CommanderBond.net
  1. Pierce Brosnan – The fans speak.

    About a month ago I published an article on this site praising Pierce Brosnan, and detailing my thoughts and feelings about his films. I then asked you the readers to share your thoughts, the intention being that I’d release an article gathering those thoughts. Well, real life got in the way, my quarter was winding down and I had tests to be thinking about. Now with that out of the way (I passed my classes, btw), I can bring you the article (better late than never ;)).

    I posed this question, first, in the CommanderBond.net forums, and then on the main page itself. So first off, let’s hear from the forum members:

    DamnCoffee:

    As much as I think Roger is my favourite and Connery was the best, for me, Pierce Brosnan, will always be MY Bond. However cringe worthy the dialogue, or how unrealistic the action was, Brosnan will always hold a very special place in my heart. The Brosnan era was my childhood. He was the Bond I grew up with, and no matter how many people bash the guy, and accuse him of being the worst Bond of them all, I will defend him because, as strange as it sounds, I love the guy.

    Of course his era was plagued with problems. Acting, Scriptwriting, and at some times, total stupidity. The thing is though, no matter how bad that is, and how much I realise now that is NOT what makes a good film, at the time, I loved it. As a small child, seeing this brilliant hero, reinvented for the 90’s was just a total joy. ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ might have been my first Bond film, but Brosnan was my first true Bond. He will always hold a special place in my heart.

    continue reading…

    Tony DeCaro @ 2012-12-16
  2. James Bond Unmasked: A review.

    James Bond Unmasked is a book that I was greatly anticipating after I had read about it. A book that promises interviews from all six James Bond actors.

    continue reading…

    Tony DeCaro @ 2012-09-02
  3. CBn caught the bullet – and reviews it

    Having people everywhere is a lot of fun, especially when it entails getting one’s hands on stuff ordinary mortals will only be able to read on Monday. Just ask Jim, who was tasked with reviewing Mark O’Connell’s ‘Catching Bullets’ and evidently encountered a fully operative time machine…

     

     

     

     

     

     

    CATCHING BULLETS

    Q: What does A View to a Kill mean?
    A: Well, it’s just Goldfinger wrapped in a neon snood, yeah?

     

     

    It is 1984.

     

     

    Actually, stuff that and it’s 2012. One gapes at the ongoing massdebate about the design and packaging of the latest boxsetting attempt to resell us 22 films we all already own with a shakenheadedness betraying either a ) early onset of dementia or b ) and hopefully far more likely, the experience of a Wacadayed generation who would have never have dreamt of such sybaritic foolishness during their efforts to videorecord ITV’s latest butchered Bank Holiday offering of The Man with the Golden Gun, their crosslegged manual finger-tense timing of the pauses to miss adverts boasting the capabilities of the Austin Montego 1.6L interrupted by the regretfully whacked-back earslobber of a dying Labrador and aunts being vaguely cakey and talking over the beyond-one’s-comprehension-darkness of the really-quite-troubling Maud Adams lost-and-despairing-soul-Eurotrash-sex-slavery bits.

     

     

    continue reading…

    H.Sc. @ 2012-09-01
  4. ‘Now Playing Podcast’ hosts James Bond Retrospective Series.

    In celebration of the golden anniversary of James Bond, and the upcoming Bond film ‘Skyfall’, The ‘Now Playing Podcast‘, famous for its insightful and amusing film talk, dives into its long anticipated James Bond series on August 3rd 2012. Every week, two shows will be released, all the way till November.

    continue reading…

    Matthew Harkin @ 2012-08-11
  5. Looking Back: Ian Fleming's 'Thrilling Cities'

    'Thrilling Cities'

    Thrilling Cities US Signet Paperback

    Following up our examination of The Diamond Smugglers, Ian Fleming’s investigation into the diamond smuggling business, CommanderBond.net now moves on to the author’s 1963 collection of travel memoirs, Thrilling Cities.

    The book is a collection of articles originally written for the London Sunday Times examining 13 cities throughout the world based on two trips Fleming took between 1959 and 1960. As Fleming states in the opening of the book, the idea originated in October 1959 when Sunday Times features and literary editor Leonard Russell suggested that he should make a ’round trip of the most exciting cities in the world and describe them in beautiful, beautiful prose.’

    On 2 November, Fleming set off for a 30-day journey to visit Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York. The series of articles was a success for the Sunday Times and in the spring of 1960, they convinced Fleming to head off once more, this time for a tour of the following European cities: Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Geneva, Naples and lastly Monte Carlo.

