1. A CBn Review of 'James Bond: The Legacy'

    By johncox on 2002-10-16

    There have been a lot of books written about the James Bond films and phenomenon; I should know because I’ve read them all! That’s why I feel uniquely qualified and very confident in saying that this latest book, James Bond: The Legacy (written by the two gentlemen who produced the special edition James Bond DVDs) is without a doubt THE best book yet written about the James Bond films! If you’re baffled as to which book to add to you movie library, look no further because here you will find information and photos that you will not find anywhere else.

    What makes this book so good? Well, first off, it’s HUGE in size! A great coffee table book to be sure. The graphic layout is extremely well done and all the films are given equal time (not the case with some of the other books which tend to fixate on the Connery era). Also, for the first time in any official publication, we have coverage of the two “unofficial” James Bond films: Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale. Up until now these two “rogue” films have been missing from all official publications for legal reasons. James Bond: The Legacy is the first book to be published after MGM took ownership of these films, so now we are able to learn the fascinating stories of how they came to be made and, most interestingly, how they impacted and influenced the official series. Great stuff!

    But what I like most about James Bond: The Legacy is how the authors look at each film within the historical context of when it was made. They focus not only on what was going on with the Bond producers at the time, but also what was going on in the world; what socio-political and even cinematic trends the Bond films were keying into. This really brings a new understanding to each film and helps explain why James Bond has endured while other “pop culture spies” (Matt Helm, Derek Flint, xXx) failed to connect beyond their time and have long since disappeared. Most people think James Bond films are “all the same”, but you will discover here that they are not. In this book I learned how throughout its amazing 20-year history the Bond filmmakers made subtle–and sometimes very bold–changes in the tone of the series and to the character of James Bond himself. This is much more than a simple look at the production and plot of each film, this is a major work on one of the most famous fictional characters of the 20th century. Oh, and the book also gives a detailed look at the new Bond movie, Die Another Day, with some pictures that lead me to believe this could be the best Bond movie of them all! This alone makes it stand above the rest as definitive.

    James Bond: The Legacy is a must buy for all James Bond fans and anyone interested in 20th century popular culture. Again, if you buy just one book about James Bond, make it this one.

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  2. Ways To Become James Bond

    By daniel on 2002-09-25

    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

    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, Paul Kyriazi’s website, where eight sample pages of the text can be viewed.


  3. How London Does It!

    By Guest writer on 2002-02-04

    Written by Ajay Chowdhury

    James Bond’s London (Published in November 2001 by Daleon Enterprises) is subtitled “A Reference Guide to the Birthplace of 007 & His Creator” and takes the reader on a journey through the London of the Ian Fleming novels and the Eon productions only.

    As “a collection of villages”, London is an unwieldy place to organize sensibly but Giblin has succeeded by dividing book into two parts, the first dealing with locations in 27 districts of Central London and the second dealing with the sites in the outer rim of Greater London.

    Each entry is symbolized as being either a “Literary” or “Film” locale (leaf and reel life sites), an “Ian Fleming” or “Spy” locale (dealing with the Bond creator’s and real life espionage haunts), a “Disguised” locale (a site re-dressed by film productions). Each of the above is further distinguished as a “Trespassers Will Be Eaten” locale (stay away and do not bother the natives!) or a “Shaken and Stirred” locale (visit at all costs!). Information on how to get to each locale is included and various sites are accompanied by black and white photographs either of the locale being used in James Bondage or as the location looks today. The book also features a foreward by old Eonian, Peter Hunt, a special tribute to Ian Fleming by Christopher Lee and a superbly stylish cover from Jeff Marshall.

    An obvious labour of love, Giblin has sculptured one of the most useful and interesting James Bond reference books ever published. With access to core Eon personnel (many of whom remain the enduring, unsung heroes of the Bond films) and the archives of Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Limited (the literary copyright holders of Ian Fleming’s spy) as well as an assortment of colourful characters, Giblin has discovered a wealth of new information on the world of James Bond. The use of photographs is sparing yet stunning. There are some wonderful production shots, premiere night stills but the piece de resistance is a shot of Broccoli, Saltzman, Connery and Fleming at a contract signing – brilliant! The entry by each location has been meticulously researched and creatively referenced from a dazzling depth and array of sources. The connective tissue the book provides makes Britain’s capital come alive with James Bond history.

