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  1. The 007th Chapter: Moonraker – The Quickness of the Hand

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    In an act of stool-loosening snobbery, in 1957 Ian Fleming wrote a financial-suicide note to CBS.

     

    “In hard covers my books are written for and appeal principally to an “A” readership, but they have all been reprinted in paperbacks, both in England and in America and it appears that the “B” and “C” classes find them equally readable, although one might have thought that the sophistication of the background and detail would be outside their experience and in part incomprehensible.”

    A modest missive, amusingly provocative in using the letters ABC when writing to a competitor, and a curious proposition when “the background and detail” of Live and Let Die I would suggest is beyond anyone’s experience, unless they’ve eaten too much cheese before beddy-bye. Slightly thick – a.k.a. “C” – letter to write to a maker of television, that most plebian of media, even if hindsight rewards him with Eon Productions hoving into view. It’s unclear why he considered Bs and Cs incapable of tackling hardback books, unless he feared their using them as trays from which to eat their gristleslop whilst… watching television.

     

    Perhaps I’m being literal rather than literary. Insofar as the 007th chapters so far have slipped us this Class A drug, it’s been roulette, fancy drinks, very wild gambling, very mild spycraft, intensity of sensual experience, nice blond American lads, telepathic lovelies and exaggeration heaped on exaggeration, so even using those as a rough shapshot of what he asserts, his claim has potential.

     

    The 007th chapter of Moonraker renders it unarguably true.

     

    I’ve never played Bridge. Nor have I looked up how to. No, tell a lie; in shoving this rot together I browsed Wikipedia’s explanation but couldn’t grasp the rules, much like Rugby Union or An Argument with Mrs Jim. Like those, it is “in part, incomprehensible”. Must be getting C-nile.  This absence of experience isn’t “not wanting” to know; it’s not needing to. Trepidation, though, when it dawned on me that the game of Bridge against Sir Hugo Drax would feature in this experiment in modelling an exemplar Bond novel. Not in the nature of what occurs:  Bond bests the villain at his own crooked game, and as this happens in several others – Goldfinger, Zero Minus Ten, Devil May Care to name a few – it establishes itself as an ingredient as habitual as those suggested by the previous two 007th chapters.  It’s just that I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s going on. Accordingly, this piece could bear witness to the stultifyingly under-informed (hello) commenting upon a matter about which they’re shamelessly inarticulate. Perhaps no change there, then (ooh, you bitch), but with particular reference to my relationship with Bridge, think Fox News and European politics, Piers Morgan and American politics, or internet message boards and both. It appears to involve carrrddds. Well, turbo-Yay with double cream, I s’pose.

     

    Without suggesting it of everyone, I suspect I’m not alone, either at the time or now, in feeling shut out by the Bridge game. It’s something of a dilemma: do I want Ian Fleming to explain every detail to me, to indulge my All C-ing Eye, in the same way as – say – Mr Benson’s High Time to Kill explains the very, very (very)basics of golf? Or am I happy enough to accept that Fleming is writing for those in the know and, for the rest of us grubby saps, he renders whatever-the-Hell-it-is terribly exciting, pounding along to an ending  one may or may not understand.  You there, you Bs and Cs, stand straight when I’m addressing you; just do try to keep up, yes? You run along at Fleming’s pace, understood?

     

    Contemplating the quote at the head of this nonsense once more, perhaps there is more humility than first appears. The reason the Bs and Cs buy your stuff, Ian old freckle, is because you convey it with such impact. He’ll write it with efficient momentum so you don’t drop off, a terribly underrated skill of his given that one reaches the end of the chapter excited but without knowing why, but he’s not going to pander to your baser lives by stopping to explain it as if you were a child, or a woman. The pains taken to explain Baccarat in Casino Royale is through the narrative device of Vesper Lynd not knowing the game; all the players in the Moonraker situation are familiar with how to play, so it would be artificial to pause and narrate the rule-book. You just get sadistic teases of comprehension now and again but suddenly, it’s gone, once more out of your brain’s yearning grasp, leaving you chasing the words, chasing the game until, your senses captured, you reach the climax, exhausted, a bit sweaty and cross-eyed and gleeful. [Dubious sexual metaphor – here]. Aspiration by alienation, colossal snobbery against his reader.

