What Was The Novel Titled?

Bond books you have read may have never been the same had they popped up under their working titles. Check it out!

Ian Fleming`s Novels:

1953–Casino Royale:
(original US title was “You Asked For It”, appeared in this form from Popular Library); Ian Fleming would have been thrilled with the ancient description for the nine of hearts playing card that brings Bond trouble–“A Whisper of Love, A Whisper of Hate”

1954–Live And Let Die: “The Undertaker`s Wind”

“The Infernal Machine” was Fleming`s favorite choice, followed by “Wide of the Mark” or “The Inhuman Element”; “Bond & The Moonraker”, “The Moonraker Sense”, “The Moonraker Plan” were three of the publisher’s choices; after which Fleming crossed those out and stlyishly wrote over them in bright pink pencil “Moonraker”; other ideas included “The Moonraker”, “The Moonraker Plot”, “The Moonraker Secret”, “Mondays Are Hell”, “Hell Is Here”, “Too Hot To Handle” (original US title, appeared in this form from Perma Books

1956–Diamonds Are Forever (They liked it!)

1957–From Russia With Love (It doesn`t get much better than that! Ever search under this name on the web?)

1958–Doctor No: (serialized in the US as “Nude Girl Of Nightmare Key”) [!]

1959–Goldfinger: “The Richest Man In The World”

1960–For Your Eyes Only:
“Man`s Work”, “Death Leaves An Echo”, “The Rough With The Smooth”, which may be Mr. Fleming`s reference to a line in the opening chapter, eventually deleted (For Your Eyes Only is subtitled “Five Secret Occasions in the Life of James Bond” in the UK and “Five Secret Exploits of James Bond” in the US. The short story inside, “Risico” was alternately spelled Risiko)

1961–The Spy Who Loved Me: (serialized in the US as “Motel Nymph”) [!]

1962–Thunderball (A keeper! What a classic!)

1963–On Her Majesty`s Secret Service: “The Belles Of Hell”

1964–You Only Live Twice (Done!)

1964–The Man With The Golden Gun: “The Golden Gun”

“Octopussy and The Living Daylights” (or alternately “Octopussy AND The Living Daylights”, “Octopussy & The Living Daylights”) The short story inside, “The Living Daylights” has also been published as “Trigger Finger” and “Berlin Escape” (“Berlin” was published in hardcover form during the 80`s in the US!)

The short story, “The Property Of A Lady,” was originally entitled “The Diamond Egg” and was later called “The Fabulous Pay-Off”

Other Authors` Bond Novels:

1968–Colonel Sun:
(author Kingsley Amis` pseudonym, “Robert Markham” was originally “George Glidrose”, an idea of Peter Fleming`s (Ian`s brother). Publisher Jonathan Cape said “G.G.`s” name had no selling power.

1977–James Bond, They Spy Who Loved Me:
(Christopher Wood`s movie novelization had a US edition and a front page of the British hardcover reading simply “The Spy Who Loved Me”. The header in the British hardcover more properly reads, “James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me”

1981–License Renewed: Meltdown

1986–Nobody Lives Forever:
“You Only Die Once” or “You Only Live Once” (in Great Britain the title is the slightly different “Nobody Lives For Ever”)

1987–No Deals, Mr. Bond:
“Tomorrow Always Comes” (So similar to a recent Pierce Brosnan film!) Also, several of Mr. Gardner`s subsequent Bond novels, in their list of authors’ books, erroneously list this one as “No Deals For Mr. Bond”)

Mr. Gardner explains that he can “…Recall such wonders as Oh No, Mr. Bond! and Bond Fights Back. Those two finally became, after many protests on my part, the dreadful No Deals, Mr. Bond while my original title for Icebreaker was instantly turned down only to be picked up again a month later after turkey after turkey had to be rejected. My former agent is convinced to this day that he was responsible for Death is Forever, which was actually taken from some dialogue in a Stephen King book. I tried to explain it to him but he still claimed that he was the one. I can’t think why because it isn’t a very sophisticated title. Peter Janson-Smith came up with two of the titles, though by now I’ve forgotten which, and somewhere I have the original lengthy list of quite abominable titles suggested by publishers.”

1997–Zero Minus Ten:
“No Tears For Hong Kong” (Benson submitted this bit O`Fleming as the title but it was rejected. Another interesting thought was “China Takeaway”, a slang British expression for China food-to-go.

1998–The Facts of Death: “The World Is Not Enough”–Benson’s title of choice (!)

1999–High Time To Kill: “A Better Way To Die”–Benson’s choice

“Doppelganger”–Benson’s choice and then “Reflections In A Broken Glass”

2001–“Never Dream of Dying”; this is Mr. Benson’s original choice! Whew!

Leave a Reply