    Finally in 1963, the two sets of articles were combined together and the result was Thrilling Cities: a would-be ordinary travel book turned extraordinary and well worth picking up for any fan of Fleming or James Bond.

    Ian Fleming

    Ian Fleming

    Round the world with Ian Fleming – even on paper the prospect is enticing. Hong Kong, Macao, Tokyo, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Geneva, Naples, Monte Carlo – these are his thrilling cities. He writes about them brilliantly, impressionistically, as no one else would or could, ostensibly for our entertainment yet not without giving us the benefit of some expert observation.

    All my life, he says, I have been interested in adventure and, abroad, I have enjoyed the frisson of leaving the wide, well-lit streets and venturing up back alleys in towns. It was perhaps this habit that turned me into a writer of thrillers, and, by the time I had made the two journeys that produced these essays, I had certainly got into the way of looking at people and places and things through a thriller-writer’s eye.

    It is not a habit commonly shared with more ordinary or leisurely travellers. Their interests have been studied in supplements of Incidental Intelligence to each chapter. Idiosyncratic information is therefore included in a most original and exciting travel book.

    UK Jonathan Cape First Edition Hardback

    'Thrilling Cities'

    The 1959 Journey

    • Hong Kong
    • Macau
    • Tokyo
    • Honolulu
    • Los Angeles and Las Vegas
    • Chicago
    • New York

    'Thrilling Cities'

    The 1960 Journey

    • Hamburg
    • Berlin
    • Vienna
    • Geneva
    • Naples
    • Monte Carlo

    Trivia & Notes

    Thrilling Cities is one of three non-Bond published works by author Ian Fleming. The other two are The Diamond Smugglers and the popular children’s tale Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    As Fleming mentions in the Author’s Note to the book, Thrilling Cities contains the complete, unedited versions of his articles.

    Fleming’s visits to Los Angeles and Las Vegas are combined into a single article in the book.

    In each article, Fleming includes a section entitled ‘Incidential Intelligence’ at the end which makes special note of hotels, restaurants and night-life locales worth visiting.

    Thrilling Cities was first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape in 1963 and in the US by New American Library in 1964 (both regular publishers of Fleming’s James Bond novels). These releases coincided with the debut publications of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.

    'Thrilling Cities'

    Thrilling Cities US New American Library Hardback

    The UK Reprint Society Book Club edition of Thrilling Cities was a special edition limited to World Books members.

    Pan Books split Thrilling Cities into two parts for the first UK paperback printing (the 1959 journey in part one and the 1960 journey in part two).

    The UK editions of Thrilling Cities contain numerous photographs, while the US editions instead have illustrations by Milton Glaser that preceed each article.

    The US Aeonian Press hardback, published in 1976, is particularly difficult for collectors to obtain as only 150 copies were printed.

    In March 2008, it was announced that The Diamond Smugglers and Thrilling Cities, both long out of print, would be published in all-new hardback editions to mark the centenary of author Ian Fleming. Both titles are slated to be released in 2009. The Diamond Smugglers will be introduced by Fergus Fleming and Thrilling Cities by Jan Morris.

    Release Timeline

    • 1963: 1st British Jonathan Cape Hardback Edition
    • 1964: 1st American New American Library Hardback Edition
    • 1964: 1st British Pan Paperback Edition (Part 1)
    • 1964: 1st British Pan Paperback Edition (Part 2)
    • 1964: 1st British Reprint Society Book Club Hardback Edition
    • 1964: 1st American New American Library Book Club Hardback Edition
    • 1965: 1st American Signet Paperback Edition
    • 19??: 1st American Dutton Hardback Edition
    • 1976: 1st American Aeonian Press Hardback Edition
    • 1987: 1st American Amereon Press Hardback Edition
    • 2009: 1st British Penguin Books Hardback Edition

    007 in New York

    'Thrilling Cities'

    Thrilling Cities UK Jonathan Cape Hardback

    As Ian Fleming makes quite clear in his article examining New York, it was the city he clearly enjoyed the least on his worldwide tour. Editors of the US edition of Thrilling Cities picked up on this and asked Fleming to provide some sort of additional material to counterpoint the author’s apparent distaste for the city. Fleming obliged by including the (short!) James Bond short story 007 in New York:

    ‘By way of a postscript I might say I am well aware these grim feelings I’ve expressed for New York may shock or depress some of my readers. In fact, I would be disappointed if this were not the case. In deference to these readers, I here submit the record of another visitor to the city, a friend of mine with the dull name of James Bond, whose tastes and responses are not always my own and whose recent minor adventure in New York (his profession is a rather odd one) may prove more cheerful in the reading.’

