

I welcome you, dear reader, to Forever’s 005: For Your Collection Only, a compendium of tips, tricks and fun history from 007`s world. We`re going in-depth on the collecting questions we`ve had to field over years and years–come along for the ride each time–I guarantee you will learn something new if you are an old hand!

This first installment deals with books, a subject big enough to warrant much more explanation than is given here. We will return to books soon again soon for the Corner, I guarantee it. Meanwhile, whether you collect Mr. Bond`s books, posters, toys, autographs, clothing or whatever, you will find plenty of hot tips within each section each time to add your collecting knowledge. The staff of Forever is looking for your Q and A also for forthcoming work. We will be drawing on more than one hundred years` in total collecting experience from the 007Forever staff and help from experts around the world in their collecting fields…watch this space also for our forthcoming stories on super collectors from around the world! On to the Books: Part I!

Why collect the Bonds as books besides their fantastic investment value? The Bonds tend to have among the best jacket art and spine designs anywhere! They will look great on your shelf next to your star autographs and Corgi toys.

The earlier books have increased value dramatically for a number of reasons, certainly sentimentality for baby boomers, their scarcity and lovely cover art–the entire publishing industry moved long ago from artist rendered, hand illustrated covers to cheap cut and paste art and computer graphics imagery. Today, a quality artist can earn $2,000 – $3,000 for painting a single jacket cover! Again, early books have snob appeal today, and Bond is on the cutting edge of the modern firsts that have increased in value thirty-fold in recent years.

To sound hip in Bondly book collecting is to have you go to your local book dealer, walk up to his counter, and ask if he has any Bondiana (pronounced Bond-ee-anna, like “Indiana” Jones) for sale. The word Bondiana doesn`t just sound cool, it tips the seller that you are seeking Bond items not limited to Mr. Fleming`s books but Gardner novels, magazine articles on Bond, whatever. We collectors are “Bondians” who collect Bondiana. Ian Fleming fans can try the mouthful, “Flemingiana,” for a double-point bonus from Collectors` Corner. With the exploding market, I have seen tight-lipped dealers who said ten years ago, “Collect Ian Fleming pulp! Perish the thought!” respond lately with, “James Bond? I was so stupid years ago, I could have had a copy of…”.

Collecting James Bond in the literary form has been an enduring and satisfying hobby for nearly fifty years, and the Fleming titles are the most popular modern firsts collected today. The first rule of Bond book collecting is–we can ignore the first rule of typical Bond collecting! For 007`s items, often, but not always, the “rule of 60” applies—that is, until recently, the rule of 60 said that for toys, posters, books, etc., an item had to date from the early 1960s or before to carry heavy value. Not so with rare books!

“All Mod Bonds”

A prime example of a valuable modern Bond would be John Gardner`s Cold in its British first edition, 1996 from Hodder & Staughton (who purchased the publishing house and selections of Jonathan Cape). Cold, or Cold Fall, as it is titled in the US, is fetching an astounding $700 right now (quite a markup from its 17-pound cover price!) and illustrates three facets that make Bond bookies go wild:

1) The first Cold is British and so it is the very first appearance of this title in book form
2) The printing run was limited to 900 copies, so it is a scarce title
3) The dustjacket is hot stuff!

Now, we Anglophiles love the British Bonds with their usually gorgeous dustjackets, for the jacket is king in collecting 007. Titles without a jacket plunge in price, which is logical, if you sell me a “naked” book title I can hunt down the jacket—but who has empty dustjackets to sell me to clothe my book? A first American valued at $350 might have trouble getting a bid of $10 at auction without a jacket cover.

Hint: Looking for British titles? Find friends across the pond searching for titles from the States–we have trouble finding British Pans and Capes in US stores and our friends in Europe have trouble collecting American firsts at their shops.

Have you ever realized that Bond book collectors have a wider playing field that blows away the exploding field of Star Trek or even Star Wars book collecting? One catch line I have used for media interviews, which they always keep from me as a sound bite, is “Collecting James Bond is like collecting memorabilia from 20 Star Wars movies–there is just so much out there!” Bond books are no exception. Consider a typical title–let us call this exercise “The Many Faces of Dr. No”:

There was the beautiful and valued J. Cape first with its unusual Pat Marriott dustjacket; the first American hardback edition with Dr. No spying on a drugged and sleeping Bond, from Macmillan; two early Pans with slightly different painted covers by Peff, followed by a Pan with a spider web on its blue cover, a Pan with a stylized montage including Bond`s weapons, memories of Honey Rider, and Guerlain`s soap; a Pan with a bikinied Rider grasping her dagger; then a film version Pan (!); Signet paperbacks with two different covers; two more Macmillan editions, a “James Bond Mystery” with Walther and holster and an American book club edition; the Jove edition; a Berkley book with Bond in silhouette; the Coronet General book from Canada, also with silhouette and with the forward by Anthony Burgess; the Coronet from `93 with spider; the James Bond Classic Library with Bond and friend, Dr. No`s giant squid; the Triad Granada/Triad Panther with gal upon a (Exceptionally large weapon, you have there, Mr. Bond!) gun; large print editions sent to libraries from Chivers and New Portway and more–get the picture?

That list above does not include the sought after Mariott Cape variant without a Honey Rider silhouette stamped on its cover, multiple editions with the same layouts such as the British book club edition which also carries the Mariott artwork or Pans with the “purple band,” “yellow pan” or “Great Pan” stampings, etc., etc., etc.! Super collectors, no doubt with super wallets attached, have gone in sometimes for getting every printing of a particular title, such as grabbing all 23 printings of a Signet reprinted 22 times–ouch! I also have not yet mentioned privately leather bound and faux-leather bound editions or foreign books printed in more than a dozen languages with multiple artwork covers!

Hint: The incredible gaggle of Bond books, which far outnumber Q`s gadgets, leads to my next book collecting tip–have fun but specialize!

Examples of specialization that`s fun? Pick a set of books by publisher and go for them all, say, all the Fleming titles in Signet/New American Library. You would need the set of 14 Signets seen commonly at online auctions, plus the first printings only of the first eight Fleming titles, skipping Diamonds Are Forever, with their lovely painted covers: Casino Royale with a monocled Le Chiffre, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, From Russia With Love with its vivid art, (FRWL and CR are the toughest to find in good condition) Dr. No, Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only.

Maybe for an encore, you look for the Signet box (of several different kinds with 12 or 13 of the 14 in the set bundled in boxes for Signet promotions) and you also buy the late reprints of the last four which came in two different covers each in the 1980s–On Her Majesty`s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun and Octopussy or eight more books. Your Signets shelf is growing now so you grab Signet`s Thrilling Cities so you can read “James Bond in New York,” not printed in British editions, and O.F. Snelling`s classic 007 James Bond: A Report and of course you must aso have Kingsley Amis` The James Bond Dossier since you enjoyed his Colonel Sun, written under the pseudonym Robert Markham, so much! By now, you are a Signet “completist” or someone who seeks to find each and every of a set, so you search diligently for the Signet movie tie-in editions to Live and Let Die, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and curiously, Casino Royale, which looks remarkably like the poster art for the Bond spoof bearing its name!

Top off your goods with the late 80s risque cover reprints of Octopussy and The Man With The Golden Gun. Your wallet now considerably lighter, you praise God that Berkley/Coronet and not Signet printed the Gardner Bond novels, saving you 16 more purchases on top of your 40 new softcovers. Your Signet paperback shelf has forty different covers, is finished and to die for!

“More Specialties, Please”

Another specializing collector is the kind who highlights a favorite Bond, such as Connery, and scoops up the many titles foreign and domestic that bear his likeness, especially the French Plons, German Scherz/TOSA, rare Japanese paperbacks, and Belgium and Dutch titles here and there, and of course, English-language movie tie-ins of the 1960s, plus Diamonds Are Forever.

Even narrowing further are super specialists like Ben Miller and Craig Marciniak, specialists in a single book or film title. Ben has lived and worked in Japan on and off for more than a decade and is a top You Only Live Twice specialist, while Craig Marciniak joins the knowledgeable Steve Kulakoski and Charles Helfenstein as leading experts in all things On Her Majesty`s Secret Service. These hyper-specialists spend years researching furniture, decorations and cinematography glimpsed in a film, plus of course, its numerous book title appearances, toys, magazine articles, posters, autographs, stills and more. Craig`s online domain at www.marciniak.com specializes in the ultimate nitty-gritty for OHMSS, and Craig has opened a bottle of wide or two in Europe just to get French and German incidental dialogue translated!

You can specialize in British, American or other foreign titles or in “proof” books, printings issued for a test run before the first edition is a go. Tampa, Florida super-collector Don Kovalik has numerous valuable proofs. Specialize in “Bond only” or in books about the phenomenon or Mr. Fleming himself. A certain “S.K.” has made a mini-hobby out of collecting different Sean Connery biographies. “T.S.” is scooping up ALL the Signets. C.H. has a legendary publication, microfiche and magazine collection. B.F., J.C., J.P. and R.M. among others, (you know who you are!) have all the Fleming Capes as first editions, the heartless cads. (Yes, ALL, including Casino Royale! I could sell one of their sets and pay off my mortgage.) Friends are filling in the gaps on their “firsts collections,” dogging out all the movie firsts, all the painted firsts, all the 70s and 80s firsts. Not specializing and going for everything Bond in books can lead to poverty and sorrow!

Specialize, and stay sentimental. Why buy a book unless there is a story behind it? On the other hand, how about not unless the cover jumps up and bites you with style? I call certain collectors on a budget “differentists,” my word for collectors who pinch a penny by collecting titles only if the dustjacket offers something different from what they have in already. For example, the Macmillan For Your Eyes Only first is quite close to the first British Cape, as a matter of fact, the American has Richard Chopping`s drawing of Bond`s eye at the keyhole, with a few book accents to make the jacket slightly different. With a fine Cape FYEO fetching $750 and a fine Macmillan grabbing $250 – $400, why buy them both if the cover is so close? (By the by, did you know? Fleming had Chopping redo the eye color repeatedly until Chopping had Fleming`s vision of Bond`s clear gray eyes just right. More trivia: Did you know that For Your Eyes Only, was the only glossy dust cover of the Cape Bonds?)

The lovely British Book club editions would be another example for differentists on a budget. Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love and Dr. No have British Book Club jackets identical to the Capes and are skipped often by book club collectors. (In the same vein, GoldenEye`s British book club is identical to the Hodder first and License To Kill looks just like the Charter paperback for the same title.) For different jackets, Live and Let Die, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty`s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun, Colonel Sun and The Life of Ian Fleming all have attractive art. (Look under the jackets of the last two as some ran with a leatherette cover for the boards of the book!) These ten titles would look great on anyone`s shelf. On the other hand, the thought of getting the book clubs with the same covers for $15 – $40 each or one-fiftieth the price of the DAF, FRWL and Dr. No Capes is quite appealing as well!

Make your decisions: Cold has the same cover in hardback and paperback, why get the softcover? Goldfinger has the Chopping jacket in the first American and British, why get them both? (I can hear Sean Connery responding to “You think one book is better, eh?” with “No, just different. Like Peking duck is different than Russian caviar but I love them both.” We`re talking a limited budget here, Sean.)

Hint: Don`t just skip similar jackets. You can also go for later printings with the same look for the costlier titles, like the early Capes. $5,000 for a first Moonraker Cape? No, thanks. Fifty bucks for an sixth printing in top shape with the identical publishing details and jacket? Now we are talking!

Here are the beginning entries to Collectors` Corner`s lists of books for Bondian completists (thanks in advance for sending to us at Fandom your corrections on titles I am unaware of.) Warning! Auctions can play havoc, going up and sometimes down, with the suggested prices I have outlined here!

Collecting James Bond Stories: Heavy Hitters

British Firsts–Jonathan Cape/Hodder & Staughton

The 14 Fleming Bonds most are familiar with also had four cover variants, three of them printed around `83 or so (eighth printings or so)

1) Casino Royale was done with a “Vesper playing card” on a green background–one just sold for $170-plus dollars on auction (yikes!)

2) Cape redid Moonraker with the word “Moonraker” embossed in silver on the jacket

3) Dr. No`s first printing had a variant without the woman standing in the swamp

4) Dr. No had a later Cape printing with the words “Dr. No” in a stamp font on the cover on a paneled background like Signet`s James Bond Dossier

5) A limited signed edition, of course, was available for On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.

For the Capes, Richard Chopping`s name has become famous through his work on the Bonds. Goldfinger and From Russia With Love are considered his greatest triumphs. Mr. Fleming himself devised the cover art or concept for many of his novels.

Some of Ian Fleming`s other work/more Bond was beautifully rendered as highly collectible and valuable Capes; Thrilling Cities with its choice cover art by Davis and The Diamond Smugglers.

Other fantastic Capes include Colonel Sun, The Life of Ian Fleming, the killer-to-find Bond-wannabe The Adventures of 003½, The James Bond Dossier, and Christopher Wood`s movie novelizations of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker (now fetching amazing prices in fine or good condition).

The first five Gardner Bond novels were done by Cape, and ten more by owner Hodder & Staughton (including the novelization of GoldenEye). License to Kill appeared as a British hardcover in book club form only.) Raymond Benson`s Bond novels Zero Minus Ten, the Facts of Death, High Time to Kill and movie novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies and the forthcoming The World Is Not Enough were also done by Hodder.

Total: Up to 46 veddy British fine titles any Bondian should be proud to own, costing each between $14,000 for a fine/fine (book is fine condition, dustjacket also) Casino Royale first, to $20 for certain Gardners and Flemings if you keep your eyes peeled.

American First Editions:

Casino Royale through Goldfinger was published under Macmillan–Live and Let Die was published as “A Cock Robin Thriller”. For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me were Viking; On Her Majesty`s Secret Service through Octopussy were New American Library–for all practical purposes we can think of the three publishers as one company with NAL publishing Signet paperbacks.

Pricing runs the gamut between $1,000 – $2,000 for a fine copy of Casino Royale with a bright jacket and $15 – $25 for a copy of Octopussy. Why the wide disparities in Bond book prices? The number printed of each title. Expectations were limited for Casino Royale but tens of thousands of the later novels were run as first editions by Cape and NAL both.

Pan Paperbacks:

Pan Flight One (pun intended): Painted Pan covers by Peff, others; Casino Royale (3 different covers); Live and Let Die (2 covers); Moonraker (3 covers); Diamonds Are Forever (2 covers); From Russia With Love (2 covers); Dr. No (2 covers); Goldfinger (Fleming look-alike on cover); For Your Eyes Only (“Pericolo de Morte” sign)

Also notable as painted Pans:

The Diamond Smugglers (2 different covers)

Another set was of 14 covers with matching design elements: From Russia With Love (Fabergé egg), Goldfinger (Rolls Royce cover), etc. A variant Casino Royale has Le Chiffre`s check double printed on it.

There are Pan “Montage covers” for all 14 Flemings? I have seen copies of 12, and a 13th Fleming title has been documented. I am unaware of a still life cover for Live and Let Die.

“Heroines in action poses”: All 14 except LALD, OHMMS and YOLT Thunderball and Ohmms have a “girl and gun” Pan made.

Film tie-ins: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, On Her Majesty`s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Man With The Golden Gun all have film tie-ins Pans attached.

Other notable Pans: The Life of Ian Fleming (same cover as J. Cape 1st), Roger Moore as James Bond (account of filming LALD), James Bond, The Authorized Biography by John Pearson, The Book of Bond, The James Bond Dossier and Thrilling Cities (printed as parts 1 and 2, with covers that make one cohesive picture laid side by side).

Prices: Painted covers run from $15 – $20 for a fine copy of the later titles to $75 and up for the 1st printings of Casino Royale or Moonraker, certainly two of the toughest Bond paperbacks.

All other Pans can be had for $5 to $15 each, with the exception of relatively scarce titles such as Thrilling Cities or paperbacks in extra fine condition.

First American Paperbacks:

Casino Royale was introduced to American paperback readers as a pulp thriller under the alternate title of You Asked For It, replete with Jimmy Bond pouring a stiff one while vamp Vesper shares his room. Live and Let Die and Diamonds Are Forever, plus Moonraker as “Too Hot To Handle” were other early softcovers eagerly sought for their pulp art.

You Asked For It and Moonraker are rightfully valued as $350 books, which seem to fetch considerably less at auction, however. Live and Let Die and Moonraker used to sell for $50 and $75 at Bond fan gatherings, and they may be gleaned at auction for $25 or even less at times.

Signet Paperbacks: (See complete list above).

Enough for now, gang. Time will fail me if I tell of the proof titles, John Gardner books, Coronets, Berkleys and Joves, Taiwanese piracies and heavy Bond hitters like Holmes meets 007 (less than 300 copies worldwide, Ian Fleming`s The State of Excitement (three copies worldwide) Ian and I (one copy on earth). Even a first printing of Raymond Benson`s James Bond Bedside Companion is grabbing $200! Plus, I will have more tips for you on everything books from condition and price clipping to scooping up bargains. The Collectors` Corner will return to books, eventually. On the other hand, maybe I should write that collecting book already.

