- Bond on Bond - by Roger Moore with Gareth Owen
Published by: Michael O'Mara Books ( 2012 )
Not the first time that I've written a review months after reading - 9 months ! This 224 page book is released pre-Skyfall but the choice of photos within contain many not seen by this Bond book reviewer. The inside cover front & back has a square mosaic ( Andy Warhol style ) of 6 007 actors repeated within with normal square profile photos next to the title page with subtitle of The Ultimate Book - 50 Years of Bond Movies. The following 'Content' page lists each of 11 chapters, after the 'Introduction', are all Bond on ... theme e.g. girls, gadgets & cars. The final chapter .. on films is a poster section of all Eon movies with a brief credits & revenues included also spoof Casino Royale and Sean's Never Say Never Again. Lastly the usual 4 page index.
Sadly being 'long in the tooth' I remember a chat show appearance by Sir Roger on Jonathan Ross Show ( then on BBC1 ), at the end of the interview Wossy ( a big 007 fan ) offered him a Bond DVD, he politely declined with "I don't watch them anymore." So to write a book as a Bond movie expert, I now find surprising but Sir Roger does it in his own style & humour referring to James as 'Jim'. Moore tells many behind the scenes stories from his time as 007. He is ably assisted by Gareth Owen for research purposes.
There are sections within each chapter like 'Other Astons' and mentions "when Casino Royale hit the screens, we saw the new Aston Martin DBSV1 " with adjacent photo. True unfortunately it's a photo of the silver DB5 used outside the hotel. At the time Skyfall was in production so not really covered including the DB5 again.
In the book's opening it's mentioned "a royalty with be donated to UNICEF UK" for every sale of the £25 book. For me a definite sale buy ( due to limited funds Sir Roger ) but was happy to library borrow for this review of an interesting look at the world of 007, thanks mainly due to Moore's inside knowledge.
Update June 7, 2015: Moore tweets about "a new softback" version of the book perhaps with an update before SPECTRE's release.
- Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: James Bond - by Michael Paterson
Published by: F & W Media International ( 2012 )
Discovered this small book ( 13cm x 18cm ) in the Blokes section of my local library, by the title it belongs to a series of books about different topics like Titanic and The Olympics. Published pre-Skyfall, there are no chapters instead the small continuous text is sectioned with headings & broken up by small paragraph Bond facts over the 135 pages. It opens with 4 pages of Contents, then a five & half page Introduction. Throughout the book there are b&w illustrations - the buildings are passable but the individuals ( authors/actors ) remind of photocopied photos with some drawn over outlined - one of the worst is author Raymond Benson - could be your fav uncle ! Other illustrations like a bowler hat, birthday cake or bikini to highlight a section are a joke like the cover. At the end there is a 2 page Role of honour - books & movies listings, then 2 page index and 2 pages of credits - pictures, info, acknowledgements & dedication.
Basically this writer is a researcher who has collected facts about our famous spy unfortunately either not interested or not bothered proof reading the book is littered with typos/errors, perhaps too many to mention but here are just a few ...
- Gets 007 actor Pierce's name wrong on 2 occasions - the latter "one poll by the JBIFC found that Piers Brosnan was the most popular .."
- Does not know that the famous Aston Martin was a DB5 throughout the book refers to as DBS even a drawing of the DBS which looks like DAD's Vanquish.
- He looks at other tv & movie spies like UNCLE, we all know agent Illya Kuryakin, here he's Ilya Kuriakin.
- Bond composer David Arnold "went on to score later movies TWINE, DAD & QOS", missing TND & CR ? When publishing unaware of Thomas Newman replacing him for Skyfall despite confirming Arnold here.
- Has a paragraph headed PINK PANTHER about actor Bert Kwouk, mentions his YOLT appearance but totally forgets Burt's earlier role in Goldfinger.
- At the end 'Keep Bond British' there is another example of photocopied drawing with American tv actor Tom Sellek, try Selleck.
This reference book is far from "amazing & extraordinary", perhaps interesting with common facts for Bond fans but priced at £9.99 suggest a library borrow for outside amusement as easy to carry due to size.