    Ian Fleming

    The 007 in New York short story was only included in US editions of Thrilling Cities and for several decades remained the only place for literary Bond fans to turn to read it (although the story was originally published in the The New York Herald Tribune in 1963). It finally debuted in the UK in 1999 in a magazine supplement to the Sunday Times. Following this, it was added as the fourth short story to the Octopussy and The Living Daylights collection, which was first published in the UK by Penguin Books in 2002 and in the US in 2004. It remains in this collection in all reprints and new publications since then.

    For complete details on 007 in New York, including the recipe for Scrambled Eggs “James Bond”, visit this CommanderBond.net article.

    ‘It’s almost as fun as 007 battling SMERSH for the safety of Fort Knox. Other travel tomes may list beaches and shopping centers but Fleming concentrats on the more interesting matters: bawdy houses, GIRLS, gambling, GIRLS, whiskey, GIRLS, dirty entertainment—with and without GIRLS. He provides a sort of Playboy guide to…the cities where James Bond would go for recreation.’

    Denver Post

    Your Own Opinion On Thrilling Cities

    Want to share your thoughts and opinion on Thrilling Cities? Feel free to discuss this little-known non-Bond book by Ian Fleming by visiting this thread on the CommanderBond.net Forums.

    Keep watching the CommanderBond.net main page—and our Twitter feed—for the most up-to-date literary James Bond coverage on the web.

    Devin Zydel @ 2009-06-10
  6. Looking Back: Ian Fleming's 'The Diamond Smugglers'

    Mention the name Ian Fleming and it is his James Bond novels and short story collections that almost always come to mind. However, as dedicated literary 007 fans are well aware, Bond’s creator also managed to pen a few adventures that didn’t feature his world-famous British secret agent.

    'The Diamond Smugglers'

    The Diamond Smugglers UK Jonathan Cape Hardback

    One of which was The Diamond Smugglers, published in late 1957, a few months after the release of the author’s highly successful James Bond adventure, From Russia with Love. One of the author’s few non-fiction books (the other being 1963’s Thrilling Cities), The Diamond Smugglers expanded upon several articles Fleming had written for the London Sunday Times during the year. As a side note, the articles appeared in print in September and October 1957.

    The book investigates a massive smuggling racket that saw more than £10 million worth of diamonds moving illicitly from Johannesburg, South Africa and Freetown, Sierra Leone in Africa to Europe. The principal players include:

    • Ian Fleming (naturally, as the reader’s guide to the story being laid out)
    • Sir Percy Sillitoe, KBE, DL, former head of MI5. After retirement in early 1950’s, was hired by the De Beers company to put an end to the current diamond smuggling operations
    • “John Blaize” of the International Diamond Security Organization: alias for the secret agent chief under Sir Percy Sillitoe who was responsible for penetrating the smuggling network and then later contacted Fleming in April 1957 to discuss the operation. He also provides the introduction to The Diamond Smugglers.

    In chapter one of The Diamond Smugglers, Fleming describes how he first came to hear of “John Blaize” upon receiving a phone call from an acquaintance:

    'The Diamond Smugglers'

    The Diamond Smugglers US Macmillan Hardback

    It was a friend. He sounded mysterious. ‘You remember that job Sillitoe was on? Well, it’s just finished and his chief operator says he’ll now tell you what it was all about. He’s amused by your books, particularly that diamond-smuggling one. He thinks you’d be able to write his story. He’s ready to tell you everything within reason—names, dates, places. I’ve heard some of it and it’s terrific. But you’d have to meet him in Africa—Tangier probably. Can you get away?’

    The Diamond Smugglers

    What follows is a detailed account of the International Diamond Security Organizaton’s attempts to put an end to the ‘million carat network’—the known diamond smuggling routes stretching across Africa and into various cities in Europe as well as Moscow.


    'The Diamond Smugglers'

    The Diamond Smugglers UK Pan Paperback

    The diamonds that glitter so brilliantly on a beautiful woman’s throat may very possibly conjure a whole spectrum of crime, from simple theft to murder and treason. No other precious stone is so closely identified with man’s love of luxury, his greed and his rapacity. The fascination felt for diamonds is undeniable and universal, and this intense interest and curiousity extends to those who deal in them, especially in an unlawful way.