Next time will be “Collecting the BackBurner Productions of Bond”. Watch this section of 007Forever for more collecting fun on the way!

Written with grateful acknowledgment to the many collectors who have helped me pave the Bond book way, especially Steve Kulakoski of For Your Eyes Only Books, and Bryan Krofchok and Russell MacKenzie of The Bond Index.

–Matt Sherman is Co-Editor of 007Forever, which means he might have to scan in all his rare James Bond books and then throw them away permanently.

Bonding in France

Raymond Benson`s next book, following Doubleshot, will be set in France.

According to to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, Feb 14, 2000 in an article by Mary A. Gruner (Daily Herald Correspondent): “At present, Benson is working on a new book, for which he will soon be researching in France. Although he has traveled to Hong Kong, China, England, and many other countries, he confesses that his research forays are intensive and exhausting.”

Bondiana With Mysterious Books

The Mysterious Bookshop, located in Manhattan, is one of the world’s original mystery specialty stores. The bookshop, which specializes in James Bond collectibles, is owned by Otto Penzler, author of the popular monograph, Collecting Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Among their long line of publishing the best of mystery and espionage works, Penzler’s Mysterious Books published the three limited editions of License To Kill most sought-after by collectors, two of which are fetching $1,000 today. (LTK was also publishewd in hardback by a British Book Club–editor.)

Mysterious Search is the search service for The Mysterious Bookshop, and it is located in Atlanta. The search service is staffed by fulltime professionals, who have invested years in developing a network to allow them to locate rare items for dedicated collectors.

The search is conducted at no charge to collectors. When a request is submitted, the item is meticulously researched. Once the item has been found, the searcher re-contacts the customer with a description and price. The collector can, at that time, make a decision on whether or not to buy the desired title. The search service then purchases the book or item for the collector, receives it and checks its condition, professionally re-packs it and ships by Priority Mail or UPS to the customer. The purchaser’s credit card is charged at that time.

Betty Breckenridge is the James Bond specialist and a member of the search service for the bookshop. The advantage the search service offers is that you, the collector, are not limited to what the store has in stock at any given time. If they don’t have a title you want, Bettycan look far and wide for it, on your behalf. Betty performs this service at no charge to you.

Here is a typcial Mysterious book listing. There prices are in the mid-range of what is being offered by dealers worldwide. If you want detail on descriptions, or you’d like Betty to search for items in greater or lesser condition, you only need to ask:

Betty Breckenridge
The Mysterious Bookshop, NY
mysteriouspa@mindspring.com
877.30.BOOKS, toll-free
404.321.9849, fax

Mr. Boer, Meet Mr. Brosnan

…”My name is Boer…James Boer.” I’m Dutch, and my middle name is Jacobus (“James”). I’ve handed Pierce Brosnan the story excerpted here . . . Think my biggest hero is James Bond? It’s the Lord Jesus Christ!

Before you leave this BondFanEvents page thinking I’m a Jesus freak, I encourage you to read a bit longer! Or as Q says, “Now pay attention, 007!” The reason I love Christ above our friend James is that Christ paid for my sin!

The Bible says all of us are sinners, breaking God’s law in actions, words and thoughts. Even 007, though sarcastic, agrees with this in For Your Eyes Only, saying to Q, “Forgive me father, for I have sinned.” Our sin and guilt separate us from God. To go to heaven, however, we must be perfect. We can never go to heaven on our merits.

God loves us, though, and wants us to be with Him in heaven eternally. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take our sin. Christ went to the cross and paid for sin there, taking punishment we deserve. After, He rose from the dead proving He had paid for sin. All He asks us to do in response is to place our trust in what He has done, not trusting our merits to get to heaven but what He did. The Bible says that:

“…God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever trusts in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life.”

It’s simple, God loves me, but I have sinned. Jesus paid for my sin and if I trust Him, I am assured of heaven! I know for certain I have eternal life and my sin is forgiven! I have a purpose to live for, to tell others what Christ did for me! “It’s a new world…with new dangers…but you can still depend on one man…Jesus Christ!”

—Kees Boer has been with 007Forever.com’s Bond Weekends since they were a fevered dream of a few crazy folk.

Collecting the Autographs of James Bond

With Alex Brauchle

Matt: How did you start collecting Bond autographs?

Alexander: The first Bond autograph I received about 13 years ago; a wonderful Roger Moore piece signed for a friend at a German television station. After this, I began to pursue all the Bonds for signings; after I had them all, as do most Bond hunters nowadays, I started to collect the girls’ inscribed stuff. Later, villains and behind the scenes people were also followed by exciting Bond related documents and movie props used on screen!

Matt: Just how many autographed items from the world of James Bond do you own now?

Alex: Would you believe it? Nearly 4,000 items!

Matt: 4,000 of them! Your very favorite item which you own? Is there such a thing?

Alex: An 8″ x 10″ original movie still signed by Adolfo Celi, [“Emilio Largo” in “Thunderball”] the king of all 007 autographs and the rarest! But, it is hard to say for certain as I have many other very rare and wonderful pieces, like authentic Sean Connery signings. 90% of Connery “signings” are clever forgeries! I love my Harold Sakata and Goldfinger cast signed pieces, with up to a dozen signatures on one still (!) and everyone loves the movie props; some major pieces like Drax’s girl’s miniskirts from Moonraker; “real” gold bars from Goldfinger; a one–meter long life boat from Tomorrow Never Dies’ Devonshire ship model used in the film; Valentin Zukovsky’s caviar jar from the recent “World Is Not Enough” and much more…you see it is hard to say what is my favorite piece…[smiles].

Matt: Any exciting “war stories” for our readers on how you earned a special collectible or perhaps funny stories on how a rare collectibles got away from your grasp?

Alex: Always interesting is the “great auction war,” for example the battle royal at Christie’s auction house last year. [Note: Proxy bidders from around the world stormed this exciting auction online and through intermediaries.] A nice, charming story was with Pierce Brosnan when he filmed in Hamburg, Germany the TND film. I was there to meet with him in his spare time between filming shots. Pierce is a gracious and courteous star, who signed all items for all comers. For me he signed on the back of a police officers shirt to have something to lean upon! At that time, I met with a lot of Bond girls and Desmond Llewelyn who will be sorely missed, Gotz Otto who played “Stamper” and many others.

Matt: Do you have any tips for aspiring bond autograph collectors?

Alex: Research all the information you can on any signed piece before you buy. Examine the genuine article yourself before you buy anything. The very best is to ask several dealers or collectors what they think about a particular autographed item. I am also willing to help in this field always, we can put the power together to run unscrupulous dealers out of the Bond business! I also have a private black list of bad sellers…any 007Forever fan can have it on request!

[Note from Matt and Alex: Three keys to getting signed pieces from the stars themselves 97% of the time 1) ask for the item to be inscribed to you personally, an assurance for the actor that the item is not for immediate resale 2) enclose the item you want signed to inside a padded, self-addressed stamped envelope or enclose international stamp coupons for items to be shipped back to you overseas 3) include a brief, heartfelt note about how you enjoy the actor’s work. Following these three steps often mean collectors receive delightful personalized correspondence attached to their star autographs!]

Matt: Are you considering a trip as a dealer/fan to Bond Collectors’ Weekend in New Orleans?

Alex: It would certainly be an interesting event as I go over as I can to make an appearance in the US. I think Bond fans there at your New Orleans meet will appreciate my wares.

Matt: What are some of the trends you foresee in autograph collecting? How have “Bonds on the market” changed over the years?

Alex: The trends are bad for collectors! Every day, it seems, more and more fakes hit the market and people without a source of reference like you, Matt or me, buy such bad stuff. I am working at the moment on a signature reference book specialized on James Bond stars! [Watch for excerpts here at Collectors’ Corner.] I authenticate most of my stuff in the very best way: I have a great signature library from my in person visits with Bond movie stars…from the 60’s until through today’s celebrities. Especially helpful is my extensive signature documentation for the writings of Sean Connery. I am searching for an American publisher for my reference book, which will be ready at end of this year! Now the prices for the good stuff, the fully authenticated stuff, seems to increase each day as many celebrities have stopped signing, even in personal appearances, and are very hard to get as is Connery. Sean Connery’s true signature is extremely tough to find, and at the same time, Mr. Brosnan has too many fans that request an autograph to sharply increase his signing value.

Matt: What else do you specialize in Bond-wise?

Alex: Original movie props used and made for the Bond movies as mentioned; 007-related documents, especially signed contracts from the stars themselves, star-signed checks and bill payments, inscribed books and private documents, for an example Sean Connery’s private membership card from Beverly Hills Country Club…my thanks to 007Forever’s readers for providing this opportunity. I look ahead to receiving their email!

More collecting story ideas? Write us!

Collecting the Autographs of Bond: 100-Plus Celeb Addresses!

Collecting the signatures of our favorite celebrities has been a favorite hobby for decades.

Although, getting a celebrity’s autograph isn’t always easy! You either have to pay ridiculously high prices for an autograph from an autograph dealer or be located in an area where celebrities can be found around every corner. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the money to hand over to those greedy autograph dealers nor do we live in areas with large amounts of celebrites. Lucky for us we can get autographs the inexpensive way, through the mail (TTM)! Not many people know that all you have to do to get a celebrity’s autograph is write them a nice, sincere letter asking for an autograph. Here’s a comprehensive list of James Bond celebrity addresses and tips on how to start collecting autographs through the mail.

TIPS

1) Write a short but sincere letter. Compliment them on their work and then ask for an autograph. Celebrities don’t have the time to read a 700 page fan letter!

2) Include something for the celebrity to sign. Sometimes the celeb will have something to send you but not always so it is best if you include something as an “assurance” policy.

3) Include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) along with your letter and anything you want singed. Celebs receive dozens, sometimes hundreds, of autograph requests each week and can’t afford to pay for postage to everyone.

4) Keep us updated! If you have any successes let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

The List

A

Maud Adams – Octopussy – Octopussy/Andrea Anders – TMWTGG
PO Box 10838
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-3838
USA

Woody Allen – Dr. Noah – Casino Royale
48 E. 92nd St.
New York, NY 10128-1316
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

or

c/o Sweetland Productions Inc.
41 W. 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
USA
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Ursula Andress – Honey Ryder – Dr. No
Lamonstr 9
81679 Mumlinchen
Germany

Michael Apted – Director – TWINE
13176 Boca De Canon Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90049
USA

David Arnold – Composer – Shaken and Stirred, TND and TWINE
29-33 Berners Street
London W1P 4AA
England

Rowan Atikinson – Nigel Small-Fawcett – NSNA
c/o P.B.J. Mgmt.
47 Dean Street
London W1V 5HL
England
(Pre-print photo and letter from secretary – 3 months)

or

c/o P.B.J. Management Ltd
5 Soho Square
London W1V 5DE
England

Claudine Auger – Domino Derval – Thunderball
c/o WMA
151 El Camino Dr.
Bevery Hills, CA 90212
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)
or

10 Avenue George V
75008 Paris
France
(2 photos – 2 weeks)

B

George Baker – Sir Hilary Bray – OHMSS/ Captian Benson – TSWLM
c/o Shepherd Ford
13 Radnor Walk
London SW3 4BP
England
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Joe Don Baker – Whitaker – TLD/ Jack Wade – GoldenEye & TND
23339 Hatteras
Woodland Hills CA 91364
USA
(Signed photo – 1-2 weeks)

John Barry – Composer
540 Centre Island Rd.
Oyster Bay NY 11771
USA

Kim Basinger – Domino Petachi – NSNA
11288 Ventura Blvd. #414
Studio City CA 91604-3149
USA
(Signed photo (possible pre-print) – 2 months)
or

4833 Don Juan Pl
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-4705
USA
Signed photo (possible pre-print) – 2 months)

Shirley Bassey – Singer – Goldfinger, DAF and Moonraker
c/o Stellar Mgmt. Ltd.
74 Wimpole Street
London W1M7DD
England
(Signed photo – 2-3 months)

or

5th Floor – Axis Centre
Hogarth Business Park
Burlington Lane
London W4 2TH
England

or

24 Ave. Princess Grace #1200
Monte Carlo
Monaco

Patrick Bauchau – Scarpine – AVTAK
c/o DS Web Design
107 N. Reino Rd. #184
Newbury Park, CA 91320-3738
USA
(Signed photo – 1-2 months)

Sean Bean – Alev Trevelyan – GoldenEye
c/o ICM
76 Oxford Street
London W1N OAX
England
(Signed photo – 1 week)

Kabir Bedi – Gobinda – Octopussy
10000 Santa Monica Blvd.#400
Los Angeles CA 90067
USA

or

8271 Melrose Ave #202
Los Angeles, CA 90046
USA

Jean-Paul Belmundo – French foriegn legionnaire – Casino Royale
9 Rue Des St.Peres
75007 Paris
France
(Signed photo – 3 months)

Jacqueline Bisset – Miss Goodthighs – Casino Royale
1815 Benedict Canyon
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2006
USA
(Signed 2 photos – 2 weeks)

or

Guttman Associates
118 S Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Honor Blackman – Pussy Galore – Goldfinger
c/o Ladkin Personal Management
Suite 1
Ground Floor
1 Duchess Street
London W1N 3DE
England
(Signed photo – 1 week)

or

c/o Michael Ladkin
11 Southwick Mews
London W2 1JG
England

or

c/o N.S.M.
The Nightingale Centre
8 Balham Hill
London SW129EA
England
(Signed photo – 2 week)

Bruce Boa – West German Base General – Octopussy
c/o Road Company
22 Poland Street
W1V 3DD
England
(Signed photo – 3 weeks)

Samantha Bond – Moneypenny – GoldenEye/TND/TWINE
Pebro House
13 St. Martin’s Road
London SW9 0SP
England
(2 signed photos – 1 month)

Calore Bouquet – Melina Havelock – FYEO
c/o Intertalents
5 Rue Clement Marot
75008 Paris
France
(Signed photo – 1 month)

John Bowe – Colonel Feyador – TLD
c/o Coronation Street
Granada Television
Quay Street
Manchester M60 9EA
England
(Signed photo – 2 week)

Klaus Maria Brandauer – Maximillian Largo – NSNA
Bartensteingasse 8/9
1010 Wien
Austria
(Signed photo – 1 week)

Paul Brooke – Bunky – FYEO
19 Sydney Mews
London SW3 6HL
England
(Signed photo – 1 week)

Pierce Brosnan – James Bond
c/o The Pierce Brosnan International Fan Club
23852 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 007
Malibu, CA 90265
USA

Robert Brown – Admiral Hargreaves – TSWLM/ M – Octopussy-LTK
c/o British Equity – Guild House
Upper St. Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9EG
England

Ricou Browning – Underwater director -Thunderball & NSNA
5221 SW 196th Lane
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33332
USA
(Signed photo for $20 – 3 weeks)

Jeremy Bulloch – Smithers – Octopussy
c/o Barry Brown Partner
47 West Square
London
SE11 4SP
United Kingdom
(Signed photo and letter – 2 weeks)

C

David Calder – Robert King – TWINE
1 Winterwell Rd.
London SW2 5TB
England

Barbara Carrera – Fatima Blush – NSNA
PO Box 7631
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-7631
USA

Robert Carlyle – Renard – TWINE
c/o ICM
76 Oxford St.
London W1N 0AX
England
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

or

c/o Sally Long-Innes
76 Oxford Street
London WIN 0AX
England

Martin Campbell – Director – GoldenEye
c/o ICM
8942 Wilshire Blvd. #219
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1908
USA

Bernie Casey – Felix Leiter – NSNA
6145 Flight Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90056
USA

Lois Chiles – Dr. Holly Goodhead – Moonraker
644 San Lorenzo
Santa Monica, CA 91376
USA

Eric Clapton – Writer/Singer – Lost LTK Theme song
Roger Forrester Management
18 Harley House
Regents Park
London NW1 5HE
England

John Cleese – Q’s Assistant – TWINE
82 Ladbroke Road
London W11 3NU
England

Robbie Coltrane – Valentin Zukovsky – GoldenEye/TWINE
c/o CDA
19 Sydney Mews
London SW36HL
England
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Sean Connery – James Bond
c/o CAA
9830 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

Jason Connery – Ian Fleming – The Private Life of Ian Fleming
c/o Joe Jameson Plaza
555 King Rd. #219
London, SW10 0SZ
England

Bill Conti – Composer – FYEO
117 Fremont Place
Los Angeles, CA 90005
USA
(Signed photo and letter – 4 months)

Rita Coolidge – Singer – Octopussy
560 Hilbert Dr.
Falbrook, CA 92028-1602
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Francis Ford Coppola – Contributed ideas to NSNA script.
916 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 91433
USA

Ronnie Corbett – Polo – Casino Rolyale
c/o Artist Mail
BBC Information
P.O. Box 1116
Belfast BT2 7AJ
England
Signed photo – 2 months)