    The book also serves a multi-faceted guide through London’s modern lore. History hounds, cineastes and literature buffs will find many fascinating and surprising entries seemingly unconnected with Bond but bound by links which any serious study of Bond will unearth. At its best, Bondmania is "edu-tainment", an almost scholastic activity whose net encompasses a whole lot more than just its kernel of a series of films and novels. The world of 007 is a portal to learning about writing and publishing, film appreciation, travel and international affairs, and James Bond’s London is strong evidence of 007 being a touchstone of popular culture in the 20th Century.

    But don’t get the impression that Giblin has written a dry, academic text. It is shot through with knowing humour and studded with a trivia quiz challenging enough for the most hardened Bond fan as well as a clever 007-point guide to enhancing your trip to London. The reviewer is a Londoner who often entertains foreign visitors to the city and can vouch for the accuracy and sense of the entries and the user guide and would urge all readers of the book to employ Giblin’s sage-like advice if in London.

    Gary Giblin has promised to return with James Bond’s Britain and hopefully James Bond’s Europe and James Bond’s America and on the strength of this book, the reader will be eager to travel with Giblin again. James Bond’s London is an undoubted James Bond bible and an instant 007 Collector’s classic.

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  4. A Glimpse At 'James Bond's London'

    By daniel on 2002-01-12

    James Bond and London, the capital of Britain, go hand in hand. A James Bond adventure, whether it is cinematic or literary, would hardly be complete without some form of patriotism towards Mother England and off hand I can only think of a few adventures (mainly short stories) where no scenes talk place in Britain. This simple fact, coupled with the fact that every man wishes to be like James Bond, gives good reason for a book such as James Bond’s London to be written.

    Gary Giblin took up the challenge of writing such a book in January 1998. I shall not go into full details here as they’re covered in Jordan Charter’s interview located here. However, what started as a book entitled James Bond’s Britain eventually had to be subdivided into two books. As a result of a lot or hard work James Bond’s London was published in December 2001.

    To begin with, James Bond’s London isn’t your average book, nor is it what I originally envisaged it would be; but that’s not a bad thing, quite the opposite actually. What Giblin has presented is a travel guide to the world of James Bond in London. Quite simply, the book is the most useful source for anyone who wants to travel in the footsteps of James Bond, something, which could easily seem a mammoth undertaking.

    Giblin has been very particular in the material that he has covered. By his own admission in an interview with he has omitted literary material not written by Ian Fleming; of course indicating he is a purist to the work. Giblin has also omitted non-EON Productions cinematic material; again a sign of purity as there is only one true James Bond film series.

    That said, the amount of material Giblin has included is still amazing. There a literally hundreds of locations that can be found in the novels and in the films. What is most amazing about the film locations is how many of them were used for non-British locations in the films. For instance the car park from Tomorrow Never Dies is actually in London and not Hamburg. Also, aside from locations that we read of and watch are locations where significant events of the Bond world took place. For instance, the birthplace of Ian Fleming or the former offices of EON Productions. If it’s Bond related and it’s in London you’ll find it in James Bond’s London.

    Thankfully, for those of us not well versed in travelling around London Giblin has an explanation of how to get to each location. Not only does he include the standard address, suburb and postcode but also details for getting there via the London Underground. As a part of this he’s mentioned the platforms and the stations one should use and once leaving the station which streets one should follow.

    The locations in the book are also well categorised. Rather than organising the locations by film, novel or perhaps relation Giblin has taken the initiative of organising them by location. So one could simply spend a day in a certain part of London and visit several Bond related locations. The guide makes it that simple.