- Ian Fleming's Commandos - by Nicholas Rankin
Published by: faber & faber ( 2011 )
A belated review of this 398 page book price at £20 which tells the true story of a unit of authorised looters, set up by Lt Commander Ian Fleming RNVR, who would steal enemy intelligence. They were called IAU ( Intelligence Assault Unit ) or better known as the 30 AU to be later disbanded in January 1946.
This well-researched historical book opens with abbreviations, acronyms & maps, also has a 19 page end index and 23 pages of acknowledgement/source notes. Within the 334 pages of narrative there is reference to Fleming's later Bond books. It covers all aspects of World War II history with Fleming fleeting in and out of the tale. It takes 138 pages just to get to 30 AU's first 'abortive' mission on 19 August, 1942.
At its centre is 8 pages of b&w photos - 1st of uniformed Fleming in Room 39 of Admiralty House as it looks at his relationship with Admiral John Godfrey ( later his basis for Bond's boss M ).The last photo page sees the author on the Dr No set talking with Sean Connery and below one with wife Ann at his holiday home of Goldeneye in Jamaica.
This author describes Fleming as "both drunken Smyth ( in short story Octopussy ) and young Bond, who like him lost his father. He can see himself in the present, as a decaying old sinner, and in the past, as a cleansing hero."
Confession didn't read all about the main subjects - the brave 30 AU but if you are a fan of WWII historical books then this one is for you.
- James Bond in the 21st Century - Edited by Glen Yeffeth
Published by: Benbella Books ( 2006 )
"Class I would like you to write me an essay about James Bond." Yes this book drops in the media studies section, remembering years ago when doing my tv studies courses each week we would have access to a book box containing similar books like this one. Printed before the release of Casino Royale this softback contains 200 pages of essays by Bond experts ? Split into 4 sections: The Real James Bond, The James Bond Debate, How to Make James Bond Your Bitch & James Bond in the 21st Century. Each sections has three interludes with short items on: Drink Like Bond, Eat Like Bond & Dress Like Bond.
Bond novelist Raymond Benson opens looking at the cinematic Bond against his literary counterpart. Other experts are questionable as some write their piece from memory and make a few bloopers. Overall worth a read if you fancy a chance to agree or disagree with them then forget them. Thanks to co-editor Leah Wilson for the chance to read it early but sorry rather late with this review. Happy film studies !
- James Bond The Man and His World - by Henry Chancellor
Published by: John Murray ( 2005 )
The full title continues The Official 007 Companion to Ian Fleming's Creation as the author enters the literary world of our famous spy. Inside the 250 page book, priced at £20 there is hardly any mention of the movies until page 226 or any related movie photos.
Despite covering familiar ground with Fleming's life & career, this is no light-weight coffee table book read. With historic illustrations from the archives which relate to the small text, each chapter is interrupted by a 2 page analysis of each book in chronological order starting with Casino Royale in 1953 and ending with Octopussy and The Living Daylights in 1966. The book analysis follows the same pattern of .. First line, Story, Last Line, Inspirations, What the readers said & What the critics said.
Other two page specials include Bond's adventures by year, looking at Fleming's choice of character names and a world map of Bond's journeys. The book ends with the usual Acknowledgements, Bibliography, Picture Credits & Index. If you enjoy Fleming's work, it is a well-researched book that you will return for future reference and reading.
So a good & helpful addition to your 007 library.
- Bond Films - by Jim Smith & Stephen Lavington
Published by: Virgin Books ( 2002 )
I'm not sure if this 294 page book is part of an unmentioned publisher series with
each page header following a page layout of top left of bond film and right of virgin film with a larger vertical side of BOND FILM and movie title.
The two authors explain in the introduction their method of categorising each film:
As you see each film is given a through going over with about 15 pages of in-depth analysis and opinions - some you'll agree, others you will not. There are lesser pages for Casino Royale & NSNA and the latest DAD only gets 4 pages due to the finished product being unseen at the time of publishing.
- Principal Cast
- Pre-Credits And Titles
- Universal Exports
- Bond, James Bond
- Major Boothroyd / Q
- Allies ( lists 007 helpers )
- The Opposition ( lists the bad guys/girls )
- Principal Casting
- Director And Crew
- Fashion Victims
- Set Pieces
- Positively Shocking
- Memorable Quotes
- Culture Vulture
- In The Real World
- Source To Screen
- Musical Notes
- Box Office
- Cut Scenes
- Product Placement
- Martinis, Girls And Guns
- The One With ... ( not every film but some amusing e.g. The other fella [OHMSS] or The rock of Gibraltar, the milkman and the cello [TLD].