Sheryl Crow
c/o The Sheryl Crow Fanclub
Fanscape
3191 W. Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90268
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

or

10345 W. Olympic Blvd. #200
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2524
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Alan Cumming – Boris – GoldenEye
c/o Tracy Brennan
International Creative Management
8942 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
(Signed photo – 2-3 months)

D

Maryam d’Abo – Kara – TLD
2-4 Noel Street
London W1V 3RB
England
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Timothy Dalton – James Bond
21 Golden Square
London W1R 3PA
England
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Charles Dance – Claus – FYEO/ Ian Fleming – Spymaster
c/o ICM,
Oxford House
76 Oxford St
London W1N 0AX
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Robert Davi – Franz Sanchez – LTK
1907 Vallecito Dr.
San Pedro, CA 90732
USA
(Signed photo – 4 months)

Jimmy Dean – Willard Whyte – DAF
8000 Centerview Pkwy Suite 400
Cordova, TN 38018-7927
USA
(Signed photo letter – 1 month)

Benicio Del Toro – Dario – LTK
c/o IFA Talent Agency
8730 Sunset Blvd. #490
Los Angeles, CA 90069
USA

Judi Dench – M – GoldenEye/TND/TWINE
c/o Julian Belfrage Assoc
46 Albemarle Street
London W1X 4PP
England
(Signed photo – 2-4 weeks)

or

c/o Incoming Mail
BBC TV Centre, Wood Lane
London W1R 7RJ
England
(Signed photo – 2-3 weeks)

Lisa Dergan- Herself – Midsummer Nights Doom
9899 Santa Monica Blvd #640
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
((Signed photo – 1 month)

Alison Doody – Jenny Flex – AVTAK
c/o Julian Belfrage Associates
46 Albermarle Street
London W1X 4PP
England

Karin Dor – Helga Brandt – YOLT
Nördliche Münchner Str. 43
82031 Grumlinwald
Germany

Minnie Driver – Irina -GoldenEye
c/o Studio Fan Mail
1122 S. Robertson Blvd. #15
Los Angeles, CA. 90036
USA
(Signed photo (pre-print) – 2 weeks)

Duran Duran – Band – AVTAK
Box 21
London W10 6XA
England

E

Shirley Eaton – Jill Masterson – Goldfinger
Guild House
Upper St. Martin’s Lane
London WC2H 9EG
England
(Signed photo – 1 month)

F

Edward Fox – M – NSNA
25 Maida
London W2 1ST
(Signed photo – 5 months)

or

c/o CDA
19 Sydney Mews
London SW36HL
England
(Signed photo – 1 week)

Fiona Fullerton – Pola Ivanova – AVTAK
c/o London Management
2-4 Noel Street
London W1V3RB
England

G

Garbage – Band – TWINE
c/o Smart Studios Inc.
1254 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Eunice Gayson – Sylvia Trench – Dr. No/FRWL
Spotlight
7 Leicester Pl
London WC2h 7BP
England

Prunella Gee – Patricia Fearing – NSNA
c/o MLPM
11 Southwick Mews
London W2 1JG
England

John Glen – Director – FYEO – LTK
9A Barkston Gardens
London SW5
England
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Bruce Glover – Mr. Wint – DAF
11449 Woodbine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Julian Glover – Kristatos – FYEO
19 Ullswater Rd.
London SW13
England
Signed photo -& 2 weeks)

H

Lani Hall – Singer – NSNA
360 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

or

31930 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, CA 90265
USA

Guy Hamilton – Director – GF/DAF/LALD/TMWTGG
22 Mont Port
Puerto Andraitz
Mallorca
Baleares
Spain
(Signed photo – 2 weeks

Marvin Hamlisch – Composer – TSWLM
970 Park Ave. #501
New York, NY 10028
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Jan Hanley – Italian allergy victim – OHMSS
c\o Talkies George Healtcote Mgmt.
Neals Yard
London WC2H 9DP
England

Teri Hatcher – Paris Carver – TND
10100 Santa Monica Blvd. #410
Los Angeles, CA 900676
USA
Signed photo (autopen?) – 2 months)

David Hedison – Felix Leiter – LALD/LTK
PO Box 1470
Beverly Hills, CA 90213
USA
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Gloria Hendry – Rosie Carver – LALD
733 N. Steward St. #PH
Los Angeles, CA 90038
USA

Peter Hunt – Director – OHMSS/ Editor – Various
2337 Roscomare Road Bldg 2145
Los Angeles, CA 90077-1851
(Two signed photos – 3 months)

I

J

Clifton James – JW Pepper – LALD/TMWTGG
500 West 43rd St. Apt 26J
New York, NY 10036
USA

Famke Janssen – Xenia Onatopp – GoldenEye
c/o UTA
9560 Wilshire Blvd. #500
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

Ricky Jay – Gupta – TND
c/o Creative Artists Agency
9830 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

Lynn-Holly Johnson – Bibi Dahl – FYEO
178 S. Victory Blvd. #205
Burbank, CA 91502-2881
USA

or

c/o Cavaleri
405 W. Riverside Dr #2
Burbank, CA 91506
USA

Tom Jones – Singer -Thunderball
c/o MGM Grand
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Louis Jourdan – Kamal Kahn – Octopussy
1139 Maybrook
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

K

Michael Kamen – Composer – LTK
c/o Gofanie/Schwarz/Robert
3301 Barham Blvd. #201
Los Angeles, CA 90068
USA

Tcheky Karyo – Dimitri Mishkin – GoldenEye
c/o Artmedia
10 Avenue George-
V75008 Paris
France

Geoffrey Keen – Minister of Defense – numerous
50 Lock Rd. Ham.
Richmond
Surrey TW10 LN
England
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Deborah Kerr – Mimi – Casino Royale
Wyhergut
The Klosters
7250 Grisons
Switzerland
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Richard Kiel – Jaws – TSWLM/Moonraker
c/o Richard Kiel Fan Club
PO Box 1719
Coarsegold, CA 93614
USA
Website – http://www.richardkiel.com

or

PO Box 1719
Coarsegold, CA 93614
USA

Michael Kitchen – Bill Tanner – GoldenEye/TND
c/o Markham And Froggatt Ltd
Julian House
4 Windmill Street
London W1P 1HF
England
(Signed photo – 2-3 weeks)

or

c/o Granada TV
Quay St
Manchester M60 96A
England
(Signed photo and letter – 2-3 weeks)

Gladys Knight – Singer – LTK
2801 Yorkshire Ave.
Henderson, NV 89014
USA
(Signed photo – 1-2 months)

or

3221 La Mirada Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89120-301
USA

Burt Kwouk – Mr. Ling – Goldfinger
c/o London Management
2-4 Noel Street
London W1V 3RB
England
(2 signed photos – 1 month)

L

Patti LaBelle – Singer – LTK
1212 Grennox Rd.
Wynnewood, PA 19096
USA
(2 months)

Daliah Lavi – the “detainer” – Casino Royale
Dahlierweg 2
58313 Herdecke
Germany

Marc Lawrence – Gangster – DAF/Rodney – TMWTGG
2200 N. Vista Gande Ave.
Palm Springs, CA. 92262
USA

George Lazenby – James Bond
145 S. Fairfax Ave. #310
Los Angeles, CA 90036
USA

Christopher Lee – Francisco Scaramanga – TMWTGG
c/o Jean Diamond
London management
2-4 Noel St.
London WLV 3RB
England
(Signed photo – 2 months)
Website – http://www.christopherleeweb.com>http://www.christopherleeweb.com

Valerie Leon – Hotel Receptionist – TSWLM/ Deep sea fisher – NSNA
c/o Incoming Mail
B.B.C. Television Centre
Woodlane
London W12 7RJ
England
(Signed postcard – 2 months)

Michael Lonsdale – Hugo Drax – Moonraker
c/o Agence France Degand
25 Rue Du Foy
75008 Paris
France
(Signed photo – 2-3 weeks)

Carey Lowell – Pam Bouvier – LTK
c/o Law Order
Pier62 @ W.23rd St.
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011
USA

or

c/o ICM
8942 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
USA

Lulu – Singer -TMWTGG
Running Dog Management
PO Box 225
Sunbury on Thames
Middlesex TW16 5RT
England

or

2 King Street
London SW1Y 6QL
England

Joanna Lumley – English allergy patient – OHMSS
c/o Artist Mail
BBC Information
PO Box 1116
Belfast 7AJ
Norhtern Ireland
(Signed photo – 2 months)

or

Conway, van Gelder, Robinson
3rd Floor
18-21 Jermyn Street
London SW1Y 6HP
England
(Signed photo – 2 weeks)

Dolph Lundgren – Venz – AVTAK
c/o William Morris Agency
151 El Camino Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

M

Paul McCartney – Singer – LALD
MPL
One Soho Square
London W1V
England
(Only signs for special occaisons)

Alec McCowen – Algernon – NSNA
c/o Conway Van Gelder Robinson
18-21 Jemyn Street
London SW1Y 6NB
England

Everett McGill – Killifer – LTK
c/o JAG
5555 Melrose Ave
Hollywood, CA 90038
USA
(Signed photo – 1 month)

John McLusky – Artist/Writer – Bond strip – The Daily Express
55/57 High Street
Metheringham
Lincoln
Lincs. LN4 3DZ
England

Patrick Malahide – Lachaise – TWINE
c/o ICM
Oxford House
76 Oxford St
London W1N OAX
England

Patrick Macnee – Tibbett – AVTAK
PO Box 1853
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
USA
(Visit http://www.patrickmacnee.com before you send anything)

Art Malik – Kamran Shaw – TLD
c/o PFD
Drury House
34-43 Russel Street
London WC2B 5HA
England

George Martin – Composer – LALD
c/o Air JEB Management
2 Sudbury Hill
Harrow on the Hill
Middx HA1 3SB
England
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Lois Maxwell – Miss Moneypenny – Dr. No – AVTAK
c/o ICM
76 Oxford St.
Oxford House
London W1N OAX
England
(Signed photo – 3 weeks)

or

150 Carlton St. E. #200
Toronto, Ontario M5K 2E1
Canada

Lorrie Menconi – Miss February on Playboy Bond ‘reads’ – OHMSS
PO Box 4394
Chatsworth, CA. 91313
USA

Roger Moore – James Bond
2-4 Noel Street #43
London W1V 3RB
England
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Caroline Munro – Naomi – TSWLM
c/o ICM
Oxford House
76 Oxford St
London W1N 0AX
England
(Signed photo $10, 3 months)

or

PO Box 2589
London, W1A 3NQ
England
(fan club info.)

N

Christopher Neame – Fallon – LTK
c/o Stone Manners Agency
8436 W 3rd St. Suite 740
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA
(Signed photo – 1 month)

or

c/o Talent Group, Inc.
6300 Wilshire Blvd. #900
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

Barry Nelson – James Bond – Casino Royale ’54
134 West 58 Street
New York, NY 10019
USA

Wayne Newton – Prof. Joe Butcher – LTK
3422 Happy Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89120
USA
(Signed photo – 1 month)
Website – http://www.waynenewton.net

O

Peter O’Toole – Bagpipe player – Casino Royale
c/o William Morris Agency
31-32 Soho Square
London W1V 5DG
England

or

c/o Veerline Ltd.
8 Baker Street
GB-London WAA 1DA
England

or

54 Baker Street
London W1M 1DJ
United Kingdom

P

Geoffrey Palmer
c/o Marmont Management Ltd
Langham House
308 Regent St
London W1R 5AL

Joanna Pettet – Mata Bond – Casino Royale
c/o Paradigm Agency
10100 Santa Monica Blvd. #2500
Los Angeles, CA. 90067
USA

Jonathan Pryce – Elliot Carver – TND
c/o Julian Belfrage Assoc.
46 Albemarle St
London W1X4PP
England

Q

Anna Quayle – Frau Hoffner – Casino Royale
c/o CDA
47 Courtfield Rd.
London SW7 4DB
England

R

Diana Rigg – Tracy di Vicenzo – OHMSS
c/o London Management
Noel House
2-4 Noel St.
London W1V 3RB
England
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Tanya Roberts – Stacy Sutton – AVTAK
c/o SFM
1122 S. Robertson Boulevard. #15
Los Angeles, CA 90035
USA
(Signed (pre-print) photo – 1 month)

or

7436 Del Zuro Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90046-1328
USA
(Unsiged photo – 1 year)

S

Jill St. John – Tiffany Case – DAF
c/o Borinstein Oreck Bogart
3172 Dona Susana Dr.
Studio City, CA 91604
USA

Colin Salmon – Robinson – TND/TWINE
c/o Markham Froggatt
Julian House
4 Windmill St.
London W1P 1HF
England

Izabella Scorupco – Natalya Simonova – GoldenEye
c/o Int’l Creative Mgmt.
8492 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
USA
Website – http://www.izabella-scorupco.com

Jane Seymour – Solitaire – LALD
PO BOX 548
Agoura, CA 91376-0548
USA
(Signed photo ($10 donation) – 2 months)

Hugh Sidey – Columnist – Revealed FRWL was on JFK’s fav. books list.
c/o Time Inc.
Editorial Dept.
1050 Connecticut Ave. NW.
Washington, DC. 20036
USA

Carly Simon – Singer – TSWLM
Box 679
Branford, CT 06405
USA
(Signed photo (pre-print) – 2 weeks)

Nancy Sinatra – Singer – YOLT
c/o Bootleggers
PO Box 10236
Beverly Hills CA 90213
USA
Signed photo (with $10 donation) – 4 months)

Madeline Smith – Miss Caruso – LALD
c/o George Heathcote
12 Neals Yard
London WC2H 9DP
England

Putter Smith – Mr. Kidd – DAF
318 Fairview Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
USA

Talisa Soto – Lupe Lamora – LTK
9200 Sunset Blvd. #900
Los Angeles, CA 90069
USA

Roger Spottiswoode – Director – TND
132 Spaulding Dr. #217
Beverly Hills, CA. 90212
USA

or

c/o WMA
151 El Camino Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA. 90212
USA

Graham Stark – Cashier – Casino Royale
c/o International Creative Mgmt.
76 Oxford Street
London W1N 0AX
England

Don Stroud – Heller- LTK
PO Box 1496
Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
USA
(Signed photo ($15) – 1-2 years)

or

1347 Gates Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-6907
USA

T

John Taylor (Duran Duran) – Singer – AVTAK
c/o Trust The Process
PO Box 2645
Venice, CA 90291
USA
(Signed photo – 1-2 weeks)

John Terry – Felix Leiter – TLD
c/o WMA
151 El Camino Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

Tina Turner – Singer – GoldenEye
c/o CAA
9830 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
(Fan mail only)

U

V

W

Christopher Walken – Max Zorin – AVTAK
c/o Mr. Gene Parseghium
127 W. 24th St. 7th flr.
New York, NY 10011
USA

or

142 Cedar Rd
Wilton, CT 06897
USA

Kristina Wayborn – Magda – Octopussy
c/o Coast To Coast Talent Agency
3350 Barham Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
USA

Joseph Wiseman – Dr. No – Dr. No
ICM
Attn: Paul Martino
40 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

or

c/o Longacre Theatre
220 West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036-1424
USA
(Signed photo – 2 months)

Lana Wood – Plenty O’Toole – DAF
4129 Woodman Ave.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
USA

or

11325 Isleta St.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
USA

or

868 Masterson Dr
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-5949
USA
Email – plenty007@hotmail.com
Website -http://members.aol.com/plenty007/index.html

X

Y

Z

Victoria Zdrok – Herself – Midsummer Nights Doom
PO Box 332
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
USA
)Signed photo – 1 month)

Anthony Zerbe – Milton Krest – LTK
1175 High Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 90265
USA
(Signed photo – 1 month)

Zero Minus Ten

The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: ??? The Bond Girl: Sunny Pei; Supporting Characters: “M”, Q, Moneypenny, T.Y. Woo, Chen Chen; Locations Covered: Hong Kong, Australia, Jamaica; First Published: 1997

Someone long ago called it the “Undertaker`s Wind”, but hardly anyone in Jamaica referred to it by that name anymore. The Undertaker`s Wind was supposed to blow the bad air out of the island at night. In the morning, the “Doctor`s Wind” would come and blow the sweet air in from the sea.—-Zero Minus Ten, page 1.

In the passage quoted above, Raymond Benson was referring to a Jamaican superstition about the weather. For all intents and purposes, he might as well have been talking about the current state of the Bond literary franchise. Prior to his taking over that is!

Zero Minus Ten is a tough, raw, back-to-basics Bond novel that pays tribute to fans of both the cinema Bond and the literary Bond. It contains the best of both worlds, and should be a crowd pleaser for all.

Zero Minus Ten starts off with a teaser of sorts. A mission before the main mission, and one that is totally unrelated to the rest of the book. Chapter Two: Three Events, sets up what will become the catalyst for the investigation Bond will undertake. The events include an atomic bomb exploding in the Australian Outback, an explosion that destroys the entire Board-of-Directors of Eurasia Enterprises, and the gunning down of several customs agents in England. What`s the connection? Is there one?