    The Diamond Smugglers is a true account of the greatest smuggling racket in the world – the illicit passage of diamonds out of Africa, to the tune of 28 million dollars a year.

    In April of 1957, Ian Fleming met John Blaize, nom de guerre of the secret agent chief responsible for penetrating the international smuggling network which ranged from Johannesburg and Freetown to Paris, Antwerp, Beirut – and Moscow.

    Blaise gave Fleming all the facts of the three-year campaign which he and his colleagues had waged against the diamond pirates on behalf of the famous Diamond Syndicate. Dealing factually with the materials of a thriller, this true story takes you to the armed camps in which the stones are mined and then follows the course of the operatives and their quarries, cataloguing names, dates, criminal techniques, methods of detection and apprehension. Among others, you meet Monsieur Diamant, “a big hard chunk of a man” enormously wealthy, outwardly respectable – and utterly ruthless.

    The British press has termed The Diamond Smugglers “the greatest spy story since World War II.” All in all, a tailor-made real-life subject for the author such fictional spinecurlers as From Russia with Love, Casino Royale, Moonraker and (appropriately enough) Diamonds are Forever.

    US Macmillan First Edition Hardback

    Trivia & Notes

    The Diamond Smugglers is one of three non-Bond published works by author Ian Fleming. The other two are Thrilling Cities and the popular children’s tale Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    'The Diamond Smugglers'

    The Diamond Smugglers US Collier Paperback

    This was the first Ian Fleming-penned book to carry the “© Glidrose Productions Ltd.” copyright notation (the company that holds the publishing rights to the official James Bond novels). This copyright was included on all of the following James Bond novels and short story collections that followed through 1968’s Colonel Sun. The company name was changed to Glidrose Publications Ltd. from 1973’s James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 through 1998’s The Facts of Death. For 1999’s High Time to Kill, the name was changed once more to Ian Fleming Publications Limited, which it continue to be known as today.

    Two different states of the UK Jonathan Cape first edition hardback exist: the first state includes gold titling on the spine, while the second is white.

    Numerous illustrations are included in the book. These are included in all UK and US hardback and paperback printings, with the exception of the US Dell paperback. A map of the ‘million carat network’ is included as one of the illustrations.

    As noted on the inside rear flap of the US Macmillan hardback, screen rights for The Diamond Smugglers were purchased by J. Arthur Rank.

    The US Aeonian Press hardback, published in 1976, is particularly difficult for collectors to obtain as only 300 copies were printed.

    The Diamond Smugglers was included in the highly collectible Ian Fleming Centenary collection published by Queen Anne Press in October 2008.

    In March 2008, it was announced that The Diamond Smugglers and Thrilling Cities, both long out of print, would be published in all-new hardback editions to mark the centenary of author Ian Fleming. Both titles are slated to be released in 2009. The Diamond Smugglers will be introduced by Fergus Fleming and Thrilling Cities by Jan Morris.

    Release Timeline

    • 1957: 1st British Jonathan Cape Hardback Edition
    • 1958: 1st American Macmillan Hardback Edition
    • 1960: 1st British Pan Paperback Edition
    • 1964: 1st American Collier Paperback Edition
    • 1965: 1st American Dell Paperback Edition
    • 1976: 1st American Aeonian Press Hardback Edition
    • 1987: 1st American Amereon Press Hardback Edition
    'The Diamond Smugglers'

    The Diamond Smugglers US Dell Paperback

    A major campaign against the greatest smuggling racket in the world – the smuggling of diamonds from Africa, to the tune of some ten million pounds a year
    – has just been completed. It took three years, Paris was involved and Antwerp, Beirut, Freetown, Johannesburg – and Moscow.

    How this underground battle was waged is the greatest spy story since the war.

    All the facts have come to the hands of Ian Fleming. He has been in Africa with the secret agent chiefly responsible for penetrating the international smuggling network. Ian Fleming has written this man’s story: it is a true story, and breathtaking.

    UK Jonathan Cape Hardback Edition

    Your Own Opinion On The Diamond Smugglers

    Want to share your thoughts and opinion on The Diamond Smugglers? Feel free to discuss this little-known non-Bond book by Ian Fleming by visiting this thread on the CommanderBond.net Forums.

    Keep watching the CommanderBond.net main page—and our Twitter feed—for the most up-to-date literary James Bond coverage on the web.