- The Last Word
Unlike other review books, this is not padded out with blank pages instead continuous pages with each film review ending with a small rectangle box of GIRLS, MARTINIS & DEATHS count.
Interspersed between films are essays about different topics ( e.g. Continuity, Smoking and Saving The World ).
The middle section has 8 pages of mixed photos in no order and most familiar.
The book ends with an Appendix ( book listings etc. ) and a detailed Index.
Priced at £16.99 with it's uninspiring b&w montage cover and described on the rear as a "step-by-step companion to the James Bond Films" would prove handy to have around for reference purposes.
It's the sort of book to look out for and purchase in a book sale shop.
Still a good read with some different researched facts to reflect about our Mr Bond.
- James Bond The Legacy - by John Cork & Bruce Scivally
Published by: Boxtree ( 2002 )
Yes a late, late review originally costing £35 picked up for a bargain £10 in a local store and read back in early 2003 but alas never got round to reviewing. Who said - Size doesn't matter ? Weighing in over 5lbs this large ( 36cm x 26cm ) book has the 5 Bonds featured on the gold cover and offers 320 pages of 007 content which includes 12 main chapters plus foreword, introduction, appendices and end index & acknowledgments .. phew !
In his foreword Bond producer Michael G Wilson recalls his time with the Bond family & movie franchise ending "We created the films. You created the legacy." Followed by author Cork's intro which asks "How has James Bond changed this world ?" and ends "What would the world be like without James Bond ?" Assisted by co-author Scivally the book covers the creation of our superhero & the 40 year history of the Eon franchise. Despite their worthy efforts, much credit should go to the book designer as each large page allows scope for a different variety of interesting layouts using quality photos & movie stills - some getting the full page treatment ( e.g. left page chapter intro ). The right page opening chapter uses large text and has at the top a small right square photo montage. As you progress through the chapters a smaller version of the previous chapter intro photo appears e.g. Chapter 3 - 2 square photos.
Due to the mentioned size/weight it won't be a quick pick up like a normal 007 reference book despite at the 300 page stage you get pages of handy 007 information. The first James Bond: The Numbers has a breakdown of each film's box office, release date stats etc. ( excluding DAD as just released ). The next ..:The Adventures with a brief list of Bond literature followed by a category listing of the villain, sub-villain, villain's plot, Bond's women. Bond's allies, the Bond Team, Bond's gadgets and locations for each movie. The final ..: The Filmmakers section lists alphabetically cast & crew quotes over the years. Lastly there is an end index over 3 pages.
If you're looking for a quick read, this isn't it. Throughout the book, you have the usual large block quotes as you take a browse down Bond memory lane. Personally when read all those years ago, no pun intended I did find the book heavy going with historical event references ( text & photos ) which I found distracting. A worthy addition to the Bond library but now I've reviewed it, where do I finally put it ? No seriously where ? A heavy decision guys !
- Martinis, Girls and Guns - Fifty Years of 007 - by Martin Sterling & Gary Morecambe
Published by: Robson Books ( 2002 )
The two authors covers 50 years of literary & movie Bond from Fleming creating our hero in January 1952 to the press launch of DAD in January 2002.
For £16.95 you get a 352 page book with 15 chapters ( numbered 001 etc. ), an end 3 part Appendix, Bibliography & Index. Inside are 8 pages of b&w photos including Eon's former and existing London offices.
Having read many books about the history of 007, the narrative takes you over familiar ground with news highlights again covered and added authors' comments e.g. about Sean's NSNA: "Let's not be ambiguous: NSNA is simply dreadful."
The book is well researched, compact but early narrative sometimes jumps back and forth which may be due to 2 authors.
An interesting section is the aforementioned Appendix, first co-author Gary ( son of comedian Eric ) Morecambe's conversation with Sir John Morgan, a friend of Fleming. The second has Sterling visiting the Pinewood set of TWINE ending with Bond star Pierce Brosnan making a cup of tea in his dressing room for the author. The final part called Words of Bondage has block quotes ( with no sources given ) starting with Fleming, his friend Raymond Chandler, all 5 screen Bonds and ending with producer Michael G Wilson.
