James Bond Books

Latest Book Review: Forever And A Day ( 2018 )

Author: Anthony Horowitz Published by: Jonathan Cape ( 2019 Paperback by: Vintage - Penguin )

It's first time I've picked up both versions of this author's 2nd outing as a Bond writer using some Fleming material. Have to admit read the former ( left ) due to larger font type ( old age on part of reader ). Both rear books describe it as "THE EXPLOSIVE PREQUEL TO CASINO ROYALE" As you see above the paperback loses "WITH ORIGINAL MATERIAL BY IAN FLEMING" and adds to top "THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER"

The rear of the hardback gives you a short extract when M asks Chief of Staff Bill Tanner the name of the new chap while the paperback's rear gives three summary paragraphs starting "A British agent floats in the waters of the French Riviera, murdered by an unknown hand."

Like the movie James Bond has to get two kills to get his 00 licence, we follow him to Stockholm where he carries out this 2nd kill. On return to London Bond is promoted by M on advice of Chief of Staff to 00 status even offered various numbers but he chooses to take '007' the number of the agent whose body is found floating in the waters of Marseilles. Earlier we meet his Scottish housekeeper May, on arrival at Regent's Park base his secretary Loelia Ponsonby & before meeting M, outside his office Miss Moneypenny.

So Bond is sent to the French Riviera to investigate his murder where he encounters & joins forces with CIA agent Reade Griffith. In London he is briefed about Corsican gangster Jean-Paul Scipio and Joanne Brochet aka Madame 16 aka Sixtine. She is involved with American businessman Irwin Wolfe. How all this ties up you will have to read the book which includes a trip to the casino at Monte Carlo.

The final explosive climax is aboard Wolfe's new steam cruiser, Mirabelle where Bond is subjected to more torture with hints of LIve & Let Die drug narrative. At story end like the way Bond takes a week's holiday on M's advice in LA to tie up loose ends.

An enjoyable adventure told over 276 pages & 22 chapters ( Hardback priced at £18.99 & Paperback £8.99 ) followed by Acknowledgements & short bio of Ian Fleming. If not read, worth a trip to your book store or in my case the local library.

Just the BOND BOOK FACT ...

  1. On 09/10/19: A rare first edition of Ian Fleming's first 007 novel Casino Royale has set a new world record of £55,000 at a Lyon & Turnbull auction in Edinburgh after valued at £12,000 to £18,000. Meanwhile a rare first edition of Fleming's 1954 novel Live and Let Die went for £30,000 - six times its pre-sale estimate of £3,000 to £5,000. Other novels a very rare copy of The Man with the Golden Gun was sold for £4,625, while a rare edition of Diamonds are Forever, estimated at £600 to £800 sold for £2,375.
  2. On 14/05/19: At Swann Galleries in New York, Ian Fleming’s James Bond was the star of the sale with 4 first editions ranking among the top 10 lots. Goldfinger, 1959, led the sale at $25,000, and featured an inscription to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE–three-time winner of The Open Championship–recommending a particular golf scene in the book. Meanwhile his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, 1953, in the first state dust jacket earned $18,750. A presentation copy of Thunderball, 1961, inscribed to Charles Douglas Jackson, a friend of Fleming’s who was posthumously revealed to be a CIA agent, brought $16,250. Lastly the rarest Bond title, The Man with the Golden Gun, 1965, with the gilt gun stamped on the front cover, earned $11,050.
  3. On 21/06/17: A first edition of Casino Royale was sold at auction for £22,500 by Thomson Roddick and Medcalf Auctioneers in Carlisle.
  4. On 23/10/15: Two 007 first editions sold for record prices - Ian Fleming's Casino Royale from 1953, fetched £27,280 while 1955's Moonraker went for £13,020 at London's Bloomsbury Auctions.
  5. On 05/06/15: A rare, uncorrected proof copy of Fleming's Goldfinger was sold for a hammer price of £1,800 (£2,115 including buyer's premium) at auction in Aylsham, North Norfolk - three times the pre-sale estimate of £500-600 at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers.
  6. On 30/05/14: A collection of first and early edition Ian Fleming books net £2,900 at Lichfield's Richard Winterton Auctioneers. A total of 14 hardback editions, dating from the late 1950s, went under the hammer including Goldfinger, Octopussy and Casino Royale. The highest bid was for 1960 first edition of For Your Eyes Only which sold for £410.
  7. On 11/04/14: A first edition of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale thrilled bidders by selling for £24,180 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' sale of Modern Literature, held at their saleroom in Newbury, Berkshire.
  8. On 16/12/10: A rare first edition of Casino Royale was sold at a sale in South Cerney, Gloucestershire for £19,000, also sold was a first edition of Live and Let Die for £6,600 and a copy of Moonraker sold for £7,200.
  9. On 04/11/10: A rare 2nd edition of Casino Royale was sold to a local book dealer for £1,800 and became the most expensive single item ever sold by a Helen and Douglas House charity shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
  10. On 17/12/09: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £10,625 ( an increase in price see 2 ) at a London auction.
  11. On 07/12/06: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £6,240 ( a drop in price see 4 ) at a London auction.
  12. On 13/12/01: An Edinburgh charity shop received a windfall of more than £5,000 after the London auction of a 1954 first edition of a James Bond book. The rare copy of Live And Let Die had been handed in anonymously to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop with a number of other books in a plastic bag. "It was just lying with a pile of books and we go through them all to check for anything special," said volunteer John Fyfe, who spotted that it may be worth than the shop's normal top price of £30. It was sold to an anonymous buyer for £ 5,287 at Sotheby's.
  13. On 09/03/01: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £11,400 at a Swindon auction.
  14. On 25/11/99: A complete set of first edition Ian Fleming James Bond books with their original dust jackets were sold for a record £13,800 at a London auction.