    Devin Zydel @ 2009-05-25
  7. Looking Back: Licence To Kill

    Completing the CBn John Gardner ‘Looking Back’ series will be his 1989 novelization, Licence To Kill (released after original novel Scorpius and before Win, Lose Or Die). This is the first of two James Bond novelisations written by Gardner, the first being GoldenEye in 1995. As is the case with the GoldenEye novelization, Licence To Kill has become one of the more difficult novels for Bond fans to collect, but it is worth the effort. Included are trivia notes about the book and CBn forum fan reactions…

    James Bond is back… And in this exciting novelization of the major motion picture, “Gardner maintains the Bond tradition!” (Indianapolis News), as the phenomenal Agent 007, created by Ian Fleming, continues his incredible forays into danger.

    This time, Bond’s in the Florida Keys, on leave from the British Secret Service, where he’s about to be best man at the wedding of his old friend, ex-CIA agent Felix Leiter, who now heads the DEA. On their way to church, they learn that billionaire druglord Franz Sanchez is within reach in the Bahamas. After a land and air chase that finds Bond reeling in Sanchez’ aircraft while dangling beneath a state-of-the-art Coast Guard Aerospatiale helicopter, the vicious criminal is captured.

    But soon Sanchez is freed in a cleverly engineered escape, and he exacts a horrible revenge on Leiter and his bride. What started out as a joyous wedding becomes a nightmare for Bond as he’s pitted against a master villain who gives the word “bad” a new dimension. 007 is prepared to do anything: ignore Secret Service orders… even lose his licence to kill.

    This new James Bond adventure has no lack of high-powered motor propulsion… or threatening modes of death (including sharks and electric eels). And, of course, the beautiful Bond girls and the Secret Service team of “Q”, “M” and Miss Moneypenny have their parts to play in Licence To Kill

    A United Artists release, the motion picture Licence To Kill stars Timothy Dalton as James Bond and features a star-studded supporting cast.

    US Book Club Hardback Edition

    Trivia

    Japanese edition of 'Licence To Kill'

    Japanese edition of Licence To Kill

    • The only John Gardner novel/novelization that was not released in a Large Print format.
    • There was no UK hardback release of Licence To Kill–only the Coronet paperback edition
    • In the US, the first true release of the novel was the 1989 Charter paperback edition (there is also a US Book Club hardback edition that uses the same cover art). What followed were four extremely rare hardback releases: A signed/slipcased hardback (limited to 26 lettered editions), a signed/slipcased hardback (limited to 100 numbered editions), an unsigned blue-colored hardback, and a trade hardback that uses cover art similar to the UK paperback. Any and all hardback editions of Licence To Kill fetch very high prices on eBay making it one of the more difficult Gardner novels to obtain for collectors; the others being GoldenEye and COLD.

    ‘The Bond series can still hold the reader!’

    Sacramento Bee

    Release Timeline

    • 1989: 1st British Coronet Paperback Edition
    • 1989: 1st American Charter Paperback Edition
    • 1989: 1st American Book Club Hardback Edition
    • 1990: 1st American Armchair Detective Library Lettered Limited Hardback Edition
    • 1990: 1st American Armchair Detective Library Numbered Limited Hardback Edition
    • 1990: 1st American Armchair Detective Library Hardback Edition
    • 1990: 1st American Armchair Detective Library Trade Hardback Edition

    Forum Reviews

    Just read Gardner’s Licence To Kill novelization, it was a pretty good read, more action packed than the usual Gardner outing of course. One thing about it was curious though – Gardner appears to try and make Licence To Kill part of the book canon. Bizarrely, it is revealed that Felix Leiter had ALREADY been mauled by the shark in Live And Let Die the book, and now he gets the mauling again, with his artificial arm and leg getting bitten off?! This didn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. Why did he incorporate the events of Live And Let Die into the story?

    Stranger still, we don’t even get the shark mauling scene in the book, which is the pivotal event of the entire film. Nor do we get a lot of Sanchez’s early scenes, like talking to Krest at the warehouse or offering a bribe to Killifer (Killifer himself talks about this scene to Felix…its kind of odd that Killifer would say this in front of Felix and Bond when presumably he’d already accepted Sanchez’s offer.) I guess perhaps Gardner was trying to make it more book-like by keeping the villain mostly out of sight until the second half, I’ve noticed many of his and Fleming’s stories like to do this.
    Yeah anyway it wasn’t bad, I’ll give it a moderate thumbs up.