Bond is sent to Hong Kong to investigate who may be responsible for these and several other terrorist attacks that have taken place in Hong Kong or with corporations doing business in Hong Kong. Could someone be trying to set up a potential war between China and Britain? A conflict that could possibly destroy the peaceful transition from British rule to Chinese rule that`s due to take place July 1st, 1997?

I haven’t mentioned the villains yet and for good reason. There are several who may have a motive for wanting to destroy peace between England and China. Those include an insane Saddam Hussein-like General Wong, who is just chomping at the bit to go ahead and invade Hong Kong with force, a Triad (a type of Chinese mafia) leader who hates Communist rule, and the President of Eurasia Enterprises, who is bitter at England for turning her back on Hong Kong. Even if you were to guess who did what to whom, it`s unlikely you`d figure out why until the very last few pages. Benson throws in enough red-herrings to confound even the most savvy mystery reader.

You can tell from reading the novel that Benson did his homework. The novel is rich in detail. The greatest thing that Benson does for Zero Minus Ten is “personalize” Hong Kong. By that I mean he makes Hong Kong seem just like a person. Not a soulless, steel and concrete mega monstrosity, but a living, breathing, vibrant human being. Through the many different characters Benson presents, you get a sense of anxiety for Hong Kong. A sense of worry for her. You feel how many residents now feel. Nervous with anticipation for her future. I cannot reiterate this enough. I was really impressed with how I felt about Hong Kong after putting down the book. I felt like i`d made and lost a new friend all at once. I feel this was the greatest achievement of Benson`s effort.

I was also impressed with the amount of background material presented about Hong Kong and the Triad`s. Benson gives you quite an education on Hong Kong`s evolution into the city she has become today. The rich background history lays an excellent foundation to later explain who is doing what to whom and why. It makes the main villain`s scheme seem much more plausible, and makes you somewhat more sympathetic to his cause.

Benson writes Bond back as a man in or around his early forties. The emotional baggage is still there, but without overtly giving in to today`s political correctness. Benson`s style of writing is definitely different than Fleming`s, yet it`s not necessary to copy Fleming`s style when you`ve captured the essence of who Bond is. And Benson has done that.

The Bond girl in this story is a prostitute, but to Benson`s credit, he never takes the easy way out in writing her character. Though she is a prostitute, Benson writes her with intelligence, an educated background, and an attitude. Benson also creates an interesting paradox that helps add to the chemistry between Bond and Sunny Pei. At one point, her very existence depends on her killing Bond, while Bond is trying to keep her alive by doing a nasty job for one of the villains.

Benson also brings a genuine sense of humor to the novel that has been lacking for quite a while. Most of the best humor comes from T.Y.Woo, or his son Chen Chen, who at just 15, has been put in charge of driving Bond around Hong Kong. I laughed out loud at Bond receiving “flammable shoelaces” from “Q” or Moneypenny telling Bond she`d whisper him “sweet and sour nothings”.

As I said, Benson`s novel is rich in detail. Sometimes too rich. Pages 50 through 53 contain a lengthy review of a dinner that Bond enjoy`s while in Hong Kong. Chapters 6 and 7 extensively cover a game of mahjong between 007, Guy Thackeray (The President of Eurasia Enterprises) and T.Y.Woo, Bond`s liason in Hong Kong. If you`ve had some experience playing mahjong but still had a few questions on how to play it, these chapters are for you. If you`ve always wanted to know how to play mahjong, these chapters are for you. But if you`re like me and never likely to play it, these two chapters can be awfully tedious. It would have been nice if these passages had been consolidated somewhat.

The book really hit`s it`s stride though beginning with Chapter 8: Private Dancer, where Bond hooks up with Sunny Pei. Up to this point we`ve had the teaser, the set up, and then two long chapters about mahjong. But here is where the action begins. From here on out, Zero Minus Ten is a fast paced, page turner. It`s no coincidence that, from this point onward, it only took me a day to finish out the book. Literally, I could not put it down. I did not want to put it down.

No book is perfect, and Zero Minus Ten has it`s faults. My gripes with the book are minor though. Benson is more explicit with how he approaches the love scenes than Fleming or Gardner ever were. I sort of miss that subtlety. I also felt Bond`s infiltration into Guangzhou was a lost opportunity. I was looking for a Mission:Impossible type scenario here, and it turned into more or less of a shootout. I felt the Stephanie Lane character too closely resembled Xenia Onatopp from “Goldeneye”, the “coldhearted bastard” remark from “M” was too reminiscent of the exchange between “M” and 007 in “Goldeneye” and the scene with “Q” seemed culled straight from any one of the films.

Still, small gripes aside, this is the hardest, tightest, and fastest Bond thrillers to come along in ten years. It`s Bond at his most basic. As of this writing, we aren`t certain what Hong Kong`s future will hold with China. But with James Bond and Raymond Benson around, it`s looking good so far.

You Only Live Twice

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Kissy Suzuki; The Villain: Dr. Guntram Shatterhand; Supporting Characters: Emmy Shatterhand, Dikko Henderson, Tiger Tanaka; Locations Covered: Japan; First Published: 1964

The most haunting James Bond novel ever written. It is also one of the most disturbing novels in the series and it is a must read for anyone who wants to know what the emotional center of James Bond is like. Be warned now, if you have not read On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, do not proceed any further, because this review contains plot spoilers for both novels.

This is a psychological 007 novel where Bond has become a minor character, and the new main character has become revenge. Revenge for Tracy. His venengece is to be extracted on the man who killed his wife, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as well as his hellish henchmen named Irma Bunt. His problems have slowly become the problems of the Service as 007 is now a security risk.

M has only one choice in his mind. Fire him! He is then pursuaded by a close friend to give 007 a final chance on what he considers an impossible plan. Sending him to Japan for “Magic 44”. “Magic 44” is a code word use between the Japanese Secret Service, (JSS) and MI6. Magic 44 are secrets that are relayed from the JSS to the CIA, which in turn is supposed to give it up to MI6. In the novel, MI6 has not recieved any of the information about to be passed along. Only the Americans have it. Bond`s mission is to cut out the American middle man and get a direct link from JSS to MI6.

Bond isn’t impressed with M’s plan, but reluctently heads off to Japan. Bond has been paired with two of Japan’s best agents, the Head of the Japanese Secret Service, named Tiger Tanaka and an Austrailian agent named Dikko Henderson, who seems to be half drunk from the first moment we meet him. Dikko Henderson and Tiger Tanaka are superb additions to You Only Live Twice as 007’s only friends.

Sadly, neither have been heard from since in any of the most recent 007 novels, but both are well written and created with Fleming’s flair and style. Both are very impressive characters, and are deeply written.

Dr. Guntram Shatterhand and Emmy Shatterhand are the villians. If you check chronology, you can guess rather easily who these villains are. Fleming was splendid with his portraits of both of these hellish characters.

Shatterhand is a botanist who, with his wife, has come to Japan near the first of the year, 1963 (right after Tracy’s death). Dr. Shatterhand has asked that he be able to bring one million British pounds into the country, in exchange for property where he will be able to build a lavish garden, filled with fatal plants and killer animals, such as piranhas. . The plants and animals that Shatterhand has placed in the garden are expertly described, and add a good touch of detail to the character

As soon as word gets around, people begin to flock to the “Castle Of Death” that Dr. Guntram Shatterhand has created. He sets up a bright red balloon, that entices people to kill themselves in Shatterhand’s garden. He has built it for that sole purpose of. A modern day Jack Kevorkian, he has built the Castle because suicide is highly respected in Japan. He later explains that if Bond dies, he will move out of Japan and head to South America to build another Castle of Death. His single motive is to see people die! He has a morbid fascination with the death of people, including 007.

“Every where, Mr. Bond, people want to kill themselves. Japan, South America, Africa. When I kill you, I will destroy the Castle and move on.”

Shatterhand employs a group of men to care for the Castle and Garden. They are protected almost as well as Shatterhand himself, with knee high boots, surgical face masks, and protective clothing.

Tiger Tananka and the rest of the Japanese Government become suspicious of Shatterhand’s intentions, so he selects a great agent of his to venture into the Garden. The Agent dies weeks later, muttering something about pink dragonflies.

Bond is ordered to kill them by Tiger Tanaka, in exchange for the Magic 44. Well, Bond gets himself captured while trying to kill Shatterhand.

Shatterhand then tortures Bond and then plans to cut off his head with a sword. Good plan, great idea, but horribly done for the villian. He talks forever and screws up and finally Bond is able to kill him, and severly injures Emmy Shatterhand.

Also in the mix is a change of race for 007. He becomes Japanese. He has his skin dyed and haircut changed. He takes up residence with Kissy Suzuki because Tiger knows her and has convinced her to take him in. Bond has an affair with her, and eventually they produce a child together. Throw in the fact that Bond also develops amnesia and you can see why this is one of the most action packed and best received Bond thrillers by Ian Fleming.

Win, Lose or Die

The dastardly terrorist organization, BAST ( which stands for Brotherhood of Anarchy and Secret Terror), have hatched an ambitious scheme. They have discovered that a top-secret summit meeting between the United States, England and The Soviet Union will be held on the HMS battleship Invincible,which is on a training exercise in Europe. BAST plan to abduct the three world leaders (which, at the time, were President George Bush, Margaret Thatcher and good old Gorby) and hold them hostage for a ridiculously high sum of money each. Deciding that a forceful take-over of the battleship is ill-advised (they practiced the raid on an oil tanker), BAST plan to conduct a low-profile take-over instead. They have moles in the Navy, operatives on board the Invincible, and many well-trained soldiers.

The only thing they weren`t counting on is James Bond coming in and stuffing things up.

Bond, while investigating the oil tanker incident, is assigned to go
undercover on the Invincible to protect the three world leaders. BAST decide that Bond is a major hindrance to their plot, so they make numerous attempts on his life. Bond only narrowly avoids being shot down in his Harrier jet and evades assassination while on holiday in Italy. Bond eventually makes it to the Invincible, but BAST are still anxious to go ahead as planned. After a lengthy and dangerous, but not boring, investigation on board the ship, Bond heads ashore to report the situation. But BAST put their plan into action and eventually succeed in abducting the three world leaders and taking over the entire battleship, crew and all. It`s up to Bond to save the day, and, living up to all expectations, does so. You seriously think he wouldn`t?

Win, Lose or Die is one of John Gardner`s best Bond novels. It is rarely boring, and the handful of boring scenes don`t last long. Unlike in most of Gardner`s novels, the action sequences are spread at good intervals throughout the book, so you always have something to look forward to. James Bond, while technically no longer a secret service agent in this story (he`s turned into a Navy Captain instead), is at his best for a Gardner story. The Bond girl, Beatrice (pronounched Bee-ah-tree-shay, for anyone who was wondering) is Gardner`s best heroine. The villain, Bassam Baradj, is pretty flimsy, but he isn`t in the story much. The plot is interesting and involving, but isn`t overly-complicated like some of Gardner`s others. The Christmas setting is nice, with an insightful look into Bond`s past as a child and the last Christmas he spent with his parents. The main hench(wo)man in the story is the knife-wielding Sarah Deeley, a total psycho who`s main occupation is corpse-production. She`s great fun. Bond`s only real ally is Admiral John Walmsley, and he`s quite fun to read about. Bond even gets to meet the three world leaders in question, in an amusing scene.

The action sequences are some of the best in any Gardner novel, from the opening hang-glider assault on the oil tanker, Bond`s knife-fight with Sarah Deeley, a healthy dose of aerial action in fighter jets and the climactic assault by the special forces on the battleship Invincible, and a shoot-out inside the Rock of Gibraltar itself. All of these scenes are fun, and, as said before, are spread throughout the story and even intervals.

There`s no doubting it, Win, Lose or Die is a classic Bond novel from Gardner, and also one of his finest.

When the Snow Melts

The Snow Melted: A Review of the Albert R. Broccoli Autobiography When the Snow Melts
by Alan D. Stephenson

Autobiographies are a two-edged sword: On the one side, reading the subject’s own words theoretically preclude any hearsay or poor research. On the other, unless the subject was in actual practice an author, the reader must often wade through less than stellar writing.

Such is the case of When the Snow Melts, the life story of late film producer Albert Romolo Broccoli, best known for having brought to the screen—along with business partner Harry Saltzman—legendary secret agent James Bond.

Let me preface these remarks by stating that Broccoli’s contributions to the film industry—not simply on a commercial basis but a personal one—are unparalleled in modern movie making. Broccoli was an old-school auteur in the mold of Goldwyn or Selznick. But unlike the personas often associated with those moguls, “Cubby”—a moniker bestowed on him as a child for his similarity to a certain comic strip character—could be a man of great generosity and humble gestures. That he overcame ignoble beginnings to reach this pinnacle is also a matter of no contest. Yet over the course of 327 pages it’s also apparent that Broccoli was more than a little enamoured of his own publicity and easily dismissive of that which failed to reinforce the myth, two conditions that may also have fueled his ability to hold a grudge; who better to hold in disregard than those with a potential to upset the legend?

Broccoli’s formative years were definitely earthy and the reverence he held for his parents was unstinting. But more than a few entries—like the one noting young Albert’s inspirational encounter with Lindbergh as the aviator embarked on his historic transatlantic flight—impart a surreal, screenplay-like quality to much of the proceedings, something which co-writer Donald Zec undoubtedly enabled, though his contribution beyond the pro- and epilogues is unclear. (For example, certain turns of phrase appear so frequently [e.g., “in the event”] you might wonder if anyone was consulted on the project at all.)

The chapters detailing to Broccoli’s childhood are few and brief, the bulk of the book focusing instead on his introduction to Hollywood and the characters populating it prior to WWII, then shifting to his post-war career in film—first as an agent and later as a producer-including his various marriages. (Broccoli writes lovingly of each but it is third and last wife Dana—who would figure prominently in shaping the Bond films—for whom he surely held the greatest affection. Indeed, the book is dedicated to her.)

As the result of a chance meeting, Albert became fast friends with Howard Hughes. Though popularly remembered as a wealthy recluse and aviation innovator, Hughes also dabbled in film (though more to the point of this book, he dabbled in starlets). While their lifelong friendship is fascinating—Broccoli’s anecdotes offer a unique perspective on Hughes, underscored by the men’s contrasting styles-many of the stories have little or nothing to do with Cubby’s own rise to fame. Indeed, a good portion of … Snow essentially amounts to a wholly unrelated biography of Hughes, a pattern repeated with passages on Connery, Moore, et al. I would rather have read more on Broccoli’s stint in the navy—”a lively and eventful three years” to which he grants a cursory four pages—the first of several instances where a possibly unimpressive record (he never rose above ensign) appears to have been glossed-over in favor of his own brand of bravado.

The balance of the book is devoted to Broccoli’s orchestration of the most successful film franchise in history. It’s this latter half of the biography that will naturally appeal to 007 fans but also where the story telling gets most unwieldy. For example, a long section about Grace Jones seems designed primarily to vilify her for what most already know: Entitled or not-Broccoli doesn’t openly take sides on this one-she’s given to regular bouts of diva-like behavior. Perhaps Broccoli wanted to tell some stories we hadn’t heard before, but so much of this comes-off as petty. Why else mention Connery’s suit against EON—a move which Cubby clearly regarded as ungrateful—while skipping the infamous McClory trial or the founding—along with Harry Saltzman—of tax-shelter Danjaq? In that same vein, Broccoli is kind in his recollections regarding Saltzman, but it’s clear he found their partnership more often trying than enduring.

The book is obviously skewed in favor of the Bond series (it did, after all, consume the last 35 years of Broccoli’s life) with occasional references throughout even the early chapters. As such, it’s sure to please those hardcore fans seeking every nuance and thus willing to excuse the occasional sin of omission. The casual reader, however, may be disappointed by the manuscript itself and Broccoli’s lack of humility—despite constant protestations to the contrary—in particular.

Even before his untimely death in 1995, those who knew Cubby were quick to cite at least his magnanimity if not his actual genius yet these qualities are—surprisingly—not exhibited in …Snow…. Indeed, nothing here really gets at the heart of the man; the book is essentially a reasonably detailed chronicle of events sans introspection. I’m not suggesting that yet another Hollywood “tell all” was needed but some “why” along with the “how” would have been a welcome addition. EON is effectively a family business with a well-deserved reputation for acting defensively; Broccoli’s death may still be too recent a memory for them to permit a third-party biography, but one suspects there’s an untold story equal to what’s revealed in When the Snow Melts and we can only hope that one day it also gets written.

Trevor Anderson 0008

In the 1960`s Clyde Allison [a pseudonym for William Knowles] paid tribute to Ian Fleming and his master spy James Bond by creating Agent 0008 Trevor Anderson and the agents of the Evil Sadisto. Because they were only published in paperback not many survived making the ones that did extremely rare. He wrote at least 68 novels during his time, a time in which his books were considered soft porn.

With titles such as Platypussy, Nautipussy, Gamefinger, Sadisto Royale, For Your Sighs Only, The Sex-Ray and 0008 Meets Modesta Blaze along with eye catching cover art, it`s easy to see why they may have caused some controversy back then.

