I have to admit that I approached Paul Kyriazi’s The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar with some hesitation. There are a lot of Bond related books out there that just aren’t up to scratch and I was also uncertain how Kyriazi would define the ‘James Bond lifestyle’.
The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar
I also set out with the notion that this would be no ordinary book to review. It wasn’t a Bond novel by Benson or Fleming, nor was it directly related to any part of the James Bond series, cinematic or literary.
That said, I was mostly pleased what I found within the 261 pages of The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar. There were no recipes for mayhem, no details of how to smuggle a Walther PPK through customs, of how to hide bodies, how to raid top secret Russian bases or how to take a television network off the air. Rather, what Kyriazi does present are a series of ideas and values that most anyone could incorporate into their life, a series of ideas and values that are present in James Bond’s life.
So what ideas and values does Kyriazi cover? There’s a fair selection of them. At the forefront is money. In fact, money is a reoccurring theme throughout the whole of the text. At first, the subject did become tedious and I was left wondering if the whole book would revolve around the subject. But Kyriazi does successfully highlight how money adds to Bond’s life and in turn will add to yours.
Of course there are other themes and ideas that Kyriazi puts forward. For instance, Kyriazi talks of your base of operations, where it should be, what it should be like and how you should keep it. Undoubtedly, topics such as Bond Girls will prove popular with most warm-blooded males. Other topics include The Bond Personality, Your Appearance, Casino Gambling and Upgrading Your Life to name a few. The one topic that just didn’t click for me was Las Vegas. Despite it being a major location in Diamonds Are Forever I have to confess that Las Vegas and Bond just don’t go hand in hand for me, maybe it’s a personal thing, and as a result I find having a whole topic dedicated to the location a misplaced idea.
While improving your life is a great thing the question has to be asked as to how Kyriazi actually manages to tie it all to the world of James Bond? And the answer is, in various ways. To begin with Kyriazi presents the notion “why should James Bond have all the fun?” and from there he shows the reader themes, highlighted above, of James Bond’s life that would help them enjoy their own more.
Kyriazi does manage to tie the self-help book in other ways to Bond, mostly through quotes. Throughout the book quotes from the Bond films are used to reinforce a point. Kyriazi also refers throughout the text to various Bond characters. However, somewhere in the editing process some of the references to Bond have become distorted, which may displease a Bond fan. I can think of one instance where a quote is misattributed and two instances where a Bond villains name is incorrectly spelt; in this case Blofeld is spelt Blowfeld and Scaramanga is spelt Scoromanga. Of course, neither mistakes detract from the overall value of the book and the casual reader is likely to not even notice them.
Kyriazi doesn’t leave his references to James Bond alone, woven throughout the text are a series of tales relating to talents such as Gene Hackman. Several references to Rat Pack members such as Frank Sinatra also graves the pages, and it’s little wonder when you think of the lifestyles that Frank, Dean and Sam were perceived to have lived.
The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar isn’t a book for everyone. It’s definitely not aimed at the female market but it is aimed at a broad market of people who wish to improve their lifestyle. And I don’t think it quite matters if they’re James Bond fans or not, but lets face it, which male doesn’t wish that at least a part of Bond’s life was a part of their own?
For those wishing to take a glimpse inside the book they should head over to BondLife.com, Paul Kyriazi’s website, where eight sample pages of the text can be viewed.