    CBn Forum member ‘dinovelvet’

    I like it that he tries to reconcile Leiter’s injuries with those he suffered in the novels. Since Gardner is writing in book format, it makes sense to make Felix’s injuries fall in line with the previously written works. I’ve always felt that the books were one medium or series and the films were another and Gardner’s Licence To Kill follows that line of thinking. It’s a really good read too–one of my favorites.

    CBn Forum member ‘Double Oh-Agent’

    Definitely not You Only Live Twice material, and not as good as Gardner’s own Icebreaker, but it isn’t all that bad.

    I’d classify it with James Bond and Moonraker, the second Wood novelisation which followed the screenplay so closely that I found it tedious to read through. Not that Licence To Kill was tedious, but it seems to be the most comparable novelisation–a step above Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.

    CBn Forum member ‘General Koskov’

    I find the novelization even worse than the movie, and that isn’t good. It was poorely written with no lame descriptions of characters and locations. The locations were also very boring, not exotic at all (that is the scripts fault of course).

    The Licence To Kill novelization was a very poor effort from Mr. Gardner…

    CBn Forum member ‘Kronsteen’

    Personally, I found it quite amusing. Of course, it’s not so good as The Spy Who Loved Me novelization. (No one has yet come close to Wood’s work. The only tie-in I respect). Still Licence To Kill is on the level with Win, Lose Or Die, No Deals, Mr. Bond and other good Gardner’s works. If I hadn’t seen the movie, I would take the Licence To Kill novelization as another book in the series. Which I cannot say about the GoldenEye book. GoldenEye seem to be a flop.

    CBn Forum member ‘Grubozaboyschikov’

    That novelisation is probably my favorite Bond work by Gardner. I always felt that he was a so-so story-teller, but great with words (I guess this is the general concensus, though).

    CBn Forum member ‘Pussfeller’

    In my opinion, John Gardner’s Licence To Kill novelization is one of the better entries in the “rollercoaster” of highs and lows (in terms of fan appeal) that starts after No Deals, Mr. Bond.

    As is the case with his GoldenEye novelization, Gardner was able to create one of his better Bond adventures with the general storyline already plotted out by the screenplay. Recommended.

    CBn Forum member ‘Qwerty’

    The Looking Back at John Gardner Series:

    Related Articles:

    Devin Zydel @ 2007-06-01
  8. Looking Back: GoldenEye

    Keeping in line with the 10 year anniversary of GoldenEye, the CBn Looking Back series will focus on John Gardner’s GoldenEye novelisation. This is the second of two James Bond novelisations written by Gardner, the first being Licence To Kill in 1989. GoldenEye has become one of the more difficult novels for Bond fans to collect, but it is well worth the effort. It was written in 1995 and released between continuation novels SeaFire and Cold. Included are trivia notes about the book and CBn forum fan reactions.

    UK First Edition Hardback

    UK First Edition Hardback

    The first thing James Bond notices about Xenia Onatopp is her yellow Ferrari, as it races Bond’s Aston Martin along the narrow Corniche. The second thing he notices is that she is beautiful, Russian – and fascinatingly dangerous.

    Once Xenia worked for the KGB. But her new master is Janus, a powerful and ambitious Russian leader who no longer cares about ideology. Janus’s ambitions are money and power: his normal business methods include theft and murder. And he has just acquired GoldenEye, a piece of high-tech space technology with the power to destroy or corrupt the West’s financial markets.

    But Janus has underestimated his most determined enemy.

    James Bond is soon in St. Petersburg on the track of Xenia and Janus, armed with the latest high-tech weaponry. He will need it all, as he uncovers his most dangerous adversary yet.

    UK First Edition Hardback

    Trivia

    UK Proof

    UK Proof

    • The only John Gardner novelization (one of two) to be released in Large Print format.
    • No US hardback of GoldenEye exists.
    • The UK audio book was narrated by GoldenEye‘s Miss Moneypenny, Samantha Bond.
    • The Book Club Associates (BCA) edition was released in 1995 before the UK First Edition hardback in 1996. This is unusual because the BCA edition of the James Bond books is usually released after UK First Edition. Incidentally, both the UK and US paperback versions also precede the UK hardback. Both UK and BCA hardback editions fetch high prices from bidders on eBay making GoldenEye one of the more difficult Gardner novels to obtain in First Edition format, the others being Licence To Kill and Cold.