If you've never read anything about the world of 007 which is very unlikely and are looking for a non-glossy approach, this text book maybe a good start as it saves time reading previous related books. For me not much new, so a library borrow or cheap sale buy.
- James Bond The Secret World of 007 - by Alastair Dougall & Illustrator Roger Stewart
Published by: Dorling Kindersley ( 2000 )
The inside cover of this large 144 page book tells us that it is for "fans of all ages".
With an emphasis on photos rather than text, this book could be seen as a prototype of the 007 Spy Files magazine with cut-out photos and detail drawings of Bond scenes.
This 2000 version, priced at a reasonable �12.99, covers 007's exploits from Dr No to TWINE. The illustrations by Roger Stewart are excellent, shame he has to make 007 look like Brosnan in early missions. His numbered art-work with occasional movie photo help us easily follow a memorable Bond scene.
With a red cover I was expecting the book to open "Tonight Commander James Bond of the British Secret Service ... This Is Your Life !" instead we get a foreword by M ( and accompanying page photo ) followed by the Bond Dossier starting with details and items about Bond with cut-out colour photos of Brosnan. This continues with his 'look' - examples of his tailoring, 'in love' - montage of his ladies ( nice smiling one of Miss Rigg ), his service MI6 - support personnel like M, Moneypeny & Tanner, next the 'Wizard of MI6' - Q, his 'world of spies' - Wai Lin, Tanaka etc. and lastly 'Supervillains' - mainly Blofeld.
The next section examines his Missions with 2 pages devoted to each movie's plot with photos, large cut-outs etc. and further pages of illustrations looking at certain aspects like a location ( GF's Operation Grand Slam ) or equipment like his cars or boats e.g. TWINE's stealth ship - showing the different levels of the craft with cut-away sections. Due to it's release there is a large section on TWINE. I compared the art-work of the TWINE's Q Boat and TSWLM's Atlantis with the aforementioned magazine. The book wins by miles for accuracy as Stewart's drawings try to convince us that these gadgets actually work when we really know that it was all done by movie special effects.
The final section looks at the Movies with an end opening caption joking "... To date, five actors have played James Bond. The real 007 has never disclosed which one he feels has captured him the best." Each movie has a short cast/credit listing with a cast member photo, a travelogue location photo and more cut-out photos. Even in the earlier Missions section it is difficult to find a photo of the first 4 007s - in FYEO a photo of Countess Lisl ( Pierce's late wife, Cassandra Harris ) appears with poor Roger cut off at his shirt shoulder !
Having seen numerous publications with the same movie stills I can't praise this book high enough for photo selection - many I hadn't seen before.
Ending with a brief index, this should keep the "fans of all ages" happy until the next update. The connection with this book and 007 Spy Files is consultant Dave Worrall of the JBCC.
- the PINEWOOD story - by Gareth Owen with Brian Burford
Published by: Reynolds & Hearn ( 2000 )
The authors trace the history of the famous British studios, Pinewood,
home of the Bond movies, from the early days right up to the latest productions including TWINE.
The book with over 200 b&w photos tries to do justice to every production made and gives special chapters to the Bond & Carry On movies.
An eighteen page chapter is devoted to BOND ... JAMES BOND which traces the importance of the EON/Bond franchise with some different photos - some from the JBIFC and others taken around the grounds where elements of the movies were made - memories of a '94 Dave Worrall studio tour come flooding back.
Other related connections include a preface by Bond star Roger Moore who reveals that he has "kept an office at the studio for the past 25 years and I consider that Pinewood is my second home".
Not sure if Sean Connery felt the same due to problems he had with the British Government's 90 days tax rule on one of his films but returned for his later Entrapment. The book's opening credits are dedicated "in memory of J Arthur Rank and Desmond Llewelyn - greatly missed."
The cover has a small Brosnan TWINE casino photo and on the rear a larger Roger Moore photo seated on location in his 007 casting chair. Bond pops up in other chapters like the Carry On with .. Spying when Eon producer Saltzman wasn't too happy with the film's poster resembling FRWL. In another chapter filming of the Bond spoof Casino Royale is covered.