     

    Alternatively, what Bond does might be technically impossible so Fleming hasn’t given the full detail because there isn’t any and he was too bored to make it work. I prefer the first theory, largely because it feeds the next one.

     

    Which is: the chapter is not about Bridge. It’s is a gaudy display of humungous snobbery in “club”land, the sort of ferocious clubbing requiring a blunt instrument (guess who). The whisky and soda drops when the ugly, buck-toothed truth dawns: there is no credible evidence whatsoever of Drax’s cheating. I know he admits it later when ranting himself into ridicule as the world’s first openly Communist Nazi, but blinded by hindsight, or absence of foresight not to read that bit lest it undermine my point, the evidence present at the time of the game itself is lissomely thin. Bond swallows it because M instructs him Drax is a cheat; his blessed club is “suspicious” – woo-hoo – and, since Bond isn’t the freest of thinkers, he’s primed as a weapon by these scions of society to simply look for the worst in Drax. Bond, telling M precisely what M wants to hear, is rarely more manipulated by his masters, than here. The silver cigarette-case is suspicious, but it’s circumstantial not conclusive: there’s still no direct evidence, and the key prosecution witness is a corrupted man primed to believe the worst, a loaded gun with a history of substance abuse who then proceeds to get off his noddle on Benzedrine and non-vintage champagne. It doesn’t promise watertight reliability or safety of the conviction. Particularly the non-vintage champagne bit.

     

    The protracted preparation for tearing Drax apart satisfies two of the frequent criticisms of Fleming’s work: snobbery and sadism. The third, sex, is absent, unless the “Hugger” stuff is leading somewhere. The ruthless old bastards of Blades have decided they don’t like Drax – he may have amused at first, but now they’re tired of the noisy oaf who is not one of their own but happens to be better than them, the rampage of New Money right through their ostensible standards; he had the temerity to approach The Queen, damn the man – and they are going to unleash their pet yobbo to destroy him. Excusing the carrrddds pun, these are trumped-up charges. Devil May Care comes in for criticism for having M inflict Bond on Dr Gorner on flimsy grounds; this is not markedly different. Mr Faulks may have been writing more “as” Ian Fleming than one immediately thought.

     

    Bond is simply (blunt) instrumental in the takedown.  They don’t sully their own hands; unleash the prole. You there, Shouty Ginge, we’re going to get you. You and your little Jewish chum, Meyer. All of this, this is our game sunshine, our world, and we’re not going to allow you in. We’re going to Grand Slam the door behind Drax, sending him straight back to “the Liverpool docks, or wherever he came from”. If I were treated like this, I’d be tempted to plunge a nuke right down their wobbly gullets, too. It’s a shame that Drax does turn out to be just another loony Russian/Nazi/wha’evah. He’s much more interesting as a victim of class snobbery and the school and social bullying meted out by the “good guys”. Is Fleming deftly slipping us this card, whilst on the surface giving us all a jolly good laugh at the demento-Kraut? I do wonder how much of Drax’s revelatory tirade against the English isn’t echt Fleming-Think (the sentiments have to come from somewhere), forcing his hand into making the villain completely mad by the end lest the author’s mockery of his milieu be too easily spotted, resulting in his lovely clubbing chums never letting him back in, either. Vivid though the eventual wartime backstory is, would Drax have been any less colourful a villain if there wasn’t any of the madness about his personality change, he was indeed an Englishman after all and it had been purely the lifetime of snooty bullying that had driven him to it, class war rather than a cold one? If not persuaded, can’t I tempt you into evaluating this argument by dangling that we’d have been spared Die Another Day, that way?

     

    The irony of Drax’s observations about requiring the “façade” of a gentleman is punched home in this 007th chapter: for all of them, it’s façade. There’s no such thing as a gentleman. Avoiding public exposure of suspected cheating is not to protect Drax, about whom they care not one damn, but to protect their own reputations. They cover up the abhorrent villainy at the end, too, for the same reason. Bond is the dispensable hired help for both. These are not nice persons. The gentility of the surroundings masks utter cruelty, a quiet brutality. It’s time to scrape the pooh from the shoe, and we’ve got just the right pliant stooge to do it for us. No, he’s not a member.  Lord, no. Should it go wrong we can deny him, just as we would were he caught by a foreign government.