    Forum Reviews

    French Edition

    French Edition

    GoldenEye is the only John Gardner novel I have read to date. It wasn’t bad, but I felt that it seemed too restricted because of the way the film went, and I expected a tad more. Obviously it wouldn’t be like other Bond novels as it was an adaptation from a film, so I’m not a big fan of these. However, I did think that Gardner did well. I liked the longer version of the pre-title sequence, in how it explains what Bond’s mission was, I thought it was done pretty well. I liked how Bond’s battles with Trevelyan were written, and I thought it added more depth to both characters and showed more history between them. I didn’t really like Bond’s conversations with Wade, calling him “Jacko” really didn’t sound like what Bond would say, and I thought that Gardner tried to hard to make Bond seem more attached to Natalya. In my opnion, Natalya was just another Bond girl-nothing special-but Gardner tried to make her into much more.

    It isn’t the worst book I’ve read, but it’s still given me a bad introduction to Gardner and to book adaptations of films. If anyone could recommend a better Gardner/film novel to me then perhaps my opinion will change. Overall I’d give GoldenEye 6 out of 10.

    CBn Forum member Carver

    For a novelization it’s not bad but Gardner’s Licence To Kill was a little better. It’s hard to keep these things from coming off as extended recaps of the movies and GoldenEye almost makes it, but not quite.

    CBn Forum member Genrewriter

    US Paperback Edition

    US Paperback Edition

    I’m not a fan of novelizations in the first place, because they usually don’t have anything to add; with GoldenEye, the main point of interest is the way Gardner has to explain how 007 evades the Russian military after his wrecking half of St. Petersburg, and how he then manages to escape to Puerto Rico. Just a simple cut away in the film version, but that’s not something you can do in a novel. It’s a daunting task and Gardner does a great job making the events at least 50% plausible. But still, it never really is Gardner’s Bond we’re reading about, it’s the screenwriters’ Bond. The proceedings have a hurried feel to them, and Gardner seldom goes deeply into details. Still, GoldenEye is Tolstoy compared to Tomorrow Never Dies, the Benson novelization. After having read that, I’ll never pick up another novelization.

    CBn Forum member Lounge Lizard

    Russian Edition

    Russian Edition

    This was actually the first Gardner book I read (I didn’t know at the time he’d done any!). I was about 14 at the time, and I did enjoy it. Looking back, it’s not that bad; not the best novel ever written, but pretty solid. I did like how Gardner explained what the dog-sled team was doing there, just in time to save Natalya. It also seems more plausible how Bond destroys the antena at the end, rather than just sticking a pipe in the chain.

    CBn Forum member Mr Malcolm

    Personally, I prefer the GoldenEye novelization to the GoldenEye film itself but that may be due to the fact I read it before seeing the film.

    CBn Forum member PrinceKamalKhan

    German Edition

    German Edition

    From my point of view, the James Bond books from John Gardner often seem to be on a “rollercoaster” of sorts in terms of fan appeal of them. I think that is the case from No Deals, Mr. Bond to his final novel, Cold. His 15th James Bond story and second novelization, after 1989’s Licence To Kill, GoldenEye is one of the better ones in his run.

    It’s quite often that one sees The Man From Barbarossa being slammed and other novels such as Win, Lose Or Die or Never Send Flowers cited as average, but when Gardner had the storyline already plotted out for him so to speak, I think he created a good novelization. That is the case both with GoldenEye here and Licence To Kill earlier.

    The pretitle sequence of this novelization is good, clearly staying in line with that of the film. All the characters also stay in line with the ones in the film as well; a good thing, since most of them are solid chararacters in the Bond franchise. The overall mood of the film, which I think is much darker than several others, is also present in the novelization. John Gardner has written better Bond novels for certain, but GoldenEye is definitely one for the fan to pick up. A solid 3 out of 5.

    CBn Forum member Qwerty

    The Looking Back at John Gardner Series:

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    Devin Zydel @ 2005-11-18
  9. 'James Bond: The Man and His World'

    Since the debut of Casino Royale in 1953, James Bond’s habits, views, love life, equipment, and Charles Helfensteinadventures have all been celebrated, debated and dissected by critics and Bond fans all over the globe. 52 years later, one wonders, what can Henry Chancellor’s James Bond The Man and His World bring to the table?

    The answer is, it brings plenty. At 256 pages, with 188 illustrations, there is a lot here to please even the most seasoned Bond enthusiast. Chancellor is a noted World War II historian and documentary producer, but the big story is that for the first time, Ian Fleming Publications has opened it’s complete archive to an author, and allowed him to quote from notebooks, correspondence, and manuscripts.

    For further insight into the process that brought us Bond’s adventures, souvenirs from Fleming’s research trips to casinos, restaurants, and exotic locations are pictured throughout the work.