By todays standard`s however, the racy content would have a difficult time fetching much attention. The cover art is provocative, but the contents are tame.

William Knoles committed suicide in 1972.

Tomorrow Never Dies (Novelization)

Movie novelizations are notoriously bad, as the action is badly translated from the silver screen to the printed page. Thankfully, Raymond Benson`s adaptation of the 18th Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, is an exception. Far from being a direct copy of what was seen in the cinema, the novel nevertheless remains faithful to Roger Spottiswoode`s film.

Just as a chef perfects a familiar recipe Benson had tweaked the plot of Tomorrow Never Dies to produce an original and compelling read. Without budgetary or time restraints, time is given to character development and background. We learn of Carver`s rise to power and the seeds of his madness, while Wai-Lin`s mission is given some much-needed back-story, which only strengthens the already impressive character.

The central theme of media manipulation is also examined in more detail than was seen on screen, with nice touches such as M leaking misinformation to the British press to ensure her position at MI6 is secure, adding a feeling of realism to the snowballing world crises.

One of the biggest changes is the character of Paris, now a far-more independent character ready to leave her husband at the drop of a hat – or dress – and willing to wear her involvement with 007 on her sleeve. Unfortunately, without the entrapment of a marriage impossible to escape, Paris loses her desperation and sympathy this making her death less of a tragedy.

While Tomorrow Never Dies fails to touch Zero Minus Ten`s crown, the novel stands head and shoulders above the usual tie-in pap and successful captures the excitement of one of the best Bond films in the canon.

Thunderball

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Domino Vitale; The Villain: Emilio Largo; Supporting Characters: Guiseppe Petachi, Felix Leiter,Ernst Stavro Blofeld; Locations Covered: London, Shrublands, Nassau

Undoubtly one of Ian Fleming’s most memorable novels. It is the picture perfect Bond story with intrigue, murder, an impossible plot, two masterpiece villians, and the glorious girl. James Bond has returned once more in probably the most outrageous 007 thriller ever written. Ian Fleming, Jack Whittingham and Kevin McClory have done a fabulous job on everything in this book from the planning of the high-jacking, the Chemin de fer game against Largo, the search for the plane and the bombs, to the creation of SPECTRE and Ernst Blofeld.

Other elements are the basic Casino scene between either Bond and the villain, or 007 and the beautiful girl. In this case, it is the villain, Largo at Chemin de fer. The Villain’s liking of Bond in the opening, but hating him by the end. And of course, the Morland Specials, Vodka Martinis, and Walther PPK are all present for 007 in his mission. Now, onto the story. 007’s health is in the toilet! He is packed off by M to a place called Shrublands. There, he becomes involved with the first SPECTRE agent, Count Lippe. After nearly ripping 007 limb from limb on “The Rack”, James Bond decides that he must fry the Count in a piping hot Sitz bath. SPECTRE is “The Special Executive of Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion.”

This is the begining of James Bond’s problems with SPECTRE. Immediately following that, SPECTRE decides that this is the time for the final haul, the retirement job. The job, stealing two nuclear warheads from NATO. This can be summed up by the letter from SPECTRE on pages 75 -76:

Bond reached into his pocket for a cigarette. It couldn’t be, but yet it was so. Just what all of the services of the World had been dreading. Every tin-pot little nation would be making bombs in their backyard, so to speak.

Apperently, now there was no secret about the things now. It had been the prototypes that had been difficult-like the first gunpowder weapons or machine guns or tanks. Today, these were everyones bows and arrows. Tomorrow, or the day after, the bows and arrows would become nuclear weapons. And this was the first blackmail case. Unless SPECTRE was stopped, the word would get around and soon every criminal scientist with a chemical set and scrap iron would be doing it. If they couldn’t be stopped, there would be nothing to do but pay up. ”

Fleming had a problem with the CIA. It is rather evident in this passage from Page 116:

‘The man from CIA was due in on the Pan America flight at 1:15. His name was Larkin, F. Larkin. Bond hoped that he wasn’t a muscle bound ex-college man with a crew-cut and a desire to show up the incompetence of the British.’

What does that tell you about what Fleming thought? Well, Larkin is actually Felix Leiter.

The main Bond Girl here is the strong willed Italian named Domino. She is written beautifully by Fleming and her character is very interesting. When she meets Bond, she is attracted to him instantly, (aren’t all Bond girls?), and is sort of clinging to him nearer to the middle of the novel. But, at the end of the novel, it is very clear who she is. Other than in the middle, her presence in this novel is extremely strong, but is knocked out of being the “most interesting character”, by one person. Her lover, Emilio Largo.

Largo is the self-discribed pirate of Nassau. He owns a massive estate named Palmyra, a glorious yacht called the Disco Volante, and most importantly, the High Commander of SPECTRE’s field organization, on Operation Omega (Thunderball to MI6). His character is what makes the book. His prescene in scenes adds a vast ammount of style and flash to the novel. The only character (villian wise) that can match him is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the famous head of SPECTRE.

The plot is a realistic one, compared to other Bond plots, (Doctor No, Live and Let Die, Goldfinger) and this one is more interesting than most of the other ones. The plot is still fresh today, (Broken Arrow, The Peacemaker).

The Casino scene where Bond plays Chemin De Fer against Largo is a highlight of the book. This is where Largo starts to really doubt that Bond is down here to buy property and that he is actually British Secret Service. The coolness that Largo shows is realistic and rather convincing.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld, (Who would reappear in later adventures) is basically a secondary character in the novel and that is rather well done. His character needed his own novels to develop and it was good that Fleming gave him that opportunity.

The World Is Not Enough (Novelization)

Raymond Benson’s novelization of The World Is Not Enough screenplay reads “fast and loose,” but of necessity, the book follows the screenplay so closely that fans will have to dig in with grit to unearth the fans’ treasures hidden inside.

By Mr. Benson’s own admission, he was rushed by Hodder & Staughton’s publishing schedule combined with a fast post-production on the TWINE final film, to do very much of anything exotic or innovative with the book. Raymond Benson’s knowledge of the James Bond phenomenon is encyclopedic in nature, however, and besides being a leading Bond writer, he is a fan’s fan who can recall chapter and verse of any significant Bond novel section, and he adds spicy details to his 007 movie novels.

Tidbits of Flemingiana are scattered throughout the TWINE novel, as when Bond savors the “scent and smell and sweat” of Valentin Zhukovsky’s casino (confer with Chapter 1 of “Casino Royale”). There are fun pokes at the Purvis/Wade/Feirstein scripts of recent years, shared lovingly, like when M admonishes Bond that “Contrary to what you may believe, Double-O Seven, the world is not populated by madmen who can hollow out volcanoes, fill them with big breasted women, and threaten the world with nuclear annihilation . . . ” (!) from a rejected Bruce Feirstein script bit. Benson adds his response, “Bond grinned at the irony of her remark . . . “. Bond ducks into the Bilbao, Spain art museum for a wistful look at great works after leaping from a window away from a sniper, in another place. We get fun and Fleming-like travelogue, weapons and vehicle details throughout.

Another help for any avid Bond movie fan Mr. Benson provides is his thorough covering over of some of the final film’s weightier continuity errors in his work, a pleasant tradition dating back to the first Bond novelization for “The Spy Who Loved Me”. How does Bond’s small craft leap up to destroy “Giuliana’s” gun placement on her boat? (Bond uses her craft as a launch ramp.) Why do all four of the dreaded parahawks chase down Bond instead of at least half targeting Elektra King on the slopes, to make Renard’s “attack” on her look valid? (Two hawks indeed chase King in the novel, until she is “frightened” enough to turn tail and head conveniently in Bond’s direction.) Bar bets and newsgroup disputes on TWINE continuity errors should be checked here first. Mr. Benson is thoroughly meticulous in making Bond’s world dovetail with our real world where possible.

Best of all the goodies, a delightfully Fleming-ish chapter late in the book explores in detail Renard’s history as a terrorist/Bond villain. Benson’s yarn of villain Renard and his “affair” with Elektra King receive treatment from Benson at a clever spot in the narrative, and makes this book worth a read by itself. Thanks, Raymond!

In sum, “The World Is Not Enough” movie novel gives readers a quick taste of Bond while they await Benson’s forthcoming novel, “Doubleshot”. Plus in its first printing British hardcover, The World Is Not Enough from Hodder & Staughton, is fetching US $75 to $150 for its scarcity only two months after publication! (Rumor has it Hodder ran merely 2,250 copies of the first printing state, with many copies gone to libraries immediately.) Oh Hodder, when will you promote your Bond novels like you did years ago, when John Gardner standees and fancy displays headlined “License Renewed” and every Bond novel hit the NY Times list?

–Matt Sherman collects all the British Bond firsts and many more hot collectibles with you at 007Forever Collectors’ Corner.

The Spy Who Loved Me

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Vivienne Michel; The Villain: Sluggsy; Locations Covered: Toronto, Adirondacks; First Published: 1962

PLOT: Destroy a motel for insurance and take out Viviene Michel in the process. Novel presented from Michel`s point of view.

REVIEW: This is Fleming`s most experimental Bond novel. The novel`s heroine, Vivienne Michel, narrates the novel in the first person and the first 36% is about her childhood, her background, her first sexual experiences, two unhappy love affairs and an abortion. The villains only appear 46% of the way through the story, and Bond at the 61% mark. However, it`s arguably one of Fleming`s best novels and a fast and exciting read: it`s much better paced than most of his other works.

Fleming`s characters tended to be cardboard cutouts, but not here; the characters are almost all three-dimensional. Chapters 8 through 10 are possibly Fleming`s best sustained, most exciting bits of writing; there are so many great moments – the whole section is brilliantly thought-out. Bond`s entrance is one of these great moments; it`s an exhilarating audience-pleaser that also emphasizes the book`s fairy-tale aspects.

Fleming sets it up well. Chapter 9 ends on a high point with Vivienne pinned down. Deciding where to begin a chapter matters; not only does ending in mid-beat make a difference but moving to a new part enhances it. The reader knows that a new beginning is around the corner, which makes it even more exciting; also, the title “Him” suggests intrigue and mystery.

So too is Horror and Sluggsy`s arrival: compare the contrasts. The two gangsters are caught in the middle of the rain and Horror politely asks to come in. He plays on her sympathy; they`re soft, quiet, though Sluggsy giggles. They take their rain jackets off and Vivienne knows she`s in danger. The elegance of Horror`s clothes, not at all an expendable detail, adds to the tension and characterization. Horror and Sluggsy are great villains. They`re living, breathing people. Horror is as subdued as Sluggsy is hyper. There are many subtle, but crucial touches and Fleming deftly mixes the quiet with the sinister. Notice Horror`s indifference, how blase he is. Horror isn`t interested in Sluggsy`s sexual interests, telling him to lay off. Think how less effective it would have been had both men been sexually interested in Vivienne.

Bond is much better drawn here than in any of Fleming`s other novels. He`s more elegant, more fastidious, and even has a sense of humour. It`s easily Fleming`s strongest portrayal of Bond, and oddly, more like the Bond in the films: “He turned to the Englishman. “Hey, limey. What`s your name?”

“Bond. James Bond.”

“That`s a pretty chump name. From England, huh?”

“That`s right. Where`s the registry? I`ll spell it out for you.”

“Wise guy, huh?””

He`s also much smarter, perhaps because Fleming wasn`t burdened trying to reveal Bond`s thoughts – which arguably weakened Bond into a cardboard dummy – instead portraying him objectively (compare how badly drawn and dopey Bond is in the next novel, the extremely flawed “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service”).

He`s also more human. Count how many times he smiles – at least 16 times in Chapters 10, 11 and 12 – approximately once every other page, and these aren`t “smiles” for the sake of it, like some annoying Gardner tic, but are dramatically relevant and they shade his character, such as when he`s reassuring Vivienne. Some of the writing is brilliant – I`d forgotten just how vibrant Fleming`s writing could be. In Chapter 12, Vivienne notices the red fleck in Horror`s eyes that she had seen once before – Fleming is clever and doesn`t say where (in Chapter 9, when Horror beat her).

Horror tries to be friendly about breaking it up for the night. Bond asks about the motel`s viability; Horror is on the defensive wanting to know where`s that pal of mine, trying to put the attention elsewhere. Consider this passage from Chapter 15: “Those were the last words he spoke to me. When I woke up the next morning he was gone. There was only the dent down the bed where he had lain, and the smell of him on the pillow. To make sure, I jumped out of bed and ran to see if the grey car was still there. It wasn`t. It was a beautiful day and there was heavy dew on the ground, and in the dew I could see the single track of his footprints leading to where the car had been. […]

The ruins of the motel were black and hideous and a ghostly wisp of smoke rose straight up into the still air from the remains of the lobby block. I went back into the cabin and had a shower and began briskly to pack my things into my saddle-bags. Then I saw the letter on the dressing table and I went and sat on the bed and read it. It was written on motel paper from the writing desk. The writing was very clear and even and he had used a real pen and not a ball point.”

This is an excellent detail, and not detail for the sake of detail (which Fleming was sometimes guilty of). The following passage later in the chapter is breathtaking: “I watched the wreck of the black sedan, that had by now been hauled up the cliff, being towed over the lawn to the road. There the ambulance was driven over beside it, and I turned away as a wet bundle was carefully lifted out on to the grass. Horror! I remembered again those cold, red-flecked eyes. I felt his hands on me. Could it have happened?”

It`s brilliant. It has the same hypnotic quality that slow motion sometimes does in movies, and the paragraph is cinematic. (Fleming also accurately captures how a person might act under the circumstances.) Fleming is often psychologically skilful: Vivienne doesn`t want to get too close to Kurt (because she`s still wounded from Derek? Because it doesn`t pay to sleep with your boss?) so she invents friends, but this means sitting in some lonely cinema after a lonely meal with all the nuisance of men trying to pick her up. But Kurt remains so *korrekt* and their relationship on such a straightforward and even highminded level that her apprehensions come to seem idiotic and more and more she accepts a comradely way of life that seems not only totally respectable but also adult in the modern fashion. (In Chapter 8, Vivienne eats alone out of tins, creating an untenable situation). Her reasons for becoming involved with Kurt (Chapter 5) are well thought out.

Involved with Kurt, Vivienne realizes that, for women, where there exists intimacy, attachment then follows. She considers it inevitable that they become lovers after growing so close. She listens for the sound of his steps on the stairs, worships the warmth and authority of his body, and is happy at all times to cook and mend and work for him, and envisions herself six paces behind him on the street like some native bearer.

The Phanceys are cold to her until they hatch their plan. They`re nice until the last day when Mr Phancey grabs at her and uses coarse language even when his wife is within earshot; this reflects on Mrs Phancey as it raises interesting questions about her, her feelings towards sex – it`s not surprising that they`re childless. The entire sequence is excellent psychology since people do act this way in real life, though it`s marred by Fleming`s “gee-whiz” writing style. After Sluggsy finds her in the woods, Vivienne reflects how minor her past troubles really were. Later, Horror`s beating relaxes her; the pain being so much greater than the tension of waiting for it, unravels her nerves and puts her at ease and she also realizes how much the simple pleasures of life mean at such times. In Chapter 9, Sluggsy reprimands her like he`s the stern parent, and she`s the bad child. Later in the chapter Sluggsy lectures her, shaming her about his hair condition and how it also kills the hairs inside his nose.

Now that Bond`s with her, she becomes bolder with Sluggsy and Horror (when deciding which cabin Bond will have) – she`s no longer the centre of attraction and finds safety in numbers. Bond prepares her for the worst and gives her his code number; she rationalizes why he invoked bad luck – it`s excellent neurotic psychology. Moreover, her former life and its troubles seem almost years away – the here and now is all there is and all that matters (which is excellent when considering how long ago and far away her past troubles are – the here and now is all there is).

There are also so many wonderful human moments and sensitive details. In Chapter 4, Len Holbrook tells Vivienne that above all she must write about people, something Fleming does. Wallace Stevens wrote in his preface to William Carlos Williams`s “Collected Poems 1921-1931” (1934) that “Something of the unreal is necessary to fecundate the real.” The reverse is also true – and was crucial to Fleming`s success. Umberto Eco once wondered aloud why Fleming spent so many pages on realism in the novels. It wasn`t, as Kingsley Amis also agreed, to give the reader a break from fantasy; the reader gets that by putting the book down. It was to give the fantasy a basis in reality and make it resonate. As the critic Martin Seymour-Smith once remarked, no writer who cannot convey a sense of the real can be major. In Chapter 14, after sex, Bond tells Vivienne that she screamed when she climaxed – she hadn`t known; it`s an excellent detail. Fleming could be a sensationalist, but not here.

His handling is sensitive and realistic. Later, Vivienne thinks, “I suddenly had an impulse to wake him up and ask him: “Can you be nice? Can you be kind?” Vivienne watches Bond naked and contemplates that people should be nudists. Until they`re forty. Then asks him never to get fat. Later, she asks him “what`s a bimbo?” It might have been bad – in John Gardner`s hands it probably would have – but here it isn`t. The details, the sensitivity (“Now, that`s enough questions. Go to sleep.”) make it work.

