There is an assortment of books that every Bond aficionado should have in their respective collection, of course the list is headed by Ian Fleming’s literary adventures and expands to include such works as Raymond Benson’s The James Bond Bedside Companion. A new book has now entrenched itself of the list of ‘must haves’, James Bond: The Legacy by John Cork and Bruce Scivally.
The first thing that anyone will notice about James Bond: The Legacy is its sheer size. Like the Bond legacy itself, this book is big! The only real way to describe it is as a coffee table book, yet it’s still slightly bigger. I sized it up against other coffee table books and it still about an inch or so bigger than any of the others.
Continuing with physical attributes, the book is put together quite nicely. If you remove the sleeve, which I found tends to crease on the top and bottom edges because of its size, the black cover is embossed with a gold ‘007’ logo, and the spine also has the books title and other details embossed.
However, its what is in side the James Bond: The Legacy that makes the book such a good buy; pictures. I would seriously buy this book for the pictures alone. When it first arrived, I sat down with the intention of flicking through the pictures, expecting to have seen most of them before now. I hadn’t. Four hours later I finished ‘flicking’ through the pages looking at so many unique photos, including some brilliant shots from Die Another Day. The unique photos extend from Ian Fleming, right through all the films until reaching Die Another Day.
The book’s content is also unique. Cork and Scivally have put together a book that does not tend to go into filming occurrences in depth, rather, the book tends to mainly highlight social influences. For example, the book speaks of changes to the scripts of a particular Bond film and the social influences that caused such a change. The opposite is also true as James Bond: The Legacy looks at how Bond has influences society.
Understandably, the book isn’t perfect. Its coverage of Die Another Day is ‘careful’ as the authors purposely try not to give away any spoilers. Moreover, the Die Another Day coverage is already, sadly, outdated due to its publication before the film is released. With the early release date it misses being able to cover an attempted return to Bond-fever, though it does mention the early progress of the new licensing campaign. And it also misses mentioning the real life events currently unfolding with North Korea’s secret nuclear weapons project.
Despite such ‘problems’, this is still one hell of a James Bond book, and is definitely one of the best released to date.