    Structurally, the book shares some similarities with Raymond Benson’s James Bond Bedside Companion. There are chapters on Ian Fleming’s life, the genesis of James Bond, his tastes in food, his equipment, etc., along with individual sections for each novel. Chancellor has turned up all kinds of new information about character and plot origins (Miss Moneypenny was originally Miss Pettavel?), as well as possible influences.

    James Bond: The Man and His World

    ‘James Bond: The Man and His World’ by Henry Chancellor

    Although John Pearson and Andrew Lycett covered Fleming’s life in great detail, Chancellor does an excellent job of examining the formative years of 007’s creator, and has uncovered a number of interesting Fleming family photos that have not been previously published.

    While the information on Fleming and the literary Bond is extremely strong, the television and film portion of Bond’s world is given a scant 6 pages, and sadly has some factual errors regarding production dates and casting.

    The book is very well designed, but there are two caveats. Advertisements for products that Bond uses are shown throughout the book, and while the ads are interesting and provide a 50s & 60s visual flair, they aren’t from Fleming’s archive. So the reader has to flip to the back in the photo credits to see if certain things were put in there by the designer, or if they were part of Fleming’s original research.

    The second caveat is that the reader is teased by a number of interesting items from the archives that are only shown in the briefest of glimpses. A partial memo here, a snippet of a letter there, they only serve as an exercise in frustration, as the reader can see what the item looks like but can’t read the contents.

    Those issues aside, James Bond The Man and His World is an absolute must for all fans of Ian Fleming and James Bond. Excellent research and fascinating images combine to form a totally unique look at 007 and his creator.

    James Bond: The Man and His World is now available for purchase at Amazon.co.uk.

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    Charles Helfenstein @ 2005-10-26
  10. 'Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies'

    Every moment in time has it’s own cultural lexicon. Each year we get a new wave Charles Helfensteinof popular songs, movies, politicians, scandals, fads, fashions and trends. And while some of these things become well known, others pass into obscurity.

    Four of Ian Fleming’s novels have passed the 50th anniversary since they were written, and what may have been a household name a half century ago can easily puzzle a reader from today. Cultural references that were common in Fleming’s time are in many cases no longer valid, or may have even changed meanings.

    Thankfully, modern readers now have an annotated guide to Ian Fleming’s work that can help them better understand the author’s meaning and James Bond’s world as it existed in the 50s and 60s.

    John Griswold’s Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies is much more than just a cultural encyclopedia however, as he also provides translations of the foreign words spoken in the novels, complete timelines (down to the minute in some cases) of Bond’s adventures, maps (including a hole – by hole pictorial recreation of Goldfinger’s golf game), other illustrations, and descriptions of the differences between Fleming’s original manuscripts at the Lilly Library and the published novels. The book is 474 pages long, with 62 illustrations included.

    For Bond’s card games, there are illustrated recreations of hands as well as inflationary adjustments of the monetary winnings (in both Pounds and Dollars), to put the figures in better context.

    The chronologies are bound to be the most controversial part of the book, and Griswold has acknowledged that they are open to interpretation. Whether you agree with his timeline or not, it is the first time such an exercise has appeared in print (others have appeared online), and since Fleming would often contradict himself from book to book, it’s quite a challenge to even attempt such a feat.

    John Griswold's 'Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies'

    John Griswold’s ‘Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies’

    20 years in the making, the book is full of gems on every page. I was delighted to see an illustration of Bond’s highest award, the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. I had always wondered what the medal looked like, and was intrigued to learn that it has a different design on each side. In the entry for Dom Perignon, I was amused to learn that Bond’s favorite “passion juice” was named after a monk.

    My one quibble with the book is that some entries do not disclose information that might provide a clue as to why the Fleming used it. For instance the entry for The Daily Express states simply that it is “a British newspaper started in 1900.” Personally I would have mentioned that Fleming had a very good relationship with the paper and its owner Lord Beaverbrook, considering that it serialized the Bond adventures starting in 1956, and it created and syndicated the James Bond comic strip starting in 1958.

    I suppose however, that to disclose Fleming links for every entry might easily double the size of the publication – and since it’s almost 500 pages already that would not be feasible.

    Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies is a landmark work, and it deserves to be on every Bond fan’s reference shelf.

    For more information, visit Griswold’s page at Authorhouse.

    Purchase from Amazon.com (U.S.)

    Purchase from Amazon.co.uk (UK)

    Charles Helfenstein @ 2005-06-05
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