At the end of Chapter 13, Bond and Vivienne gradually come to a consensus about sleeping together. It`s good (though not great) writing because it`s so simple – they don`t discuss the problem, instead, the conversation gradually works around it. Bond`s letter (Chapter 15) has so many wonderful touches; his occasional formality (since others will see the letter) makes it even more affectionate: leaving a c/o address, the sense of camaraderie, the PS. about her trye pressures being too high for the South. Try Guerlain`s “Fleurs des Alpes” instead of Camay! His making sure that Vivienne gets treated like a princess: “The lieutenant took off his cap and produced a notebook and pencil and pretended to go through his notes to give me a chance to get started on a doughnut. […]

“But what`s worrying me is that radio just hasn`t left me alone since then. Had to cut down my speed the whole way here from Route 9 to keep on listening to instructions from the station – that Albany was interested in the case, that even the top brass in Washington was breathing down our necks. Never head such a load coming over the air. Now, miss, can you tell me how it`s come about that Washington`s mixed up in this, and within a bare couple of hours of Glens Falls getting the first report?”

I couldn`t help smiling at his earnestness. I could almost hear him calling over to O`Donnell as they roared along, “Hell, we`ll have Jack Kennedy on our tails any moment now!” […] “But that`s more or less all I know abut him, except that – except that he seemed a wonderful guy.”

“So he was a commander. It was the only rank I liked the name of.”

The fairy tale story Bond tells Vivienne makes the novel even more cohesive; Bond asking that Vivienne promise to forget his involvement is a wonderful human moment and makes Bond a three-dimensional person. There are other wonderful details: Bond and Vivienne agreeing about the idiocy of espionage (though he doesn`t want her to spread her ideas too widely or he`ll find himself out of a job, which is phrased so exactly that Bond sounds sympathetic, he doesn`t mean it seriously, but he wants to draw her in); Bond asking if he`s boring her, wouldn`t she wouldn`t rather switch on the tv, he smiles, oh no, go on – this is clever writing and shows that she`s interested. The bedtime story ends on a special note: it`s clear that the odds were monumentally stacked against Bond ever appearing at the motel, which makes the reader contemplate what would have happened if Bond hadn`t: “good that I came something told me you were at the end of the road.” The way Bond discusses Horror and Sluggsy: “how did you get mixed up with those two?” is soft, sympathetic and human; like a warm man, reassuring her. Unfortunately the “bedtime” story slows the book down and the novel never achieves the same high peak of tension. The pace deteriorates in the last third, and there`s some soggy writing in these sections, (e.g. Stonor`s speech in Chapter 15). Bond`s inability to kill in cold blood was always a soggy concept in Fleming, but here it weakens the story; it`s not clear why Bond doesn`t kill Horror and Sluggsy first chance he gets – especially since the story slows down – instead of waiting until later that night. Why don`t they kill Bond the first chance they get? Likewise, why do Sluggsy and Horror let Bond and Vivienne go out together to the car? Why were they prepared to give Bond a hand with the car, wouldn`t that have allowed Vivienne to escape, or did they intend to kill Bond then and there? Such logic loopholes weaken the novel.

However, the childish writing style mars the book and prevents it from being a minor literary classic. It`s like an out-of-tune piece of music, though so consistently out-of-tune so that the reader eventually adjusts. The breathless “girl`s-own-adventure” writing style makes Vivienne sound like a dingbat; in Chapter 2, she mentions that her hair is “a dark brown with a natural wave and my ambition is one day to give it a lion`s streak to make me look older and more dashing” which makes her sound stupid, vapid, like a 9 year old girl (though it`s conceivable that in real life she`d be this way). This sentence says it all about the book`s writing:

“WOKO announced forty minutes of `Music to Kiss By` and suddenly there were the Ink Spots singing `Someone`s Rockin` my Dream Boat` and I was back on the River Thames and it was five summers ago and we were drifting down past Kings Eyot in a punt and there was Windsor Castle in the distance and Derek was paddling while I worked the portable.”

(Chapter 2)

Six “and”s in a 64 word sentence; for those who care this has some of Fleming`s longest sentences, the passage in the same chapter where Vivienne tells about the “idiotic joint dance” runs 97 words.

The Man With The Golden Gun

The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: Francisco Scaramanga; The Bond Girl: Mary Goodnight; Supporting Characters: Mr. Hendricks, Felix Leiter, Nick Nicholson; Locations covered: London, Jamaica; First Published: 1965

James Bond is dead! That is what the Secret Service believes, since 007 didn’t return with Tiger Tanaka from his You Only Live Twice mission in Japan. All inquiries have turned up negative. Then MI6 gets a telephone call with a male voice on the line claiming to be James Bond, code number 007. This, the opening of Ian Fleming’s final novel, The Man With The Golden Gun, is quite an attention grabber, as is the scene following, with a brainwashed 007 who tries without success to kill his boss, “M”!

M has discovered that Francisco Scaramanga has maimed a respected member of the secret service, Margesson. “Pistols” Scaramanga is a crack shot, sadistic villain, and superior assassin. Perhaps James Bond is the only agent in Her Majesty’s Service that can possibly take him. Nevertheless, can M trust him to do his job following his brainwashing at the hands of the Russians?

Fleming’s exciting and swift moving opening for his twelfth Bond novel halts somewhat with the recitation of Scaramanga’s life story, on file with MI6. (Facets of this extraordinary narrative show up fully in the movie of the same title.) James is briefed by M, appointed to kill Scaramanga, and arrives in Jamaica, chasing the shadow of the world’s top assassin.

Bond telephones MI6’s man in Jamaica, Commander Ross. Ross’ secretary is the delectable Mary Goodnight, who appeared briefly in Fleming’s Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice. The two meet and Bond finds out about Scaramanga’s most frequented address–a house of ill repute.

Can you imagine the conversations Bond is about to have with the proprietor of the local house of prostitution? Bond meets a memorable barkeep named “Tiffy,” and her two black crow birds. Suddenly, the birds hit the ground after two loud roars from a distinctive Colt .45…a gold-plated Colt .45. Francisco Scaramanga himself has finally appeared in Fleming’s novel. Bond meets Scaramanga, making awkward and unconvincing veiled references to the circus to entrap his opponent (Scaramanga was a circus performer before his life of crime). Scaramanga, in his rough American patter, offers Bond a job, promising good pay, danger and excitement:

Again, Scaramanga dodged a sneer. “You carry a gun?”

Bond: “Of course. You wouldn’t go after the ‘Rastas’ without one.”

Scaramanga: “What kind of a gun?”

Bond: “Walther PPK. 7.65 millimeter.”

Scaramanga: “That’s a real stopper all right. Care to earn yourself a thousand bucks, an easy grand?”

Bond: “Possibly.” He thought ‘Of course, if it means staying close to you, my friend.’

Bond deduces that Scaramanga is holding a meeting of top KGB agents out of Cuba, on Jamaica as close as possible to Cuba as they can manage. The meet has been set for the Hotel Thunderbird. (The Thunderbird Hotel was the name of one of Mr. Fleming’s favorite haunts in Las Vegas. Today it is a tiny motel barely dotting The Strip.) Among the shady characters visiting the meeting is a chief KGB agent, “Mr. Hendriks.” Luckily, Bond isn’t trapped in Scaramanga’s lair alone with all the bad guys. “Good old Felix” Leiter and a new supporting character, named Nick Nicholson, are nearby. These two are on board for the CIA and a clueless Scaramanga is unaware that they are CIA agents or that the personal bodyguard he hired for his spies` meeting, “Mark Hazard,” is really James Bond, 007.

Later, Mary Goodnight shows up at the hotel, nearly blowing 007’s cover, since Scaramanga knows she was his victim’s former secretary. He teases and begins to question 007. Bond barely convinces Scaramanga that Goodnight is his fiancée, and she is allowed to leave in safety. The next we hear of Goodnight, she is strapped to train tracks with Scaramanga’s train barreling towards her as Bond helplessly watches…

Fleming’s final scenes with Bond and Leiter, and Scaramanga and his thugs, are quite well done, and set a flying tone for the final showdown between Bond and The Man With The Golden Gun in the depths of a Jamaican swamp.

Overall, Scaramanga was a rather clumsy villain who hired 007 and two CIA men in his employ! Mary Goodnight might rank as the worst literary Bond girl, and most of the dialogue in the novel is average at best. “Gun” is not spectacular or even up to Mr. Fleming’s typical high standards, due no doubt to Fleming’s severe illness while he worked to complete his novel. (Another writer is suspected of ghost writing the final treatment of the book.) The Man With The Golden Gun is still Fleming’s Bond, however, and well worth reading.

The Man From Barbarossa

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Nina Bibikova; The Villain: General Yuskovich; Supporting Characters: Pete Natkowitz, Bory Stepakov, Stephanie Adore, Henri Ampart; Locations Covered: New Jersey, London, Florida, Moscow, Arctic Circle, Stockholm, Iraq; First Published: 1991

An old man is abducted from his home in New Jersey on Christmas Eve. He is believed to be a former Nazi Guard who helped with the massacre of Russian Jews at Baba Yar. He has been abducted by a group called “The Scales of Justice” who plan to execute the man on the belief that he was involved in the massacre.

The abduction of this man is quite interesting for MI6, because the CIA has supposedly been after the same man in Florida. The man is Josef Voronstov, a ruthless individual who was an admitted torturer of the people in his camps. MI6 becomes so interested, they enlist the help of The Mossad (Israeli Intellegence), as well as The French Secret Service. Their plan: send the four members to Russia to become a camera crew for the trial and execution of Voronstov. The four members are: Pete Natkowitz from Mossad, Henri Rampart and Stephanie Adore from FSS, and of course, James Bond, 007.

As a precaution, the CIA has tight surveillance on the man in Florida, but he slips through their fingers when The Scales of Justice strike again and abduct him. Bond, and the four other team members, are taken to Moscow where they are all teamed with a Russian spy named Bory Stepakov, as well as his assistant, Nina Bibikova. Bory has heard rumors about the Scales, and the truth is that they are staging this trial to show that the new Democratic Russian government wouldn`t execute this man, but the Communistic Scales of Justice would. The group hopes to reinstate communism to the country, at any costs.

Bory works his way around and is able to make contact to get Bond and the team into the trial as the camera crew. Their objective: go into a certain book store, buy War And Peace, and all of them will be picked up. Every member of the team does so and all are picked up and taken to a place outside of Moscow, referred to only as “The Lost Horizon”. Unfortunately for the group, all of their weapons are confiscated or rendered useless, like Bond`s 9 mm, which has the hammer filed down so that it won`t connect.

Once there, the group is forced to watch and film the trial. About half way through, the old man, Joel Penderik is put onto the stand, where he is hammered at by the main villian of the story, General Yevgeny Yuskovich. As it turns out, this mock trial is between family as Penderik is actually Voronstov, and a cousin to the General.

Unfortunately, the General seems to have another plan. Once the trial is over, he is going to execute everyone at “The Lost Horizon”, including 007. Bond and the group begin to figure a way to get themselves out and stop Yuskovich in the process, who has yet another plan. He is planning to sell nuclear weapons, as well as launchers to the Iraqis. The weapons are codenamed Scamps and Scapegoats.

Just hours after the trial, Yuskovich attempts to do away with 007 and the group, just as they are escaping. During the escape, James Bond turns a corner, and a gun battle occurs, in which 007 is killed. Or so everyone is lead to believe. Yuskovich informs everyone that Bond was killed accidentally in a gun battle. M goes out to Stockholm, and tries to evaluate how to get everyone out of The Lost Horizon.

The Man From Barbarossa can be described as John Grisham meets James Bond. And like any legal thriller, the court scenes are long and lag behind. This book seems to meander along, with no real direction There is no action until the last chapter of the book, but by then, most will have wanted to, or have put this one down. I wasn`t impressed by this one due mainly to the lack of urgency, action, and Gardner`s prose. His conversation scenes, at times, come across as childish and poorly written. The characterization isn`t terribly strong, and there is really no base to build upon. The saving grace is the plot line which was relevant when first written and looks like it is ripped from today`s headlines. Overall, it is just average.

The Making of Tomorrow Never Dies

The “Making of” Tomorrow Never Dies books currently chronicling the making of films are notoriously bad. Packed with overlarge pictures, and consisting largely of an extended synopsis of the movie at hand, they usually aren`t worth the paper that they are printed on. Thankfully, Garth Pearce`s The Making of Tomorrow Never Dies is different.

The inevitable plot spoiler is mercifully short and while there are plenty of large pictures the sheer quality of the text balances this out. As with his earlier tome regarding GoldenEye, Pearce is eager to show every aspect of creating a film rather than merely focusing on interviews with the stars. By all accounts, the eighteenth Bond movie has involved more stress and anxiety than any of 007`s earlier adventures. From unbelievably strict deadlines to tensions between writers, the director and the cast, Pearce doesn`t pull any punches, telling the tales warts and all.

The detail is staggering, with in-depth examinations of the background work that has gone into the film`s many stunts and eye-witness accounts of the toils and joys of day to day filming. Once again these are not only limited to the likes of Brosnan, Hatcher or Pryce. The inclusion of a lengthy interview with Juliette Hendon, one of the hundreds of extras in the film, is a testimony to the author`s credibility and completism.

With only a few minor errors which will annoy aficionados of the Bond franchise – such as the suggestion that Teri Hatcher is the only character other than Bond himself to ever deliver the `shaken not stirred` line – The Making of Tomorrow Never Dies truly lives up to the cliché of being an essential part of any fan`s collection. Those who haven`t seen the film will be swept up in the excitement and drama of its origins which will only heighten their anticipation while those who have will be able to dig beneath the surface of the biggest 007 film to date.

The Facts of Death

The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: Konstantin Romanos; The Bond Girl: Niki Marakos; Supporting Characters: Vassilis, Hera Volopoulous, Ashley Anderson; Felix Leiter; Locations Covered: Turkey, Cyrpus, Greece; Austin, Texas; First Published: 1998

Raymond Benson`s second novel (not considering the Tomorrow Never Dies novelization) builds upon the promising start shown in Zero Minus Ten. Here, Benson juggles several complex, diametrically opposed, and seemingly contradictory events to form one large conspiracy plot with worldwide implications, all of which stems from a border dispute between Turkey and Greece over the small island of Cyprus.

As it begins, Bond is dispatched to Cyprus to investigate the deaths of twelve British military men via an unknown chemical agent. That it was murder was not in doubt; there was the number “3” painted in red on the wall, and a six inch tall alabaster statuette of the Greek God Poseidon placed near the bodies. Someone, later to be dubbed “The Number Killer”, was playing games, and human life was the ultimate prize.

It`s also here that Bond first encounters Niki Marakos, a Greek National Intelligence Service Agent who herself is investigating the deaths on Cyprus. She was brought in on the case by her government when an MI6 operative, Christopher Whitten, was killed and his body dumped in The Temple of Hephaisteion, a national park that is also a holy place for many Greeks.

With the case somewhat stalling out, Bond returns to England, and attends a party at the home of the old “M”, Sir Miles Messervy. Also in attendance is Ambassador Hutchinson, and his date, the latest “M”, Barbara Mawdsley. The couple turn heads and start tongues wagging at the party. Their relationship, which they have just now felt comfortable coming out with, is the talk of the party. It`s a departure from the normal for Benson to delve too deeply into the backgrounds of Bond`s superiors. None of the previous authors have done it. But here it works because what happens later, after the party, to Barbara and Alfred, propels the story along further, while adding a new, albeit awkward wrinkle and angle to Barbara and Bond`s already tenuous relationship.

Barbara and Alfred`s relationship actually breathes fresh life into Bond`s investigation of The Number Killer, and with the new leads, Bond heads to Texas to investigate a militant faction called The Suppliers and their bizarre connection to a sperm clinic near Austin. Bond meets up with Felix Leiter, whom Benson has stayed faithful to. Just as in Fleming`s novels, Benson`s Felix is maimed for life. But this time around, he`s got prosthetics, a wheelchair, and a beautiful Latin girlfriend. The wheelchair actually provides one of the books few humorous moments. What Bond learns in Texas leads him to suspect Greek millionaire Konstantin Romanos as the head of The Decada, the group behind the killings. Bond returns to Greece, and this time partners with Niki to help solve the case together.

Most of the book is airtight. What stands out the most are Bond`s relationship with the new “M”, the new JaguarXK8 he drives, and Hera, a jealous, man hating psychopath. The Jaguar XK8 is a beautiful car. Sleek. Luxurious. Sporty. Just the type of car Bond should drive. Benson made the perfect choice with the Jag, and it`s British so he`s keeping it in the family. The modifications, courtesy of Q Branch, are inspired. Some are actually real, such as the GPS. The color chaning paint was way overdue to be used in a Bond novel.