    As for the detail on each location Giblin has included quite a lot. To describe each location Giblin has used icons to begin with; for instance a clapperboard icon represents a film related location. As a part of the textual description for each location Giblin has not only included Bond related information but information on the locations non-Bond history. Readers will not only learn a great deal about Bond but a great deal about London too.

    In passing good comments about the work that Giblin has done one must also highlight downfalls to James Bond’s London – something that is not an easy task let me assure you. While I can find no fault in the material that Giblin has presented I must say that I was disappointed to find that the book was not offered in a hardback edition. However, in saying that one can definitely appreciate the fact that Giblin and the Daleon, whom published the book, made all attempts to keep the prices low. My only other complain is about one of the icons in the book; the skull and cross bone. The icon is disproportionate and according to Giblin this is a problem that occurred at the printers.

    All in all James Bond’s London is a must have for any Bond fan of any calibre. Gary Giblin has researched extensively into all aspects of the locations and the films and help from Bond legends such as Peter Lamont have made this a completely unique and factual reference guide.

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  5. 'James Bond's London'

    By David Winter on 2002-01-01

    One of the problems with being a James Bond fan and collector is the overwhelming amount of Bond-related material released. For those of us on a limited income, it can be difficult to decide what to buy and what to pass up. However, there is that rare occaision when something is released that you just can’t pass up. James Bond’s London is definately one of those items.

    James Bond’s London is the most comprehensive guide to the world of James Bond ever published. The three years author Gary Giblin put into this book certainly shows. From Ian Fleming’s homes to the ex-Eon offices James Bond’s London covers everything a Bond fan would want to know. Each location is catergorized by the region of London in which it’s located and detailed instructions on how to get there are also provided. Not only do we get instructions on how to get there, but we also get a bit of history in the mix. Giblin took time to include bits of history with the entries along with challenging trivia questions, interesting facts, and black and white photos. The layout is clean, easy to read, and easy to navigate which makes this book a practical travel guide.

    If there are two books about Bond on your shelf they’d better be The James Bond Bedside Companion by Raymond Benson and James Bond’s London by Gary Giblin.

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  6. 'James Bond Movie Posters: The Official Collection'

    By Guest writer on 2001-11-11

    Written by CBn Forum Member ‘Simon’

    James Bond Movie Posters: the Official Collection, this book landed on my doorstep this morning.

    James Bond Movie Posters: the Official Collection

    James Bond Movie Posters: the Official Collection

    For me, a book like this which is advertised as an apotheothis to the worldwide James Bond campaigns and as a collection of conceptual designs that never made it to release stage, has to succeed on three levels. It should be very well produced, on high quality stock paper, with superbly reproduced artwork; it should have interviews with the artists to follow the methods of design and the way in which the work evolved and it should have examples of concept artwork for all the titles.

    On the first count, it succeeds admirably. It is a very large format book, the dustjacket is a matt finish with a tactile feel to it, it is suitably heavy, the reproductions of the posters are top notch (save a Diamonds are Forever reproduction). It is without doubt a coffee table book for a flicking through type of reference.

    Unfortunately the secound count is none existant. I feel able to voice disppointment here as I feel I was promised some insight but all we are given are some profiles at the back of the book. I would love to see what impacts affected the reasoning behind why some posters were discarded and why those that succeeded had of course to go through various stages of approval. Sadly this is not evident.

    The third count for conceptual design is fairly well represented. However, The Art of James Bond web site has managed to secure a better collection in this area. There are some very interesting concept posters from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which I have not seen before, but nothing from The Man With The Golden Gun to Tomorrow Never Dies, which I find very disappointing. UK readers may have seen the Marler Haley sets in Odeon theatres if they are old enough to have seen A View to A Kill in the theatres. Again there wasn’t a complete set of these represented in the book from the first film they were introduced in to the last (I believe A View To A Kill).

    In summary then, the book is a very professional undertaking in reproduction and publishing, but I feel could have incorporated a more insightful and complete picture of this fascinating world of advertising. The Art of James Bond web site is certainly more complete, the German book is again probably more complete and could certainly do with a translation into English. A combination of the three would probably be the definitive work in this area.

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