This 208 page book ends with a full filmography which proves the importance of this expanding studio for the entertainment industry. A recommended read for any movie fan.
- LICENCE TO THRILL: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films - by James Chapman
Published by: I.B. Tauris ( 1999 )
The author, an Open University Lecturer in Film & TV, takes a serious look at the history of the Bond films in popular culture. With an Introduction titled Taking James Bond Seriously followed by chapters grouping the films e.g. Chapter 3 Bondmania: Thunderball, Casino Royale, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He compares the Fleming's books to the later films and uses their dialogue when necessary and relates to historical events.
The 325 page publication is a useful media studies resource as it rekindled my memories of evening studies with numbered notes throughout the narrative. It's a shame the notes aren't placed at the end of each chapter rather than the end of the book. Also included is a full filmography ( up to TND ) and bibliography ( detail listing of books, unpublished scripts, newspapers etc. ) and 40 b&w movie photos.
Explaining the success of the series, the author suggests in his postscript ...
"... it is the combination of all these elements - the production values, the visual spectacle, the pattern of repetition and variation, the Britishness and the internationalism - which accounts for the distinctive style of the Bond films."
This well researched book will interest all true Bond fans even if you're not doing film studies.
- The Essential Bond - by Lee Pfeiffer & Dave Worrall
Published by: Boxtree ( 1998 )
This 'authorized guide to the World of 007' covers all the Bond movies* plus a brief look at the literary 007,
while other chapters are devoted to The James Bond Family, spin-off movies,
other James Bonds and the 007 Phenomenon - looking at the fans who follow this legendary spy. With a foreword by Bond producer Michael G Wilson, the next pages are devoted to Remembering Cubby [ Broccoli ].
Then each chapter opens with short credit list/ release dates, within are subsections:
The Assignment, 007's Women, 007's Villains, 007's Allies, Vehicles, Gadgets & Weapons,
Marketing & Merchandising and finally The Box Office.
Small black info boxes are added with each movie titled Top Secret Cast & Crew Dossiers and Around The World With 007 - revealing the movie's filming locations. Each author brings his in-depth knowledge to the subject matter and the 204 page publication includes some different & not seen before photos from the EON's photo library
especially the final page b&w photo of Saltzman, Fleming & Broccoli titled Their world was not enough...
It's a must read for Bond fans.
*This print of the book covers up to TND, the updated version with different cover includes TWINE.
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang ! - The Unofficial James Bond Film Companion - by Alan Barnes & Marcus Hearn
Published by: BT Batsford Ltd ( 1997 )
This updated version covers the movies from Dr No to TND and includes Casino Royale & NSNA. With a Prologue titled Everything or nothing, they explain the Bond history and how as fans they "brought the dream". The 206 page book [ £15.99 ] contains plenty of 007 information along with many b&w photos ( most taken at Eon's press gatherings to promote the films ). So if you're looking for the usual movie photos, this book isn't for you - perhaps this explains the 'unofficial' tag on the cover.
Apart from the movie title, each chapter is given a subtitle e.g. Dr No - An Elizabethan gangster & Goldfinger - A kind of joke Superman , usually taken from mentioned press reviews. Each movie is looked at in sectioned paragraphs i.e. history, relationship to Fleming's books, ommitted scenes. box-office, reviews etc. As explained in their Introduction, every chapter ends with the movie categorised:
Each category is given marks out of 10 and finally awarded an overall percentage ( I noted YOLT came top with 94% and AVTAK bottom with 31% ). There is also an end cast & selected credits listing.
- Bonkers plot
- Fights, chases, explosions
- Dialogue and double entrendres
- Plus/minus points
The publication seems rushed for TND's release as the usual category section with marks etc. are missing for the movie. An opening chapter listing and an end index would also have been helpful. Having not seen the updated 2001 TWINE version, I am not sure if any of the latter have now been addressed.
Overall a good and informative read - shame about the occasional use of a swear word ( e.g. May Day's AVTAK jump ) in the text - sorry guys adds nothing.