     

    “Useless, idle, decadent fools, hiding beneath your bloody white cliffs while other people fight your battles”. Ian Fleming Sir Hugo Drax.

     

    No-one appears to complain that the people and the rituals of the society on show here look as inherently savage or as open to ridicule as anything written of the” Negro” world in Live and Let Die. This may be because Fleming’s motives are different, I’ve read far too much into it and he isn’t seeking to expose in the manner suggested above. However, so blunt and punchy does the writing get towards the end of this 007th chapter, plain evidence of an intention to depict this ostensibly genteel game as having the violent impact of a gunfought duel, the quickness of the hand in drawing the weapons – it’s only a short hop from that to contemplating the merciless conspiracy against Drax, however many chandeliers and lamb cutlets one flings about. The later business with the rocket etc., this lot just bring upon themselves. They really are their own worst enemy. Well, apart from the whacked-out loon with the moustache fetish, “obv”.

     

    And if you think I’m doing a “Bond made this rubber (fnarr) too hot to handle (ho-ho!)” joke, you’re better off ignoring this sentence.

     

     

    The 007th Chapter – Moonraker: The Quickness of the Hand

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    Helmut Schierer @ 2014-03-24
  2. The 007th Chapter: Mister Big

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    Sense of adventure. (My emphasis).

    I’m fibbing – can’t take the credit. Not my emphasis at all. The very first sentence of the Bond “thing” directly appeals to sense or, more precisely, the scents. Wiser minds than mine write of a Fleming Sweep; I prefer a Feel, and that’s not an invitation. Oh, put it away.

     

    Even just over one book in, one can unimaginatively deduce that Ian Fleming is a sensual writer, and not so much in the commonly adopted sexualised understanding of “sensual”, despite this 007th chapter of Live and Let Die concluding with a 20-stone Negro, having leatherstrapped a man to a chair (an act described at excitable length), proceeding to whip a witch with an ivory riding-crop whilst a voodoo scarecrow leers on. Might have been yer average Tuesday round Goldeneye way but is an unusual domestic encounter for most, I’d wager, and would doubtless justify police intervention. I mean - ivory. Tsk!

     

    A swift hand of bridge it is not. That’s in the next one.

     

    Usually at its strongest when he’s neglecting the tedium of “plot”, look at where the detail frequently – if not, admittedly, universally – lies, in engaging the base senses. How often Fleming lets his descriptions fly towards (say) food and drink – the enjoyment of both the descriptions of the menus and the experiences of the tastes – and elsewhere, be it places or people or flowers, birds and weapons: the smell, the touch, the sound. The sickly zoo smell of Oddjob. Recognising countless perfumes and soaps. The sight of Honeychile Ryder emerging naked from the sea. Cars are not a means of getting to destinations but a sensual destination in themselves, an immersion in a highly tactile experience; there are very few passages of Bond driving when he’s not totally engaged in the sweat, the smoke, the blast of wind in the face, the supercharged sound of it. The “touch” of a carpet beater.  Guns and engines don’t fire; they roar. That the sex never goes – never needs to go – beyond the first erotic touches. All five senses engaged in a midnight wander through Blofeld’s Garden of Death. As atmosphere, it’s thermosphere, so heightened is the delivery.

     

    Sensational.

     

    Literally.

     

    Then, the trick emerges, and the trap is set for those unwise enough to follow. The easy perception is that Fleming does “detail”; ooh, lots of “detail” in Fleming, there is. The failing is not acknowledging that he knew when to let it go, only wanting to describe those things that interested him. Once he has you by the senses, once you are immersed by his drowning you in the sights and the scent and smoke and sweat of wherever he’s placed you – Northern France, Japan, Istanbul, Jamaica, matters not – he can step back and leave you to wallow, enblissed floating. There’s a key example of this in the 007th chapter of Live and Let Die. He’s led us, whirling, through a turbo-fictionalised Harlem for a couple of chapters, soaking in its juices, and here, so drenched are we, we’ll just imbibe without question that Mr Big has a pistol masked by a drawer keyhole. We have been prepared for the ludicrous.

     

    “Again, there was nothing absurd about this gun. Rather painstaking, perhaps, but, he had to admit, technically sound.”

