I came across an email dated January 4, 2016 in which I laid into IFP for getting the text of John Gardner's Nobody Lives Forever wrong in the Kindle version. The audiobook has additional text. After consulting with our resident John Gardner expert @Dragonpol
on the matter (with him looking up the passage in question from his 1986 Coronet edition), we came to the conclusion that the Kindle edition is correct. This morning, @moneyofpropre2
brought up a question about the 2017 Vintage Books editions being edited and having passages removed, especially Live and Let Die's
chapter 5 being edited from "Nigger Heaven" to "Fifth Avenue", and three pages of dialogue between a Black couple at a restaurant where Bond eats with Leiter being removed.
Why do I bring this up? I think it would be kind of neat to have a crowdsourced thread to denote differences across all the Bond books and the various editions. I'll start with what I know: all of the Ian Fleming Bonds on Kindle are presented unedited and begin with the note "The text in this edition has been restored by the Fleming family company Ian Fleming Publications, to reflect the work as it was originally published."
by John Gardner has several changes:
The audio book version goes like this:
Administrative offices and a radio room extend to left and right of this passage which ends, abruptly, at a pair of heavy, high doors, the entrance to a long, narrow room, bare but for its massive conference table and attendant chairs,
together with facilities for showing films, V.T.R., and slides.
The original passage is:
Administrative offices and a radio room extend to left and right of this passage which ends, abruptly, at a pair of heavy, high doors leading to a long, narrow room, bare but for its massive conference table and chairs, together with facilities for showing films, V.T.R., and slides.
Nobody Lives Forever has this for Kindle:
This time she pulled away, gently putting her fingers to his mouth. ‘I’m sorry, James. But no.’ There was the ghost of a smile as she said, ‘I’m a good convent girl, remember. But that’s not the only reason. If you’re serious, be patient. Now, goodnight, and thank you for the lovely evening.’ ‘I should thank you, Principessa,’ he said with a shade
of formality. He watched as she closed her door, then went slowly to his own room, swallowed a couple of Dexedrine tablets and prepared to sit up all night, ready for anything.
The 1986 Coronet edition:
This time she pulled away, gently putting her fingers to his mouth. ‘I’m sorry, James. But no.’ There was the ghost of a smile as she said, ‘I’m a good convent girl, remember. But that’s not the only reason. If you’re serious, be patient. Now, goodnight, and thank you for the lovely evening.’ ‘I should thank you, Principessa,’ he said with a touch
of formality. He watched as she closed her door, then went slowly to his own room, swallowed a couple of Dexedrine tablets and prepared to sit up all night.
Get to it!
Concerning, Nobody Lives Forever. We know there is differences between UK & US edition (like in COLD), maybe you want to compare the kindle/coronet/audio to tthe points of compraisons that had been evoked here : https://web.archive.org/web/20060127215050/http://www.007forever.com/books/faq011.html ?
BTW I have a e-book of Nobody Lives Forever (which is not on Kindle) dated from 2011 and the text in it is the one of what you listed as Coronet edition (seems to be the UK text). What do you have for chapter 17? My E-book have the "The room was white, furnished with glass tables, soft white armchairs, and valuable modern paintings" of the UK text cited on 007Forever. If we have 2 differents e-book, It would mean that IFP have updated the Kindle version since 2011, update that included change of the text ? Or do Kindle send the US version to people who are from USA like you?
John Gardner's COLD in the UK, COLD Fall in the US.
Or the subtler Nobody Lives For Ever, and Nobody Lives Forever.
More egregious (but beautiful on their own) were the paperback US versions of Ian Fleming's of Casino Royale and Moonraker.
I think that edition was a kind of tie-in with the CBS TV adaptation of Casino Royale from 1954, starring Barry Nelson in the lead role. He was referred to as "Card Sharp" Jimmy Bond in that adaptation. Presumably that description on the novel didn't go any further than the back cover and didn't actually feature in the text itself.
Well, Too Hot to Handle could obviously refer to Bond nearly getting crispy under the Moonraker's thrusters.
Bond needed an asbestos dinner jacket during that mission.
Yes, they weren't much of an improvement on the Fleming titles. They were the opposite, in fact. They were more suited to the pulpy stands of the airport novel.
Does that mean that they've used the US "race edit" text instead of the UK text as that chapter was retitled "Seventh Avenue" there?
Probably the same text of the 2017 ( https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/17611/literary-bond-in-2017/p1 ) editions of the first 3 book we critized on this forum ; but this time IFP don't have the excuse of "that may be the published fault" since that thay publish themself now...
Perhaps it's just LALD as they presumably just used the existing US "race edit" text instead of the original complete UK text? That said, I do recall there being some small "race edits" in the US version of DAF too. More details in my article here:
I tell you, it's political correctness gone mad.
Yes, exactly. It's the literary equivalent of tearing down statutes and casting them into the river. We don't have a right to just whitewash over all of history to make everything fit in with our current sanitised view of the world today.
Yes, indeed. I remember buying a copy of that novel published by Alfred A. Knopf (8th Impression, July 1928) for £1 in a second hand bookshop over 15 years ago and realising the true intent behind the chapter title. Although the n-word is obviously offensive I don't believe it was really intended in a racist sense by Fleming. It was a book title taken from the Harlem Renaissance. Of course such nuance is lost in today's virtue-signalling world that wishes to sweep away and edit anything they don't immediately like. Orwell's prophecies have sadly come true in more ways than he would have anticipated back in 1948.
I mean, it's a pretty standard thing to do with classic novels. A bit like the literary equivalent of Leonard Maltin introducing old Disney cartoons with racist caricatures in re-releases explaining the context behind it etc. It could be very interesting too and cements these novels as important pieces of literary history (which I would say they are), whatever they contain within them.
I am not happy about it, but looking at my 7 copies (6 in paperback and 1 hardback) of LALD, that can't be tampered with, will calm me down.