- The Making of Tomorrow Never Dies - by Garth Pearce
Published by: Boxtree ( 1997 )
After his Making of GoldenEye the author returns to follow the troubled making of Brosnan's 2nd outing as superspy 007. Back in 1997 the book was released in full size publication but this smaller version - 8in(20cm) x 6in (15cm) is part of a purchased Collector's Limited Edition Video Box Set* so comes in smaller print and giving this reviewer some evening eye-strain !
The black soft cover has posing Brosnan within gun barrel front photo but has less pages than last time ( 95 compared to 128 ) and after a Preface follows 3 chapters ( Bond 18...and Counting, Creating the Bond Magic & The Final Countdown ) each containing elements about the making of a big budget Bond movie. Background & quotes from all areas: cast, director and production team. Along the way you discover some interesting facts: like out of the original script only 3 pages remained unchanged and there were seventeen versions of 007's BMW 750iL gadget-filled car !
If you think filming is glamorous read some of the smaller parts/extras accounts and discover the hours of waiting & re-filming. The book is a good insight into world of 007 with the expected colour photos from the movie and while filming. The inside opening photo of author chatting to star in Thailand is captioned Pearce and Pierce .... So if you ever come across a rare copy it's worth a purchase despite its age.
* Note. The black Collector's Limited Edition Video Box Set contained a video of TND, 2nd video Highly Classified: The World of 007 hosted by Desmond Q Llewelyn, 3 limited numbered movie storyboards and the book.
- The Making of GoldenEye - by Garth Pearce
Published by: Boxtree ( 1995 )
Having purchased the movie's all-colour official magazine when released, I couldn't see the point of purchasing this book about The Making of GoldenEye. In London recently I noticed the 'mint-condition' book in a sale reduced from the original £8.99 to £4.99 that's less than some 007 mags - so a bargain buy !
The 128 page softback book splits into 11 chapters starting with James Bond: Present and Correct and ending with The Masterminds about the director, editor etc. The author covers similar ground to the magazine but with some different location & studio photos, mainly b&w with most of the colour photos taken from the movie.
The biggest chapter is devoted to Pierce Brosnan's Bond Diary with the writer's observations about production and the Irish star adding his quotes along the way. It opens with Pierce taking his agent's call "at exactly 12.35pm on 1st June 1994" telling him that he got the part. Another chapter called And ... Action has the script from four scenes in Brosnan's first outing including his dressing-down by the new M. Like the magazine, the final page is the movie's credit listing but unlike the mag's full listing here is just a waste with a spaced-out summary of some cast & production names.
Slightly disappointing for a Making Of .. book but despite its age it still proves an interesting, light read worth adding to your Bond library.
- The Official James Bond Movie Book - by Sally Hibbin
Published by: Hamlyn ( 1989 )
When working in London I used to spend some lunch-times looking around the discount book shops hoping to pick up a bargain. This book resembles one of those speciality annuals brought out at Xmas but with glossy cover with Bond actors ( which is the same as hard cover if lost - most are plain ) I got this bargain for half price ( original price £9.95 ).
The title's new has been added for cover/updating purposes, the book opens with a foreword by Bond Producer Albert R. Broccoli as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Eon series. It has an opening background chapter about THE BOND MOVIE PHENOMENON including a double page of the 4 Bond actors with portrait photos/details.
Each movie section follows the same format with left page gun barrel and inserted movie photo. The right page movie chapter opens with an overview and any going ons between movies, then over the following pages broken down into ...
The movie chapter ends with a bottom page Dossier with brief cast/production names/date/timing.
- The Assignment
- Equipment used
- Enemy Personnel
- The Bond Girl
- The Victim
- The Background Story
The 160 page book has "over 200 colour and black and white photographs" taken from Eon's library. After 140 pages of movie reviews, there is a full CAST LISTS section with repeated photos followed by the last page's handy Index. It is an easy read with a few bloopers: for OHMSS Lazenby didn't drive "along in his Aston Martin DB5" - it was the DBS version and the photo caption writer gets it wrong with LTK's Dario ( played by Benicio del Toro ) who becomes Dano ( never heard Sanchez say: "Book 'im Dano !" ).
Despite its age and covering now only DN to LTK, never has a book still been used so much for reference purposes. It's a shame that it was never updated again instead of Cork's later hefty over-sized book. When published I am sure that it was purchased by all true 007 fans.