     

    Come off it, no it’s NOT. And yet, we gulp it down. It’s only later do we question what we’ve been spiked with. That is trust. Perhaps a trust abused, but you take it at the time, giggling slightly. There is no explanation of how this gun works. There doesn’t need to be. Your Clancys, your Lee Childs, closer to home your Gardners and Bensons, would tell us that the protagonist takes only an atosecond to work out – if not an atosecond to describe, unfortunately – how it was a Sillitoe-Bumpluck point 660 with a Horace flange and dingadong buttress and forty leveret hosiery and some such boring, boring unnecessariness. The skill is that one needs to know when not to describe, when to stop fact getting in the way of a good story. So convinced are these others that you would doubt what they say, they clobber you over the head with neanderthal factual detail to nail misguided veracity onto a patently farcical enterprise, thereby ironically undermining its allure, its success, rather than promoting it. Desensitising is counterproductive as a seduction technique: ask any lorry driver. It’s possible that Fleming was too idle to describe it “properly”; equally so that he rightly considered anyone actually interested in guns as a wee bit mental. Still, the evidence suggests that Bond is not about relentless description of every frickin’ thing. It’s about knowing when the trigger doesn’t need to be pulled. Probably because it patently wouldn’t work.

     

    Damn damn damn damn.

     

    Once you’ve been seduced, once he’s touched you, you can only give in and just snort it all up. Otherwise you’d realise that this is a tale in which one man threatens to shoot another with his desk.

     

     

    The 007th Chapter – Live and Let Die: Mister Big

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    Helmut Schierer @ 2014-03-15
  3. The 007th Chapter: Rouge et Noir


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    Jacques Stewart was born in 1973 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at Top Man at Guildford he went abroad to waste his education. In 1994, having failed to be crowned Emperor of the Cress, he joined a Fiat Punto to a tree and amputated his left foot. During both Gulf Wars, he watched them on the telly. His wartime experiences provided him with first-hand knowledge of his expanding waistline.After the wars he continued as a self-employed menace with a private income. He bought his house, House, in Oxfordshire and there at the age of forty he wrote The 007th Minute, a meretricious e-book slagging of the films featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 2744, seven people had downloaded it and one had even finished it, disappointed. Dr No, the first film featuring James Bond and starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and is one he actually quite likes and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes despite what he or any other anonymous human dust on the internet types about them. He is also the author of the magical children’s book You Were A Mistake.The opinions of Jacques Stewart were immediately recognised as total pus by his contemporaries 007izkewl, iluvpiersbrosmam and downloadtransformersfourherehotbabes. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.
    That, you already knew.

    This is not a serious experiment.

    It resolves nothing, and proves less. In seeking to establish what the 007th chapters of the Bond books tell us of the core ingredients of such enterprises, do not come expecting truth or revelation. The only fact that can be asserted of these brainbursts is that they are my opinions, but I might be lying about that, to tell the truth (or not). Nor are these pieces intended as a guide for aspiring writers of Bond – be they “official” or fan fiction. The latter category may glean nothing from this exercise; the Bond novels tend to have right good spelling and grammar. Plots. Characters. Big words. As far as those charged with filling remainder shops with licensed literary Bond go, they might just get depressed.

    However, if you’re familiar with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 (it’s a page-turner: the car chase is fab), you’ll be aware that copyright in literary works persists until 31 December of the seventieth year after the author’s death. Accordingly, in principle anyway, on 1 January 2035, it’s open season on Ian Fleming’s works. In principle. It may be quite tricky – you’re welcome to try, if you’re still around and fancy litigation as a retirement plan. There’s the small matter of the continuation novels and short stories, evidently created to better the cultural life of the planet and not just preserve rights (God forbid you’d think that: tchoh!) and the equally splendid situation that the books now come with the deathly warning that James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by IFP (kind of them). Trademark protection only lasts ten years, but critically it’s renewable (whereas, in so many ways, Ian Fleming is not, however many grave-based revolutions folks assert he performs on hearing (despite being heavily death) of a blond Bond or an invisible car). Given the happy-go-lucky good-natured attitude to their intellectual property that Danjaq have often demonstrated to this website, one suspects they’re unlikely to forget to send the form in on time.

    I suppose that doesn’t technically stop someone from using the text of (say) Thunderball and changing the name and number – seemed to be the heart of the McClory argument, that – but one would doubt both the sanity and the point. I’m in no position to judge either, though, as will rapidly emerge.