The amount of research that went into scouting locations in Greece, researching fertility clinics, understanding the concepts of Pythagoream, etc…show. The book is at times very complex, thus challenging the reader to stay awake and alert. It`s based in historical fact which Benson seems to have meticulously researched and referenced. Overall, this is the most complex and challenging Bond novel ever. Both The Facts of Death and Zero Minus Ten are a departure in style away from Gardner, as Benson`s books seem more “current”, using real life political crisises such as the handing over of Hong Kong to the Chinese, or the border disputes between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus. Doing this causes Benson`s novels to become instantly more compelling.

The only things I didn`t care for were Niki Marakos and some of the vocabulary. Niki is probably one of the less memorable Bond girls to grace the pages of a novel, and Benson throws in a couple of words never used prior to his authorship, though in the context of the events they are not out of place. Other than that, the book moves along just fine, including several plot twists that I never saw coming, unlike Zero Minus Ten, in which I guessed a few. I believe most Bond fans can, will, and should embrace Benson`s efforts . The stories have brought back the recognizable, hard Bond from Fleming`s work, and besides that, the novels could work just as well as thrillers apart from the brand name recognition of James Bond 007. They are that good.

The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu and Live And Let Spy

May 1975. Great 12-page article, with pics by Don McGregor. Cover is of Roger Moore as Bond. Also has a nice full page drawing of him on the inside front cover. The magazine spoofs Bond`s martial arts skills in The Man With The Golden Gun.

This same magazine, along the same lines of a MAD Magazine satire, spoofed the 007 craze in February 1974 by putting both Sean Connery and Roger Moore on the cover and creating the story “Live and Let Spy”.

The Book of Bond or Every Man His Own 007

Written by Lt.Col. William (“Bill”) Tanner.
Copyright © 1965 by Jonathan Cape Ltd
Published in 1965 by the Viking Press, Inc

Ever wanted to be just like James Bond, but were too much of a nerd to know how? Of course you did. Back in the 1960`s, every guy needed The Book of Bond in order to be suave and debonair just like 007.

This 111 page edition was printed in U.S.A. by Halliday Lithograph Corp. Here is the “forward” word-for-word taken directly from the book: “Every week about sixty applications to join the British Secret Service come to my desk. Most of them specify not the clerical or menial grades, in which there is an occasional vacancy for men with the appropriate background, but the 00 Section, the one whose members are licensed to kill.

We don`t do our recruiting in this way, so I have to write back to all these people and say no. This goes against the grain. So much keen ambition and enthusiasm shouldn`t be allowed to go to waste. I have decided, therefore, to make it possible for the right sort of man to get all the benefits of belonging to the 00 Section without actually joining it, to acquire the glamour without having to be kicked in the shins with poisoned shoes or nibbled by barracudas. For many years I have been lucky enough to be a colleague of the best-known member of the Section: 007.

Naturally I`m a keen student of his exploits in all their ramifications. I now offer his admirers, his would-be imitators – all those who might be called aspiring 007`s – a complete and authoritative guide to 007ly thought, conversation and behaviour. What and how to drink and eat and smoke, what kind of car to possess (or pretend to possess), how to look right (without plastic surgery), how to be the scourge of the casinos (without having to do any gambling) – this and much more I explain clearly and in detail. By careful study, plus a modest outlay of time and money, even you can become your own 007.

My recommendations are in the highest possible degree authentic, i.e. they constantly refer to the published adventures of 007. All such references are signified marginally (in the margins of the book) by the initials of the title of the relevant adventure followed by the number of the relevant chapter; thus FRWL 6 refers to From Russia With Love chapter 6. In the case of For Your Eyes Only, the number signifies the relevant episode within the volume, thus FYEO 1 refers to `From a View to a Kill`. To assist recognition a complete list of the adventures of 007 is to be found at the end of this manual.” Here is the list of the chapters in the book, DRINK, FOOD, SMOKES, LOOKS, EXERCISE, CLOTHES, ACCESSORIES, CARS, PLACES, CHAT, CULTURE, GAMBLING, M, GIRLS, RESEARCH & SOURCES.”

The Bond Files

Whatever its flaws, this book fills a gap: it covers the films, the books, the comic books, and the James Bond Junior tv series from the early nineties. I have no use for the last two but I`m glad somebody compiled this information and enjoyed reading about the comic books and how Fleming`s original stories were expanded (e.g. “The Hildebrand Rarity” foreshadows the film versions of “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “For Your Eyes Only”).

Some of the information I`d only read here for the first time: apparently film director Andre de Toth (“House Of Wax”) directed minor parts of the film “Thunderball”. It briefly recounts the second plagiarism lawsuit EON faced over “The Spy Who Loved Me” filed by “Thunderbirds” producer Gerry Anderson. Bond has a cameo in the novel “John Steed – An Authorised Biography, Volume One – Jealous In Honour” (by Tim Heald – though the book doesn`t bother to tell us Heald`s first name – I had to look that up myself.) George Lazenby was supposedly paid an advance to do “Diamonds Are Forever” but had to pay it back. Live And Let Die`s pre-credit sequence was truncated; it originally showed the Italian escapade where Bond met Miss Caruso. “Never Say Never Again” was to have had a proper pre-credit sequence (involving a horse chase through a car park).

But I have reservations about taking some of the information at face value because there are so many careless errors: they try to reconcile what year the novels/stories take place and make many mistakes; they mention the Geoffrey Jenkins Bond novel “Per Fine Ounce” (good for them!), but claim that the title was unknown. Well, no. They don`t seem to be aware of the Fleming short story “007 In New York” or the two incomplete stories Fleming left behind when he died (no mention either of “Take Over”, which should have been right up their alley); they claim that “Octopussy” was first published with “The Property Of A Lady”, then later reprinted with “The Living Daylights” – it`s the other way around. Robert Rietty didn`t dub Gert Frobe`s voice in “Goldfinger”. Michael Collins did. There were at least two different scripts during the 1990-1993 interim, and Roger Spottiswoode was asked to direct the one dealing with the Hong Kong handover. It also claims that “Tomorrow Never Dies” was at one time known as “Aquator” – just an erroneous internet rumour. (At times the research is so sketchy as to be no better than newsgroup standards. There are some interesting observations about the books and films, but not enough. Likewise, the authors should list what chapter the mistakes and quotes come from.)

They also briefly mention Warhead, but not the two unfilmed Timothy Dalton Bond projects (including “The Property Of A Lady”). The book also features a section called “Lines To Flick Past” recounting some of the worst writing in the books – admittedly the Bond novels have some doozies (though they don`t include my favourites). But other than that, there aren`t many critical comments. The authors claim up front that they don`t have to be nice because their book isn`t authorized. Yet the book is so bereft of critical comments that you`d think it was authorized. I don`t care too much if I agree with them (or if they`re right), rather, knowing how they feel about each entity gives me a better appreciation of each book and film. Despite that professional nobodies believe, namely that we must stop critics who have too much power, criticism is crucial. For that reason, the authors should include extensive critical comments in subsequent editions.

The book has its limitations – the authors should include more research if they ever publish an updated edition – but for the price, have a flip through, and strongly consider buying it. It`s incredibly readable and entertaining – I stayed up all night reading it, unable to put it down.

Seafire

The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: Sir Max Tarn; The Bond Girl: Flicka von Grusse;

Supporting Characters (friends): Felix Leiter; Trish Nuzzi; Pete Natkowitz

Supporting Characters (enemies): Beth; Cathy and Anna (aka Cuthbert and Archibald); Maurice Goodwin; Connie Spicer; Kurt Rollen; Heidi; Pixie & Dixie

Locations covered: Caribbean; England; Spain; Israel; Germany; Puerto Rico

“SeaFire” is possibly John Gardner`s most creative and extravagant Bond novel – much of it went into the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. Unfortunately it`s also one of his most uneven and frustrating.

The story is horribly constructed. There`s no real forward movement, no proper story spine. The story peters out and there are serious pacing problems. Various aspects of the plot, such as the Neo-Nazi uprising, or the AAOPS device (a foam device meant to stop sea fires) don`t integrate.

The first quarter is padded and ultimately pointless. Bond is meant to worm his way into Max Tarn`s confidences, but the reasons the British want Tarn to go to ground are unbelievable. Tarn fakes his own death, but it goes nowhere and he`s soon considered alive. Would anything in the story have been different if Tarn hadn`t faked his death? (It would have been difficult to maintain since Trish isn`t a party to his deeds.)

Why doesn`t Tarn kill Bond in Chapter 7? Bond`s reasons, given in Chapter 17, are ridiculous – apparently Tarn wants to make an example of Bond and Flicka and show the world that he`s not “the diabolical agent we would like people to believe.” So why is Bond angry at him? Throughout the book Bond reflects on how evil Tarn is, and others mention Bond`s personal vendetta against Tarn, but there`s nothing to suggest this. Tarn let him live.

The second quarter deteriorates. The Spain and Israel sequences (Chapters 9 through 11) are badly shoe-horned into the story. The Israel sojourn is particularly pointless (he goes there to meet Trish Nuzzi, Tarn`s wife). Progression must have some cohesion, some sense that the incidents are integral to the story and not there to pad the book out to novel size length. There`s no compelling reason for the change of location. (Worse, the story feels like a zig-zag pattern, with no discernable spine.)

In Chapters 12 and 13, Bond goes back to Hall`s Manor (he and Flicka were spared there earlier) – something about checking the supposedly deserted mansion in case Tarn should show up; Bond believes that Tarn will leave an unpleasant message there for them – but it`s meaningless action and slightly confusing. Why does Tarn go to all this trouble to come back to England with his entourage, only to leave for Germany? (Gardner isn`t even trying to put the story pieces together.) Gardner`s reasons – that Tarn wants to lead Bond et al on a merry dance – are nonsense. That`s the best way to get caught.

Chapters 17 to 18 probably have the sloppiest, shoddiest bit of plotting in the novel. Not sure the Americans will let them in, Bond and Flicka sneak off to Puerto Rico, but are apprehended by British agents, brought back to England, told that the Americans will give them permission, and head right back. This sloppiness is noticeable precisely because it`s a false start, wasted effort.

There are numerous other loose ends. Why does Tarn question Bond when one of the MicroGlobe people is a double-agent? (The double agent plot device is nice, as is the bit about being in the same house at school; the unmasking scene is tense.) Are Cathy and Anna pro Trish or anti-Trish? (If they are anti, the way they nod in agreement like they`re on Trish`s side in Chapter 11 is a terrible touch. Cathy also shakes her head as though male chauvinists are an endangered species, which is terrible writing.) The inconsistencies baffle – whose side were they on? If they`re really on Tarn`s side, why do they let Trish spill the beans to Bond (Chapter 11). Why don`t they try killing Bond? The reasons Anna gives in Chapter 11 for not killing Bond and Flicka earlier at Hall`s Manor are ridiculous – especially since Bond broke her arm earlier – would you trust them? (Note Anna`s “obscene” gesture in Chapter 11.) Cathy and Anna are also transvestites (Cuthbert and Archie) – they`re meant to sound like Kidd & Wint from the Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever”, but it`s overdone leering and doesn`t work since Gardner`s approach is already what Kingsley Amis called a “furtive taking of the piss”.

There are virtues, though: Beth, a black drug addicted killer who sprouts scriptures, is a great character – she`s as alive as Cuthbert and Archie are stale. Unfortunately she only properly appears in two chapters. Beth`s religious quotes in Chapter 22 and whatever scenes she`s in give the novel some life, some energy; compare the Samuel Jackson character in the film “Pulp Fiction” which was released at same time.

There are other nice touches: Bond is more elegant and sophisticated here than in Gardner`s other Bond novels. Gardner never had much sense of location but the German scenes (Chapters 14-16) have much flavour. Chapters 14-17 are great but given where they`re situated in the ramshackle story, the reader might not appreciate them. Chapter 14 has nice details about the law firm, and the idiot Kurt, but these are underused. Gardner writes, ” I think I once read a book about you, Heidi” which is glib but actually works. Chapter 15 ends with a great exchange:

“He`s gone over the edge. Careful, Kurt…” as Rollen walked toward the sheer drop and looked down.

“He`s burning,” Kurt said in a slow, unbelieving voice. “We`ve failed. Oh my God, we`ve failed.”

“Kurt,” Maurice Goodwin said. “We haven`t failed. He`s dead. Nobody could have survived in that wreck.”

“Then we`ve not failed.” Slow. “We`ve won, eh, Mo. We`ve won.”

“Please, Kurt, don`t call me Mo. My name`s Maurice.”

Though a throwaway bit, it has more feeling, more reality than just about anything else he wrote.

Gardner is also a much brisker, readable and livelier writer than Fleming. He`s certainly more stylish; Fleming`s writing could be childish, wooden, some might say tin-eared (though Fleming`s writing is much tauter. Compare “Diamonds Are Forever”, arguably one of Fleming`s best; the writing is technically near-perfect). Gardner also has the slickest writing style of all the Bond novelists, which is crucial: it helps propel the reader past the stylistic dowdiness.

His writing is sloppy; he loves cliches, and gets bogged down in dead language. (Chapter 16 also features a funny grammatical error: Bond says, “As the Fuhrer elect, I am certain[.]”

Chapter 11: “replied with single oath” is verbose. Just let Bond say the following word. Chapter 12: “it would serve no purpose” should be “it would be pointless”. Chapter 13: “tiny touch of irritation” should be “slightly irritated”. Chapter 15: “it was not so much the message” can be cut altogether. Consider these other examples: Chapter 18: “managed to infiltrate” should be “infiltrated”. Chapter 20: “the really amusing thing” is glib; just cut to the point (his penchant for overwriting also makes his writing more glib than it already is). Chapter 22: “especially if it were placed in the right spot” should be, “especially if it were strategically placed”. Chapter 22, “feeling an enormous pleasure” should be “feeling enormously pleased.” Chapter 23: “he even considered the possibility of climbing down” should be “he even considered climbing down.” Chapter 23: “making an escape” should be “escaping”.

He relies too much on empty rhetoric in the mistaken belief that it`s more dramatic. If the story and the incidents can`t convey the emotion, then rhetoric won`t. It`ll just flatten everything.

Chapter 24`s first three paragraphs sledgehammer their point home: “It was not often that he allowed problems to so besiege his mind, but this was Fredericka, the woman he loved. The woman he intended to marry. […] In his mind a terrible ghost from the past appeared: a blurred picture of his first of only a few hours, Tracy di Vicenzo, lying dead, her face buried in the ruins of the steering wheel of his Lancia, which had been raked with bullets fired by his old enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.” Enough: we get the idea. “The picture returned, and with it a kind of certainty that there was something wrong. […] Now there was true anger, a fury that seemed to rend him apart.” Or from Chapter 26: “setting the clock back to the days of insanity.”

In Chapter 16 we read, “Without doubt, Max Tarn is the most evil man I have ever known. He`s moved through the world like a plague, sowing germs of death disguised as arms and military equipment to anyone willing to pay.” Or, in Chapter 20: “I`ve never been so certain of anything in my life. These are truly perilous people.” Yes, we get the idea, but it once again raises the question: why is Bond angry with Tarn?

In Chapter 25, just before Tarn is killed (a playful and visual scene as the powerchutes chase him into a tighter circle), “There was no particular feeling of guilt or elation. This man had killed thousands by ferrying and smuggling weapons, placing them into the hands of unprincipled people. His future plans were untenable, so he deserved to die the worst possible of deaths.” Compare Fleming in “You Only Live Twice”, Chapter 6: “I have met many bad men in my time, Tiger, and generally they have been slightly mad.” Notice how effective “slightly mad” is. Consider how less effective the sentence would have been had Fleming written like Gardner.

The dialogue is terrible – too much of it is “on the nose”, that is, the characters talk about the situation; his slick writing style helps disguise it, but only so far. In Chapter 18, The Minister (whom Gardner never bothers to give a last name) asks, “can we get on with this” – an indirect comment on the book`s many laborious conversations. There`s too much expository dialogue which suggests that Gardner didn`t figure the story out in advance.

This quote from Chapter 25 is terrible and an example of Gardner trying to create emotion with words: “That`s how you repay loyalty, is it, Max?” he yelled, knowing that Tarn would not hear a word he was shouting.” Why is Bond angry? Why should he care? Shouldn`t he think that it looks good on Cathy and Anna, whom Bond has reason to hate?

The “human moments” between Bond and Flicka are poor. In Chapter 17, they discuss Bond`s intentions: “I truly mean this. I`ll be honest with you” are redundant. Chapter 22`s opening paragraphs are meaningless, dead language. In Chapter 13, Bond and Flicka tell each other, “I love you.” The proposal scene (in Chapter 13) is weak, and, of course, features silly Gardner-style dialogue, such as the “scorch a feather” bit. Would someone really bother to explain the expression right then?