    Insfoar as there’s any structure to the venture, let’s play Goldfinger:

    Volume 1: Happenstance will concentrate on the Flemings;

    Volume 2: Coincidence on the Gardners and Bensons; and

    Volume 3: Enemy Action, Although It’s Actually Extremely Damaging Friendly Fire, What the Bloody Hell Are IFP Thinking? on the likes of Higson, Faulks, Deaver and Boyd.

    Knowing full well that I have been amiss on Amis and ungood on Wood and [something para-rhyming with Pearson (nothing para- rhymes with Pearson)] on Pearson, my views on their efforts will have to wait until this emerges as an e-book although if you’re that desperate to know, you can make a pretty accurate guess.As a clue, the overall structure may follow the classic dramatic arc of a first bit where everything’s sunshiney and delicious; middle part, all dark and horrible and nasty and stuff goes very wrong; third act, heroically back to form. Not too confident about that last one, frankly, but let’s get going.

    For the 007th chapter, I’m concentrating on the actual chapter itself as a snapshot of the written Bond. Whilst, as with the films, I could digress into laboured reviews of the remainder of the (de)merits of the product, that would necessitate having to read them all, and I have neither the time nor the patience nor (when it comes to more than a handful of the non-Fleming output) the absence of dignity.

    All “quotes” from texts are, unless otherwise stated, copyright Ian Fleming Publications Limited.

     

    The 007th Chapter – Casino Royale: Rouge et Noir

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    Helmut Schierer @ 2014-02-24
  4. The 007th Minute Ebook by Jacques I.M. Stewart

    007th Minute Ebook

     

    You wanted it. Well, some of you.

     

    007th Minute iPad TWINE

     

     

    Some of you even have been waiting for it.

     

    007th minute OP007th minute FRWL

     

    Should have been careful what you wish for, it’s finally here: The 007th Minute ebook. Together with an assortment of 24 illustrations to help you figure out what’s going on in the thing. And with the 007th Minute of ‘Next To You Bling Looks Fab’.

    007th Minute Pages NSNA

     

    No, wait a minute… the 007th Minute of ‘Never Say Never Again’, that was it. Previously unpublished, never before seen – outside CBn-House – material!

    007th minute CR

     

    007th Minute Book smallIf you download this ebook and want to have it printed and bound as a “real” book, click here to download a complete cover to go with it.

     

     

     

     

    To download the pdf click here: The 007th Minute Ebook Edition

    This download is not for sale and only available as a free service brought to you by CommanderBond.net. If you want to give something back in return please do consider to donate to UNICEF (link to their general donation site here, choose your location and continue) or any other cause of your personal choice.

    Only thing left for me to do now is wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy reading.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-12-22
  5. Ho-Ho-Ho…

    007th minute teaser2

     

     

    …soon-ish.

    Watch this space.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-12-15
  6. Bond reviews ‘Solo’

    Lost Café Bus Stop (c) by ‘peg’

    After many years of applying for an interview with James Bond, in late 2013 – in time to tie in with the publication of William Boyd’s Bond novel ‘Solo’ and officially just to give a unique review by its hero himself  – the Ministry of Defence finally granted us a brief visit at the secret location the agent inhabits for some years now. Accompanied by a number of plainclothes representatives from the Ministry’s branch of public relations, our rapporteur met James Bond in the discreet retirement installation for Her Majesty’s distinguished civil servants in the countryside. 

    Discuss this interview here

     

    At my inquiry after the whereabouts of Mr Bond a friendly nurse points to the garden. ‘Mr Bond is in our bus shelter in the park.’ Indeed, there is a glass shelter with one orange bench and a bus stop sign beside one of the gravel paths. My spirits sink immediately. Such shelters are used in retirement homes as a kind of anchor or brace, to keep disoriented patients from running away. They want to leave the strange foreign surroundings, see the bus stop and decide to just wait for the bus instead of walking the whole way home. It works remarkably well with most cases of senility and Alzheimer’s. Here I feel this has got to be some cruel prank by Whitehall, granting access to the world’s most famous secret agent only once he’s been reduced to a mumbling shadow of his former self. Nonetheless I head for the shelter, expecting the worst.

     

    Bond must have read my thoughts in my face. ‘Don’t worry, I haven’t become an avid advocate of public transport. It’s just because they don’t let us smoke inside,’ he says with a grim smile as he raises to meet me. ‘Too unhealthy. As if that would make any difference for our lot.’ He blows a dragon stream of smoke from his nostrils and measures me with his grey-blue eyes.

    ‘So – you are one of my “fans”? One of these “internet people” who write about me,’ Bond says with a wary glance and gives me a firm – if brief and somewhat bony – handshake. ‘Do take a seat.’

    I pause and look at the second figure at the far end of the bench, a small woman in a twin-set, a huge handbag on her knees, an air of mild abstraction around her. Apparently she’s searching for some obscure treasure, muttering to herself.

    ‘Oh, do not mind her at all, she’s busy with her bag.’ And in a lower voice he adds ‘Just pretend she’s waiting for her bus, OK?’

    So I sit to Bond’s left, the rummaging lady with her belongings at the other end, mumbling during most of the interview just below the level where it would disturb our talk.

     

    ‘Now, young man, let’s get this over with. What do you want to know?’ It’s obvious James Bond these days doesn’t enjoy this kind of PR duty too much, if at all.

    ‘Mr Bond, since when do you live here?’

    Bond frowns. ‘Young man, I was given to understand this interview was concerning itself with this new novel, ‘Solo’, and with nothing else. In fact that was one of the reasons I agreed to it in the first place.

    ‘But since you ask,’ he continues before I can apologise for my faux-pas, ‘ I’ve been living here for some years now; the blasted age, you see? I was living in Southern France, on Jamaica and on Guernsey before that. Good times – but there inevitably comes a point when you have to trade independence for the amenities a place like this provides.

    ‘Still, a damn nuisance I’m not even allowed to smoke in my own room,’ he adds with a frown. ‘Not as if I demand a King’s ransom, just a bit of privacy and personal freedom.’

    With this he shakes a fresh cigarette from an expensive looking carton and lights it on the stub he has just smoked down to the filter. Strewn around the bench are dozens of old cigarette butts, indicating this ersatz bus shelter is his favourite place around here.

    James Bond looks very much like himself: tall, relatively lean for his age – a wide chest hints to his former swimming days but also to high living – and his eyes still don’t show that rheumy look one usually associates with people of Bond’s age. If he has acquired a gut his tall built still helps keeping it in check. Bond’s hair has gone completely white and is much thinner, his face now heavily lined by the years and the adventures – so much so you can’t point to the famous thin scar any more – but otherwise this is undeniably James Bond.

    Through the smoke he looks at me, prodding me with a gesture to go on with the interview.

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-10-30
  7. Steve Cole’s take on Bond – Young Bond that is

    2014 will finally – after a six year hiatus – see the return of Young Bond. Welcome back, young friend! Quite a detention for ‘trouble with the maid’…

    Steve Cole, image courtesy RHCP UK

    However, James’ new adventures will not be written by Charlie Higson. This time Bond’s exploits, set during his years at Fettes College, will be penned by Steve Cole, amongst other occupations veteran writer of several Doctor Who novels and a couple of series in the children’s and young adult fiction segment. His  Astrosaurs series is currently the rage with young readers. And his Z-Rex Trilogy are three fast-paced adventure thrillers for young adult fans, mixing Jurassic Park with Alex Rider. Not hard to imagine Cole sending our young hero through some serious and mind-boggling action.

     

    Grateful thanks – as always – to John Cox/The Book Bond and CBn forum member ‘Major Tallon’ for the heads-up!

     

    Here is today’s official announcement from Random House Children’s Publishers:

     

    We are very excited today to announce that our very own Steve Cole has been selected by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. – the Fleming family-owned company – as the author of a new Young Bond series.

     

     

    Steve, who has written DOCTOR WHO and ASTROSAURS is thrilled to take on this exciting mission! These new books will pick up where Charlie Higson – the writer of the previous wave of Young Bond titles – left off and will follow teenage James in the aftermath of his expulsion from Eton. This time in Bond’s life has never been explored before and readers can expect all the thrills, action, glamour and tension that are the essential ingredients of a classic Bond adventure.