He`s glib in other ways. He often writes that a character laughed, no matter how incongruous, a strange defense-mechanism, and also a cliche (compare Fleming in “The Spy Who Loved Me”; Fleming often describes Bond as smiling – there it`s subtle, integral and enhances the novel). In Chapter 4, “She mimicked a witch`s cackle.” Or, “her head thrown back as she laughed”. In Chapter 10, also an example of terrible writing, “Anna gave a tinkling little giggle.” From Chapter 11, “She gave a bitter little laugh”. From Chapter 18, “Goodwin gave a bray of laughter”. Chapter 19, “Flicka laughed.” “Leiter`s laugh followed Bond”. From Chapter 20: “his infectious laugh splitting the air” – ugh. “He turned and laughed again […] Bond was finding his laughter a little hard to bear” – which sums up Gardner`s annoying tic. “Rexinus had given up laughing for a long time.” From Chapter 21: “Tarn laughed unpleasantly”. Gardner can`t even resist “Anna gave a sound that lay somewhere between a cough and a laugh.”

Gardner also trashes the series: Bond now works for “MicroGlobe One” in the “Two Zeroes” department. He`s not even Commander Bond – he`s now Captain Bond. These errors, though trivial, are symptomatic of how wrongheaded Gardner could be (compare Vivienne Michel in Fleming`s “The Spy Who Loved Me”, Chapter 15: “So he was a commander. It was the only rank I liked the name of.”)

This passage from Chapter 24 is typical of Gardner (Bond has just learned that his fiance Flicka was abducted):

“Bond, stretching and trying to get his circulation going, had listened to the exchange with the kind of horror most people had when they faced a cobra, or even something less deadly, like a scorpion.”

Ugh.

Chapter 11 has some extraordinarily awful writing. Paragraphs 3 through 6 are typical of his carelessness. Much of it is empty, dead language. The details are terrible: Trish`s jaw appears to be wired. She puts her hands to her face and all I could think was, wouldn`t that be painful? Trish seems so matter-of-fact, which is unbelievable (such as when she discusses Hitler`s gravediggers, an incongruous touch). Her motives for marrying Tarn are terrible and blase. The bit where Flicka and Trish commiserate (“A thousand and one, actually.” “Make that two thousand.” “Good”) is terrible, childish writing. At the end of the chapter, Flicka states, “Even with that bashed-up face, Trish was drooling, and the two terrors would have kept you busy for hours.” Would one woman really say this about another? Would Flicka really be that jealous? Or is this Gardner`s misconceived idea of women?

Flicka barely comes off better, even though she`s one of his stronger female characters – Gardner was terrible writing about women. In Chapter 8, Flicka is in a state of nervous exhaustion and has to be taken to the nearest hospital for several hours, even though Bond is blase about the experience at Hall`s Manor which they`d been through together. Such chauvinism weakens her (compare how Fleming wrote about women – the women are sometimes stronger than Bond, which makes them more appealing). In Chapter 22, Flicka considers how she feels about Bond and decides that she`s never loved a man with this kind of intensity, which is empty rhetoric. Elsewhere she`s hysterical, unprofessional, not a spy, but somebody`s girlfriend or mother. She screams, hyper-ventilates, lugs luggage around with her, packs too many clothes. She`s childish, the weaker partner; she clings to Bond and hangs on to his gun arm.

Glidrose and Gardner`s publishers/editors also deserve blame. So many needless errors (which any literate adult should have spotted a mile away) could have been weeded out with careful editing (don`t publishers edit nowadays?). It could have been one of the great Bond novels, but the brilliant ideas, the creativity and extravagance still make it worth a read.

Scorpius

The Hero: James Bond; The Villian :Father Valentine; The Bond Girl: Harriet Horner; Supporting Characters: Pearle Pearlman, Trilby Shrivenham; Locations covered: London Countryside, Washington D.C. First Published: 1988

Scorpius opens with the death of a prominent London figure`s daughter in the Thames River. A known drug addict, her parents had tried to get her out of using before it was too late. It was too late. Her possessions were few. An address book and a strange credit card. The Special Branch, MI5, passes on the job, and MI6 grabs it, selecting 007 for the job.

Things begin to fall in place when it is revealed that the only number in her address book belongs to James Bond and that her only Credit Card, named “Avante Carte” is bogus. This is all explained in tremendous detail in the first FIVE chapters. (Personally, Fleming could have had it done in one, or two at the very most!)

The villian of the book is Vladimir Scorpius, a Russian Arms dealer who is hiding out in America under the assumed name of Father Valentine. He runs a religious group named The Society of The Meek Ones. Honestly, his character is so poorly written that I doubt he could run run a 7-11. His main plan, which I had to read another reviewer`s analysis to figure out, is to brainwash his followers into assassinating politcians and celebrities.

There are three Bond girls in this one. Two minor and a major one. Emma Dupre and Trilby Shrivenham are the two minor ones in the novel and do have some depth as the brain-washed followers of Father Valentine. These two are in an out quickly as Dupre is “the floater” who would have done a decent job as the girl in the book, but instead is wasted . Trilby is not as good as Emma, but is average at best as a strung out youngster with a wallet full of cash from her parents.

The other Bond Girl is Harriett Horner, a CIA agent who is assigned to Bond. She is one of the stereo typical Bond girls of the past: uninteresting and window dressing. She doesn’t have a brain in her head! Some of the other girls as previously mentioned are great in the novel, but in and out too quickly.

Pearle Pearlman is Bond’s only friend throughout the entire novel. But, he does pull a few of Gardner’s standard double and triple crosses. I was expecting them because its his style. He is a bit more interesting than most other characters in the novel. His character is an MI6 agent, but his way of doing things are way out of left field.

Gone from Ian Fleming’s novels are the title of 007, Bond’s drinking “habit”, his classic cigarettes, the beautiful and outragous car, either his Bentley or an Aston Martin from Q Branch.

Other Bond elements such as the villians luxurious hideout, and cryptic henchmen are not availible in this novel. Scorpius has a dense goon or two, but they don’t add anything to this novel.

Under Gardner, James Bond had begun to change from a raw, rogue secret agent into a man who has gotten into the job and stays with it mainly because it has a paycheque as well as a comfortable retirement. It is a “competent” novel, and I say that because I don’t think that it is particularly good in any area. The action scenes are average at best, with the only highlights being a rather impressive car chase scene, and the climactic scene.

Role of Honour

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Percy Proud; The Villain: Jay Autem Holey; Supporting Characters: Cindy Chalmers, Dazzle St.John-Fiennes, Tamil Rahani, Joe Zwingli; Locations Covered: The French Riviera, Oxfordshire England, Genevea Switzerland, Corfu Italy, First Published: 1984

“The world`s greatest spy has resigned his 007 status and put his deadly talents on sale to the highest bidder, in an ingenious scheme that will place him at the heart of the enemy camp…if he can pass their diabolical tests…”

That`s a fair summation of Role of Honor, John Gardner`s fourth entry into Ian Fleming`s Bond literary legacy. This also just happens to be Gardner`s best book at really convincing the reader that he has a good grasp on who and what the character of James Bond is really about.

The book starts off with 007 coming into a private windfall of cash, courtesy of the death of his Uncle Bruce. Meanwhile, certain Russian operatives have descended into London, quietly on a mission to recruit potential new agents. “M” already knows the kind of damage they`ve done to other security agencies, and decides to bait the agents, using 007 as the “Tethered goat”. With his new status as an independently wealthy playboy, “M” and James let it get around in certain circles that Bond is dissatisfied working for M.I.6. and has resigned his 007 status, his license to kill, and is willing to accept bidders M.I.6 is highly curious to see who these agents are actually working for, and who will come knocking at 007`s door.

But actually the whole plan is a ruse. M.I.6 knows full well who their myster man is: Jay Autem Holy, a computer wizard, believed to be the mastermind behind several high tech thefts of art and money around the world. The common link among the thefts is that they were first drafted out and programmed on a computer to simulate every possible obstruction to the plan. Now, M.I.6 have an ally in their fight against Jay Autem Holy: his ex-wife, Percy Proud. A woman with a mysterious and intriguing past.

The book then shifts to the French Riveria, where Bond is tutored in the ways of computer programmnig by Percy, as well as living dangerously like a man cast out into the darkness from his former company. And that he does.

Percy Proud is with 007, to tutor him on the types of computer systems Jay Autem Holy would be using to simulate and train thieves on. In a moment of weakness, she gives in to 007`s advances, and it proves to be one of the more awkward attempts by Gardner at portraying romance:

“So they became lovers, their needs and feelings adding urgency to every moment of their days and nights”.

Yecch. Sounds like a bad romance novel.

But on page 79, Gardner makes up for the romantic faux pas, by providing his readers with one of the most poingnant moments in his books. Ever. After 007 begins driving back to London from the Cote d` Azur, he begins singing a song to himself:

“Rolling home… By the light of the silvery moon
I have two pence to lend
And twopence to spend
And twopence to send home to …”
“His voice trailed off. He could not bring himself to sing the last line, about sending money home to his wife. For the ghost of his dead wife Tracy still haunted him, even though he consciously missed Percy Proud`s clear mind and agile, beautiful body. Weakness he chided himself. He was trained as a loner, one who acted without others, one who relied on himself. Yet he did miss her.

But that`s not all. On page 115, Gardner throws in a sly reference to Fort Knox, obviously referring to GoldFinger. On page 272 he refers to a trip to Geneva Bond took when he was 16 and the affair he had with a waitress that ensued. Was James Bond even a virgin at that point? Hard to believe, and Gardner doesn`t answer the question. But it`s little things like those details that help flesh out the character of James Bond. Gardner is successfully able to make 007 seem real in this book and by that, we`re able to bring the character home, so to speak. Through these details we are able to see 007, not as a cardboard character, but as a flesh and blood human being with weaknesses and strengths.

There are several very good Gardner Bond books in print. Gardner`s particular strength seemed to be in creating unique and interesting situations for Bond to embark on. But none get at the heart of who 007 was quite the way `Role Of Honor` does.

If Ian Fleming were alive today, he`d no doubt be a fan of Stephen Hunter, author of Point of Impact, a book i`m highly recommending to 007Forever visitors. If you remember, a while back I recommended to many of you that you should read Vertical Run and everyone who read it loved it. I have no doubt you`ll find Point of Impact just as thrilling.

Ooooh, if only the Bond novels were as taut or psychologically compelling as Point of Impact! The hero of the book is Bob Lee Swagger, the anti-Bond. He is an ex-Vietnam veteran, Marine Corp sniper. He`s one of the worlds best hunters and can hit a target from as far away as 1400 feet. After the war, in which Swagger was wounded by a sniper and his best friend killed, Swagger pretty much drops out of sight and retires to a rural Arkansas life of hunting and collecting veterans disability benefits. He wants very little to do with other people.

Fast forward 20 years later to 1992. The CIA requests a meeting with Swagger under the pretense that he`s going to be testing some new, state-of-the-art ammunition. Swagger obliges them and after satisfying themselves that Swagger still has his skills, they tell him why they really need him: the CIA has apparently uncovered a plot by the Iraqis to assassinate the President in retribution for their loss during the Gulf War. To do that, the Iraqis have recruited the worlds other best sniper, a Russian named Solaratov, who is every bit Swagger`s equal if not more.

Satellite reconnaissance has shown that Solaratov has been doing practice shooting on an enormous mock-up of a city that is erected and dismantled every night outside of Baghdad. The CIA asks Swagger to figure out which American city it is that Solaratov will try and assassinate the President from. How will he do it? From where will it happen? When will he do it? Swagger is reluctant to get involved, but the CIA soon dangles a carrot in front of Swagger that proves too tempting to resist.

To say much more about this book would be criminal; there are so many twists and turns that even the most savvy and seasoned veteran of the espionage thriller will be hard pressed to figure out what is going to happen next. Rare is the book that can hook you from the first page, but that is exactly what Hunter does.

The book haselements of The Man With The Golden Gun and The Living Daylights mixed in. Swagger, like Bond, is up against an extremely formidable foe. For all intents and purposes Solaratov is a faceless assassin. The CIA has a very vague picture of him, no idea where he will strike, how he will do it, nor when he will do it. They only know that the President may be in danger. Can Bob Lee Swagger stop the assassination before it takes place? You`ll just have to read the book to find out. (4 stars out of 4)

Poems And Poetry of Ian Fleming

The Black Daffodil
by Ian Fleming (1928)
Privately published

Fleming later destroyed all copies.

what is a book?
a mirrored pool
of thoughts, ideals
so often better left unsaid
so often better left
with the soft outline of dream
(circa 1926)

How much I loved that way you had
of smiling most when very sad.
If the wages of sin are Death
I am willing to pay
I am so weary of the curse of living
the endless, aimless torture, tumult, fears.
(1927)

There once was a girl named Asoka
Who played three young fellows at poker
Having won all their money
She thought it so funny
They calmly decided to choke her.
(1927)

Were it not for vain imagining
I could let time for ever pass
Without a thought.
But now the tinsel mist that memory brings
Colours my loneliness.
Since I met you, I see you everywhere
The azure of your eyes, your red, red lips
The golden mystery of your hair.
Well, now I am content
To pass my life in dreams
Of when we meet again.
(circa 1927)

“On Crossing The Brenner Pass”

While everyone was feeling tired and hot
Alone I was in love with all the world
I felt how far apart I was from all the train,
I thought I was a part of some small stream
Just on from all the scrambling rivulets
Which hurried down towards the sunkissed south
Eager to greet the emerald sea which lay
Flawlessly still in amber gold setting
(1928)

On Her Majesty`s Secret Service

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Tracy Devicenzo; The Villain: Ernst Stavros Blofeld; Supporting characters: Irma Bunt, Ruby Windsor, Marc Ange Draco Shaun Campbell; Locations covered: London, France, Switzerland. First Publishing: 1963

As Marc-Ange had put it, “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.” What would Her Majesty think of the crimes committed in her name?

That is one of the questions that Ian Fleming poses in On Her Majesty`s Secret Service. He also poses many questions like why Bond would be on the trail of Blofeld for almost a year. So what? He stopped Largo a year before, mainly with blind luck and a good woman like Domino. But, wouldn`t Blofeld drop off the face of the earth? The answer is no, and he puts every spotlight on himself by contacting the College of Arms.

This possibility is almost outragous. As put in “The Usual Suspects”, “Do you think that he comes this close to being caught and sticks his head out?” Fleming posed the question and the answer is yes. He wrote that Blofeld was intelligent, but yet he wants to be a Count and blows his entire cover.

The real highlight of the book is the love affair between Bond and Tracy, from the opening scene on the beach to the tragic final scene. Tracy would be the type of woman that Bond would marry, because she was the only one to “truly” help him avoid Blofeld`s henchmen. I really felt for Bond when Tracy is murdered at the end, and “You Only Live Twice`s” start.

The start of the novel has Bond chasing the shadow of Blofeld all over Europe, and heading to France, where he meets Tracy, gambles on two long shots, and becomes face to face with another one of Europe`s most dangerous criminals, Marc-Ange Draco, Captain of the Union Corse. Marc-Ange bribes Bond into going out with Tracy. The bribe? The location of where Blofeld is known to be…Swizterland.

Two Months pass from the meeting of Bond and Draco, and he is still involved with Tracy, and has tried everything to find Blofeld. Bond finally tries another long shot, the College of Arms. After an attempt to connect James with Bond Street, 007 finally gets to talk to Sable Basilisk. Basilisk has the only info on Blofeld that is worth while. His lawyer`s address.

With meetings and crash courses about Blofeld`s line of descent, Bond is sent to meet Blofeld in Swizterland, with no weapons, only books and his razor blade. Met in the airport by Irma Bunt, 007 is taken to Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps, by helicopter. On his first night he is introduced to Blofeld`s “patients” at the club dinner. It seems that Blofeld`s cover is now a man interested in allergies. He creates cures for the patients as well as hypontizing them to do his dirty deeds.

The next event shake up Bond: his first meeting with Blofeld. The meeting goes well for Bond and his research causes another meeting between himself and Blofeld. This time the arrival of Shaun Campbell from Station Z interupts them, and Blofeld dismisses 007 quickly. With Campbell`s arrival, 007 knows that he has to escape at any costs, including Campbell.

Bond`s escape from Piz Gloria is the most exciting part of the novel. Bond`s blind luck and amazing skill on skis are the best part of the chase sequence, which leads Bond into Samaden and to the waiting arms of Tracy, at a Christmas party. Tracy drives Bond safely to Zurich where Bond does what no one ever thought he would… he asks Tracy to marry him.

Tracy accepts and Bond is off to London to see M. The meeting with the Man from Agriculture and Fisheries doesn`t go well. Bond knows that Blofeld could kill everyone in the United Kingdom with his pests. Bond leaves and makes a call to Draco, and soon devises a plan to destroy Blofeld.

The plan suceeds with one problem, Blofeld escapes down the bob-run with Bond right behind him. The climax happens when Blofeld blows up the track with a grenade. Bond, coming away black and blue, gets married on January First and as they are heading for their honeymoon, Tracy is killed by Blofeld in a drive-by shooting. Bond says one of the most chilling lines of all, “Don`t worry…, We have all the time in the world.”