     

     

    Steve Cole says: ‘I first encountered Bond in print as a teenager, when I read From a View to a Kill. Fleming´s writing was so vivid and authentic, Bond and the world he inhabited seemed suddenly real to me – and the danger and glamour led me through book after book. It´s both a thrilling privilege and an exciting challenge now to be shaping a new era in the life of such an iconic character – with many firsts and surprises to come as James´s life in the dangerous 1930s develops.’

     

     

    Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., says, ‘Steve Cole is an imaginative and engaging author whose plots are addictive and gripping, so we were thrilled when he agreed to steer Young Bond through his mid-teen years. As publishers of Ian Fleming’s original Bond books and William Boyd’s new Bond continuation novel, SOLO, Random House are the perfect partner to work with us in bringing the next generation of Young Bond books to life. On behalf of Ian Fleming Publications and the Fleming family, I’d like to welcome Steve Cole to the exciting world of 007 – we can’t wait to see what scrapes James gets into next.’

     

     

    Look out for the first Young Bond novel in Autumn 2014. We cannot wait!

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-10-09
  8. Bond talks Boyd – or the other way round

     

    Vintage Books was so kind to do an interview with William Boyd about his views on  Fleming, Bond and naturally – there’s a reason they do these things for – on Boyd’s own James Bond novel ‘Solo’ (to be released on 26. September, tomorrow) and his approach to 007. So far they hold the lid on a third part – probably until the official release of ‘Solo’ – but here are the two clips already available online on Vintage’s YouTube channel

     

     

    Grateful thanks to CBner tdalton for keeping an eye on these things.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-09-25
  9. Intercepted: James Bond’s ‘Solo’ car

    image provided by wikipedia

    As the publicity machine for William Boyd’s upcoming James Bond continuation ‘Solo’ slowly gets into gear with an interview and part of the first chapter in today’s copy (21. September) of The Times John Cox/The Book Bond draws our attention to one other detail that emerged in the Mail Online coverage of ‘Solo’:  James Bond’s car in this adventure will be a Jensen.

    While Jensen Motors Ltd. isn’t exactly a household name with the average Bond fan Jensen models have surely had their impact on the spy/thriller genre of the era ‘Solo’ depicts. The Jensen Interceptor featured prominently in the TV series THE PROTECTORS with Robert Vaughn and later during Simon Dutton’s incarnation of The Saint. Connoisseurs of the literary spy adventure genre will of course be aware that a Jensen Interceptor is also one of Willie Garvin’s cars, both in Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise books and newspaper comic strips.

    Jensen FF image by wikipedia

    Jensen models  were famous for their unique combination of restrained British elegance with ruthless horsepower, exceptional performance on the road and highly innovative technology. Their model FF for example was the first non-all-terrain vehicle to use a four-wheel drive, preceding Audi’s Quattro and Subaru’s use by several years.

    It would seem  William Boyd’s version of James Bond is in very good company when driving a Jensen.

     

     

    Grateful thanks to Jacques Stewart and John Cox/The Book Bond for providing valuable background information.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-09-21
  10. A plot, a plot, my kingdom for a plot! For ‘Solo’…

    These days the most interesting news often come from the US side of the Atlantic, and not all of it ‘leaked’. Just look what intriguing detail John Cox and his blog The Book Bond dug out from the HarperCollins site, well hidden within the audio book section on the upcoming ‘SOLO’:

     

     

    It’s 1969, and, having just celebrated his forty-fifth birthday, James Bond—British special agent 007—is summoned to headquarters to receive an unusual assignment. Zanzarim, a troubled West African nation, is being ravaged by a bitter civil war, and M directs Bond to quash the rebels threatening the established regime.

    Bond’s arrival in Africa marks the start of a feverish mission to discover the forces behind this brutal war—and he soon realizes the situation is far from straightforward. Piece by piece, Bond uncovers the real cause of the violence in Zanzarim, revealing a twisting conspiracy that extends further than he ever imagined.


    Moving from rebel battlefields in West Africa to the closed doors of intelligence offices in London and Washington, this novel is at once a gripping thriller, a tensely plotted story full of memorable characters and breathtaking twists, and a masterful study of power and how it is wielded—a brilliant addition to the James Bond canon.

     

     

    Now that certainly sounds like a slightly different meal than just ‘KissKissBangBang’ with vodka martini chaser. Appetising.

     

    Grateful thanks to John Cox/The Book Bond for the heads-up and to HarperCollins for the original info!

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-08-27
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